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Henry Stafford Smith

Who was he?

Henry Stafford Smith began to collect stamps whilst recovering from a childhood attack of measles. When he was eighteen he advertised part of his collection for sale in The Times and was inundated with replies. The following year (1862) he started a stamp dealing business.

With the encouragement of other stamp collectors he published one of the earliest philatelic magazines The Stamp Collectors’ Magazine.

In partnership with his brother, Alfred William Smith, he opened a shop in Bath at 13, George Street for the sale of foreign postage stamps. In 1866 Henry moved to Brighton where he established a new business and a new journal The Philatelist (1866-76). He also published the Illustrated Postage Stamp Album and Catalogue of British, Colonial, and Foreign Postage Stamps from 1867, and the Permanent Postage Stamp Album (1871). [British Philatelic Trust]

Why was he in Bath?

He was born in Bath in 1843.

Location of plaque at 13, George Street:

Location of plaque at 13 George Square

Henry Stafford Smith plaque

The text reads

"These premises were formerly occupied by the philatelist Henry Stafford Smith (b. 1843 d. 1903) who with his brother Alfred William Smith (b. 1837 d. 1880) published from 1863 onwards 'The Stamp Collector's Magazine'. This was the pioneer philatelic journal and Bath is therefore the cradle city of philatelic literature."

Location map of 13, George Street:

Henry Stafford Smith location map



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