Oswald Smith was born in Hampstead in 1794. He was the son of George Smith MP and nephew of John Smith of Blendon, who were in joint control of the London branch of the family’s banking firm. He married Henrietta Mildred Hodgson in 1824. They had six children: Isabel, Laura, Frances, Marion, Harry and Oswald Augustus.
Oswald bought Blendon Hall in 1840 and made many developments to the house and estate. He also had a house in London. On the night of the 1861 census the Smith family were in residence at Blendon Hall with their 26 servants.
Oswald died at Blendon Hall on 18 June 1863 and the estate was sold.
One of Oswald’s daughters, Frances Dora, was married at St Mary’s Church, Bexley on 28 September 1853 to Claude Bowes Lyon. He was the younger brother of the 12th Earl of Strathmore, and in 1865 he succeeded his brother to become the 13th Earl. This couple were the paternal grandparents of Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, who became Queen Elizabeth and later Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
On 9 June 2013 a sculpture of the Queen Mother’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, will be unveiled at Bexleyheath’s Clock Tower to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her coronation. The Bexleyheath Coronation Memorial Clock Tower was erected in 1912 (to celebrate the coronation of King George V) next to Market Place, which was built by Oswald Smith’s uncle, John Smith.