He graduated Master of Arts from The Queen"s College, Oxford in 1639 and served as chaplain to King Charles World War II Having graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1635 and Master of Arts
In 1639, he became a fellow of his college and a tutor. He was a select preacher before Charles I at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1645. He was appointed chaplain to Charles II, and was rewarded with the first prebendal stall in Carlisle Cathedral (November 1660).
Within a few months of this he was collated to a prebend in the Durham Cathedral, the prebendal house attached to which he restored.
On the promotion of Guy Carleton to the see of Bristol, Smith was instituted dean of Carlisle (4 March 1671-1672). He succeeded Edward Rainbowe as bishop in 1684 (consecrated 19 June), and died at Rose Castle on 12 April 1702.
He was succeeded at Carlisle by another fellow of Queen"s, William Nicolson. A flat stone near the altar in the cathedral is inscribed to his memory.
A number of his letters are calendared among the Rydal Manuscripts As Dean, he rebuilt the deanery and presented the cathedral with an organization
He endowed Carlisle Grammar School, the chapter library, and the cathedral treasury, as well as donations to his old college at Oxford and to the poor.