Herrick was trained as a barrister in Ireland. Called to the Irish bar in 1838 he replaced the existing Clerk to the Crown in Bombay in 1843. He married in Egypt in 1846 and returned to his duties in India in November. Sometime afterwards he seems to have been struck down with a liver complaint which became so bad that he was given a leave of absence to return home until fully recovered. Tragically, he died on 2nd October at Cape Town, South Africa whilst on the return journey to Ireland.
The artist T. Smart has proved an illusive character over the years. He is first recorded as exhibiting portraits in London in 1836 until 1843 and then again after 1854. We can suppose that the interim period probably was the time spent exclusively in India. Certainly his style is a very distinct one and as such some works that have been passed off as Anglo- Indian school can now been attributed to him. He rarely seems to sign his pictures and often uses the same props within the composition, as in this case, where the chair in which Herrick sits is one that has appeared several times before, notably the portrait of Sir Charles Napier in the National Portrait Gallery London. The sitters often look directly at us and are particularly arresting because of this. His technique is confident and glossy, with a liquid use of paint which brings an immediacy to expression and pose and a liveliness of form.
From an inscribed portrait we know that Smart was in Poona in November 1844; this particular portrait of Herrick was painted in Bombay previous to this and is inscribed on the reverse by the recipient “Sent to me by my esteemed friend Henry Baldwin Herrick from Bombay by Capt. Owen of the 17th Foot. October 1844. John Orpen”. Also painted in Bombay around the same time was a portrait of a Parsee merchant almost certainly Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy from the Geoffrey Benison collection and as already mentioned the portrait of Napier. Misunderstood and often overlooked Smart’s pictures are still slowly but surely being discovered; this one of Herrick being a recent example.