The Arms of Lady Isabella Neville, wife of Sir William Smythe - image adapted from original photograph by courtesy of Rosemary MayAncestor Index Ancestor Index

IArms of Neville 1st Earl of Westmorelandsabella Nevill/e & William Smythe of Elford - Staffordshire


Question - are the three yellow devices in two quarterings of this shield the origin of the lozenges found on several Smyth sets of arms?

This line has sparked a degree of interest in America and appears to connect the Huddleston family and a particular Smith - Smyth/e family line to Smith/Smyth/e cousins in England. Also included in this line is the family name of Holmes-Smith and Drake.

Lady Isabella Neville probably married three times. She married Sir William Huddleston and Sir William Smythe. She also married Ralph Dacre but it is not known whether she had any issue from this marriage or whether he was her 1st, or 2nd husband. However, William Huddleston and Isabella Neville had two sons. Their son, Richard Huddleston, married his step-sister Margery Smythe (and probably also Elizabeth Dacre) while his brother, Sir John Huddleston, of the Manor of Sawston, married Elizabeth Sutton. These details are confirmed by the Heveningham pedigree as well as by the pedigrees of Brooke of Haselour and Bowes of Elford. The Sutton family is of Cheshire (see Smyths of Cheshire via Smythe Index) and of Haddon Hall where it also connects with the Manners family, Earls and Dukes of Rutland, ancestors in the maternal line of this site.

Isabella Neville was the youngest child of seven children (only two brothers, George and John) and was the daughter of John Neville (1st Montacute - born c.1431) and Isabel Ingoldsthorpe (b. 1441). Isabel Ingoldsthorpe was from Cambridgeshire and the daughter of Edmund Ingoldsthorpe and Joan Tiptoft. John Neville was killed at the Battle of Barnet in 1471. His wife is recorded as marrying 2ndly Sir William Norreys in 1457 so there must have been a parting of the ways prior to Neville's death at Barnet. She died in 1476. The father of John Neville was Richard Neville, 1st Earl of Salisbury; his mother was Alice Montague. His grandfather was, therefore, Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmoreland.

Isabella Neville was the niece of Richard (Kingmaker) Neville and the second of the two wives to Sir William Smythe. His first wife was Anne Staunton. It was through the Staunton/Stanley connection that the Smythes held the lands and Manor of Elford in Staffordshire. Further details about Elford and the related families of that seat may be found on the site of Rosemary May - to whom gratitude is extended for permission to adapt her photographs here. To see interconnected families descending to Rosemary (St. Leger, Heveningham, Cave etc.) follow the Smythe of Wiltshire link. Se also Smythe links to the Cromwell family.

Question: A Mary Smith was the mother of Humphrey Smith (Smythe) whose father was William Smith/Smythe ... could William have married three times and not two? See Birmingham Archives references at base of page.

Also from the source files of Rosemary May - with thanks, - Burke's "Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland" states - "Lady Isabel Neville, fifth daughter of John, Marques of Montacute.  This lady, on the death of her brother George, Duke of Bedford, divided with her four sisters as his co-heirs, the large possessions which had belonged to the Marques of Montacute, her father, to Sir Edmund Inglesthorpe, her maternal grandfather, and to John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, her maternal great-uncle, as fully set forth in the ancient partition made on the 4th of July, 17th of Henvry VII in the hands of the present Mr. Huddleston.  Lady Isabella's portion comprised fifteen manors or estates, amongst which were those of Sawston and Dernford, still the property and abode of the family."

The tomb of Lady Isabella Neville, Sir William Smythe and Anne Staunton at St. Peter's Church, Elford - image adapted from original photograph by courtesy of Rosemary MayElford - (Source:  "The King's England - Staffordshire" by Arthur Mee)

"It is a little casket of wonder, spendour, and history.  Though Elford Hall, built on the site of the house in which Henry VII (lineal ancestor in the maternal line) slept the night before  Bosworth Field has gone, (Haselour Hall is also described as the house where Henry VII slept the night before Bosworth Field)  the monuments of those who lived here, the Stanleys, the Smythes, and the Howards, are in the church.The tomb of Lady Isabella Neville, Sir William Smythe and Anne Staunton (featured) at St. Peter's Church, Elford - image adapted from original photograph by courtesy of Rosemary May

The famous monuments are themselves milestones.  The earliest is the alabaster tomb on which lie the effigies of Sir Thomas Arderne, who fought at Poitiers and died about 1400, and his wife Matilda.  He wears plate armour and has on the front of his helmet the words Jesu Maria.  The sword in his hand is richly chased, and his gauntlet has a diamond pattern.  Like his wife he wears the [distinctive] collar of the Lancastrians.  She has a Plantagenet bonnet, a clock, and a flowing robe, and her hand is clasped in his.  At the sides of the tomb are 22 small statues, 12 shield-bearing angels and 10 mourning kindred.

Another of the monuments (above right) is the alabaster tomb of Sir William Smythe, who died in 1525. He lies in armour between two wives in flowing gowns.  The first, wearing a three-cornered hat, was Annie Staunton, (above left) daughter and heiress of Margery Stanley.  The second, in her coronet, (below) was Lady Isabella Neville, niece of the Earl of Warwick, the King-maker.The tomb of Lady Isabella Neville (featured) Sir William Smythe and Anne Staunton at St. Peter's Church, Elford - image adapted from original photograph by c

It was a tremendous chapter of history that closed in the grave with the Lady Isabella.  Reared in the home of one of our proudest nobles, she shared the wildest vicissitudes of fortune; her father and the Kingmaker (nephew of maternal line Neville family, Cecily Neville) fell at Barnet, and their bodies were exposed for two days at St. Paul's Cathedral, to convince the country that the formidable brothers were really dead. 

Then the proud lady we see here was beggared by the confiscation of her father's estates, and her eldest brother, the heir, because of the poverty to which the family was thus reduced, was degraded from his rank, being declared incapable of supporting his title.  Few women have known such crushing sorrows and reverses as she who lies here serene in her coronet." 

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The History of Sawston Hall - a modern account - with a family-related addition. The Hall is now a Language School.

"Sawston Hall is one of the few old stone-built manor houses in Cambridgeshire. It stands in 60 acres of parkland and contains a rich variety of trees and flowers. The Hall is a Grade I listed building, which means that it is considered to be of great historical and architectural importance, and cannot be knocked down or altered in any way. The history of the Hall dates back to the 16th century, a time when England was troubled by religious disputes between Catholics and Protestants.Maternal ancestral line of this site - Lady Catherine Grey ... sister of Lady Jane Grey

The Hall, or rather the building which stood here before the present one was built, was owned by the Huddleston family, who were strongly Catholic. When King Edward VI died in 1553, it was not clear who should succeed him. One powerful noble, the Duke of Northumberland, was determined that his new daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey, who was also the grand-daughter of Mary, the sister of Henry VIII, should become queen. She was a Protestant, like King Edward, and Northumberland hoped that the people would accept her. [click on the adjacent image of her sister, Lady Catherine Grey]

From "The Hastings Legacy" ancestry of this site ...
Catherine Grey (Sister of Lady Jane Grey, "the 9 Days Queen" of England) married (1560) (secondly) Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford. Their son, (Lord) Edward Beauchamp Seymour married Honora Rogers.

However, they did not, and preferred Mary Tudor, the eldest daughter of Henry VIII, even though she was Catholic. Fearing this, Northumberland tried to capture Mary Tudor before she could reach London. She avoided this by hiding overnight in Sawston Hall and then escaping the next morning in disguise.Sawston Hall, Cambridge Northumberland's men burned down the hall in revenge. Mary Tudor, however, was saved and became queen. As a reward, she promised to help the Huddleston family to rebuild the Hall. The bed in which she slept, apparently saved from the fire, now stands in one of the bedrooms. It is said that the ghost of Queen Mary can be heard after midnight playing the virginal (an early keyboard instrument).

The rebuilding was not completed until 1584, by which time Mary Tudor had died and been succeeded by her sister, Elizabeth, who was strongly Protestant. This meant that the Catholic Huddlestons were again persecuted. It became illegal to house or help Catholic priests, and made life difficult for anyone admitting to being a Catholic. For this reason, the Hall was constructed with several secret priest's holes, places where a priest could remain hidden if the house was being searched by pursuivants, officers of the law, looking for them. Many old Catholic houses were built with these secret hiding places, but the priest's hole at the top of the spiral staircase in Sawston Hall is reckoned to be one of the finest examples in the country. In later years, religious tolerance prevailed, and the Huddlestons built themselves a beautiful chapel. This was also used by Catholic worshippers for miles around until the building of other Catholic churches locally made it redundant ..."

Spotted in passing ...

(f) Isabel Neville
She married first Sir William Huddlestone (Hadleston), the son of Sir John Huddlestone of Sawstone, Cambs., by his wife Joan FitzHugh and had issue by him. She married second Sir William Smythe.

Other genealogies are noted as follows:-

The Manor of Elleford - The Middle Ages to the 18th Century

"At the end of the 12th century the Lordship of the Manor of Elleford passed to the Arderne family. They were a Cheshire family who were Lords of Aldford and Alvaney. They held Elford until 1408 when John Arderne died without a male heir. The most famous Arderne was Sir Thomas who fought with the Black Prince at Crecy and Poitiers and who is reputed to have distinguised himself with "noble deeds and feates (sic) of armes". Matilda Arderne married Thomas Stanley Esq. and founded the Stanley line at Elford which lasted until 1508.

These two families lived at Elford Park in a moated house on the site of the present farm. The first Hall, adjacent to the church, was not built until the beginning of the 16th century ... John Stanley, then Lord of the Manor, is said to have entertained amongst others the Lord Stanley and Henry ... It was Lord Stanley's intervention at the Battle of Bosworth ... that changed the course of English history. Richard III was killed and Henry VII became the first of the Tudor monarchs.

John Stanley's only son (John) was killed by a tennis ball (they were made of wood in those days), which is said to have severed his jugular vein. To commemorate his death a statue was erected in the Stanley chapel showing the young child holding a tennis ball. The Lordship of the Manor passed via the female line to William Staunton, Richard Huddleston/e, William Smythe and finally to Sir John Bowes. Thus began the line of the Bowes/Howard family at Elford which lasted up until the 1930s. ..."

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Ancestor Index Ancestor Index
Smyth/e - The Siege of Acre and medieval family researchMedieval Smyth The line of Customer Smythe ... Customer (Wiltshire) Smith/e-Smyth/e
Smyth of IrelandSmyth (Durham and Yorkshire) of Ireland Smyth/e of EssexEssex Smyth/e
Smyth of Bristol and Ashton CourtSmyth of Bristol Smythes of Acton Burnell - family of Maria "Fitzherbert" SmytheShropshire Smythe
Tudor Forebears
The Tudor connection ...
The Hastings Legacy
The Hastings Legacy
Smythe family linkages ...

What are the odds of Richard Irving DACRE being the Best Man at the wedding of Henry James Drew SMYTHE in 1914? And, in the Smyth of Ireland pedigree may be found the family name Ingoldsby (Ingoldsthorpe) Both the words ... thorpe and ... by are of Norse (Danish) origin and mean pretty much the same thing ... a market place and a town. Did one branch of the family name change to Ingoldsby over the course of time?

Family Archives Index Page