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The Smyth family associated with Major General R. S. S. Baden-Powell

This image of John Smith (Smyth/e) is adapted from a monument upon which is written the following inscription: "Captain John Smith 1580-1631 Founder of Virginia 1607. This bust was made by Major General R. S. S. Baden-Powell and presented by him to the school 1906." Click on his image to retrace to source page.

The school was the Louth Grammar School, in Lincolnshire - another "Smyth/e" county. Captain John Smith/e Smyth/e attended Louth Grammar School in Lincolnshire as a boy c. 1590. This information is significant for bringing into focus the Smyth/Baden-Powell marriage connection. See this link. Baden-Powell's grandfather was the naval surveyor/pioneer and Fellow of the Royal College, Sir William Henry Smyth who was born on January 21, 1788 in Westminster, England. He married Eliza Anne "Annarella" Warington. The questions to be asked are - why did BP undertake this? Was there a family connection?

W.H. Smyth was the only son of Joseph Brewer Palmer Smyth and Georgina Caroline Pilkington. J. B. P. Smyth and Georgina Pilkington were colonial Americans who lived in East Jersey (now New Jersey), but, as a loyalist family, they emigrated to England after the American War of Independence/Revolution, where their son was born. There are several biographies of Admiral W. H. Smyth available in the public domain. The SETS website states: "William Henry Smyth was born on January 21, 1788 in Westminster, England. He was a descendant [of] Captain John Smith, who was the principal founder of the first permanent English colony in North America, at Jamestown, Virginia. He was the only son of Joseph Brewer Palmer Smyth, Esq., and Georgina Caroline b. Pilkington ... "

It must be questioned whether he was a descendant of Captain John Smith as such, since there is no record of the Captain being married or having had children; however "collateral descendant" status is certainly possible, with the caveat offered by Robin Baden Clay. (qv under ). It would be pleasing to be able to trace back from Smyth/Pilkington in America to original Smith/Smyth plantation relatives of Captain John Smith in England. Captain John Smith - as may be seen from information available elsewhere on this site (click on his image above) considered himself to be of the "ancient family of Smith" of Lancashire - the same line as that of Bishop William Smith (Smyth) noted below.

Additionally, the Palmer family is of "Smyth" interest. The pedigrees of the Smith (Smyth) families of Stratford-on-Avon temp. William Shakespeare, show that a daughter Smith married into the Palmer family. Alice (born) Watson (sister of a Bishop of Winchester - married name Savage) was widowed and left with two daughters.William Smythe - Argent a chevron sable between three roses gules seeded or barbed vert - the Coat of Arms. She was subsequently remarried to William Smith, a well connected mercer and Alderman of Stratford. He himself had been left a widower with an only child - a daughter - who eventually married Richard Palmer. Alice (Watson/Savage) Smith and William had several children, one of whom, John Smith, married Alice Walker, sister of William Shakespeare's friend and London/Stratford associate, Henry Walker. William Shakespeare became godfather to William, Henry Walker's son.

For a quirky interlude - but with serious Smith family associations and connections to William Shakespeare, see The Private E-mails of William Shakespeare by David Drew-SmytheThe Private E-mails of William Shakespeare on this site. In addition, see how Shakespeare's lost years have been found as a result.

Note: - A Bishop of Lincoln - and the co-founder of Brasenose College, Oxford - William Smith / Smyth/e (close associate of the Stanley/Beaufort/Neville families) had been Bishop under Henry VII and (for a short time) Henry VIII. He died in 1514. (link via his Smyth Arms adjacent) During the later reign of Edward VI, a Louth town Charter saw the founding of the Grammar School there on September 21st 1551. This is significant in that Edward VI was also responsible for the endowment of the Grammar School at Stratford-on-Avon - another "Smith" domain.

Children of Admiral William Henry Smyth and Eliza Anne "Annarella" Warington were

Elizabeth Smyth (1816-1820?).
Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth (1817-1890).
Geologist. Lecturer at the Royal School of Mines, Married Anna Maria Antonia Storey-Maskelyne. Father of Major-General Sir Nevill Maskelyne Smyth, V.C. and of H. Warington Smyth, author of Five Years in Siam.
Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819-1900). Astronomer Royal of Scotland.
Elizabeth Anne Smyth (1819-1821?)
Jane Phoebe Smyth (1821-1842).
Henrietta Grace Smyth (1824-1914). Mother of Robert Baden-Powell.
General Sir Henry Augustus Smyth, K.C.M.G. (1825-1906). Commandant of Woolwich, 1882; crushed Zulu rising, 1887; Governor of Cape Colony, 1889 and of Malta, 1890. B-P served as his Military Secretary in Natal and in Malta.
Josephine B. Smyth (1826-1847).
Ellen Philadelphia Smyth (1828-1881).
Caroline Mary Smyth (1834-1859).
Georgiana Rosetta Smyth (1835-1923).
The Smythe family listing above comes from the comprehensive ancestral files of Robin Baden Clay (Electronic version created 2001.) Robin states that his records are extracted from "The Powell Pedigree" published by Edgar Powell in two editions, 1896 and 1926.
He continues - "The genealogical link to Capt. John SMITH of Virginia is generally agreed to be "tenuous".   The SMYTHE line disappears into the mists of New England, and as far as I am aware cannot now with any certainty be traced further back than I have shown.  There were several families of that name there then, with the same first names, so it is not possible to distinguish one from the other. I have the identical problem with my CLAY forebears in Derby at about the same time! I accept that it is almost certain that we are descended from the English SMYTHEs you display, but without proper evidence, I regret I cannot include it in my Tree (yet!).
The full name of my grandfather, R.S.S. Baden-Powell, the sculptor of the bronze you show, is Robert Stephenson Smythe Baden-Powell - the "Robert Stephenson" from his godfather, the son of the railway pioneer and designer of "The Rocket"; the Baden from Andrew BADEN, whose daughter Susannah married a THISTLETHWAITE.  She gave her son as a first name her mother's maiden name, Baden, and this name followed through many generations in the POWELL family.  The widow of my grandfather's father, Revd. Prof. Baden POWELL (born 1796), and their children, took his first name as a hyphenated surname, and I bear that name as my second name. Many POWELLs also bear it, and there is another distantly related family of POWELLs who hyphenated with BADEN following the marriage of a POWELL with a BADEN (not yet included in the Tree from which you quote)."

Baden-Powell's first cousin (pictured right) - Nevill Maskelyne Smyth - was the son of Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth (brother of Henrietta Grace Smyth) and grandson of Admiral W. H. Smyth. While serving with the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) at Khartoum in 1898, he was awarded the Victoria Cross. Click on his image to see military connection (not kinship) with Tollemache - cousins to ancestors Tollemache of this Family Vault.

Early Smythe family from the "Powell Pedigree" ...World War 1 connections ...

                                +--- William POWLE, b. 1460, d. 1512 aged 52?
                             +-- Robert POWLE OR POWELL, b. 1508, d. 1570 aged 62?
                          +-- Barnabie POWELL, b. 1543, d. 1602 aged 59?
                              +--- John DOBSON, d. 1542
                            +-- Johane or Joanne DOBSON, d. Mar 1590
                               +--- Johane ____, d. 1543
                       +-- David POWELL, b. 1580, d. 1656 aged 76?
                           +--- John CLARK ALIAS WEBB, d. 1571
                         +-- Agnes WEBBE OR CLARKE, d. Sep 1594
                                 +--- Robert SMYTHE
                              +-- Robert SMYTHE, d. 1552
                                  +--- Robert WYSSETT
                                +-- Margaret WYSSETT
                            +-- Agnes SMYTHE, d. Jan 1572
                               +--- Lucy ___
                    +-- David POWELL, b. 1625, d. Apr 1694 aged 69?
                      +--- Agnes ELLIS, d. 1657
                 +-- John POWELL, b. 1661, d. 16 Jun 1725 aged 64?

Major-General Nevil Maskelyne Smyth V.C. (1868-1941) was nicknamed 'The Sphinx' and commanded the 1st Australian Brigade on Gallipoli, then the 2nd Australian Division on the Western Front. His courage at Lone Pine (1915) won the admiration of the Australian troops - a respect that he never lost. Commodore Dacre Smyth, AO

Much involved in the the training of Australian troops in Egypt, he was described as ‘sphinx-like, silent and imperturbable’. He was (Scout Movement) Baden-Powell's first cousin - the son of Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth and grandson of Admiral W. H. Smyth. He was awarded the Victoria Cross while serving with the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) at Khartoum in 1898. He settled in Australia in 1925.

His son, Commodore Dacre Smyth, A.O. (image streamed adjacent) "joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Matriculation Entry Cadet-Midshipman in 1940. In World War II he served in HMAS Australia in the Battle of the Coral Sea, in Motor Gun Boats in the English Channel, in HMS Danae at the Normandy invasion, in HMAS Norman in the Burma campaign, and in the British Pacific Fleet off Japan.

Commodore Dacre Henry Deudraeth Smyth, Aide-de-Camp to the Queen 1975-78; Order of Australia; director, David Syme and Co. Ltd., 1982-94; patron, Animal Welfare League. Son of Gen. Sir Nevill Smyth (London), Victoria Cross, Knight Commander of Bath.

He was Aide de Camp to Australian Governor General Sir William McKell in 1948. He served in HMAS Bataan during the Korean War. He served in HMAS Hawkesbury from 1953-55, and his last seagoing command was HMAS Supply from 1968-70 in the Vietnam War. Six of his last eight years in the navy were as Naval Officer in Charge, Victoria, from which post he retired in 1978.

Dacre Smyth was Deputy Chairman until recently of the Trustees of Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance and is now a Life Governor of the Shrine. He is an artist, author, and publisher ..." Details

In 2004, he was awarded France's highest honour - Knight in the Order of the Legion of Honour. Created in 1802 by Napoleon, the medal is the highest award given for outstanding service to France. As a D-Day veteran, he was interviewed on Australia's Radio National Breakfast Program on Thursday June 3rd. and spoke about this era of his Naval service.

The Age (newspaper) reports (14.05.04) - "There are no individual honours for Dacre Smyth - not even the gold Legion of Honour that French President Jacques Chirac will pin on his chest at a ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the D-day landings on June 6, 1944.

"There were other Australian Navy men there, too," the 81-year-old said from his Melbourne home yesterday. "I will accept it in memory of them.""

He married Jennifer Haggard in 1952. This would not be the first linking of Haggard and Smyth/e families ...

WEST BRADENHAM Norfolk - Bradenham Hall
Thomson - Smyth - Haggard 1766+
Rider Haggard grew up here. Kentworthy-Browne [et al], Guide to Country Houses, III, 1981.

A Haggard family website had this to say: "There was no house of any size in West Bradenham until Bradenham Hall was built by James Smyth (Smith) in 1766 and it is pretty safe to say no Haggards lived there until about 1818 when Thomas Smith sold the property to William Henry Haggard, Jr., born in 1757. Any connection between James Smith who built Bradenham Hall and Elizabeth Smith, born 28 September 1680, Walsoken, England, who married Andrew Ogard, great-grandson of Sir Andrew Ogard is unknown."


From the Royal Geographical Society, May 2002 - Information courtesy of Sarah Strong - Maps and Archives Assistant - Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) 1 Kensington Gore, London.

Sarah writes - " 'Dear Sir, I can confirm that the 2 letters (that the reference RGS/CB4/1545 is attached to) are items pertaining to H. J. Smythe. The first is sent from the Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich, February 1851 to Dr Norton Shaw, the Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society, and reads: Sir William Henry Smyth - Admiral

My dear Sir, Might I beg the favour of your getting good Seconders for the Candidate whose name I enclose. His father Capt Du Lane, RN recently deceased was a zealous Member of our Society, and was doubtless well known to our President. Believe me My dear Sir very truly yours H.J. Smythe

The second is sent from the Royal Artillery Barracks, Norwich, May 20th 1851 to (once again) Dr Norton Shaw, and reads:

My dear Sir, As I fear I shall not be in town during the week, might I beg of you the favour to add my name to those intending to be present at the Annual Dinner on Monday night. Believe me My dear Sir Yours very truly H.J. Smythe' "

These letters are particularly significant and may show a family connection between the writer and the President to whom H. J. Smythe refers - who was Sir William Henry Smyth - born on January 21, 1788 in Westminster, England and married to Eliza Anne "Annarella" Warington. From the inference made by the words "is doubtless well known" one may assume that H.J Smythe and W. H. Smyth were well acquainted - and perhaps kin. WHS was an only son. From the two locations of the sender of the letters, it may be assumed that H. J. Smythe was connected with the Army or perhaps with the Navy. The reference to "Capt. Du Lane, RN" suggests the latter.

Royal Geographical Society - Presidents at that time
W. R. Hamilton 1847-1849
Captain W. H. Smyth 1849-1851
Sir Roderick Murchison 1851-1853

Was this, perhaps, Henry John Smyth/Smith (1826-83) of Dublin who was educated at Rugby and Oxford? He lectured at Balliol College until 1861. He was made a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and, despite many commitments, came to be acknowledged as "the greatest authority of his day on the theory of numbers".

It is perhaps significant that this website contains the following information: "In 1646 William Smith started his fifth term as Lord Mayor of Dublin. He was a Colonel in a regiment of foot that protected the city and was of a Yorkshire family that later settled in Suffolk. Several other members of this Yorkshire family are also recorded in Ireland. In 1677, John Smith was Lord Mayor of Dublin. He was of the same family as the Carrington-Smiths, whose ancestor was on the Crusades with King Richard." (See "Medieval Smyth' link below.) Members of this family returned to England (Suffolk).


Who was ...?

1851 Census - Norfolk - Kings Lynn - St Margaret, Chapel Street Surgery .. .. .. .. .. .. (HO107/1829/115/17)

Henry SMYTHE head, married, 39, General Practitioner Of Medicine & Surgery, Brandon, SUFFOLK
Lucy SMYTHE wife, married, 34, Wood Rising
Henry SMYTHE son, 3, Lynn
Lucy SMYTHE dau, 6, Lynn
Elizth. BOYCE servant, unmarried, 22, House Servant, Norwich
Elizth. WAGG servant, unmarried, 16, House Servant, Dereham
Thos. BALES servant, unmarried, 17, Groom Servant, Dereham
The two servants coming from East Dereham also provide a possible clue in that East Dereham is where James Francis Smythe settled in about 1855 after finishing his training as a Baptist Minister in Bristol.Smythe family linkages ...
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