Elizabeth Smythe, daughter of Sir John Smythe and Elizabeth Fineaux.
Smyth/e of Wiltshire The Smyth/e family of Wiltshire
Smyth/e of CheshireThe Smyth/e family of Cheshire

Ancestor Index Ancestor Index

Elizabeth Smyth/e married (2 May 1609, St. Margaret's Lothbury, London, Middlesex) Henry Neville who was born in about 1586, at Billingbere in Berkshire, the son of Sir Henry Neville of Billingbere and Anne Killigrew, daughter of Sir Henry Killigrew.

Sir Henry Neville and Anne Killigrew had five sons and six daughters. Of the sons, Sir Henry, the eldest, succeeded his father and was father of Henry Neville (1620-1694), the political writer, dying in 1629; William, the second son, was fellow of Merton College, Oxford; Charles died in 1626; Richard was sub-warden of Merton, died in 1644, and was ancestor, in the female line, of the Nevilles, Barons of Braybrooke; and Edward, a fellow of King's College, Cambridge, died in 1632. Of the daughters, Elizabeth married, firstly, William Glover, secondly, Sir Henry Berkeley, and, thirdly, Thomas Dyke. Might this provide a connection to the illusive William Smithdike, purported progenitor of the Irish line (inter alia) of the family Smyth/e? Catherine married Sir Richard Brooks; Frances married, firstly, Sir Richard Worseley, and, secondly, Jerome Brett; Mary married  Sir Edward Lewknor; Dorothy married Richard Catlyn; and Anne remained unmarried.

The Neville family features prominently in a variety of "Family Vault" connections. Cecily Neville provides the key Neville link in the maternal line but the Nevilles were also closely associated with the Smyth/e family in the 15th century. For example, Isabella Nevill/e - born after 1457 and d. 1516 - married firstly Sir William Huddleston and afterwards, Sir William Smythe, who had a daughter, Margery Smythe, by his first marriage. 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.William Smythe - Argent a chevron sable between three roses gules seeded or barbed vert - the Coat of Arms.

The Sutton family name being linked here with Huddleston (and therefore Smyth/e) is of interest. It seems to indicate a link between this family Smythe and that of Bishop William Smythe who founded Brasenose College, Oxford during the early years of the 16th Century.

It is quoted (follow link via Bishop William Smythe's insignia, adjacent) that "The Suttons of Over Haddon, were from the Suttons in Cheshire, and, what is curious, both houses became extinct together; still, from the female branches, the blood of the Suttons runs in the veins of the Viscounts Galway and the Earls of Lucan."

This brings together the location, Haddon with different branches of Smythe and Neville. On the one hand, Customer Smythe through his grand daughter, Elizabeth Smythe, and on the other, the line of Bishop William Smythe who was educated for a time at the Lancashire home of the Stanley family - the Lady of the Household being Margaret Beaufort, mother of the future Tudor dynasty founder, King Henry VII. Bishop William Smythe was co-founder of Brasenose College with Sir Richard Sutton who died in 1524. It may be surmised that the two men would not have embarked upon such an enterprise unless there had been some close link between them.

It is also highly possible that the Smythe family of Elford in Staffordshire was associated with the above Smythe branch. Isabella Nevill/e was the niece of Richard ("Warwick the Kingmaker") Neville and one of the two wives of Sir William Smythe of Elford. His first wife was a Stanley descendant, Anne Staunton. It was through the Staunton connection that the Smythes held the lands and Manor of Elford. Further details about Elford and the related families of that seat may be found on the site of Rosemary May. In the current generations, her family connects to to St. Leger (see the "Smythe of Wiltshire" page) as well as Heveningham, Stanley and Cave - all of whom, at one point or another, have been linked with the family of Smith/e - Smyth/e.

Sir William Smythe of Elford died in 1525 and was buried there in a family tomb at St. Peter's church. He "lies in armour between two wives in flowing gowns.  The first, wearing a three-cornered hat, was Annie Staunton, daughter and heiress of Margery Stanley.  The second, in her coronet, was Lady Isabella Neville, niece of the Earl of Warwick, the King-maker."

An 1817 account of the Haddon area (Lyson's) - Topographical and Historical Account of Derbyshire, from Magna Britannia Volume 5: Derbyshire - states: "Over-Haddon is within the King's manor of the High-Peak, but there is within it a subordinate manor, which with Over-Haddon-hall, in the reign of Henry VI, became the property and seat of a younger branch of the Suttons, of Sutton in Cheshire, who continued there for five generations. The Suttons were succeeded in this estate by the Cokes of Trusley, and it passed with the heiress of the Melbourne branch of that family, to the father of Lord Melbourne, who is the present proprietor. Allotments were made to Lord Melbourne, in lieu of manorial rights at the time of the inclosure in 1806." [The Lords Melbourne connect to the Smythe family of Methven and Braco in Scotland.]

Lyson has this to say about the families of Haddon Hall: "The manor at Nether-Haddon belonged at an early period to the family of Avenell, whose co-heiresses married Vernon and Basset. The heiress of Vernon, in the reign of Henry the Third, married Gilbert Le Francis, whose son Richard took the name of Vernon and died at the age of 29 in 1296. This Richard was common ancestor of the Vernons of Haddon, Stokesay, Hodnet, Sudbury, etc.. The Bassets continued to possess a moiety of Nether-Haddon in the reign of Edward III, but in or before the reign of Henry VI. the whole became vested in the Vernons, who had purchased Basset's moiety. Sir Richard Vernon of Haddon was speaker of the Parliament held at Leicester in 1425; his son of the same name was the last person who held for life the high office of Constable of England. Sir Henry Vernon, grandson of the latter, was Governor to Prince Arthur, who is said to have resided with him at Haddon."

It should also be noted in this connection that William Smythe, Bishop of Lincoln, was also closely connected to Prince Arthur. He was a member of the Royal Council and a member of Prince Arthur's Council in the Marches of Wales, and in 1501, five years after he had been translated to the important Bishopric of Lincoln, he became Lord President of Wales. Because of his association with the Prince of Wales he spent much of his time at Ludlow in Herefordshire and Bewdley in Worcestershire.

Lyson continues: "The Haddon branch of the Vernons became extinct in 1565 by the death of Sir George Vernon, who, by the magnificence of his retinue and his great hospitality, is said to have acquired the name of "King of the Peak". Dorothy, the younger of his co-heiresses, brought Haddon to Sir John Manners, second son of Thomas, the first Earl of Rutland."

Manners - Leo van de Pas details the lineage of the Manners family (from 1355) which was also closely associated with the family of Neville which was, in turn, associated with Haddon Hall + Smith/e - Smyth/e in the Medieval/Tudor era as were the Tollemaches with the Smyth/es and Cromwells.

Sir Henry Neville - Elizabeth (grand daughter of Customer) Smythe's Father-in-LawThis link goes to some pages of Neville family ancestors and to Haddon Hall. Henry NEVILLE [Baron Abergavenny] - married Frances Manners before 1555/56. It seems quite plausible, therefore, that a later generation Manners who was associated with Corbetta Smyth, the daughter of a later generation Smyth/e (William Smyth, an 'Apothecary of Shrewsbury') would be a descendant of the above Smyth/e branch.

Sir Henry Neville - the Father-in-Law of Elizabeth Smythe

He was a courtier and a diplomat, born in 1564 - probably at Billingbere House in Berkshire, the home of his parents, Sir Henry Neville and his first wife, Elizabeth, dau. of Sir John Gresham.

He matriculated from Merton College, Oxford, 20 Dec 1577; created MA, 30 Aug 1605; introduced to the court by William Cecil, Lord Burghley, sat in Parliament from coming of age till his death, identified himself with the popular party; He was member for New Windsor 1584-5 and 1593, Sussex 1588-9, Liskeard 1597-8, Kent 1601, Lewes 1603-4 and Berkshire 1604-11 and 1614. Neville, doubtless, for a time, carried on the business of an iron-founder in Sussex. He succeeded, in 1593, on his father's death, to property in Sussex, but, in 1597, sold Mayfield, his residence in that county.

As a man of high character, Neville was soon selected for an important service. First, in 1599, he was sent as ambassador to France to the Court of Henri IV, and was knighted. While at Calais, on his way to Paris, he had a dispute with the Spanish ambassador as to precedency. At Paris, he negotiated the Treaty of Boulogne, but complained that he was not over well treated by the French. In Feb 1600, he was troubled with deafness and asked to be recalled. He, afterwards, complained that he had spent £4,000 while in France.

He returned to England in time to take some part in the Essex plot. Although he was not in intimate relations with Essex and his friends, he knew of their designs and was in the confidence of the Earl of Southampton. Consequently, when the rebellion failed, Neville was imprisoned in the Tower, brought before the Council on 8 Jul, dismissed from his place and fined £5,000. In the last year of Queen Elizabeth's reign, he agreed to pay that sum in yearly instalments of £1,000. On James I's accession, he was released (10 Apr 1603) by Royal Warrant. There is an allusion to his danger in one of Ben Jonson's Epigrams.

Under James I, Neville played a more prominent role in politics. He inclined to the popular party. While in Paris, he had been called a puritan. His advice was at all events not to James's taste. In the first session of 1610, he advised the King to give way to the demands of the House of Commons. In 1612, he urged the calling of a parliament and drew up a paper on the subject, in which he recom≠mended what James could not but regard as a complete surrender. He expressed the opinion that supplies would be easily voted if grievances were redressed. On Salisbury's death , later the same year, Neville was a candidate for the Secretaryship of State. His appointment would have been popular, but the King had no liking for him or for the policy with which he had identified himself. Southampton used his influence on Neville's behalf but, by Oct 1613, his chances were hopeless. Winwood was made Secretary in 1614, much to Neville's irritation, and he refused Rochester's offer of the office of Treasurer of the Chamber as a compensation. In the addled parliament of 1614, the paper of advice which Neville had drawn up in 1612 was discussed by the Commons (May 1614) and, with his view, the Commons could find no fault. About this time Neville was much interested in commercial affairs and, in 1613, he had drawn up a scheme for an overland trade route from India. He died on 10 Jul 1615.

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