IntroductionAncestor Index Ancestor IndexIntroduction
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

Much of the Bristol Smyth information on this page is extracted from "Rise of a Gentry Family - Smyths of Ashton Court c. 1500 - 1642" by J.H. Bettey - published by the Bristol branch of the Historical Association, the University of Bristol, 1978. This work is meticulously researched and sourced.

The Bristol Smyth line traces back to a John Smyth from Aylburton, near Lydney in the Forest of Dean (Gloucestershire) and the family continued to own land there until the early sixteenth century. The Winter family - outlined in a history via the Forest of Dean link above - was closely associated with the major families of the period and was deeply involved in the various adventures to the New World. See 'The Golden Falcon', the comprehensive internet book published by Wendy F. García (née Winter) - to whom gratitude is expressed for offering the use of any of her material required for this site. See especially Ch. XVI - The Swallow.

Was John Smyth of Aylburton of local stock or was he perhaps connected with other branches of Smith/Smyth? Warwick/Stratford, Stafford/Lancashire/Cheshire ... the list is a wide one. For example, according to biographer Ralph Churton, Bishop William Smyth (Bishop of Lincoln 1496-1514) was "the fourth son of Robert Smyth of Peelhouse, in the parish of Prescot, Lancashire. His grandfather was Henry Smyth, a country squire, seated at Cuerdley."

Might John Smyth of Aylburton have been another son of Robert Smyth? If there were (at least) four sons, of "Squire" stock, it is likely that one or more of them would have needed to move away in order to seek a living. Smyths, in any case, seem to have had little fear of travel and settling in new areas - and the Forest of Dean was a commercial centre for the production of iron. In Tudor and Stuart times, about one sixth or so of the national output was centred on this area.

It is known that in the late fifteenth century, the two sons of John Smyth of Aylburton moved to Bristol. One of these was called Matthew Smyth. The name Matthew Smyth is significant in that a man by that same name, born in Lancashire, was the last Master of Brasenose Hall, Oxford and so became the first Master of the newly created Brasenose College, Oxford (founded from Brasenose Hall by Bishop William Smyth of Lincoln and a business colleague, Sir Richard Sutton) in the early fifteen hundreds. This Matthew Smyth is reputed to have been a relative of the Bishop of Lincoln.

William Smyth was first of all Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. He became a member of the Prince of Wales' - 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. In 1501 - a man of great substance and wealth by this time - Bishop William Smyth bought an estate at St. John's, Bedwardine, near Worcester. None of these counties lies far from the Forest of Dean and close by is the Beauchamp (Neville) county of Warwickshire and the town of Stratford-on-Avon.

The Smith/Smyths of Stratford-on-Avon - who were Shakespeare's friends and contemporaries ...

This site states that a William Smith of Stratford had several sons - of whom two were named William. The younger William was a student at Winchester College and was nephew to John Watson, the then Bishop of Winchester, whose will was dated 1583. The Smith of Stratford site - linked above - states that the children of William Smith and Alice (Watson) (Savage) Smith were:

William, "the elder" and eldest son, b. ca. 1553 and so named in the wills of his mother and his uncle, the Bishop.
Richard, graduated by Christ Church, Oxford in 1570; Vicar of Warcombe, Isle of Wight. He had a son William. (See Compton Reade's Smith Family, 1902, Bristol, for descendants of William.}
Robert, bur. 11 July 1579, Stratford. Probably ill at the date of his father's will in which he is not named.
John, the ironmonger, b. ca 1557.
Thomas, Bapt. 11 Nov. 1563; father of a Richard Bapt. 1583/4.
William, "the younger" called a student in Winchester College in the 1583 will of his uncle, the Bishop of Winchester. For earlier Smith/Smyth connections to Winchester, see also Smyth/Smith and the Colleges of Eton and WinchesterSmyth/Smith and the Colleges of Eton and Winchester on this site.
A daughter, referred to in the Bretchgirdle will.
A daughter, posthumous, b. ca, 6 April 1579.

The researcher states that references for the above "are found in the following works by Edgar I. Ripp, Life Trustee of Shakespeares Birthplace: Shakespeares Stratford, 1928, 85pp., Oxford University Press; Shakespeare's Studies, 1930, 176 pp. (Ibid); Shakespeare, Man and Artist, 1938, 938 pp. (Ibid); and in the Parish Registry of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford."

Another Elizabethan Smith/Smythe was Customer Smyth whose brother, John Smyth, is reputed to have married the daughter of John Lygon of Richard Castle in Herefordshire. Their father, another John Smyth, originally of Corsham in Wiltshire married Jane Brounker and he was High Sheriff of Essex as well as being an assistant to King Henry VIII. Jane Brounker was left a widow in 1538. See below - the Wiltshire Smyth/e "Smithdike" possibilities in relation to Leeds Castle, Kent, temp. Henry VIII.


When Matthew and his brother Thomas Smyth - sons of John Smyth of Aylburton - moved to Bristol they worked as hoopers or makers of bonds for casks and barrels. They also engaged in trade, dealing in cloth which was sent to Ireland, and importing wine and small quantities of fish.

Both men did well for themselves in Bristol. By the time he died in 1542, Thomas Smyth had acquired property outside the city at Shirehampton as well as a number of tenements within the city itself. However, he regarded himself primarily as a tradesman rather than a man of property and described himself in his Will as a "hooper". He left most of his property to his son, John Smyth. The latter is described in his father's Will as "the Shewmaker".

It is interesting to note that Francis Smith/Smythe, (the father of (Benjamin) James Francis Smythe who was born in Bristol circa 1830) was a cooper and it may be possible that his ancestors spring from this line. His father, Thomas Smith, was also a cooper of Bristol. Little is curretly known about Thomas Smith, other than his profession. Research is on-going.

The elder son, Matthew Smyth, was the man who set about building up the substantial family fortunes. Soon after his arrival in Bristol in the late fifteenth century, he married Alice John, the daughter and heiress of Lewis John, a Bristol merchant and through this marriage he gained a house in Corn Street. Their daughter, Elizabeth Smyth, married Thomas Phelips, son of Richard Phelips, M.P. for Melcombe Regis in Dorset. The youngest son of this couple was Sir Edward Phelips, a prominent lawyer, Speaker of the House of Commons in 1604, Master of the Rolls in 1611 and the builder of Montacute House.

The only surviving son of Matthew Smyth and Alice John was John Smyth, known for his meticulous administration. He kept a ledger covering the years 1538-1550 - not to be confused with that of The Smyths of Nibley, Gloucestershire ... original line from Lincolnshire John Smyth/e of Nibley in Gloucestershire - and whilst it cannot be stated with certainty, it is thought that his wife was a wealthy young widow by the name of Joan Hoper, daughter of Thomas Hoper of Bridgewater (Somerset). She had married one of the wealthiest of Bridgewater merchants, Simon White, who died in 1529.

John Smyth(e) of Nibley - Description of the Hundred of Berkeley - The 'Description of the Hundred of Berkeley' was dedicated by the antiquary John Smyth of Nibley (1568-1641) to his son John, who succeeded him as estate steward to Lord Berkeley and to his clerk William Archard. It was written over many years, the final revision apparently occurring in 1639. It combines information that would be useful to his son as estate steward with the antiquarian gleanings of four decades spent in the Vale of Berkeley. John Smyth (senior) was a barrister. He was born in Leicestershire, took up residence in Gloucestershire when around 30 (circa 1598) and spent a significant part of most years in London. His wife was born and raised in the Vale of Berkeley, as were his own children.

Interestingly enough, this John Smyth/e (senior) was also closely associated with the Virginia Company in the newly founded colonies of America. He was, quite apart from his duties within the Berkeley household, very active in promoting and colonising the Berkeley Hundred in Virginia and must have been associated with - if not related to - Sir Thomas Smyth (Smithe) - contemporary coloniser of the "Wiltshire" Customer Smyth branch. Sir Francis Drake was a friend of the Berkeley family and William Berkeley was the first Governor of Virginia.

History of Berkeley Castle

One "Virginia settlement site" states: "Sir Walter Raleigh's two attempts to establish a settlement in Virginia, the first in 1585, and again in 1587, were not successful: the support of such a settlement was found to be beyond the means of any one individual, however well-off or well-connected. Yet interest in such a project remained high and a few years later, early in the next century, the Virginia Company of London was formed to exploit the immense resources of the country. Soon afterward, in 1618, appreciating the possibilities for financial return of such an enterprise, a group of local Gloucestershire merchants and gentlemen came together to form The Berkeley Company.

The principal backers of the enterprise: John Smyth of Nibley, agent to, and historian of, the Berkeleys, Richard Berkeley, George Thorpe of Wanswell Court, Sir William Throckmorton, and Sir George Yeardley, Governor of the new territory, negotiated a grant of land on the James River in Virginia, some 8000 acres, on which to form a private colony to be named the Berkeley Hundred. Accordingly, at eight o'clock in the morning of 16th September 1619, 38 voyagers, under Captain John Woodleaf set sail in a barque called The Margrett, of "Bristow" (47 tons), to cross the Atlantic and establish the new settlement. On the 4th December the settlers arrived in America and celebrated what has become recognised as the first Thanksgiving."

See also the connections with other founders and "players" in this enterprise via The Records of the Virginia Company - Table of Contents for Volume III where many Smyth/e references may be found and the texts read.

NB - The Berkeley Estate in Gloucestershire was close to the key Forest of Dean settlement of Lydney from whence came Thomas and Matthew Smyth to Bristol - they, being the sons of another John Smyth of Aylburton, near Lydney. (see above).

John Smyth - successful merchant of Small Street, Bristol - (see Smyth of Bristol and Ashton CourtSmyth of Bristol pages) - was not averse to engaging in some shady dealings which would have augmented the family coffers. He was part of a successful smuggling enterprise. According to a study in the modern era by Dr. Jones of Bristol, " ... of fifteen Bristol merchants from the 16th century recently identified as being involved in a smuggling ring, ten served as mayors, sheriffs or MPs of the city. Some were all three. Others included customs officers, a mayor of Gloucester and even senior officials in the navy. The Bristol men included some of the city's most important 16th century figures – including John Smyth, who founded the fortunes of the Smyth family of Ashton Court, and Nicholas Thorn, a major Bristol benefactor and the son of Robert Thorn, the principal Bristol backer of Bristol's early voyages of discovery to North America." John Smyth was a Sheriff of Bristol (1532-33) and twice (1547/1554) Lord Mayor. He died in 1555. He and his wife Joan had two sons, Hugh Smyth and Matthew Smyth. Hugh Smyth married Maude Byccombe and there were children of this marriage.

There was, as the biographer quoted above - Ralph Churton, mentions by way of conjecture, an association between one Hugh Smyth and Lord Strange, son of the first Earl of Derby. The name Hugh is not uncommon as a forename in the Ashton Court line of the Smyth family.

Following the Bristol, Ashton Court line of the second son, Matthew Smyth, who married Jane Tewther (the soft 'd' in the Welsh pronunciation of the name 'Tudor' produces the name 'Tewther') it is recorded that they had two children, Sir Hugh Smyth and Ann Smyth and it is through Matthew Smyth that the Bristol line descends. He entered the Middle Temple in London as a practitioner of Law and remained a lawyer throughout his life, achieving considerable prominence. His name occurs frequently in its records. In 1558 he was Master of the Revels.

Longford Castle in the modern eraHis son, Sir Hugh Smyth of Ashton Court, knighted in 1603, married Dame Elizabeth Gorges who was the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Gorges of (then Langford) Longford Castle in Wiltshire. Sir Thomas Gorges had been a Gentleman Usher at Court and marrried an acknowledged beauty of the day, the Swedish-born widow of the Marquess of Northampton. She had previously been one of Queen Elizabeth's Maids of Honour. The original sections of 'Langford' date from between 1584 and 1591.

There were five daughters of the marriage between Hugh Smyth and Elizabeth Gorges; and they had one son, Thomas Smyth. Thomas Smyth's father died in 1625. His mother re-married - to her cousin, Sir Ferdinando Gorges. It is known that Sir Ferdinando Gorges and the family of Smith/Smyth/Smyth of 'Customer' Smythe were closely linked and involved in the development of the American colonies.

"Sr. Furdinando (sic) GORG (sic) de Kinterberrye (co. Devon), Knight, & Madam Elizabeth SMYTH de Long Aiston (co. Somersett, ) w[idow]. 28 Sep. 1629" Extracted by Combs family researcher, Joe Kendall, from "Somerset Parish Registers, Marriages", W.P.W. Phillimore, M.A., B.C.L. and E.H. Bates, M.A., rector of Puckington. v. IV; London 124 Chancery Lane 1902. Wraxall Marriages p. 130:

Sir Ferdinando Gorges had an elder brother, Dr. Thomas Gorges DD, who was overseer to the Will of his brother's widow - the above named Dame Elizabeth, of Ashton Court. (Their father was Sir Edward Gorges.) Thomas Gorges was baptized at Wraxall, Somerset, on 14th February, 1602-3, was Vicar of Wraxall, Archdeacon of Winton, and Prebend of Westminster. He died s.p. on 12th December, 1667 and was buried with his wife Frances Dayrell - who was the widow of Robert Hovenden of Oxford - in the south aisle of Westminster Abbey. ("New England Historical Genealogical Register, 1900")

The son of Sir Ferdinando Gorges was John Gorges. In turn, he had a son, Ferdinando Gorges, named after his grandfather. The Will of John Gorges of the Parish of St. Margaret's Westminster [London], Middlesex, Esquire, includes a bequest to his son, Ferdinando of his "lands in White church als Haselrig, co. Somersett…" 05 Mar 1656/7 - 01 Jun 1657 (P. C. C. Ruthin, 213) He was married (22nd May 1660) at St. Bride's, London,  to Mary Archdale, the daughter of Thomas Archdale and Mary Neville. Thomas Archdale was the son of Richard Archdale and Judith Thorpe. Judith Thorpe was a first cousin of Margaret Combs, née Archdale.

The Gorges family of Wraxall, (Somerset) The male line devolved on Ferdinando Gorges of Ashley (1663-1738) whose two sons Richard and Ferdinando died young when it was settled on Richard Gorges MP (b.circa 1708) of Kilbrew and Ballygawley, Co.Tyrone, Ireland. The Smyth family was widely represented in Ireland by this time. See the Smyth of Ireland link at base of page.

Site Note An earlier Ireland connection with Smyth ... and an 'unfortunate incident' in London.

Middlesex: - Calendar to the Sessions Records, 1614-1615 Additional Baptisms. Middlesex Sessions Records.
Gaol Delivery Register. Volume 2. County: Middlesex Country: England
Robert Smythe of "Orumbegge" in the Kingdom of Ireland, gentleman, for running his horse over the child of John Paley. Fined 10s., respited to prison for sureties for good behaviour, and to make satisfaction to the plaintiff before he is delivered. Handed over in bail to Anthony Lynche of Galway in Ireland aforesaid, gentleman, and John Reade of Christ Church, London, silkweaver.

Site Note Gorges family - a 'spot of bother' in London - and a member of the London Smyth family (presumably connected to the Gorges family via Bristol or London) to the (expensive) rescue.

Middlesex: - Rolls, Books and Certificates, Indictments, Recognizances, Coroners' Inquisitions-Post-Mortem, Orders, Memoranda and Certificates, 1625-1667, vol. 3 Middlesex Sessions' Rolls and Books:-- (69.) Summary of the True Bills of 22 James 1st. County: Middlesex Country: England. - 29 Feb , 3 Charles 1st.--Recognizances, taken before Sir Richard Wynn knt. and bart. and Sir Francis Darcy knt. Justices of the Peace, of Tymoleon Gorge of Chelsey co. Midd. gentleman, in the sum of one thousand pounds, and of Sir Arthur Gorge knt. and William Smyth gentleman, both of Kew co. Surrey, each in the sum of five hundred pounds; For the said Tymoleon Gorge's appearance at the next Gaol Delivery for Middlesex, to answer &c. "for killing and slaying Anthony Cocks." G. D. R., 21 Mar , 3 Charles 1st.


Elizabeth Smyth (Dame Elizabeth Gorges)

Of the children of Elizabeth Smyth, Helen Smyth married Sir Francis Rodgers and Thomas Smyth, (born 1609) was married (1627) to Florence Poulett. The children of Thomas Smyth of Ashton Court and Florence Poulett were Florence Smyth, Anne Smyth and Sir Hugh Smyth who married Dame Ann Ashburnham. Florence (Poulett) Smyth was widowed and later married Thomas Piggott.

Question: was Florence Poulett who married Thomas Smyth of Ashton Court, Bristol, a sister (or relative) of the Mary Paulet who married Henry Cromwell, (3rd B. of Oakham) and whose daughter, Catherine Cromwell, married Lionel Tollemache? If so, this would indicate a link between the Bristol Smyth and the Essex Smyth families - through the family of P(ou)aulet(t). Follow the Essex Smyth link at page base leading to some of the Cromwell lineage.
Sir Hugh Smyth, first husband of Elizabeth GorgesText from research pages of the Combs family - (This portrait of Sir Hugh Smyth (1575-1625) leads to a Smyth of Ashton Court family tree.)

18 Sep 1657 - 13 Jun 1659 - The will of "Dame Elizabeth GORGES of Long Ashton, co. Somersett, widdow" - dated 18 September 1657, but proved in London 13 Jun 1659 by her grandson, Francis SMITH, ... stated that she desired to be interred in the parish Church of Long Ashton, and made bequests including:

"Vnto the poore of Longe Ashton and white Church, co. Somersett, £40. To sonne in law Sr. Thomas SMITH Knight a ring and my daughter the Lady Mary SMITH his wife a bason and Ewre. To my grandchilde Thomas SMYTH soone of my Sonne Thomas SMYTH late of Long Ashton Esquire deceased £200-whereof £128 was oweing by the said Thomas deceased and £72 by my daughter in law fflorence nowe wife of Thomas PIGGOTT Esquire. To Mr. Richard FFOSTER Clerke minister of Long Ashton £10. To my servants Margaret STEVENS £30, Thomas HAGGAR £20 and a debt oweing by Mr. Thomas SADLER of New Sar: gent', and every other servant one quarters wages. My grandchilde Francis SMYTH gent', sonne of Sr Thomas Residuary Legatee and Exor. My freinds John BUCKLAND of Westharptry Esquire and Thomas GORGES of Raxall Doctor of Divinity Overs." Witnessed by Ann ROGERS, John PRICE and Henry PRICE. (P.C.C. Pell, 303) Richard Foster was Tutor to her son, Thomas Smyth for several years.

Son, Thomas Smyth with a son also called Thomas Smyth. Thomas Smyth 1609-1642 married 1627 Florence Poulett d.1676. They had three sons and six daughters - one son must have been named Thomas Smyth, the grandson of Elizabeth Smyth (Gorges) for she states in her Will, " ... To my grandchilde Thomas SMYTH soone of my Sonne Thomas SMYTH late of Long Ashton Esquire deceased £200-whereof £128 was oweing by the said Thomas deceased and £72 by my daughter in law fflorence nowe wife of Thomas PIGGOTT Esquire ...."

Information January 2004, from John G. Woracker, to whom thanks are extended - confirms details of Thomas Smyth - son of Sir Hugh of Ashton Court, by making available a scan of the adjacent image, enhanced here for analysis. The text which accompanies this portrait of the young Thomas Smyth reads: "Thomas Smyth Esq, son of Sir Hugh Smyth Knight, married Florence, eldest daughter of John Lord Poulett H.L.V.A, elected to Parliament for the county of Somerset the 30th March 1640 and died October 1642."

The painting is described as "English School, circa 1600, Oil painting on panel 42 by 34 ins. From the collection of Sir (Upton) John Greville Smyth, Bt."

The painting was displayed at the Ninth Antique Dealers' Fair and Exhibition 1949, held at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London W1 and was hung for a time at the Leger Galleries of Old Bond Street, London. This latter was taken over by Spinks. The current location of the original is unknown.

17th century pacifier (dummy)Of interest in this portrait - from family and social history points of view - are these aspects:

First of all, a pacifier (dummy) which is set, it is presumed, in a silver casing, hangs from the child's waist by an ornate ribbon - which indicates that the dummy is not just a modern placebo! What the "sucker" element would have been made from is unknown. No doubt the dummy would have been dipped in honey or some similar sweetner to comfort the young Thomas. It may be, as an alternative and subject to someone's further research, that the silver casing was hollow - like the casing of a bell - and that sweet "treats" were inserted and held there - either way, it is clearly an early form of comforter and demonstrates a touch of tenderness in a world where children were considered to be- and treated as being - little adults from birth!

Pictured here, Thomas must have been under seven years old. At this time, all such children (male and female) were dressed in this manner until about the age of seven when a boy was officially "breeched" and graduated to the clothing of an adult male - in miniature. This would place the painting as being executed between 1609 when Thomas was born and 1616/17. It may well be that this was a celebratory painting done just prior to the "breeching". In his right hand, Thomas holds a bunch of grapes, straight from the vine - leaves, tendrils and all - which may be significant, apart from indicating that Ashton Court had its own luxurious vines!

Secondly, the 'floral' design - inset at top left corner of the portrait - is possibly politically significant. In the estimation of this family site, it seems incongrous in the context of the painting and probably replaces the picture of a coat of arms that may have been there when the painting was first executed. The wording on this portrait would have been added after the death of Thomas Smyth in 1642 - a time of civil war and shifting alliegances. The leaves and fruit appear to be those of the cherry tree.


Elizabeth Smyth (Dame Elizabeth Gorges) Her son-in-law - Sir Thomas 'Smith' - married to Mary Smyth, her daughter. Grandchild, Francis Smyth, son of Sir Thomas 'Smith' , Residuary Legatee and Exor.

This information from LDS IGI Medieval Families Unit - Thomas Smith (Sir Knight) - born about 1600 at Hatherton in Cheshire - married Mary Smith, daughter of Hugh Smith (Sir, Knight) of Long Ashton, Bristol. Their son, Francis Smith, was born at Stratford Bow, (Middlesex) London and died in 1663 - just a short time after he was granted the 1659 probate of Elizabeth Gorges' - his grandmother's - will. His father, the above-mentioned Thomas Smith, died in about 1666.

The Cheshire link may be significant in establishing a Smith/Smyth/e family which provided a Lord Mayor of Liverpool in the 18th century - qv Dame Ethel Smyth's biography and family information page on this site. She is descended from a Thomas Smyth of Cheshire and from the Irish Smyth family, originally from Durham and Yorkshire. Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Thomas Smyth, married Eliza(beth) Blagg.

September 2003 - in a message forum which quotes the above two paragraphs, the following information is then given in connection with the Thomas Smith and Pate family ...

"According to the IGI Abigail Pate, d/o John and Elizabeth (Skipwith) Pate, was b. Sysonbury, Lincolnshire, England ca. 1624, and d. 25OCT 1691. She m. Sir Thomas Smith of Hatherton, Cheshire, England (b. ca. 1622, d. 22MAY 1675, bur. St. Paul’s, Convent Garden, London, Middlesex Co., England 31MAY 1675), s/o Sir Thomas and Mary (Smith?) Smith. Elizabeth Skipwith (b. ca. 1591, d. 17AUG 1628), was the d/o William and Margaret (Cave) Skipwith. John Pate m. 2nd Lettice Dilke, d/o Thomas Dilke of Mastoke Castle, Warwickshire, England; who was the widow of, or m. 2nd (probably widow) Francis Bradshaw. (The order of marriages isn’t clear.)

John Pate (b. ca. 1594, bpt. 1SEP 1594, bur. 5SEP 1659), was the son of Edward and Anne (Blount) Pate. Edward was the s/o John and Helena (Saltmarsh) De Pate. There is a genealogy of the Pate family at: indicating that Dame Abigail was co-heiress with a sister, Frances Pate (d. 1693.) Also that Dame Abigail’s daughter, Frances Pate-Smith was b. 2NOV 1663 and m. Richard Lister.

At: it is indicated that Richard and Frances Lister had a son: John Lister b. ca. 1706, d. 24OCT 1782, m. Dorothy Robinson, d/o Peter and Barbara (Neville) Robinson of Badsworth, Yorkshire, England. John and Dorothy Lister had a son: John Pate Neville b. 3MAR 1734, d. 16DEC 1817, m. 27MAR 1771 Sarah Pate (b. ca. 1747, d. 1802.) A Captain John Pate Neville was in the 3rd Guards, and was at the Battle of Bergen, 19SEP 1799. Probably a different one, as the source was a memorial, suggesting he died in the conflict. Perhaps a son."

The writer later provides the information that "Sir Thomas Smith was gggg g/son of John Smith, Mercer, sheriff of Chester, ao 1469." and from an official record, "Frances Pate-Smith born 2 Nov 1663 now living unmarried 1681, onely daur and heir of her father and mother." The writer continues: "She apparently was the sole issue and heir of "Sir Thomas Smith of Hatherton, in Com. Cestr., Bart., obijt apud London May ao 1675" and "Abigail eldest daur and co-heir now living at Sisonby 1681." She was eldest daughter of Sir John Pate of Sisonby, in Com. Leic., created Baronet 28 Oct 1643."

This interesting snippet is from Middlesex: - Calendar to the Sessions Records, 1614-1615
 Additional Baptisms.   Middlesex Sessions Records.    Sessions Roll. County: Middlesex Country: England
"The matter is referred to Sir William
Smyth and Mr. Blague to end." Blague = later Blagg? Smyth/e Blagg connection 1614/15?
Sir Richard Smythe of Leeds Castle (Kent) = Elizabeth Scott (daughter of Sir Thomas Scott and w/o John Knatchbull) (m 1589) = (2) Jane White (daughter of John White of London and widow of Samuel Thornhill)
  • Thomas Smythe?
  • Margaret Smythe
  • Sir John Smythe 'of Leeds Castle' = ___ Franklin
  • Alyce Smythe
  • Elizabeth Smythe = Sir Timothy Thornhill
  • Mary Smythe = Sir James Pointz = (2) Maurice Barrow = (3) Sir Anthony St Leger (s/o Sir Warham St. Leger) (Warham St. Leger had sailed with Walter Raleigh in 1590s, and was a cousin of Sir Dudley Digges. A Mary St. Leger had married Sir Richard Grenville, admiral for Walter Raleigh. It was Grenville who was originally awarded the Virginia land patents by Queen Elizabeth.)

Sir Richard Smythe 'of Leeds Castle' must have had another son - Sir Thomas Smythe. According to the Will of his brother, Thomas Smyth of Bidborough - "...  to my nephew THOMAS SMITHE, sonne to my brother Sir RICHARD SMITHE., Knt. ... " See expanded text of Will - quoted below.

Thomas Smyth of Bidborough and his brother Richard Smythe (of Leeds Castle) negotiated for Acton Burnell property in Shropshire together ... to which is connected the Smythe's of Eshe Hall, Durham and Acton Burnell.

About Leeds Castle, Kent - originally known as 'Esledes' - founded c. 857
NB - There is also the major town in Yorkshire, called Leeds which would probably have followed the same name'sake'.

Leeds Castle in Kent is named after its first owner Leed or Ledian who was the Chief Minister of the Saxon King of Kent, Ethelbert IV. He constructed a wooden stronghold on the two small islands in a lake formed by the River Len. Leeds Castle, KentA Norman castle constructed on the site in the 12th century was given to Edward I in 1278.  He carried out major alterations, building a set of outer walls, a barbican and D-shaped tower on the smaller of the two islands.  This tower known as the 'Gloriette' was extensively altered during the Tudor period - and, in a later epoque, was burned down by prisoners of war who were housed there.

From 1520, the castle was owned by Henry VIII who was very fond of it and visited it on many occasions.  The castle passed from royal hands in 1552 when it was given to Sir Anthony St. Leger by Edward VI. Sir Anthony St. Leger was the third husband of Mary Smythe, daughter of Sir Richard Smythe "of Leeds Castle". It is noted elsewhere that the "elusive" William Smithdike, apparent progenitor of the Yorkshire - and Irish - Smyth families was "an assistant to Henry VIII". Certainly, a previous generation Smyth - William Smyth, Bishop of Lincoln, had been a key 'assistant' to Henry VII and, for a short time, to Henry VIII. See also information provided by Rosemary May in connection with the Neville family and Smyth/e (of Elford). Rosemary May's marriage lineage connects to the St. Leger family.

It would seem therefore that "Customer Smyth's" father, John Smyth (married to Joan Brouncker) - originally of Corsham, Wiltshire, assistant to Henry VIII - may have been based at Leeds Castle and enjoyed royal favour and patronage from Henry VIII. This John Smyth was High Sheriff of Essex and his son Sir Thomas Smyth's (Customer Smyth's) family memorial is at Ashford, also in Kent.

It should also be noted that after the Restoration, Charles II granted the first Lord Culpepper (see Culpepper notes below) more than five million acres in the new American colony of Virginia in return for supporting the Royal Family in exile. Culpepper's son purchased Leeds Castle and leased it to the government as a place of detention for Dutch and French prisoner of war - which is when the Gloriette was burnt out; it remained a ruin until 1822 when the Wykham-Martin family inherited the property - during the 18th century, the castle had become the property of the Fairfax family.

Son of Sir John Smythe of Ostenhanger and Elizabeth Fineaux

Sir Thomas Smythe of Ostenhanger, Lord Visct. Strangford of Ireland (1628) = Barbara Sidney (d/o Robert Sidney, Earl of Leicester, [brother to Sir Philip Sidney and half brother to Robert Dudley, son of the 'famous' Earl of Leicester] = (2) Sir Thomas Culpepper (see below) [Followed Berkeley as Governor of Virginia] The Smythe family of the Lords Strangford also settled in Bristol (amongst other places) at Clifton - a short journey from Ashton Court. This writer, for example, has walked it several times - in less than an hour!

The Will of Sir Thomas Smith (Smyth) of Bidborough, first Viscount Strangford - son of Customer Smythe

                  Dated January 30, 1621; Codicil September 4, 1624; Proved October 12, 1625

... As concerning my Manors, messuages, howses, lands, tenements and hereditaments, one moiety thereof to my wife Dame SARA SMITHE, during her life and after her decease to my sonne Sir JOHN SMITHE and to his heirs, in default of issue then as follows: to my nephew, THOMAS SMITHE of Ostenhanger, in co. Kent, Esq. sonne and heire of Sir JOHN SMITHE, my late brother, deceased, my messuages and lands lying in Bidborough, Tunbridge Pentherst and Spellhurst (except my lands in Tunbridge which I purchased of Mr. DYKE); to my nephew THOMAS SMITHE, sonne to my brother Sir RICHARD SMITHE., Knt., to my nephew JOHN SMITH, sonne to my late brother ROBERT SMITH, deceased, and to my nephew THOMAS FANSHAWE, sonne to my Lady FANSHAWE, my lands and tenements called Otford Parke (now disparked) situate in Otford, Sevenoke and Seale, in co. Kent, which I lately purchased of the Earl of LEICESTER, to be equally divided amongst them, and their heirs. To "my nephew Sir THOMAS BUTLER, OLIVER BUTLER sonnes to my sister URSULA BUTLER" and to my nephew, Sir ARTHUR HARRIS, sonne to my late sister ALICE HARRIS, deceased, my lands and tenements called Cottington, situate near Sandwich, co. Kent which I lately purchased of WILLIAM RICHARDSON, gentleman, to be equally divided amongst them, and their heirs.

Thomas Smithe, son of his brother John, married Barbara Sydney - therefore, Thomas Smithe, the son of Sir Richard Smithe 'of Leeds Castle' seems to be the pertinent reference. If his son, John, who married ? Franklin, became "of Leeds Castle", what became of Thomas who must have been living in 1621 - and did this Thomas marry Mary Smyth of Ashton Court, Bristol?

David Smyth's History of Smyth of Yorkshire and IrelandPresumably Thomas (son of Sir Richard 'of Leeds Castle') would have the Tunbridge lands of 'Mr Dyke'. and since Thomas Smyth of Bidborough, son of Customer Smyth purchased lands from a Mr Dyke - might there have been a former family Smyth-Dyke connection through marriage or property? Might this be the elusive "Smithdike" link that heads the listing for the Irish Smyth family descendancy and which is proving to be such a mystery?


Dame Sara Smyth (Sara Blount) later married Robert Sydney, Earl of Leicester. Their daughter, Lady Barbara, married Sir Thomas Culpepper, Lieutenant of Dover Castle and of St. Stephen's, "otherwise Hackington,Kent" (Hasted, Kent, fol. ed. iii. 595-6, iv. 76).

Thomas Culpepper 1637-1708 - "Born, according to his own statement, on the Christmas day of 1637, he lost both his parents six years later. He lived as steward with the Strangford family. With his half-brother, Philip, viscount Strangford, he busied himself in promoting the king's return, and was imprisoned by the council of state in August and September 1659 (State Papers, Dom. 1659-60).

In 1662 he married Frances, third and youngest daughter of John, Lord Frecheville, of Staveley, Derbyshire, by his second wife, Sarah, daughter and heiress of Sir John Harrington, knight. It was a stolen match, and so displeasing to Lord Frecheville, that, while outwardly reconciled, he refused to make his daughter any settlement. At his death, in March 1682, he left her an annuity of £300, which owing to the reduced state of his fortune was probably never paid. Lord Frecheville had in fact been obliged to sell his manor of Staveley and other lands appurtenant thereto to the Earl of Devonshire [William Cavendish, 1640-1707] in the October previous to his death for the sum, it is stated, of £2,600. (Harl. MS. 6820, f. 100)."

Further food for thought - adapted from the Spring family genealogy -

The connection between the Fleetwood and Spring families began with the marriage on November 1st, 1610, of Elizabeth Smith and Sir William Spring, who were second cousins, their common great-grandparents being Sir John Spring and Dorothy Waldegrave.
Sir William Spring was born at Pakenham, Suffolk, on August 8th, 1589, and he was baptized there on August 10th, 1589. He was buried at Pakenham on March 4th, 1637/1638. He married Elizabeth Smith, the daughter of Sir William Smith and Bridget Fleetwood, (see Smyth of Essex page) at Theydon Mount, Essex, on November 1st, 1610.
Middlesex: - Register of Marriages, 1582-1837  Marriages at Ealing, 1582 to 1837. Volume 1.
County: Middlesex Country: England Mr. Wm. Smythe & Mrs. Bridget Flytwodd 30 Dec 1590

Sir Thomas Fleetwood was Master of the Mint. He was born at Heskin, Lancashire, in 1518. He died on November 1st, 1570, and he was buried at Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire. He married first Barbara Andrews. Sir Thomas Fleetwood and Barbara Andrews had two known children. He married second Bridget Spring, the daughter of Sir John Spring and Dorothy Waldegrave. Bridget Spring married second Sir Robert Wingfield of Letheringham, Suffolk who died in 1596. Sir Thomas Fleetwood and Bridget Spring had nine known children. A Monumental Inscription at Chalfont St. Giles (Bucks.) recorded the birth of Thomas Fleetwood at Heskin, Lancashire, his death on November 1st, 1570, his two wives, Barbara, and Bridget, daughter of Sir John Spring, and that he had eighteen children.

Elizabeth Smith/Smyth/e was born at Mount Hall, Essex, in 1592, and she was buried at Pakenham, Suffolk, on May 5th, 1656. Elizabeth's Will, dated March 13th, 1655/1656, and probated August 13th, 1656, mentioned her daughters, Bridget Hobart, Elizabeth Sedley, and Katherine Gibbs, and her grandchildren, Dorothy Spring, William Spring, William Sedley, Elizabeth Sedley, Elizabeth Hobart, Bridget Hobart, and Elizabeth Gawdy, the executors being her friend, Sir Thomas Barnardiston of Ketton, and her sons-in-law, John Sedley of Morley, Norfolk, and James Hobart of Mendham, Suffolk. Sir William Spring and Elizabeth Smith/Smyth/e had nine children.


Additional Notes - 12/2002

A line of the Hanbury family married into the Tracy family and the resulting Hanbury-Tracy line forms part of the maternal ancestry of the children of the marriage of Dicky Drew-Smythe and Jean Dionis Anstruther. It is believed that the Maitlands also connect through marriage to the Anstruthers, Maxtones and Grahams in Scotland.

From the records of  Antony Maitland ...

"The Manor of Hanbury lies 3 miles East of Droitwich and at the time of the Doomsday survey belonged to the Bishopric of Worcester, and so remained until the time of Queen Elizabeth when the Manor and Advowson passed to the Crown in 1562, in exchange for certain tithes. The Queen then granted then to Sir Francis Knollys who gave them to his son-in- law, Sir Thomas Leighton, who sold them in 1630 to Edward Vernon, son of the Rector of Hanbury. In this family they still continue. The original Hanbury's held their lands in fief from the Bishop of Worcester.

The eldest son of John de Hanbury of Hanbury, 1407/1453, William de Hanbury of Hanbury, continued the line of Hanburys of Hanbury Hall. John's third son was  Richard Hanbury, who moved six miles North-west to Elmley-Lovett. His only child:- Richard Hanbury (2), occs. 1457, died 1481, married Catherine Smythe, who bore him a son, Richard (3). (His second wife, Margery Tyntes, bore him 3 sons, Henry, John and Thomas, who moved away and founded the Hanburys of Hampshire and Ombersley.) Richard Hanbury (3), of Elmley-Lovett, married the daughter of Philip Bassett. In 1524 Henry VIII granted him "the farm of the site of the Manor of Elmley Lovett previously owned by John Bassett, with which were included many other parcels of land within the Royal Manor of Elmley Lovette. His first son John follows next. His second son Thomas Hanbury (died 1557) married Joan Poole of Elmley Lovett who died a widow in 1591 and, like her husband, is buried in Elmley Lovett churchyard."

[The Smyth family of Bristol also had marriage links with the family Tyntes.]

Anthony remarks: "It is odd to reflect that 400 years after this first Hanbury-Poole marriage history repeated itself when a descendant of the same family Jillian Hanbury married Richard Poole in far off Virginia, U.S.A. in 1957."


According to records of the Combs family (to whom gratitude is expressed for this information) "Elmley-Lovett is a parish in the lower division of the hundred of Halfshire, county of Worcester, 4 miles SE of Stourport." More significantly, it is stated in their records that, "This place gives the title of Viscount to the LYGON family." John Smythe, the elder brother of Thomas "Customer" Smythe, married a Lygon family daughter, of Herefordshire.

The Combs family records for Elmley-Lovett continue thus with an early ancestor:

Thomas COMBE fil. 2 et. haeres fratis per entaile de Old Stratford.
+ Maria filia....SAUAGE [SAVAGE] de Elmeley* in Com. Wore.

Thomas was the s/o John COMBE of Old Stratford, Warwickshire and
Joyce BLOUNT of Worcestershire. Elmley Castle and Elmley-Lovett were named after the early Manor of Elmly, obtained by Robert LOVETT of Normandy, which passed to his son, William (m Isabel St. MAUR), thence to William's son, Henry who m Isabelle BEAUCHAMP of Hatch who, following Henry's death, m William BLOUNT of Sodbury, Mamble Parish, Worcester. (In 1316, Isabelle LOVETT presented to the church of Elmley-Lovett). Upon the death of her son, John LOVETT, without male issue, the manor of Hampton Lovett came into the hands of the BLOUNT Family of Sodbury.

The Blount family was connected by marriage to Sir Thomas Smythe, son of Customer Smythe (quotation from the Wiltshire Smyth/e pages of this site)  "Sir Thomas Smythe of Bidborough, Governor of East India Company, Treasurer of Virginia Company (1558-1624/5) = Judith Culverwell (d/o Richard Culverwell) = (2) Jone Hobbs (d/o William Hobbs) = (3) Sarah Blount (d/o William Blount) (She later married Robert Sidney, Earl of Leicester (m 1626) ." It should also be noted that a later generation of the Smythe family (Sir John Smythe 3rd. Bt. of Acton Burnell - born 1710) married a Blount daughter - Constantia.

The Combs family records for Elmley-Lovett conclude with this note (and some useful links):

 (Lovett Memoirs). Also note that Thomas COMBE m (2) Mary BONNER, d/o Anthony and Bridget SAVAGE Bonner, gd/o Christopher and Ann LYGON Savage, and widow of William YONGE (See also Combs-Lovett Families of Berkshire and Buckingham).

IntroductionAncestor 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

For a comprehensive and highly detailed record of the Smythe family of Shropshire (including mention of lineage files) visit the Shropshire Branch of the British National Archives. The records are significant in that they also establish a clear link between this Smythe branch of the family - originally of Durham - and the family of Customer Smyth/e through his sons, Sir Thomas and Sir Richard Smith/e Smyth/e - both of whom purchased interests in local Shropshire Estates in the same era. Most of the Irish Smyth/e families, it is also known, stem from the Durham and Yorkshire branches of Smyth/e.

The Shropshire Smythe Archives