The Smyth/e Smith/e family of Wiltshire

The pedigree below (edited but originally transcribed [pre-2000] from GenUK Essex pages) should be cross-referenced with official sources - see also updated material prepared by Smythe researcher Pat Patterson via this link.

If the lineage of Customer Smythe shown below is correct then there are clear implications for the descendancy of the Smyth family, originally of Durham and Rosedale Abbey in Yorkshire - a branch of which moved to Ireland in the early 17th century. See the Thomas Smyth family line via this link.

Richard SMYTHE was born about 1460 and died on 27 Mar 1527 in London.
His son, John Smith (Smythe) of Corsham, Wilts, was
High Sheriff of Essex and assistant to King Henry VIII
and was married to Jane (of) Brouncker.
Ancestor Index Ancestor Index
This monument to the family of Thomas Smythe (Customer Smythe) can be found in the south trancept of the church of St. Mary The Virgin - Ashford, Kent.
The monument also shows his wife lying beside him and there are details there of twelve of his children. Thomas, born in 1522, was left a farm in the Hundred of Amesbury, Wilts, of the value of £20 per annum. He must have been about sixteen years of age at the time of his father's death. He arrived in London with the intention of seeking his fortune ...
Smyth of Essex and Berkshire The Smyth/e Smith families of Essex & Berkshire
See also these pages
Maintaining connections with Corsham
- Corsham Court

The core of the Elizabethan house, built in 1582 by Thomas Smyth, can be seen on the south front of the present house.  Its three-gabled hall range in the centre is flanked by projecting wings.

The house was bought by Paul Methuen, godson of Sir Paul Methuen, in about 1745. The Methuen family's wealth came from the prosperous Wiltshire cloth industry of the 17th century. Sir Paul Methuen was both a politician and a collector - with a fine collection of paintings; in fact, he resigned his seat in 1730 in order to concentrate on increasing the collection which he kept at his London house. On his death, in 1757, he left his paintings to his godson, heir to the family's cloth business.  Between 1761 and 1764, Capability Brown was commissioned to extend the original Elizabethan building in order to provide room for the art collection.  Thus, the wings were doubled in width and so housed the new gallery and library.  Today, Corsham Court and its collections are still in the hands of the Methuen family - and the gallery has survived intact together with its furnishings. 


The children of John (Smith) Smythe and Jane Brouncker

Elizabeth Smythe = Simon Horspoole of London - their son, William Horspoole = Mary Washington d/o Lawrence Washington & Martha Newce (Ancestor of George Washington) N. B. The link shows the Washington Pedigree before this date. Information found there should be read in conjunction with the Preface of the original (1885) compiler who was the somewhat controversial figure, General George Henry de Strabolgie Neville PLANTAGENET-HARRISON.

There must have been an elder son, John Smythe - source:

Introduction to THOMAS SMYTHE - COMMONLY CALLED CUSTOMER SMYTHE - written by J.F. Wadmore, A.R.I.B.A. Published in Archæologia Cantiana, being Transactions of the Kent Archæological Society vol. XVII, 1887, pp 193-208.

'The family of Smithe, or Smythe, from which sprang the Lords Strangford, was settled at Corsham in Wilts in the time of Henry VIII. John Smythe, a substantial yeoman and clothier, who married a daughter of Thomas Brounker, died at Corsham in 1538, leaving his wife a life interest in his mill, with the reversion of it to his son John, as well as his other property. John Smythe's eldest son, named after his father, married a daughter of John Lygon of Richard Castle, Herefordshire, to whom a grant of arms was accorded. To Thomas, his younger son, born in 1522, he left a farm in the Hundred of Amesbury, Wilts, of the value of £20 per annum. Thomas, who must have been about sixteen years of age at the time of his father's death, came up to London with the intention of seeking his fortune ... '

Continuation of this text - with detailed annotations - may be found at this current link page. If the link is dead, unreachable or off-line, for back-up page on this site, click here . N.B. - Footnote 55 on the link page "Ancestor of the Lords Strangford" - is also connected to the Hughes family - married Jullion family - qv pages on this site.

Sir Thomas Smythe - a.k.a. Customer Smythe - Thomas Smythe originally of Wiltshire was a businessman - a merchant and entrepreneur. He leased the farm of the customs in London. He had a son, Sir Thomas (see below) who was centrally involved in international trade and colonization, being key to the early management and survival of the Virginia colony and being one of the Muscovy Merchants.

"Customer Smythe" of Ostenhanger, County Kent (b. 1522? qv above d 1591) buried at Ashford = Alice Judd (d/o Sir Andrew Judd, Lord Mayor of London. Her sister's daughter married Barthlomew Gosnold .)


The 13 Children of Thomas (Customer) Smythe and Alice Judd

1. Andrew Smythe (died young)

2. Katherine Smythe = Sir Rowland Hayward, Lord Mayor of London = (2) Sir John Scott (s/o Sir Thomas Scott, Scotts Hall & Elizabeth Baker of Sissinghurst) = (3) Sir Richard Sandys

Courtesy of A2A Public Records Office (UK) - Shropshire Archives - may be found the following:

Reference: 1514/28 Draft bargain & sale
Creation dates: 1 July 1609
Scope and Content
1. George Hopton of Hopton, Esq, & his wife
2. Sir George Hayward, knt, son & heir of Sir Rowland Hayward, knt, late citizen & alderman of London, deed.
Consideration: £4,050. Manor(s) of Acton Burnell & Acton Pygott, & all houses, mills & lands, courts &c belonging, & all messuages & lands &c in A.B. & A.P. late the inheritance of Rd Crompton, father, Rd Crompton, son, deed., or Thos Crompton decd. grandfather, or Fowlke Crompton, deed., great grandfather of R.C., the son. The reversion & all deeds. To Sir G.H. & his heirs & assigns forever.
Docketed: Sir George Hayward & Hopton.

This exemplifies the fact that the Haywards - connected to the "Customer" Smythe lineage - bought Acton Burnell - later to be in the hands of the Smythe lineage of Eshe Hall, Durham ... It also shows a son, not entered here before ... April 2003

The immediate maternal line of Jean Anstruther - treated on this site - has this ancestry noted: Sir James Anstruther (d. 1606) was chosen as a companion of the young King James VI who, in 1585, appointed him Hereditary Grand Carver. This office is still held by the head of the family - Ian Anstruther. In 1595, Sir James Anstruther became Master of the Royal Household (Scotland). He married (1571) Jean Scott, daughter of Sir Thomas Scott, of Abbotshall. Sir James Anstruther and Jean Scott had two daughters - Jean Anstruther and Margaret Anstruther and two sons. The eldest son, William Anstruther, of Anstruther, (d. 1649) was confirmed as heir to his father in 1606 in the barony of Anstruther. He was appointed a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to James I and Knight of the Bath (1603). He married (1601) Euphemia Wemyss, daughter of Sir Andrew Wemyss of Myrecairnie, Fife, (a Lord of Sessions). He died leaving no heir and was suceeded by his nephew. The Second son of Sir James Anstruther, Sir Robert Anstruther, of Wheatley, Yorkshire (jure uxoris). (d. 1645) - was appointed Gentleman of the Bedchamber to King James I and Privy Councillor to King Charles I. He was Ambassador to Denmark (1620) and to Germany (1627, 1629 and 1630) He married Mary Swift, daughter of Sir Edward Swift and the sister of Viscount Carlingford. He was buried at Westminster Abbey.

Children of Katherine Smythe and Sir Rowland Hayward:

  • Catherine Hayward = Richard Scott (s/o Sir Thomas Scott & Elizabeth Baker) = (2) Sir Richard Sands
  • Mary Hayward = Sir Warham St. Leger (s/o Sir Anthony St. Leger, Captain with Sir Walter Raleigh)
  • Sir George Hayward
Courtesy of A2A Public Records Office (UK) - Shropshire Archives - may also be found the following:
Reference: 1514/31 & 32 Lease for 99 years and counterpart
Creation dates: 18 June 1610

Scope and Content
1. Sir George Haywarde of Acton Burnell, knt.
Edward Mosley of Grays Inn, Esq.
Thomas Brett of Tenterdine, Kent, Esq.
2. Sir Thomas Smith of London, knt.
Sir Richard Smith of Bromlay, Kent, knt.
Consideration: a competent sum.
The Manor(s) of Acton Burnell and Acton Pygott.
Houses and lands belonging, &c.
For 99 years.
Sir George Hayward by bargain and sale of even date granted to the Smiths and their heirs the site of the Manors of Bemerton and Quidhampton, Wilts, and property belonging.
Sir George agrees with Sir Thomas Smith and Sir Richard Smith that as well the Manors of Acton Burnell and Acton Pygott, &c. and the sites of the Manors of Bemerton and Quidhampton shall remain to the Smiths according to the purport of the said bargain and sale.
Sir George Haywarde, Edward Mosley and Thomas Brett have granted all the tithes in the Manor of Parls Ditton which Sir George Hayward lately bought from Alexander Kinge, Esq., and Roger Smith, gent, that is the tithes of grain and hay in the townships and hamlets of Earles Ditton, Withipole and Kathertan.
To hold to the Smiths for 99 years.
Lease docketed: Sir George Haywards assurances to me of Acton Burnell for paymt and discharge of all ?bonds before Ester. Counterpart docketed: 18 Junii 8 Jacobi Lease for 99 years from Sir George Hayward Mr Moseley & Mr Brette unto Sr Thomas Smithe and Sr Rich: Smithe kta of Acton Burnell and Acton Piggotte.

The saga continues ... The download is a large file but fascinating.

3. Mary Smythe = Robert Davis (Davy) of London, Receiver for Wales

4. Ursula Smythe = Simon Harding of London = (2) William Boteler (Butler) - of Bedford

5. Joan (aka Johanna) Smythe = Sir Thomas Fanshawe (d 1601) Esquire of Ware Park. [Thomas Fanshawe was Remembrancer of the Exchequer to Queen Elizabeth from 1568-1601. His second marriage.] See note and link below attaching to her brother, Sir Thomas Smythe of Bidborough.

The following link will provide a wide-ranging glimpse into the history of the Fanshawe family and also mentions Smyth lineage in some detail. This is a production of the Gutenberg e-Book project, to whom gratitude is extended for this volume and for their general work accomplished on the internet. Written from within a family context and completed so much nearer to the times in question, this Fanshawe history is likely to be far more reliable than the more modern sources - or any conjecture entertained on either this site or elsewhere ...


The following is a relevant quote from that publication:

[Customer Smythe] ... had six sons and six daughters: his sons were Sir John Smythe, Sir Thomas Smythe, Sir Richard Smythe, Sir Robert Smythe, Mr. William Smythe, and Mr. Edward Smythe, who died young: two were knighted by Queen Elizabeth, and two by King James; the eldest was grandfather of the now Lord Strangford; the second had been several times ambassador, and all married into good families, and left great estates to their posterity, which remain to this day. The daughters were Mrs. Fanshawe, your great-grandmother-in-law; the second married Sir John Scott, of Kent; the third married Sir John Davies, of the same county; the fourth married Sir Robert Poynz, of Leicestershire; the fifth married Thomas Butler, of Herald, Esq.; and the sixth married Sir Henry Fanshawe, your grandfather: these all left a numerous posterity but Davies, and this day they are matched into very considerable families. [Footnote: Lady Fanshawe is not quite correct in her account of the Smythe family, and the statements in Peerages are equally erroneous. Thomas Smythe, Esq. of Ostenhanger, in Kent, Farmer of the Customs to Philip and Mary, and to Queen Elizabeth, was the second son of John Smythe, Esq., (whose ancestors were seated at Corsham, in Wiltshire, as early as the 15th century,) by Joan, daughter of Robert Brounker, ancestor of the celebrated Viscount Brounker. Customer Smythe died in 1591, and had by Alice, daughter and heiress of Sir Andrew Judde, Lord Mayor of London, and one of the representatives of Archbishop Chicheley, seven sons and six daughters, 1. Andrew, who died young. 2. Sir John, of Ostenhanger, father of Sir Thomas Smythe, K.B., who married Lady Barbara Sydney, daughter of Robert first Earl of Leicester, K.G., was created Viscount Strangford, in Ireland, in 1628, and was the ancestor of Percy Clinton Sydney Smythe, sixth and present Viscount Strangford and first Baron Penshurst, G.C.B. 3. Henry Smythe, of Corsham. 4. Sir Thomas Smythe, of Bidborough, in the county of Kent, ambassador to Russia in 1604, whose male descendants became extinct on the death of Sir Stafford Sydney Smythe, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, in 1778. 5. Sir Richard Smythe, of Leeds Castle, in Kent, whose son, Sir John, dying issueless, in 1632, his sisters became his co-heiresses. 6. Robert Smythe, of Highgate, who left issue. 7. Symon Smythe, killed at the siege of Cadiz in 1597. Of the daughters of Customer Smythe, Mary married Robert Davye, of London, Esq.; Ursula married, first, Simon Harding, of London, Esq., and secondly William Butler, of Bidenham, in Bedfordshire, Esq.; Johanna was the wife of Thomas Fanshawe, of Ware Park, Herts, Esq.; Katherine was first the wife of Sir Rowland Hayward, Lord Mayor of London, and secondly of Sir John Scott, of Scott's Hall, in Kent; Alice married Edward Harris, of Woodham, in Essex, Esq.; and Elizabeth, the sixth and youngest daughter, was the wife of Sir Henry Fanshawe, Remembrancer of the Exchequer, father of Sir Richard Fanshawe, the ambassador. Sir ROBERT Poyntz, of Leicestershire, is a mistake of Lady Fanshawe's for Sir JAMES Poyntz, of North Oxenden, in Essex, who married Mary, the sister and co- heiress of Sir John Smythe, son of Sir Richard, of Bidborough, before mentioned, and GRANDDAUGHTER of the Customer.]"

The mention here of a Mr. William Smythe as being a son of Customer Smythe is of interest and, even though it is said to be an error by the editor of the Fanshawe memoir, it suggests that Fanshawe memory places a William Smythe of this era as being connected in some way to the Customer ... possibly the line of William Smythe of Cornwall - a man mentioned by Roger Smith and listed via this Thomas, the eldest son of William Smyth - ApothecaryThomas Smith/Smyth link - a link which relates to the Smyth family of Shrewsbury in Shropshire - in turn connected to the Manners family, Dukes of Rutland ...

6. Elizabeth Smythe = Sir Henry Fanshaw (s/o Thomas Fanshaw who married wife's sister). [In 1616, Lord Chamberlain wrote about Lady Fanshawe and her four sisters, all widows.]

7. Symon Smythe (d. 1596), killed at Cadiz, Spain

8 . Robert Smythe of Highgate = Ann Lynford (d/o William Lynford)

  • John Smythe
  • Alyce Smythe

9 . Henry Smythe of Corsham (Died before 1591) = Elizabeth Owen (d/o Thomas Owen, Justice of the Peace)

10. Sir John Smythe (eldest son) of Ostenhanger = Elizabeth Fineaux (m 1576) (d/o Sir John Fineaux, Chief Justice of the King's Bench)

Children of Sir John Smythe of Ostenhanger and Elizabeth Fineaux
  • George Smythe 7th Lord StrangfordElizabeth Smythe = Sir Henry Neville
  • 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 [Followed Berkeley as Governor of Virginia]

    The image adjacent is of George Smythe - son of 6th Lord Strangford and associate of Disraeli and of 'Young England'. In this connection he was also associated with John James Robert Manners, 7th Duke of Rutland. His kinsman, John Manners - b1730/ d1792 - was an illigitimate son of Lord William Manners and Corbetta Smith/Smyth, daughter of William Smith/Smyth - apothecary of Shrewsbury. Lord William Manners was the 2nd. son of the 2nd Duke of Rutland. The Manners family is among the ancestors of the maternal line of this site.

    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. Additionally, the Manners family (Dukes of Rutland) are associated with Haddon Hall a property connected also with the Nevilles and the Smith/Smyth family. This link goes to some pages of Neville family ancestors and to Haddon Hall. Henry NEVILLE [BARON ABERGAVENNY] - married Frances Manners before 1555/56.

  • Catherine Smythe (d. 1629) = Sir Henry Baker (d. 1623) of Sissinghurst, Patron of Cheriton, Baronet of Ireland in 1611
11. Sir Richard Smythe of Leeds Castle = Elizabeth Scott (d/o Sir Thomas Scott) (w/o John Knatchbull) (m 1589) = (2) Jane White (d/o John White of London) (w/o Samuel Thornhill) Sarah Blount = Sir Thomas Smythe (of Bidborough)

NB - Sir Richard Smythe's mother had this to say in her Will: "To his [Sir Richard Smythe's] son Thomas Smith £100, and to John £50, to be paid on attaining the age of 21." This son, Thomas (not listed below in the pre 2000 GenUK Essex pedigree) may have married Mary Smyth - a daughter fo the Smyth family of Ashton Court, (qv) Bristol.

  • Margaret Smythe
  • Sir John Smythe of Leeds Castle = (unknown) 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)

12. 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) . See Smyth/Smithe/Smythe references on this Fanshawe site - which mentions the Wills of Customer Smyth/ and of Sir Thomas Smythe of Bidborough.

In the modern era, SIR THOMAS SMYTHE'S CHARITY (Registered Charity No. 210775) derives from the 1625 will of Sir Thomas Smythe. It provides pensions for the benefit of elderly people who are resident in twenty-six named parishes in the area of Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, Kent. The funds of this charity are committed on the recommendations of local Trustees.

It should 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. For a comprehensive and highly detailed record of the Smythe family of Shropshire (including mention of lineage files) visit The Smythe Archives at the Shropshire Branch of the British National Archives. The records are significant in that they also establish a link between the Shropshire branch of the family - originally of Durham - and this Smyth family - the family of 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 families stem from the Durham and Yorkshire branches of Smyth. By the same token, a link may be seen between the Smyth family of Ashton Court, Bristol with this Sir Thomas Smyth - descended from the Wiltshire branch - son of Customer Smyth. It may therefore be surmised that all three branches probably had their beginnings in Durham, Yorkshire and Lancashire.

Sir Thomas Smythe (Smith) - an internet biography states: 1599 Nov 6 Collett

Haberdasher Farringdon Without 1599-1601;1604. Sheriff 1600-1. Elected Sheriff 1587. Knighted 13 May 1603; M.P. Dunwich 1604-11, Sandwich 1614, Saltash 1620-2; Receiver Duchy Cornwall 1604.
Ambassador to Russia; Auditor 1597-8; Treasurer St. Bartholomew's Hospital 1597-1601; Committee E.I.C. 1600-1, 1603-22 (Governor 1600-1, 1603-5, 1607-21); Governor Russia Company; Treasurer Virginia Company 1600-20; Master Haberdashers 1583-4, 1588-9, 1599-1600. Died 4 Sep 1625; Will (PCC 107 Clark) 31 Jan 1622; proved 12 Oct 1625.
Grandson of Sir Andrew Judde (Lord Mayor 1550-1), and uncle of the first Viscount Strangford. His widow married the first Earl of Leicester of the Sydney line. His name is written "Smith" on his monument at Sutton-at-Hone, Kent, but the Strangford family preferred "Smythe."

His grandson, Robert Smyth, was Governor of Dover Castle and married the Dowager Countess of Sunderland. (Waller's "Saccharissa".) His last male descendant was Sir Sidney Stafford Smythe, Baron of the Exchequer in George III's reign. (1778)

Dover Castle

Dover Castle has always been an important part of Britain's line of defence. It was originally built on a high cliff overlooking the narrowest section of the English Channel in the South East of England. Initially, the Romans built a high flint lighthouse there on the remains of an iron age fort.  In Saxon times a chapel was built for the castle garrison.  After the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror went to Dover Castle and spent eight days strengthening this key fortification. Henry II carried out a complete reconstruction between 1168 and 1188 providing the castle with the towered walls of the inner bailey, the beginning of the outer walls and the great square keep - the largest in England.

During the reign of King John, the castle was besieged by Prince Louis, heir to the throne of France.  The French breached the barbican and undermined the gatehouse causing the east tower to collapse. The French forces would have certainly penetrated the inner walls if it hadn't been for the fact that King John died as the action was in progress. He was succeeded by his son Henry III, who had the support of the Church, many influential barons and the loyality of Dover Castle.  Because of this new unity, Prince Louis retreated to France. Henry III spent a considerable sum of money on strengthening the castle. The Constable's Gate was rebuilt in about 1227 and it is here that subsequent Constables have had their residence. 

The castle was seized by a small force of Parliamentarians during the Civil War in 1642.  It remained in Cromwell's hands until the Restoration which ensured that the castle remained intact - unlike most other castles in England.  During the Napoleonic Wars the castle underwent drastic alerations. The ditches were lowered, earth ramparts were constructed behind the walls and the outer walls were cut down to provide suitable platforms for artillery. 

This text courtesy of Wendy F. García (née Winter)
from her Internet book, 'The Golden Falcon', Ch. XVI - The Swallow

"The promotors of American settlements found some of their colonists among their relations, friends and neighbours whose descendants intermarried.

Lady Baltimore was the Earl of Warwick's second cousin, his mother's first cousins were Thomas West, Lord de la Warr, Governor of Virginia (1617-19), his brother John West who settled and left descendants there and his sister Elizabeth Pelham whose sons went to New England. Her second cousin was the Earl of Lincoln, two of whose daughters Susan and Arbella went to New England with their husbands John Humphreys (d. 1661), Deputy Governor of Massachusetts and Isaac Johnson, a third daughter married Sir Ferdinando Gorges' son. Sir Ferdinando Gorges' great uncle Sir William Gorges, married Winifred Budockside, Sir Walter Raleigh's first cousin..

Sir Walter Raleigh and the Gilberts were half-brothers, Raleigh and the Winters of Huddington were related through the Throckmortons, the Gorges to the Winters of Dyrham, the Drakes and Winters of Dyrham and Clapton-in-Gordano were related through the Sydenhams and the Hawkins were kinsmen of the Trelawneys. Judge Popham, Recorder of Bristol, who promoted colonisation, was related to the Winters of Dyrham and Clapton-in-Gordano, the Winters of Lydney and * Sir Thomas Smythe, a fervent coloniser, were related through Sir Andrew Judde, Mayor of London, Ferdinando Gorges to the * Smythes and to Drake through the Champernownes.

* Site Note: The implication above seems to be that the two Smyth/e branches are of the same family ...

The Bristol Venturers received a patent in 1610 to colonise Newfoundland, backed by Chief Justice Popham, Recorder of Bristol, Francis Bacon and John Langton. In 1617-18 the "Bristol Hope" was purchased by the Society from the original pioneers in Newfoundland.

In 1606 Ferdinando Gorges, relative of the Smyths of Ashton Court, petitioned for settlement in Virginia and in 1620 for exclusive rights to fish for Bristol merchants from the St. Lawrence river to Philadelphia (Puritans excluded). Bristolians emigrated to Massachusetts and Rhode Island both of which have counties called Bristol and the latter has a town of the same name.

Maine was granted in 1639 to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, patron of Bristol and Plymouth fishing interests. Many Maine settlers were fishermen from Devon; Newfoundland, where they settled, was a fishing ground for West Country fishermen. The seamen of Devon had fished the coasts of Massachusetts, Maine Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, camping there in the summer returning home in the winter whilst a few remained in huts to look after the nets. Most of the identified settlers of Maine and New Hampshire came from Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, and Gloucestershire.

Gorges lived in Plymouth and had a house near Bristol, both headquarters of fisheries, receiving grants from 1622 to the final grant of the Province of Maine in 1639 and the grant of New Hampshire to his partner Captain John Mason. His first wife's great nephew Captain Thomas Bradbury (d. 1695) went to New England in 1634, his second wife's nephew Captain Francis Champernowne (d. 1687) settled at York, Maine in 1665, his 3 second cousins once removed, daughters of John Deighton of Gloucester, left descendants in New England, Katherine the eldest was wife of Thomas Dudley (d. 1653), Governor of Massachusetts.

Alice, daughter of Sir Andrew Judde (d. 1558), Lord Mayor of London married Customer Smythe whose son Sir Thomas Smythe (1625) was a keen promoter of colonisation and first governor (Smith Parish Bermuda) of the Somers Island or Bermuda Company. Alice's sister Katherine Judde, widow of Matthews married Thomas Langton, father of Mary, Sir William Winter's wife.

Site Note: Compare the arms of Thomas Smythe (Bermuda page link above - history section) with those of Smythe that appear on the Ashton Court, Bristol arms of Smythe - the three "pards?" in the chevron. It is also significant that the Salop (Shropshire) fire plate - an insurance plate mounted on a house to indicate to the fire company (charged with extinguishing fires) that it was insured against fire - bears three "pard" heads in the Smith motif ... Thomas Smithe is known to have had interests in Acton Burnell, Shropshire - where were found the Smythes of Acton Burnell - and of Eshe Hall in Durham (qv.).

The two main groups involved in the colonisation of Virginia were the London merchants of the East India, Levant, and Moscovy Companies, led by Customer Smythe's son Sir Thomas who made the biggest contribution and the West Country group interested in the fur trade and fisheries led by Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Governor of Plymouth. Sir Thomas Smythe funded the Virginia colony for 30 years.

Sir Thomas Smythe was first Governor of the East India Company (1600), Treasurer of the Virginia Company (1620), Governor of Somers Island Company (1615). His son John Smythe married Isabel, daughter of Robert Rich, earl of Warwick (d. 1619).

Sir Thomas Smythe funded explorers, he was involved in sending Hudson (who was cast adrift after a mutiny and died) and William Baffin (1615) to the Arctic. Sir Thomas proposed to the East India Company that they send a special ambassador to the Mogul emperor to obtain a permanent footing for trade with India.

In 1589 Sir Walter Raleigh handed over control of the Roanoke colony to a company of London merchants which included Sir Thomas Smythe.

Due to Gorges' efforts, colonists were sent out in 1619 to found New Plymouth, New England and the province of Maine. ("Gorges of Plymouth Fort" R.A. Preston, "Sir Ferdinando Gorges and his Province of Maine" - J.F. Baxter quoted in "Expansion of Elizabethan England" - A.L. Rowse).

The permanent settlement of Virginia began with the Virginia Company's Expedition which founded Jamestown in 1607 promoted by Sir Thomas Smythe. Large areas called particular plantations were granted to syndicates in England to undertake their settlement."


Captain John Smith of Lincolnshire - associated with Pocahontas ... Captain John Smith of Lincolnshire

Smythe family linkages ...Children of Sir Thomas Smythe of Bidborough
1. Sir John Smythe (born 1580 only son - living 1619) (i.e. when Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick died) = Lady Isabelle Rich (m. 1618) (sister of the second Earl of Warwick) (w/o Richard Rogers).

2. Robert Smythe = Lady Dorothy Sidney (m. 1652) - see the Will extract of Sir Thomas Smythe via the "Non-such" floral link adjacent. His mother re-married (1626) after Sir Thomas's death in 1625. Her second husband was Robert Sidney, Earl of Leicester.

Source University of Pennsylvania - "A Celebration of Women Writers"

"Lady Sunderland was Lady Dorothy Sydney, the eldest daughter of the Earl of Leicester, and sister of Algernon Sydney. She was born in 1620, and at the age of nineteen married Henry Lord Spencer, who was killed in the battle of Newbury, September 20th, 1643. After her husband's death she retired to Brington, in Northamptonshire, until, wearied with the heavy load of housekeeping, she came to live with her father and mother at Penshurst. In the Earl of Leicester's journal, under date Thursday, July 8th, 1652, we find:– "My daughter Spencer was married to Sir Robert Smith at Penshurst, my wife being present with my daughters Strangford, and Lacy Pelham, Algernon and Robin Sydney, etc.; but I was in London." From this we may imagine the Earl did not greatly approve the match. The ubiquitous Evelyn was there, too, to see "ye marriage of my old fellow collegian Mr. Robt. Smith;" and the place being full of company, he probably enjoyed himself vastly. Mr. Smith was Robert Smith or Smythe, son of Sir John Smith, Knight. His mother was a daughter of Robert Rich the first Earl of Warwick. Lady Sunderland was the Sacharissa of Waller the poet. An interesting account of her life has been written in Sacharissa: Some account of Dorothy Sidney, Countess of Sunderland, her family and friends, 1617-1684, by Julia Cartwright, 1893.

Lady Banbury, from whom Mr. Smith escaped, was, I think, Isabella Blount, daughter of the Earl of Newport, who married Nicholas, third Earl of Banbury. She died in March, 1655."

13. Alyce Smythe = Sir William Harris of Crixes, Woodham, Essex

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