Thomas Smythe (customer)

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Thomas Smythe
Customer Smythe.jpg
Thomas 'Customer' Smythe
Born1522
Died7 June 1591
Buried Ashford, Kent
Spouse(s)Alice Judde
Issue
  • Andrew Smythe
  • John Smythe
  • Sir Thomas Smythe
  • Henry Smythe
  • Richard Smythe
  • Robert Smythe
  • Symon Smythe
  • Elizabeth Smythe
  • Mary Smythe
  • Joan Smythe
  • Katherine Smythe
  • Alice Smythe
  • Ursula Smythe
FatherJohn Smythe
MotherJoan Brouncker
Arms of Smythe of the City of London: Azure, a chevron between three lions passant guardant or. As seen on mural monument to his daughter Katherine Smythe in St Mary's Church, Nettlestead, Kent Smith OfCityOfLondon Arms.png
Arms of Smythe of the City of London: Azure, a chevron between three lions passant guardant or. As seen on mural monument to his daughter Katherine Smythe in St Mary's Church, Nettlestead, Kent

Thomas Smythe or Smith of London, Ashford and Westenhanger, Kent, [1] (1522–1591) [2] was the collector of customs duties (also known as a "customer") in London during the Tudor period, and a Member of Parliament for five English constituencies. His son and namesake, Sir Thomas Smythe (died 1625), was the first governor of the East India Company, treasurer of the Virginia Company, and an active supporter of the Virginia colony.

Ashford, Kent town in the borough of Ashford in Kent, England

Ashford is a town in the county of Kent, England. It lies on the River Great Stour at the south edge of the North Downs, about 61 miles (98 km) southeast of central London and 15.3 miles (24.6 km) northwest of Folkestone by road. In the 2011 census, it had a population of 74,204. The name comes from the Old English æscet, indicating a ford near a clump of ash trees. It has been a market town since the Middle Ages, and a regular market continues to be held.

Westenhanger village in United Kingdom

Westenhanger is a small village in south-east Kent, England. It is located around 3 miles (5 km) north-west of Hythe and just south of junction 11 of the M20 motorway. Stone Street, the Roman road from nearby Lympne to Canterbury, passes through the village. It is in the civil parish of Stanford.

Kent County of England

Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west. The county also shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, and with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone.

Contents

Family

Thomas Smythe, born in 1522, was the second son [3] of John Smythe (d. 1538) and Joan Brouncker, the daughter of Robert Brouncker of Melksham, Wiltshire. [2] John, a substantial yeoman and clothier of Corsham, Wiltshire, left Smythe a farm in the Hundred of Amesbury, Wiltshire, that provided an annual income of £20. After his father's death, Smythe moved to London to seek his fortune; Smythe was approximately 16 at the time. [3]

Melksham town on the River Avon in Wiltshire, England

Melksham is a town on the River Avon in Wiltshire, England, about 4 12 miles (7 km) northeast of Trowbridge and 6 mi (10 km) south of Chippenham. At the 2011 census, it had a population of 19,357, making it Wiltshire's fifth-largest town after Swindon, Salisbury, Chippenham and Trowbridge.

Yeoman Small farmer

A yeoman was a member of a social class in England and the United States. It is also a military term.

Corsham town in Wiltshire, England

Corsham is a historic market town and civil parish in west Wiltshire, England. It is at the south-western edge of the Cotswolds, just off the A4 national route, which was formerly the main turnpike road from London to Bristol, 28 miles (45 km) southwest of Swindon, 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Bristol, 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Bath and 4 miles (6 km) southwest of Chippenham. Corsham is close to the county borders with Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Career

Smythe joined his father's merchant guild, the Haberdashers, and then the Worshipful Company of Skinners. In 1550, Smythe developed a close connection with Sir Andrew Judde, Lord Mayor of London. About four years later, Smythe married Judde's daughter, Alice Judde. [3] [4]

Worshipful Company of Haberdashers

The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, one of the Great Twelve City Livery Companies, is an ancient merchant guild of London, England associated with the silk and velvet trades.

Worshipful Company of Skinners

The Worshipful Company of Skinners is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. It was originally an association of those engaged in the trade of skins and furs. It was granted Royal Charter in 1327.

Andrew Judde

Sir Andrew Judde, or Judd was a 16th-century English merchant and Lord Mayor of London.

During the reign of Mary I of England, Smythe purchased the Office of the Customs from one Mr. Cocker for £2,500. He was confirmed in his appointment at the Customs on the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558, and he continued in the office for 11 years. In 1567, he appears to have incurred her Majesty's severe displeasure, having been accused of issuing privy warrants leading to a £6,000 loss; his friend William Cecil, Lord Burghley, intervened and helped Smythe escape imprisonment. Cecil persuaded the Queen to be lenient, arguing that if Smythe was allowed more time he would repay this loss. [5]

Mary I of England Queen of England and Ireland

Mary I, also known as Mary Tudor, was the Queen of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death. She is best known for her aggressive attempt to reverse the English Reformation, which had begun during the reign of her father, Henry VIII. The executions that marked her pursuit of the restoration of Roman Catholicism in England and Ireland led to her denunciation as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant opponents.

Elizabeth I of England Queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until 24 March 1603

Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death on 24 March 1603. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor.

Elizabeth began to require larger and larger fines to renew Smythe's leases in order to replenish her exchequer. Over time, Smythe became unable to meet these demands and again fell under her Majesty's severe displeasure. His October 1589 counteroffer of a more modest payment was rejected. Due to his increasing infirmities and perhaps the stress of trying to meet the Queen's demands, Smythe died 18 months later, on 7 June 1591, leaving his widow, then 60 years old, 6 sons and 6 daughters. [6]

Smythe was a Member of Parliament (MP) for Tavistock October 1553, for Aylesbury April 1554, Rye November 1554, Winchelsea 1555, and Portsmouth 1563. [7]

Tavistock was the name of a parliamentary constituency in Devon between 1330 and 1974. Until 1885 it was a parliamentary borough, consisting solely of the town of Tavistock; it returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom until 1868, when its representation was reduced to one member. From 1885, the name was transferred to a single-member county constituency covering a much larger area.

Aylesbury (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Aylesbury is a constituency created in 1553 — created as a single-member seat in 1885 — represented in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom since 1992 by David Lidington, of the Conservative Party.

Rye was a parliamentary constituency centred on the town of Rye in East Sussex. It returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom until its representation was halved under the Reform Act 1832.

Marriage and issue

Alice Judde, c. 1579 or 1580 Cornelis Ketel Alice Judde.jpg
Alice Judde, c. 1579 or 1580
Mural monument to Katherine Smythe in Nettlestead Church, Kent, daughter of Thomas Smythe and wife of Sir John Scott of Nettlestead Memorial to Katherine Scott, St Marys church (geograph 3844814).jpg
Mural monument to Katherine Smythe in Nettlestead Church, Kent, daughter of Thomas Smythe and wife of Sir John Scott of Nettlestead

Thomas Smythe had 13 children with his wife, Alice Judde. They are as follows:

Notes

  1. "SMITH, Thomas II (1522-91), of London, Ashford and Westenhanger, Kent. - History of Parliament Online". www.historyofparliamentonline.org.
  2. 1 2 Dietz 2004.
  3. 1 2 3 Wadmore 1887 , p. 193.
  4. Hearn, p. 108–110
  5. Wadmore 1887 , p. 194.
  6. Wadmore 1887 , pp. 200–1.
  7. Members Constituencies Parliaments Surveys (8 October 2012). "SMITH, Thomas II (1522-91), of London, Ashford and Westenhanger, Kent". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  8. 1 2 Wadmore 1887 , pp. 193, 202.
  9. "SMYTHE, Sir John I (1557-1608), of Westenhanger, nr. Hythe, Kent". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Wadmore 1887 , p. 202.
  11. Morgan 2004.
  12. Wadmore 1887 , pp. 197, 202.
  13. "Sir William Harris, of Creeksea, Kt". Geni.com . 12 September 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2017.

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