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Robert Smythe gent (1567 - abt. 1600)

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Robert Smythe gent
Born in Londonmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died about in Londonmap
Profile last modified | Created 31 Mar 2011
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Categories: All Hallows Lombard Street, City of London | Highgate, Middlesex | Canterbury, Kent.


In the 1963 edition of the Visitation of London in 1568 [1] Robert was recorded as the son of Thomas Smythe and Alice Judde and was 7 months old at the time of the visitation, indicating he was born in 1567.

His probable baptism was that of Robert Smith on 07 Oct 1567 at All Hallows, Lombard Street, London[2].

A portrait of Robert Smythe as a young man is believed to be by Ketel, painted in 1579[3].

Robert was not recorded in the will of his father, Thomas Smythe esq., the will made on 22 May 1591 and proved on 29 October 1591[4]. However, Robert did inherit the Manor of Barton alias Longport (Canterbury, Kent) from his father[5].

Robert was a beneficiary and co-executor of the will of his mother, Alice (Judde) Smythe, the will made on 10 Jul 1592, with a Codicil of 22 May 1593, and proved 11 May 1598[6].

Robert is missing from the Smythe pedigree recorded in the visitation of Kent in 1619[7] but was recorded in the Smythe pedigree taken during the visitation of London 1633-1635[8].

In the Memoirs of Lady Fanshawe[9] he was described as Robert Smythe of Highgate, London.

Stocker[10] recorded that Robert Smythe married Ann Lynford, daughter of William Lynford.

A son, John, was baptised in 1597 at All Hallows, Bread St., London, the parish of his wife, Ann Lynford. The entry included the note "John ... son of Mr Robart Smythe who married the daughter of Mr William Lymford of this parish"[11].

In the will of his brother, Sir John Smythe[12] (will made on 16 Mar 1607/1608 and proved in 1609) he was noted as "Robert Smyth of Langpoorte neere Canterbury deceased".

In the will of his brother, Sir Thomas Smythe[13] (will made Jan 1621/1622 and proved 1625), Robert was noted as being deceased.

The exact date and place of death of Robert is unknown, but it was in either Dec 1600 or Jan 1600/1601 (see his will below) and most likely in London.

Summary of the Will of Robert Smythe

In his will made on 01 Dec 1600 and proved on 28 Jan 1600/1601[14] he was recorded as Roberte Smithe of London, gentleman.

He willed that his wife, Anne, who had inherited certain coppiehold lands in Middlesex (part in possession and part in reversion after the decease of her mother) should surrender these to his youngest son, Thomas Smithe.

Within one month of the coppiehold lands being surrendered, along with the lease of his house in Phillippe Lane within the City of London in which the Testator was then dwelling, Anne would receive £300 . His younger son, Thomas Smithe, was also willed £300, and his portions were to be managed on his behalf by the executors of the Testator until Thomas was 21 years of age.

The residue of his estate he bequeathed to his eldest son, John Smithe. The Testator's lands, tenements and hereditaments within the County of Kent or elsewhere within the Realm of England were to be managed by his executors until his son, John, was 21 years of age. The will mentioned the wardship of his eldest son but did not record who had been appointed.

He made bequests to: his mother in law; each of his brothers John Smithe, Thomas Smithe, Richard Smithe and Henry Smithe; each of his sisters Davie, Butler, Jone Fanshawe, 'My Ladye' Scott, Harrys and Elizabeth Fanshawe; his cousin Elizabeth daughter to his brother John Smithe being his goddaughter; Mr Napper the Apothecary; Lettis; and Mr Roberte Cranmer.

He also bequeathed all his Italian and French books to Sir John Scott; all his maps and map books to his brother John Smithe esq; his sword and twenty marks to his brother Richard Smithe esq to buy him a gelding; and lastly to his son Thomas Smithe the sum of ten pounds yearly during his mother's life (at the discretion of his executors).

He appointed as his executors his brother in law Sir John Scott, his brother John Smithe esq., and brother Richard Smith esq.


  1. Visitation of London, 1568: With Additional Pedigrees, 1569-90, the Arms of the City Companies, and a London Subsidy Roll, 1589. Publications of the Harleian Society. Vols 109-110. Edited by Stanford H and Rawlins SW. 1963.
  2. All Hallows, Lombard Street. Parish Register.
  3. Hearn K (1995) Dynasties : painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530-1630. Tate Publishing.
  4. Will of Thomas Smythe of London. 29 Oct 1591. PROB 11/78/226. National Archives.
  5. Lowe LLS (1950) Mr Customer Smythe. B Litt Diss. Oxford University. Ref: D70-72.
  6. Will of Alice Smythe, Widow of London. 11 May 1598. PROB 11/91/377. National Archives.
  7. The Visitation of Kent. Taken in the Years 1619-1621. The Publications of the Harleian Society Vol XLII. Edited by Robert Hovenden 1898.
  8. Visitation of London 1633, 1634 and 1635. Publications of the Harleian Society. Edited by Joseph Jackson Howard 1883.
  9. Memoirs of Lady Fanshawe. By Lady Fanshaw. Published by Colburne and Bentley, London 1830.
  10. Stocker J J (1893) Pedigrees of Smythes of Ostenhangar; Kent; of Smythes of Bidborough and Sutton-at-Hone; and of the Smythes of Viscount Strangford, of Dromore, Ireland. Archæologia Cantiana, being Transactions of the Kent Archæological Society, vol. XX, 1pp 76-81.
  11. The Registers of All Hallows, Bread Street, and of St John the Evangelist, Friday Street, London. Bannerman W B (Ed.). Publications of the Harleian Society, Registers - Vol XLIII, 1913.
  12. Will of Sir John Smyth of Ashford Kent. 25 May 1609. PROB 11/113/462. National Archives.
  13. Will of Sir Thomas Smithe of London. 1625. PROB 11/147/84. National Archives.
  14. Will of Robert Smithe, Gentleman of London. 1601. PROB 11/97/37. National Archives.

Buckler, Benjamin. Stemmata Chicheleana (Oxford Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1765).

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