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Henry Smythe esq (abt. 1562 - abt. 1607)

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Henry Smythe esq
Born about in Londonmap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died about in Amesbury, Wiltshiremap [uncertain]
Profile last modified | Created 31 Mar 2011
This page has been accessed 1,000 times.

Categories: Corsham, Wiltshire | Amesbury, Wiltshire.



Henry was the third surviving son of Thomas (Customer) Smythe and Alice Judde. In the 1963 edition of the Visitation of London in 1568[1] Henry was recorded as being 4 years and 6 months old at the time of the visitation, indicating he was born around 1563.

The place of birth of Henry Smythe is unknown. Unlike 11 of his twelve siblings, his baptism was not recorded in the parish register of All Hallows, Lombard Street, London.

Henry Smythe married Elizabeth Owen, daughter of Thomas Owen, Serjeant at Law of London and Condover, Shropshire, probably around 1591.

Henry's father, Thomas (Customer) Smythe, constructed the central part of what is now known as Corsham Court, Wiltshire around 1582 and, on his death, Corsham Court appears to have passed to Henry [2].

In the will of his father, the will made on 22 May 1591 and proved on 29 October 1591[3] Henry was bequeathed £100. His father also bequeathed £50 each to up to three children which Henry may have in the future.

Henry was a beneficiary of the will of his mother, Alice, the will made on 10 Jul 1592[4]. He and his wife (she was not named) were bequeathed "one Table cloth of damaske of the storye of the Prodigall Child conteyninge syx yards, one dozen of napkins, two towells and a Cupbord clothe of the same worke and one hundred Ounces of White plate". In a Codicil of 22 May 1593 there was a further bequest of £100 to Henry and £40 pounds to his wife. As the very detailed will of Alice (Judde) Smythe did not refer to any issue of Henry and his wife it is probable that they had no living children at the time the will was made in July 1592.

On 4 Oct 1594 Sir Charles and Sir Henry Danvers, with 17 or 18 followers, burst in on a group of j.p.s (Justices of the peace) gathered at John Chamberlayne’s house at Corsham and shot Henry Long dead where he sat at dinner with his brother Sir Walter, his brother-in-law Thomas Snell, Anthony Mildmay and Henry Smyth. The Danvers brothers fled the country, and were not to be promised a pardon until four years later, and that conditionally on paying Sir Walter £1,500[5] [6].

Henry was noted in the will of his brother, Roberte Smythe, gentleman of London, the will made on 01 Dec 1600 and proved on 28 Jan 1600/1601[7].

In 1602 Henry Smythe sold Corsham Court to Sir Edward Hungerford[8]. Henry went to live in a smaller house called Southerwicks in Corsham[2]. Following his death, Henry's property of West Park in Corsham, passed to his son, Thomas Smythe[2].

The date of death of Henry is unknown but the following documents indicate that it was between 02 Dec 1607 and 16 Mar 1607/1608.

In the will of his brother Sir John Smythe[9], the will made on 16 Mar 1607/1608 and proved in 1609, Henry was noted as being of Amesbury, Wiltshire and was deceased. Sir John Smythe bequeathed "unto my brother Henry Smyth deceased his poore children fortie poundes a peece to each of them".

The following is recorded in the Calendar of Antrobus Deeds concerning lands in Amesbury owned by the Earl of Hertford[10]: On 28 Feb 1606/1607 [3 James I] Henry Smyth gained a Lease of the Priory Farme of Amesbury, St Johns Faire and an acre of wood, the Lease indented for the life in survivorship of Elizabeth the lessee’s wife and of Thomas Smyth and Henry Smyth the younger, two of his sons. This lease was surrendered by Henry on 02 Dec 1607. On 03 Apr 1608, the brothers of Henry, Sir Thomas Smythe and Sir Richard Smythe, surrendered a lease on The George, Amesbury, the Farm Amesbury Erle and other parcels of land, all premises which the Earl by indenture dated 2 Dec 4 Jas I leased to "Henry Smith of Amrosbury esq", for the life in survivorship of himself, Elizabeth his wife, and Thomas Smith gentleman their son.

An entry in the Manor Court records of Corsham for 02 Apr 1608 refers to Elizabeth, the widow relict of Henry[11]. His wife remarried on 24 Feb 1608/1609.

The place of burial of Henry is unknown. It was not recorded at Corsham and hence Amesbury would seem to be the most likely place. However, only fragments of the burial records for Amesbury exist for the relevant time period and Henry is not recorded in those that remain. No will for Henry has been identified.


Henry Smythe was recorded in the Smythe pedigree taken during the visitation of Kent in 1619[12].

Henry Smythe was also recorded in the Smyth pedigree taken during the visitation of London (the information provided by his eldest son, Thomas). Henry was noted as being the father of three sons[13].

NB There is a family tree for Smythe in Stemmata Chicheleana (1765). However, Figure 2 appears to be in error. It is described as the family tree of Henry Smythe, son of Thomas (Customer) Smythe, but appears to mix and confuse the family tree of Henry Smythe, brother of Thomas (Customer) Smythe and Henry, son of the Customer.


  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. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Brakspear H (1927) Corsham. Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine Vol 43 p 511-539.
  3. Will of Thomas Smythe of London. 29 Oct 1591. PROB 11/78/226. National Archives.
  4. Will of Alice Smythe, Widow of London. 11 May 1598. PROB 11/91/377. National Archives.
  5. Hasler P W (1981) Sir Walter Long. The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603.
  6. Corsham Civic Society, 2010.
  7. Will of Robert Smithe, Gentleman of London. 1601. PROB 11/97/37. National Archives.
  8. Barrett W A (1922) [Steward of the Manor of Corsham Court] Notes upon the History of the Manor of Corsham, Wilts. Copied by permission of Lord Methuen 1958. Pamphlet held at Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre.
  9. Will of Sir John Smyth of Ashford Kent. 25 May 1609. PROB 11/113/462. National Archives.
  10. Calendar of Antrobus Deeds Before 1625. Pugh R B (ed). 1947. Wiltshire Records Society Vol. III.
  11. Corsham Manor Court. Ref: 1742/8172. Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre.
  12. The Visitation of Kent. Taken in the Years 1619-1621. The Publications of the Harleian Society Vol XLII. Edited by Robert Hovenden 1898.
  13. Visitation of London 1633, 1634 and 1635. Publications of the Harleian Society. Edited by Joseph Jackson Howard 1883.

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

Secondary Re-Sources

From Essex England to the Surry Southern USA by: Robert E. Harris

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No known carriers of Henry's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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On 24 Nov 2015 at 17:54 GMT Matthew Hutson wrote:

Smythe-621 and Smythe-90 appear to represent the same person because: Same birthplace, same father, mother and wife and daughter have same name.

Henry is 19 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 27 degrees from Carol Keeling, 10 degrees from George Washington and 14 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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