Elizabeth (Smythe) Fanshawe

Elizabeth (Smythe) Fanshawe (1572 - 1631)

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Lady Elizabeth Fanshawe formerly Smythe
Born in Londonmap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married in St Gabriel Fenchurch, City of Londonmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Ware, Hertfordshiremap
Profile last modified | Created 31 Mar 2011 | Last significant change: 3 Sep 2018
09:42: Steve Hunt edited the Biography for Elizabeth (Smythe) Fanshawe. [Thank Steve for this]
This page has been accessed 772 times.

Categories: All Hallows Lombard Street, City of London | Ware, Hertfordshire | St Gabriel Fenchurch, City of London.



Elizabeth was not recorded in the family pedigree in the Visitation of London in 1568[1] (unlike her older siblings) which indicates she was born after May 1568.

She was baptised Elizabeth Smithe on 10 Feb 1572/1573 at All Hallows, Lombard Street, London[2].

The portrait of Elizabeth Smythe (shown in this profile) was sold at auction in 2013. The portrait is believed to date from 1579 when a series of portraits of family members were painted by Ketel[3]. On the painting is written aetatis 7 (meaning age 7 or in the 7th year), suggesting that she was born 1571-1572.

In the will of her father, Thomas (Customer) Smythe, the will made on 22 May 1591 and proved on 29 October 1591[4] Elizabeth was bequeathed £1500.

Elizabeth was also a beneficiary of the will of her mother, Dame Alice, the will made on 10 Jul 1592[5].

Mistress Elizabeth Smyth married Henry Fanshawe, gentleman, by Licence on 21 Jul 1595 at St Gabriel Fenchurch, City of London[6].

Elizabeth was recorded in the Smythe pedigree taken during the Visitation of Kent in 1619 in which she was described as the wife of Henry Fanshawe[7].

In the memoirs of her daughter in law, Lady Ann Fanshawe[8] it was stated that [Lady Elizabeth Fanshawe] "being left a widow at thirty-nine years of age, handsome, with a full fortune, all her children provided for, kept herself a widow, and out of her jointure and revenue purchased six hundred pounds a year for the younger children of her eldest son ; besides, she added five hundred pounds apiece to the portions of her younger children".

"Elizabeth Ffanshaw the wife of the right worshipfull Sir Henry" was buried on 03 Jun 1631 at Ware, Hertfordshire[9].


Elizabeth was noted in the following wills made by her brothers and sisters:

Mary (Smythe) Davy: Her will made on 16 Oct 1620 and proved on 02 Jul 1624[10].

Ursula (Smythe) Butler: Her will made in 1619 (no date given) and proved on 11 Jun 1621[11].

Sir Thomas Smythe: His will made on 30 January 1621/1622 and proved 12 October 1625[12].

Sir Richard Smythe: His will made on 12 Oct 1627 and proved on 01 Aug 1628[13].

Robert Smythe: His will made on 01 Dec 1600 and proved on 28 Jan 1600/1601[14].

Summary of the Will of Elizabeth Fanshawe 1631

In her will made on 20 Feb 1629 and proved on 02 Jun 1631 she was recorded as Elizabeth Fanshawe widow and late wife of “Sir Henrie Fanshawe knight deceased sometimes Remembrancer to our late Soveraigne Lord Kinge James of his highnes Court of Exchequer”[15]. Her will was to be interred in the parish church of Ware, Hertfordshire, near to her late husband.

In the will was noted a deed of 20 May 1629 in which Elizabeth had conveyed her lease of the Manor of Dengy alias Dengy Hall in Dengy St Lawrence and Bradwell, Essex, in trust to her son in law Sir Capell Bedle, her nephew Sir Arthur Harris/Herris and her brother in law William Fanshawe esq. The legacies which she then bequeathed in her will were to largely come from the future rents and profits from the Manor of Dengy Hall.

She made significant bequests to:

Her sons John Fanshawe, Simon Fanshawe and Richard Fanshawe;

Her daughters Elizabeth Fanshawe and Joane Fanshawe;

Her son in law William Newce esq. for the use of her grandchildren: Thomas Newce, William Newce, Henry Newce and Clement Newce; and

Anne Fanshawe the only daughter of her son Sir Thomas Fanshawe Knight of the Bath.

She also made bequests to:

Sir Capell Bedle Bt;

Her daughter the Lady Bedle;

her grandchild John Bedle, son of Sir Capell Bedle Bt;

her daughter Mary Newce;

her son in law William Newce esq.;

her daughter in law the Lady Fanshawe;

a number of named servants;

the poor of the parish of Ware, Hertfordshire; and

the poor of the parish of Christ Church in London.

She was particular about bequeathing her household goods, and of note was a suite of damask linen of the story of Judith and Holofernes which she willed to her son John Fanshawe. A linen of the same story had been willed by Elizabeth’s mother, Alice, to Elizabeth’s sister Joan.

She referred to her kinsman Richard Taylor esq. for his pains in drawing up her will.

She stated that after the legacies had been paid any residue from the lease of Dengy Hall should be for the use of her son Sir Thomas Fanshawe for his life, and after his death for the benefit of his younger son or sons.

Similarly, any residue from her goods and chattels were willed to her son Sir Thomas Fanshawe.

She appointed as her Executors her son Sir Thomas Fanshawe and her son in law Sir Capell Bedle Bt.


  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, City of London. Register. Accessed via Ancestry.
  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. Will of Alice Smythe, Widow of London. 11 May 1598. PROB 11/91/377. National Archives.
  6. St Gabriel Fenchurch, City of London. Register. Accessed via Ancestry.
  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. Memoirs of Lady Ann Fanshawe. First published by Colburne and Bentley, London 1830. John Lane Edition, 1907.
  9. Ware, Hertfordshire. Parish Register. Accessed via findmypast.
  10. Will of Mary Davy, Widow. 02 July 1624. PROB 11/144/20. National Archives.
  11. Will of Ursula Boteler, Widow of Biddenham, Bedfordshire. 11 Jun 1621. PROB 11/137/525. National Archives.
  12. Will of Sir Thomas Smithe of London (1625). PROB 11/147/84. The National Archives.
  13. Will of Sir Richard Smith of Leeds Castle, Kent. 01 August 1628. PROB 11/154/125. National Archives.
  14. Will of Robert Smithe, Gentleman of London. 1601. PROB 11/97/37. National Archives.
  15. Will of Elizabeth Fanshawe of Ware, Hertfordshire. 02 Jun 1631. PROB 11: Will Registers. 1624-1643. Piece 160: St. John, Quire Numbers 69-138(1631). Accessed via Ancestry.

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Images: 1
Elizabeth Smythe age 7
Elizabeth Smythe age 7


Elizabeth is 34 degrees from Albert Einstein, 22 degrees from Steven Harris and 12 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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