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Ursula (Smythe) Butler (1555 - 1621)

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Ursula Butler formerly Smythe aka Harding Boteler
Born in Londonmap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married in All Hallows, Lombard Street, City of Londonmap
Wife of — married in St Gabriel Fenchurch, City of Londonmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Biddenham, Bedfordshire, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 31 Mar 2011
This page has been accessed 1,079 times.

Categories: Biddenham, Bedfordshire | All Hallows Lombard Street, City of London | St Gabriel Fenchurch, City of London.


She was baptised Ursula Smith on 27 May 1555 at All Hallows, Lombard Street, London[1].

Ursula Smythe was recorded in the visitation of London in 1568 as the daughter of Thomas Smythe and Alice (Judde) Smythe[2].

In the visitation of Kent in 1619 it was recorded that she married twice, firstly to Simon Harding and secondly to William Butler[3].

The marriage to Symon Harding took place on 22 Jan 1570/1571 at All Hallows, Lombard Street, London[4].

A portrait of Ursula Smythe, painted by Ketel in 1579, is believed to exist in a private collection[5].

Simon Harding died around 1581, Ursula being the principal beneficiary of his will[6]. There is no known issue from the marriage with Simon Harding.

Her marriage to William Butler aka Boteler took place on 21 Jan 1584/1585 at St Gabriel Fenchurch, London[7].

In the will of her father, the will made on 22 May 1591 and proved on 29 October 1591[8] she was noted as the wife of William Butler esq. Her father bequeathed £250 to the children (not named) of Ursula and William, the sum to be equally divided between them.

Ursula was a beneficiary of the will of her mother Alice (Judde) Smythe, the will made on 10 Jul 1592[9]. Ursula was recorded as the wife of William Butler and they had four children: Thomas, Oliver, Alice and Catherine.

In the visitation of Bedfordshire in 1634[10] Ursula was noted as the wife of William Boteler and the mother of five children, Thomas and Alice (twins), Katherin, Elizabeth and Oliver.

In the will of her brother, Sir Thomas Smythe, made on 30 January 1621/1622 and proved 12 October 1625, it was recorded that Ursula was deceased[11]. The will mentioned Sir Thomas Butler and Oliver Butler, the sons of Ursula.

Elizabeth was buried on 03 Jun 1621 at Biddenham, Bedfordshire[12], the same date as given for her date of death (see below).

Ursula is recorded on a memorial in the parish church of Biddenham, Bedfordshire:

"In memory of William Boteler Esq., sonne and heire of William Boteler Esq., sonne and heire of Sir William Boteler Knight, who amongst other his charitable deeds to this towne did founde ye North Ile of this church and in memory of Ursula wife of ye said William one of ye daughters of Thomas Smith, Esq., dureinge his life time sole famour is this monument erected through the pious care and dutiful respect of Richard Taylor of ye town of Bedford, Esq., their sonne-in-lawe Oliver Boteler their second sonne Executors (and in performance) of ye last will and testament of ye said Ursular. The said William Boteler and Ursular havinge virtuously bountifully and religiously livd many years departed this life ye said William ye 17 day of February in the year of Our Lord 1601 and ye said Ursula ye 3 June in ye year of grace 1621 and both lye buried here. They had between them two sonnes and three daughters Sir Thomas Boteler their eldest sonne and heire and ye said Oliver Boteler Alice deceased Katherine married to John Kinnersly of Warden End in ye county of Warwick Esq., and Elizabeth now wife of ye said Richard Taylor".

Summary of the Will of Ursula Boteler

In her will made in 1619 (no date given) and proved on 11 Jun 1621[13] she was recorded as “Ursuli Boteler the widdowe and late wife of William Boteler late of Biddenham in the Countie of Beddfford”. She requested that she be buried in the Chancel of the parish church of Biddenham as near to the grave of her daughter Osborne [Alice (Butler) Osborne] as convenient.

She made small bequests to:

Her brothers, Sir Thomas Smith and Sir Richard Smith;

Her sisters Mary Davy, Joan Fanshawe and Lady Elizabeth Fanshawe; and

Her niece and goddaughter, Lady Alice Hatton, the widow of Sir Christopher Hatton.

Out of the debt of one thousand one hundred and fifty pounds owed to her by her eldest son, Sir Thomas Boteler, she bequeathed to:

Her son, Sir Thomas Boteler, two hundred pounds, his wife, twenty pounds, and their eldest son William Boteler, thirty pounds. To their other children: Thomas, Martha, Oliver, Francis, and an unborn child, to each of them twenty pounds;

Her son Oliver, three hundred pounds;

William Osborne and Anne Osborne, children of Alice Osborne, ten pounds each;

Her son John Kynersley and his wife, her daughter Catherin, one hundred pounds, to Ursula their daughter and her Goddaughter twenty pounds and to their other two children John and Martha ten pounds each;

Her son Richard Taylor and his wife, her daughter Elizabeth, one hundred pounds, to their eldest daughter her Goddaughter twenty pounds and to their other children ten pounds each;

Her cousin William Newton twenty pounds, to his wife five pounds, to their eldest son William Newton and to their eldest daughter her Goddaughter five pounds each;

Her sister Newton, her sister Yarrow and her cousin Quittoe and her two daughters Ursula and Cicely, to each of them forty shillings.

Small bequests were made to a number of servants.

She also referred to a loan of one hundred pounds made to her son Taylor which should be retained for three years at the rate of eight pounds in the hundred. When the sum was to be paid back it should be made up to one hundred and twenty five pounds and divided as follows: £25 to her grandson Edward Osborne when he reached 21 years of age; and £100 to her granddaughter and goddaughter Ursula Osborne for her better preferment in marriage.

In a Schedule annexed to the will she made small bequests to her: sister Farrer; nephew Sir John Davy; nephew and Godson Sir Arthur Harris; nephew Master Thomas Fanshawe of the Crown Office; nephew William Fanshaw one of the Auditors of the Duchy; nephew Thomas Fanshawe the King’s Remembrancer; friend Mr Justine Winche and his lady; cousin Mary Onslow; cousin Onslow Winche and his sister Scott.

Her son in law Richard Taylor and her son Oliver Boteler were appointed executors.


  1. All Hallows, Lombard Street. Parish Register.
  2. 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.
  3. The Visitation of Kent. Taken in the Years 1619-1621. The Publications of the Harleian Society Vol XLII. Edited by Robert Hovenden 1898.
  4. All Hallows, Lombard Street. Parish Register.
  5. Hearn K (1995) Dynasties : painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530-1630. Tate Publishing.
  6. Will of Simon Hardinge or Harding, Salter of London. 05 Jan 1582. PROB 11/64/5. National Archives.
  7. St Gabriel Fenchurch. Parish Register.
  8. Will of Thomas Smythe of London. 29 Oct 1591. PROB 11/78/226. National Archives.
  9. Will of Alice Smythe, Widow of London. 11 May 1598. PROB 11/91/377. National Archives.
  10. The Visitations of Bedfordshire, AD 1566, 1582 and 1634. Blaydes F A (Ed). 1884. Publications of the Harleian Society. Vol XXI.
  11. Will of Sir Thomas Smithe of London (1625). PROB 11/147/84. The National Archives.
  12. Blaydes F A (1890) Genealogia Bedfordiensis: being a collection of evidences relating chiefly to the landed gentry of Bedfordshire, AD 1538-1700.
  13. Will of Ursula Boteler, Widow of Biddenham, Bedfordshire. 11 Jun 1621. PROB 11/137/525. National Archives.

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Ursula is 24 degrees from Rosa Parks, 21 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 13 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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