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Ancestors of Albert Edward LATAS


15060. Sir Thomas SMYTHE

Note: THOMAS SMYTHE, OF WESTENHANGER, COMMONLY CALLED CUSTOMER SMYTHE. by J.F. Wadmore, A.R.I.B.A. Published in Archologia Cantiana, being Transactions of the Kent Archological Society, vol. XVII, 1887, pp 193-208. The family of Smithe,1 or Smythe, from which sprang the Lords Strangford, was settled at Corsham in Wilts in the time of Henry VIII.2 John Smythe, a substantial yeoman and clothier, who married a daughter of Thomas Brounker,3 died at Corsham in 1538, leaving his wife a life interest in his mill, with the reversion of it to his son John, as well as his other property. John Smythe's eldest son, named after his father, married a daughter of John Lygon of Richard Castle, Herefordshire, to whom a grant of arms was accorded.4 To Thomas, his younger son, born in 1522, he left a farm in the Hundred of Amesbury, Wilts, of the value of D20 per annum. Thomas, who must have been about sixteen years of age at the time of his father's death, came up to London with the intention of seeking his fortune. Before commencing business on his own account, which he was able to do after disposing of his landed property, he took up his freedom in his father's guild, the Haberdashers, and subsequently in that of the Skinners5 also, which may account for his intimate connection with Sir Andrew Judde. In the reign of Queen Mary Mr. Thomas Smythe succeeded in the office of the Customs one Mr. Cocker,6 to whom he paid a sum of D2500 as a fine. Shortly afterwards he married his first and only wife Alice, daughter of Sir Andrew Judde. This event must have taken place somewhere about 1554, as his second son, John, who succeeded himthe first-born, Andrew, having died in infancywas born in 1556. Sir Andrew, according to Hasted, settled upon Smythe the manor of Ashford,7 which he had only recently purchased of Sir Anthony Aucher. At the time of this marriage Mr. Thomas Smythe must hare been about thirty-three years of age, and his wife about twenty-four. Mr. Smythe was confirmed in his appointment at the Customs on the accession of Queen Elizabeth, and continued in the office for a period of eleven years. In 1567 he appears to have incurred her Majesty's severe displeasure,8 having been accused of issuing privy warrants or cockets whereby a loss of revenue was sustained, to the extent of some D6000; and it was only through the kind intervention of his friend Cecil that he escaped imprisonment. Cecil persuaded her Majesty to be lenient, as if time were allowed he would doubtless pay up, but if he were imprisoned her Majesty would be the loser. Previous to the commencement of her Majesty's reign, we learn from Stow9 that the Customs of the Port of .London wore frequently evaded. To remedy these abuses, an Act was passed in the 1st of Elizabeth, and a Royal Commission appointed, which fixed landing-places for the reception of all kinds of goods and merchandise. Fifteen principal quays were named for the port of London. Billingsgate was set apart for fish, corn, salt, and stores; The Three Cranes in the Vintry, for wines and oils; Johnson's and Butler's Wharves, for pitch, tar, iron, deals, eels, hemp, cloths, skins, etc. Newcastle coals might be shipped at any place in the port of London, in the presence of a searcher; and the same privilege was granted to goods entered in the Custom House books, the Bridge House was for corn and provisions, and the Guildhalda Teutonica for foreign merchants; all other places were ordered to be closed. Among the officers appointed by the commissioners was Mr. Thomas Smythe to the office of collector for customs and subsidies inwards; while those outwards were placed in the hands of Mr. Robinson; and Mr. Chapman was appointed controller. Besides these, there were two searchers and sixteen waiters, with other petty officers, and one packer who acted for the City of London. This new arrangement did not work satisfactorily,10 so Mr. Henry Smith within a short time presented a memorial to her Majesty,

15552. John FLEMING

Title: 2nd Lord Chamberlain

15554. John GRAHAM

3rd Earl of Montrose

15556. Lord William LIVINGSTON

BIOGRAPHY: 6th Lord of Callendar

15558. Earl Andrew HAY

BIOGRAPHY: Earl of Errol