Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 53.djvu/134

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to Cecil urging Essex's claims to the chancellorship of Oxford University (Murdin, pp. 649–50). He represented Cricklade in the parliament of 1588–9, Tamworth in that of 1593 (cf. Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. App. i. 330 a), and Aylesbury in that of 1597–8. On 30 Sept. 1597 he received a grant of the clerkship of parliament, in succession to Anthony Wyckes, alias Mason [see under Mason, Sir John]. He kept aloof from Essex's intrigues, and on 29 Nov. 1599 was sent by the lords to summon the earl before the privy council (Collins, Mem. of State, ii. 126, 129). On the accession of James I he received further promotion, perhaps owing to his friendship with Carleton, Edmondes, Winwood, and Bacon (Spedding, Letters and Life of Bacon, iv. 138–9). He was knighted at Greenwich on 20 May 1603, and in the following month was granted the Latin secretaryship for life, and the reversion to the secretaryship of the council of the north. On 8 June 1604 he obtained the manor of Wing, Rutland, and in 1608 he was made master of requests. On 20 May in the same year he received a pension of 100l. He died on 27 Nov. 1609 at his residence, afterwards Peterborough House, Parsons Green, Fulham, and was buried on 7 Dec. in the chancel of Fulham church, where a monument, with an inscription to his memory, is extant (Faulkner, Fulham, p. 73). He married Frances (1580–1663), daughter of William Brydges, fourth baron Chandos, and sister of Grey, fifth baron [q. v.] His only son, Robert, died a minor, and his only daughter, Margaret, married Thomas, second son of Robert Carey, first earl of Monmouth [q. v.] Smith's widow married Thomas Cecil, first earl of Exeter [q. v.], and survived till 1663. By his will, dated 12 Sept. 1609, Smith left 100l. to the poor of Abingdon, and a similar sum to the Bodleian Library.

[Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1580–1609 passim; Cal. Hatfield MSS. pts. iv.–vi.; Lansd. MS. 983, f. 145; Addit. MS. 22583, ff. 56, 57, 78; Official Return of Members of Parl.; Winwood's Memorials, ii. 35, 57, 198, 399; Collins's Sydney Papers, passim; Birch's Memoirs of Queen Elizabeth, i. 112, ii. 38–9; Spedding's Letters and Life of Bacon, i. 294, iii. 366, iv. 138–9; D'Ewes's Journals; Camden's Elizabeth, vol. iii.; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ii. 53; Brown's Genesis U.S.A. ii. 1018; Clark's Reg. Univ. Oxon. II. i. 250, ii. 134, iii. 44; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Faulkner's Fulham, pp. 73, 283–5; Collins's Peerage, iii. 133.]

A. F. P.


SMITH or SMYTHE, Sir THOMAS (1558?–1625), merchant, governor of the East India Company, born about 1558, was second surviving son of Thomas Smythe of Ostenbanger (now Westenhanger) in Kent, by his wife Alice, daughter of Sir Andrew Judd. His grandfather, John Smythe of Corsham, Wiltshire, is described as yeoman, haberdasher, and clothier. His father carried on the business of a haberdasher in the city of London, and was ‘customer’ of the port of London. He purchased Ostenhanger of Sir Thomas Sackville and much other property from Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester; he died on 7 June 1591, and was buried at Ashford, where there is a beautiful monument to his memory (engraved in Gent. Mag. 1835, i. 257). His elder son, Sir John Smythe or Smith (1556?–1608) of Ostenhanger, was high sheriff of Kent in 1600, and was father of Sir Thomas Smythe, first viscount Strangford [see under Smythe, Percy Clinton Sidney, sixth Viscount Strangford].

Thomas, one of thirteen children, was brought up to his father's business. In 1580 he was admitted to the freedom of the Haberdashers' Company and also of the Skinners'. He rapidly rose to wealth and distinction. When the East India Company was formed in October 1600, he was elected the first governor, and was so appointed by the charter dated 31 Dec., though at this time he held the office for only four months (Stevens, Court Records of the East India Company, 1599–1603). In 1599 he was chosen one of the sheriffs of London. In February 1600–1 he was believed to be a supporter of the Earl of Essex [see Devereux, Robert, second Earl of Essex], who on 8 Feb. went to his house in Gracechurch Street. Smythe went out to him, laid his hand on his horse's bridle, and advised him to yield himself to the lord mayor. As Essex refused to do this and insisted on coming into the house, Smythe made his escape by the back door and went to confer with the lord mayor. Afterwards he was accused of complicity with the earl's rebellion, was examined before the council, was discharged from his office of sheriff, and was committed to the Tower (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1601–3, 13, 18, 24 Feb.). His imprisonment was for but a short time; and on 13 May 1603, on the accession of James I, he was knighted. In 1604 he was appointed one of the receivers for the Duchy of Cornwall (ib. 11 April), and, in June, to be special ambassador to the tsar of Russia. His grandfather, Sir Andrew Judd, was one of the founders of the Muscovy Company, and he himself would seem to have been largely interested in the Muscovy trade. Sailing from Gravesend on 13 June, he, with his party, arrived at Archangel on 22 July, and was conducted by way of Kholmogori and Vologhda [cf. Jenkinson,