William Smythe, Elder

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William Smythe, Elder

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Hatfield, West Riding, Yorkshire, England
Death: Died in West Riding, Yorkshire, England
Place of Burial: West Riding, Yorkshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Smythe and Unknown Smythe
Husband of Catherine Smythe and Agnes Smythe
Father of Thomas Smythe; Jennet Smythe; John Smythe, of Hull; Agnes Smythe; Cuthbert Smythe and 3 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Smythe, Elder

William Smythe of Hatfield (1505 - 1560)

Disputed Parents

There is a internet fantasy claiming that William Smythe of Hatfield, Yorkshire, England was the son of Richard Smythe and wife Alice. There is no known evidence to support this supposition. According to the two journal articles cited below claimed to be the current state of research on this topic by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants as of 2014[1] his parents are unknown.[2][3]

Disputed Wives

According to the two journal articles cited below claimed to be the current state of research on this topic by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants as of 2014[1] William Smythe of Hatfield, Yorkshire, England had one known wife: Catherine and he had one unknown wife. There is no evidence that he had a wife named Agnes Simkinson, Joan Allen or Cynthia Rawls.[2][3]

Married

  1. Say 1524 to Catherine (Unknown) b ca 1504 died before 1533[3]
  2. Say 1533 to an Unknown Second Wife[3]

The second unknown wife is the ancestor of the Mayflower passenger.

Biography

"Elder" William Smythe was born 1494 in Hatfield, West Riding, Yorkshire, England and died between 25 January 1559 and 2 May 1560 in Hatfield, West Riding, Yorkshire, England. He was was buried at the Church of our Lady of Hatfield, England.[3]

Parents: Unknown[3] Married

  1. Say 1524 to Catherine (Unknown) b ca 1504 died before[3] 1533
  2. Say 1533 to an Unknown Second Wife[3]

Children of Catherine Unknown[3]

  1. Thomas Smythe1 b. say 1525
  2. Jennet Smythe2 b. say 1527
  3. John Smythe b. say 1529, d. after 8 Aug 1592
  4. Agnes Smythe b. say 1531, d. after 8 Aug 1592

Children of Second Unknown Wife[3]

  1. Cuthbert Smythe1 b. say 1534, d. before 2 Oct 1551
  2. Mary Smythe+3 b. say 1536, d. after 1566
  3. Margaret Smythe b. say 1538, d. after 8 Aug 1592
  4. Sir Francis Smythe b. say 1540?, d. 1604?
  5. Richard Smythe b. say 1542, d. before 8 Aug 1592

According to the 2014 Edition of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants "Silver Book:[1]

Merrick, Barbara Lambert, and E. Virginia Hunt. William Brewster of the Mayflower: and his descendants for four generations. (Plymouth, MA: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 2014), p 1-2, 2014. The GSMD "Silver Book"[1]

This book calls these two articles ***the current state of research on this topic:***

  1. John G Hunt, "New Light on the Brewsters of Scrooby and New England" in The American Genealogist (Demorest, Habersham, Georgia, United States: D.L. Jacobus, 1965) Vol 41 p 1-5 link[2]
  2. John G Hunt "The Mother of Elder William Brewster of the Mayflower" in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1970) Volume 124 p 250-254 link[3]

His marriage to Catherine is recorded in Joseph Hunter’s South Yorkshire: The History and Topography of the Deanery of Doncaster (London, 1828-1831), vol. 1, p. 150:

Orate pro animabus Willielmi Smith et Catherinae et Agnetis uxorum ejus.;

His will 25 Jan 1558 Proved 2 May 1560 is reviewed in NEHGR 124:252;

The two articles listed above review:

  1. Probate records of William Smith including will dated 25 January 1559 and proved 2 May 1560 in Hatfield
  2. Probate records by and regarding his son John Smith of Hull and the Symkinson and Mann families. We also have several key documents concerning the children of Prudence (Brewster) Peck's children and William Brewster supposed half-brother James Brewster vicar of Sutton cum Laude.
  3. The will of Thomas Symkinson Alderman of Doncaster dated 29 Jan 1558 Doncaster, Yorkshire, England proved 2 May 1560 names John Simkinson and his two children Dorothy and Thomas Simkinson as well as Thomas Smythe, John Smythe of Hull, William Smythe and Alice widow of Chirstopher Mann among others.
  4. The will of Maude's brother Christopher Mann dated 11 Oct 1558 in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England was witnessed by John Symkinson who was the first husband of Mary Smythe, the mother of Thomas Sinkinson of Hull by her first husband and the mother of William Brewster the Mayflower passenger by her second husband William Brewster of Scrooby.
  5. These show that William Brewster married first Mary Smythe daughter William Smythe of Stainforth parish in Hatfield. She was sister of John Smythe of Hull and widow of John Simkinson of Doncaster.
  6. The will of John Smythe of Hull dated 8 Aug 1592 in Hull, Yorkshire, England made it evident that Elder William Brewster and the younger Thomas Smythe of Hull were maternal half-brothers when he named "my nephews" William Brewster, John Smythe and Thomas Simkinson executors of his estate.
  7. The Bill of Complaint by William Brewster and Mary his wife, the late wife of John Symkinson late of Doncaster, Yorks. The said John was seized of lands in Doncaster and in his lifetime did convey them to the said Mary then his wife for the term of her life and afterwards he died at Doncaster.

The Will of William Smythe , elder, of Stanforth

And other documents related to this profile:

  1. Will of William Smythe, elder, of Stanforth in parish of Hatfield, dated 25 Jan. 1558/9 and proved 2 May 1560 (York P & E court, 16:46): He requested burial in the church of our Lady of Hatfield, and left legacies for the poor of Hatfield, Woodhouse, Stainforth, Thorne, Fishlake, Sykehouse, Barnby, Bramwith, Armthorp, Kirk Sandal and Stristhorp. Naming two servants, he provided that "Cecilie Hunsworth have x s. and the use of the house she lives in so long as she lives, and to have of my son Thomas when he shall forten to come thither every bakyn & brewinge as she hath had affore...to my son Francis Smythe vicar of Crowle [various furniture and] 17 pounds, a cowe, a calfe and a meare...to my sons Thomas and Richard [various property and some money]...to my son John Smythe of Hull...my brother in lawe Symkinson...to every one of the children of my sons and daughters a yew and a lamb...the rest of my goods not bequest, I geve to John Grene and Jenet his wife; John Parke and Agnes his wife; John Symkinson and Marie his wife; and Thomas Saile and Margaret his wife whom I make executors." Note: in addition to the four sons and four daughters before listed, there seems to have been a son, Cuthbert Smythe of Fishlake, whose will was proved 2 Oct. 1551 (York P & E court, 13:767): because he named only two brothers, Francis and Richard, two sisters Marie and Margaret, and left lands at Hatfield and Stanforth, it is believed that Cuthbert may have been a brother of the full blood of the said brothers and sisters, which could indicate that Thomas, John, Janet and Agnes were older children, and indicated that their father, William, the testator of 1559, had two wives, and issue by each.B John Grene made his will in 1559 (proved 1562, York P & E, 17:138); his widow Jenet took for her final spouse Nicolas Cressy; her will (York P & E, 19:840), dated 27 Sept. 1575, proved 6 Oct. following, refers to her son John Grene, and leaves several legacies including an ewe to Dorothy Simkinson, her niece. John Parke’s will, proved 7 June 1582 (York P & E, 22:268), names wife Agnes, and several daughters. Thomas Smythe of Stainforth made his will 24 March 1568 (proved 22 July 1569, York P & E, 18:157), naming brothers John, Richard and Francis Smythe, and sons William and John. The last named William of Stainforth, made his will in 1591, proved the same year (York P & E, 24:738), naming sons John and Robert, and daughters Dorothy and Elizabeth; this Elizabeth died in 1617, testate, of Stainforth (York P & E, 34:598). Wm. Parke of Staynforth in his will, July 24, 1551, proved 1551 (York P & E, 13:768), named brother John Parke, brother in law Thomas Smythe, sister Chapman..."my father & mother...Wm. Smythe, my father in lawe...supervisors, Sir Francis Hastings, Kt., my master; Wm. Smythe, John Parke, and Francis Parke my son...to my wife Johane, lands in Whaith, late of Thomas Recard." The said Sir Francis Hastings ["Haistings"] made his will Oct. 22, 1558, proved in 1566 (York P & E, 17:523); among his executors was John P’ke (i.e. Parke), and a witness to this will was Thomas Smythe, yeoman, seemingly Parke’s brother-in-law. From the foregoing, one might suppose that Wm. Smythe, sr., of Stainforth, had taken for his second wife before 1551 the mother of John and William Parke, aforesaid, and that she may have arranged the marriage of her stepson Thomas Smythe to her daughter by her first husband, Parke; also that her son John Parke married her step-daughter, Agnes Smythe. Was this supposed second wife of Wm. Smythe some connection of Sir Francis Hastings? The appointment of her supposed son as an executor in his (Sir Francis’) will, in company with Francis Frobysher and Martin Anne, was rather important; Frobysher was married to Christian, sister of said Sir Francis; Martin Anne, Esq., was nephew of Alice Anne who was wife of Thomas Grene, brother of John Grene who married the aforesaid Wm. Smythe’s eldest daughter, Jennet.
  2. The Hastings had long held important holdings in Hatfield & Doncaster (cf. Joseph Foster’s edition of Robert Glover’s Visitation of Yorkshire in 1584/5 and 1612, p. 372-3; Surtees Society Publications, vol. 45, p. 273-278 incl., and the aforesaid will of Sir Francis, in which he left money to the parish of Hatfield).
  3. In Joseph Hunter’s South Yorkshire: The History and Topography of the Deanery of Doncaster (London, 1828-1831), vol. 1, p. 150, there is an account of a perambulation of the Level of Hatfield Chase made by 25 "regarders of the chase." Among these were William Smith and John Parke whose names appear consecutively. On page 190 of the same volume Abraham de la Pryme (1672-1704) is said to have recorded, among other inscriptions, the following as found in Hatfield Church: Orate pro animabus Willielmi Smith et Catherinae et Agnetis uxorum ejus. One of these (? Agnes) would seem to have been a Simkinson, judging from the wills abstracted above.
  4. Thomas Gent, History of Kingston upon Hull (Hull, 1869), p. 121-125, showed that John Smythe was mayor of Hull in 1563, 1572, and 1583. Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 14:199, 202, reports the burial at Hull of Thomas Simkinson and his relict Ann, in 1611 and 1634, respectively, she having been that Ann Wilkinson of Donnington in Lincolnshire who married him at Lincoln 12 Oct. 1598 (Lincoln Marriages; cf. Mayflower Quarterly, vol. 36, p. 55-57).
  5. Her first husband, John Simkinson of Doncaster, was buried there 25 Dec. 1562, as shown by the parish register. By him, Mary was mother of Thomas Simkinson, ?1555-1611, merchant of Hull (see note C above), and of Dorothy Simkinson, b. ?1557 - d. after 1591, doubtless that "Dorothy of Scrowbie" styled niece in the will of John Smythe of Hull, 1592 (see note E below).
  6. York P & E court, 25:1051-1052. John Smythe, alderman of Hull, directed that he be buried in Trinity Church "next where Jane my late wife was buried." The principal legacy was a bond for £300 made by the testator’s deceased son Mr. Edward Smythe, at the time the latter was assigned the testator’s lands, which were to be delivered to said Edward’s daughter, Frances, when she should marry or arrive at the age of 18 years. The testator left his wife Anne £120, and other legacies to his son Thomas Trimingham, naming also "the four children of my late nephew, William Smythe of Stanforth, deceased; the goods late belonging to my brother Thomas Smythe...John Parke, late of Stanforth deceased, and Agnes his wife, my sister...my cozen Thomas Drax of Stanforth...my cozen Master Francis Cresay of Hewell...my neece Jennet Drax and her children...my neece Alice Bladworth of Thorne...my neece Mary Brodryke...to Thomas Levens of Stanforth and Dorothy his sister...my sister Saile of Smeaton...to Dorothy of Scrobie my neece...to my brother Sr. Francis Smythe who saith he hath an obligation of myne...let him render into the hands of the executors of this my will the said bond and desiring of God he maie become obedyant to the lorde’s words...and to obey her Majesty’s views, then I will that my said brother have five marks toward the releving of him...to my cozen Francis Steare x s....to Xopher Durembroke, who now dwells in Holland five pounds to be allowed him upon the clearing of his accompte and debts which he is owing unto me...the balance [uncollected debts] I leave to John Grene, John Smythe, William Brewster and Thomas Simkinson, my nephews, whom I doe make, constitute and ordeyn my full executors."
  7. John Venn and J. A. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses, part I, under the names: Brewster, William; Brewster, James; Grene, John; Smith, Francis; Smith, Edward.
  8. Nottinghamshire Parish Registers, vol. 21, Marriages at "Sutton on Lound," p. 11, 12. See also, will of Richard Ellis, made there in March 1586 (York P & E, 23:227), which was witnessed by Henry Brewster, clerk, and James Brewster, clerk, presumedly his nephew and his successor as vicar.
  9. The Rev. Joseph Hunter, Collections concerning...the founders of New Plymouth... (London, 1854), p. 203-205; cf. Wm. Peck, History of Bawtry and Thorne (1813), p. 19-32.
  10. The Register, vol. 111, p. 319-320, Oct. 1957.
  11. York Fines, IV, p. 31 (Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Record series VIII); will of Simon Fowe of Myssen, Notts., dated 1613 (York P & E wills, 30:121).

Sources

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William Smythe, Elder's Timeline

1505
1505
West Riding, Yorkshire, England
1525
1525
Age 20
Hatfield, Yorkshire, England
1527
1527
Age 22
Hatfield, Yorkshire, England
1529
1529
Age 24
Stainford Villag, Hatfield Parrish, Nottinghamshire, England
1531
1531
Age 26
Hatfield, Yorkshire, England
1534
1534
Age 29
1535
1535
Age 30
Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, , England
1540
1540
Age 35
Hatfield, Yorkshire, England
1542
1542
Age 37
Hatfield, Nottinghamshire, England