Governor Thomas Smith, Iº Landgrave

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Honorable Thomas Smith, Sr,

Birthplace: Exeter, Devon, England
Death: November 16, 1694 (45-46)
Medway Plantation, Black River, Province of Carolina
Place of Burial: Back River, South Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Thomas Smith and Joan Smith
Husband of Sabina Smith and Barbara Smith
Father of Judge Thomas Jr Smith, II, 2nd Landgrave; William Smith and Dr. George Smith

Occupation: The First Landsgrave; also Governor of South Carolina. Came to SC in 1684. Landsgrave in 1691, Gov. in 1693. His Barony was known as Wiskinboo". Most likely sailed from Darthmout, UK to SC around 1684 (Son George said so, etc.).
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About Governor Thomas Smith, Iº Landgrave

  1. Event: Comment 1 CAME TO South Carolina FROM Exeter OR
  2. Event: Comment 2 DOVER, England IN 1670. MARRIED THE


Thomas Smith (1648–1694) was the governor of colonial South Carolina from 1693 to 1694, a planter, a merchant and a surgeon. He arrived in Charles Town in 1684 with his first wife Barbara Atkins and his sons Thomas and George. He was a Cacique by 1690 and was made Landgrave by the Lords Proprietors on 13 May 1691.

He died in 1694 and is buried at Medway Plantation. A stone slab marks his grave with the inscription: "Here Lieth Ye Body of the Right Honble Thomas Smith Esq. one of Ye Landgraves of Carolina who Departed This Life Ye16th of November, 1694. Governor of the Province of Carolina in Ye 46 year of his age."

Governor Archdale described Thomas Smith as "a wise sober and moderate welliving man." The Proprietors, writing to Governor Archdale on 10 January 1695, stated: We forward copies of letters written by Colonel Smith not long before his death, that you may enjoy with us his satisfactory account of the growing condition of the province and of the peace and union to which he had brought it. He appears to us to have been a man not only of great parts, integrity and honesty but of a generous temper and a nobleness of spirit as to the public good as is scarcely to be met withal in this age.

His brick townhouse with a wharf on Cooper River was on the corner of East Bay and Longitude Lane.

Smith was the grandfather of Rev. Josiah Smith, a prominent minister of colonial South Carolina.

Thomas Smith (son of John Thomas Smith and Joan Atkins) was born 1648 in Exeter, Devonshire, England, and died 16 November 1694 in Medway Plantation, Goose Creek, St. James Parish, Berkeley District, South Carolina. He married Barbara Atkins on Abt. 1663 in Exeter, Devonshire, England, daughter of Aaron Atkins and Joan Atkins.

Includes NotesNotes for Thomas Smith:

Thomas Smith came to America about 1684. He was created landgrave in 1691. He served as Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Carolina Province. He lived at Medway Plantation and had a residence at the corner of East Battery and Longitude Lane. Legend is that he purchased Oyster Point in 1688 for 6 shillings. His son (by Barbara Atkins), Thomas Smith Jr, was a member of the Governor's Council and Judge of Berkely Court


The first Landgrave Thomas Smith (1648-1694). Came to South Carolina in 1684. In 1690 a Commission to Thomas Smith, one of the Caciques, appointing him Governor. In 1691, he was created a Landgrave. In 1693, he was appointed Governor. His will was dated 1692; codicil 1693. Bequeathed to his friend Colonel Joseph Blake of Colleton County his patent for Landgrave "together with all the baronies, lands, privileges, and dignitites therunto belonging." His Barony was known as Wiskinboo. His will mentions "instruments that belonge to Chirurgery and medicines" and "brick house in Charlestowne cont: four roomes, one above another." He died in November, 1694, at the age of 46. He married Barbara Atkins (baptised 1650 and died in 1687). In 1687/8 he was married to Sabina de Vignon by the Rev. William Dunlap [Collections], the widow of John d'Arsens Seigneur de Wernhaut. She died in 1689. Thomas and Barbara Smith were the parents of Thomas Smith, born 1664 and George Smith, born 1674.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tombstone says he is in his 46th year. Will written 26 jun 1692. South Carolina HIstorical Magazine claims Governor Thomas Smith was still alive as of 1 October, 1694

He was deputy to Thomas AMY in the Council 19 April 1692 and Sheriff of Berkeley County in 1693. Made a landgrave in 1691. Governor of South Carolina 1693-94.

One source says that he arrived in America in 1671 on the ship, Carolina, and landed on Albemarle Point, which was later named Charlestown, with his wife, Barbara; infant son, Thomas; brother, James Smith, who moved to Boston; and brother-in-law, Benjamin Schenkin (brother to Barbara's first husband, Barnard Schenking.) She was reputed to be a young Baroness, the daughter of a wealthy Burgher, a German. He and James received lots number 41 and 57 in Charleston.

1672 a Thomas Smith received 70 acres for servant Elinor Stranton. 1675 a Thomas Smith is receiving land for many of his servants. 1677 a Dr. Thomas Smyth received land

Other sources say that he arrived about 20 June 1684 from Dartmouth, England with his wife, Barbara, 2 sons, Thomas and George, Mrs. Joan Atkins, Joanna Atkins, Ellen Atkins, Aron Atkins, Mary Atkins, Matthew Crosse, Michael Pierce and 2 servants, Phillis and ELizabeth Adams. In 1685, Thomas Sr and family visited Boston so Phillis Adams could marry William Arnold. Family returned to Charleston along with Phillis and William. Elizabeth Adams married Matt Turner and then in 1698 married Alexander Duncan.

1685 Thomas Smith and the above received land 1688 Thomas Smith received land at Oyster Point (where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers meet in Charleston)

Wiskinboo Barony (Berkely County) on Fairforest Swamp between Cooper and Santee Rivers, given to Thomas Sr. He gave the barony to Joseph Blake, instead of one of his sons. In 1696 that barony was returned to Thomas Jr by Joseph Blake.

Also had land in Cainhoy on Goose Creek. Owned lots of land in All Saints Parish, around Little River and up to Cape Fear,NC. Was a planter on Black River. Supposedly the first to plant rice. He received a bagful from a ship from Madagascar. He used Indians to help him plant. Also was the first to use bricks in building a house.

Thomas was a doctor. He gave his equipment to his son, George. Thomas was cousin to Duke of Albemarle and the Earl of Bath, both of which were Lords Proprietors of South Carolina. All 3 decendants are of Sir George Smith, the sheriff of County Devon in 1615.

Granted 48,000 acres in SC in 1691.

I have found three fathers for Thomas. I couldn't find any proof in parish records for either one yet. One is Thomas and Joan Atkins. In the will of Joan's father, he says she married Thomas Smith and listed Thomas as his grandson. Another says it was John Thomas and Joan Atkins. The last says it was John Smith the Cassique and his wife Mary. The third one is documented in the book "The Smiths of Exeter". (However, this one I think I have disproven because of where he lived and the fact that Mary goes on to marry 2 more times and has young sons. She would have been too old to have young sons if she was the mother of Thomas Sr.) "The Smiths of Exeter" quotes Mr. E. Lowndes Rhett as having documented the material. (1898). We do know that Thomas is of the lineage of Sir George Smith because he brings the coat of arms of Sir George with him to America. That coat of arms could have only come through George's son Nicholas. On the record of Thomas when he was named governor, he is called a cassique (which means lord or prince.) Which means that the Lord Proprietors named him a cassique and gave him at least 1000 acres upon arrival. Also, on the arrival records in Charlestown and in his will, Aaron Atkins says that Thomas Smith is his brother-in-law. If Aaron and Thomas were half-brothers, both sons of Joan, I think he would have called him a brother. I think that Barbara and Aaron were brother and sister, and that is why he calls Thomas his brother-in-law and not brother.

Further confusing this issue, another source says that Thomas and brother, Paul arrived on the very first fleet in 1670. He received 150 acres in 1675 and then got 550 acres with brother, James Smith for the servants they brought over.

Gov. Thomas, we can prove, got 650 acres in 1684 for arrival of himself, family and servants. This other source claims that there must be two different Thomas' because he could not receive two parcels of land for arriving.

This was interesting---one source claims Thomas was born in Madagascar??? and arrived South Carolina in 1687.

He is buried at his plantation, Medway, on Back River beside his wife, Barbara. Very few sources talk about his 2nd marriage.

Mrs. E. A. Poyas, in her book, claims Thomas was a Puritan, and for that reason fled to America.

His tombstone says, "Here lieth ye body of the Right Honorable Thomas Smith, Esq, one of ye Landgrave of Carolina in ye 46th year of his age."

Will: To son George: mare, saddle, clothes, brickhouse in Charleston, surgery equip. Grandson Thomas, Friend Col. Joseph Blake, guardian of George, eldest son, Thomas, property and plantation. written 26 jun 1692.

In 1693, Thomas was selling his plantation on the Back River and buying Yeamans Hall. It is also called the Goose Creek home. This is where Thomas Jr.'s family lived and grew up.(However, James Garner Patey in his book "The Whaley Family" claims that it was Thomas Jr. who moved from Medway to Yeamans Hall because it was too small for his large family.)

Medway Plantation is located on Back River (19 miles north of Charleston). It was granted to Jan Van Arrsen, Seigneur de Weirhoudt in 1686. In 1689 the property came into the possession of Landgrave Thomas Smith. Medway is now the winter home of Mrs. Sidney Hennings Legendre. (I can't find where Thomas lived before Medway, which belonged to his 2nd wife.) (wife Barbara died before Mar 1688. Then married Sabina de Vignon-Dowage Van Wernhaut, widow of Mr. John d'Arsens, a dutchman, 1st of his nation to come. Sabina died in 1689.

Arms: sable, a fesse cottised between three martlets, or. Crest: a greyhound sejant gules collared and lined, or. Motto: Semper fidelis.

A copy of his coat of arms were found on his ring with the date 1671. The date could be significant. Maybe he received the ring as he was leaving England in 1671??? Thomas JR.'s will was sealed with the ring.

Dr. Goff Bedford claims in his book, The Independent Republic, that Thomas was a wealthy man when he came to America. He brought with him 15 others. He was a powerful figure in the early council. Claims he died in 1712, which is proven wrong. He received land grants all the way to Cape Fear River. He actually lived in Cainhoy on Goose Creek. Owned much of what is now All Saints.

Ancestral file has a Thomas Smith christened 6 march/ 1641 in St. Thomas the Apostle, Exeter, son of John Smith.

Source: South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Mag volume 10, page 12: "Will of Thomas Smith Sr, Esq of Carolina made 26 jun 1693 pro 21 nov 1694: son George (underage) given home in Charleston and surgery equip. grson Thomas. son Thomas-sole exec given all plantations. Codicil written 15 jul 1693 by Landgrave and Gov. Thomas Smith, gave Col. Joseph Blake of Colleton the patent for landgrave. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Landgrave Smith family had already confounded future genealogists with the several Thomas Smiths: the First Landgrave Thomas Smith (1648-1694) who married first Barbara Atkins who died in 1687, and then Sabina de Vignon, the widow of John d'Arsens Seigneur de Wernhaut; and the Second Landgrave Thomas Smith (ca. 1670-1738) who married first in 1690 Anna Cornelia Van Myddagh and second in 1713 Mary Hyrne (ca. 1690-1776).

The Second Landgrave Thomas Smith named two of his sons Thomas and two of his sons George. The first Thomas Smith, who married Dolly Dry in 1709, was born in 1691 and died in 1729. The second Thomas, who married Susannah Walker, was born in 1729 and died in 1782. The first George was born in 1693 and was deceased by 1730. He married twice-- first to Rebecca Blake who died in 1719 and second to Elizabeth Allen. His brother, George, was born in 1732 and died underage and unmarried.

More About Thomas Smith: Date born 2: 1648 Burial: Medway Plantation, Goose Creek, Berkeley District, South Carolina. Died 2: November 1694, Charleston, South Carolina.

More About Thomas Smith and Barbara Atkins: Marriage 1: Abt. 1663, Exeter, Devonshire, England. Marriage 2: Abt. 1663

Children of Thomas Smith and Barbara Atkins are:

   +Thomas Smith, b. 1664, Exeter, England, d. 19 May 1738, Goose Creek, Berkeley County, South Carolina.

Thomas Smith Landgrave and Gov b 1648 Exeter( a cousin of the lords’ proprietors the Duke of Albermarle and the Earl of Bath (and all descendants of Sir Geoege Smith, the sheriff of County Devon in 1516) came to SC 1684 m 1) Barbara Atkins (1650-1687) dau of Aaron Atkins m 2) 1690 Sabigna de Vignon widow of John d’Arsens Seigneur de Wernhautd d 16 Nov 1694 Medway St. James Parish SC

Thomas Smith Esq (Merchant, Cassigne, Landgrave, Governor): arrived in Carolina before 10 Jul 1684 bringing his wife and two sons, Thomas and George, and several servants. In 1688 he was created Landgrave.  He was Sheriff and Judge of Berkeley Co; Lords Proprietor Deputy; member of the Grand Council.  On 20 Nov 1693, he was appointed Governor of Carolina by the Proprietors, and died in office in 1694.

The first Landgrave Thomas Smith (1648-1694 came to S.C. 1684. 1690 Commission to Thomas Smith, one of the Caciques, appointing him Governor. In 1691, he was created a Landgrave. In 1693, he was appointed Governor. Will 1692; codicil 1693. Bequeathed to his friend Colonel Joseph Blake of Colleton County his patent for Landgrave "together with all the baronies, lands, privileges, and dignitites therunto belonging." His Barony was known as Wiskinboo. His will mentions "instruments that belonge to Chirurgery and medicines" and "brick house in Charlestowne cont: four roomes, one above another." He d. Nov., 694, age 46. Md. Barbara Atkins bapt. 1650 and d. in 1687. In 1687/8 he was md. to Sabina de Vignon by the Rev. William Dunlap [Collections], the widow of John d'Arsens Seigneur de Wernhaut. She d. 1689.

Definition: landgrave in American (ˈlændˌgreɪv ; landˈgrāvˌ) noun 1. in medieval Germany, a count having jurisdiction over a specified territory 2. later, the title of any of certain German princes Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Added to Geni by Janet Milburn 1/10/18

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Governor Thomas Smith, Iº Landgrave's Timeline

Exeter, Devon, England
January 1, 1670
Exeter, Devon, England, United Kingdom
September 1674
Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom
November 16, 1694
Age 46
Province of Carolina
November 1694
Age 46
South Carolina, United States