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Family and Education
Robert Smith’s identity is uncertain. His return for Carlisle in 1545 with Catherine Parr’s clerk of the council Hugh Aglionby suggests that he also owed his Membership to royal intervention. No Robert Smith has been traced in the Queen’s household, but a man of that name was bailiff for some property belonging to Admiral Seymour after his marriage to the Queen. Either he or a namesake had acted as an attorney for the 4th Earl of Westmorland with the Queen’s kinsman William Burgh in the purchase of some Yorkshire property in 1536, and the links between the Burghs and Lincolnshire create the presumption that he was the searcher of the port of Boston appointed in 1548. If the Member was not a dependant of the Queen, he may have been a nominee of Thomas Wharton I, 1st Baron Wharton, to whom as warden of the west marches Carlisle was amenable. A Smith family of gentle descent lived at Kirkby Stephen in Westmorland, not far from Wharton’s home, and Robert was a baptismal name favoured by the family: the exchequer official named an executor of the will of John Hasilwood in 1544 seems to have come from this family, and it was perhaps he who as a resident of Bray in Berkshire in 1584 provided for his wife Margery and stepsons George and Richard Depuppe and remembered his Westmorland kin.
E163/12/17, nos. 37, 50, 54; 405/115, m. 6; LP Hen. VIII, xi, xiii; CPR, 1550-3, p. 321; PCC 6 Pynnyng, 41 Watson.