SMITH, Sir Lawrence (1515/16-82), of Chester and Hough, Cheshire.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 1515/16, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Smith of Chester by Catherine, da. of Sir Andrew Brereton of Brereton. m. (1) by 1546, Agnes, da. of Sir Thomas Foulshurst of Crewe, 3s.; (2) Jan. 1561, Jane, da. of Sir Peter Warburton of Arley, wid. of Sir William Brereton of Brereton, 1 or 2da. suc. fa. 1538. Kntd. 11 May 1544.1

Offices Held

Mayor, Chester 1540-1, 1558-9, 1563-4, 1570-1, alderman 1544; j.p. Cheshire 1543-d., q. by 1564; commr. benevolence, Chester 1544/45, musters, Cheshire 1545, 1569, 1570, relief, Cheshire and Chester 1550, goods of churches and fraternities, Chester 1553; sheriff, Cheshire 1531-2, 1566-7; commr. and dep. to council in marches of Wales 1553.2


Lawrence Smith may have been the goldsmith of that name mentioned in the Chester records in 1543. The son of a civic dignitary noted for his integrity and philanthropy, he was himself to offer to pave the Blackfriars at his own expense. His election as one of the first two knights known for Cheshire following its enfranchisement in 1543 he probably owed to his possession of two qualifications: his mother was a Brereton and he had gained a knighthood in the Earl of Hertford’s Scottish campaign of 1544. Ten years later he was re-elected first knight of the shire to Mary’s fourth Parliament and he then followed the lead of Sir Anthony Kingston by voting against one of the government’s bills; he may have already taken the stand in religion which was to earn his bishop’s approval in 1564. His Membership of the next two Parliaments as one of the citizens for Chester coincided with his mayoralty. In the first of them a bill limiting tanners to boroughs and market towns was committed to him on 29 Jan. 1558 after its second reading; he was also one of the Members of this Parliament whose names are marked with a circle on a copy of the Crown Office list, an annotation so far unexplained. Smith died on 23 Aug. 1582.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Aged 66 at death, Ormerod, Cheshire, iii. 503. PRO. Chester 3/67/113, 80/19; Vis. Cheshire (Harl. Soc. xviii), 209; (lix), 212; Chetham Soc. li. 21.
  • 2. Chester RO, A/B/1/74v; M/L/5/3; Ormerod, i. 213; Cheshire Sheaf (ser. 1), ii. 184; Chester mayor’s bk. 1541-5, f. 3; G. L. Fenwick, Chester, 534; LP Hen. VIII, xix, xx; CPR, 1547-8, p. 81; 1550-3, p. 397; 1553, pp. 360, 361, 416-17; SP11/5/6; B. Coward, ‘Stanley fam. c. 1385-1651’ (Sheffield Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1968), 201; APC, vii. 284.
  • 3. Chester RO, A/B/1/185; LP Hen. VIII, xix; HMC Bath, iv. 59, 66, 70, 72; Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2; Cam. Misc. ix(3), 73, 76; CJ, i. 48; Wm. Salt. Lib. SMS 264.