SMITH, Simon (d.1695), of Buckhurst Park, Withyham, Suss. and Old Palace Yard, Westminster.
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Family and Education
6th s. of Christopher Smith (d.1634) of Old Windsor, Berks. and Buckhurst Park, being 4th s. by 2nd w. Anne, da. of James Winch of Bray, Berks. m. c.1656, Anne, wid. of John Webb of Westminster, s.p.1
Master of the otter-hounds Sept. 1660-d.; gent. of the privy chamber 1669-85; kt. harbinger 1689-d.2
Commr. for assessment, Suss. 1661-80, Westminster 1661-3, 1664-80, 1689-90, Berks. 1673-80, Surr. and Suss. 1690; j.p. Suss. 1662-3, 1690-d.; commr. for hackney coaches, London and Westminster 1667-75; receiver of taxes, Surr. 1667-9; receiver-gen. Hants, Wilts. and Glos. 1667-d., Som. and Dorset 1677-d.; keeper of Paddock Walk, Windsor Forest 1670-84; receiver of hearth-tax, Hants 1670-4, muster-master, Mdx. by 1681.3
Smith’s father acted as gentleman harbinger for the French ambassadors who accompanied Henrietta Maria to England in 1625. In his will he gave his address as Buckhurst, the old family seat of the Sackvilles, but his property was in Westminster and the Windsor area. Smith’s elder brother Christopher became steward of the Sackville estates in Sussex, and his own marriage to the widow of the keeper of the King’s tennis courts confirmed these ties, for she brought him a house in the old palace of Westminster, a lease of Buckhurst Park and a substantial claim against the crown. He claimed to have remained faithful during the usurpation and made efforts towards the Restoration, when, on the recommendation of the 5th Earl of Dorset, William Willoughby, John Carey and Sir Thomas Woodcock, he was made master of the otter-hounds. It was no office of profit, for on a salary of 1s. 6«d. a day he was expected to keep six couple of hounds to hunt otters, six otters for them to hunt, and a kennel-lad to look after them. He has to be distinguished from a Westminster merchant of the same name who was the chief promoter of the Royal Fisheries and master of the Girdlers’ Company. From 1667 he held a number of crown receiverships, which enabled him to finance the repaling of Windsor Great Park at the cost of over £12,000. With his brothers, he took out a grant of arms in 1677.4
Smith was returned for East Grinstead, seven miles from Buckhurst, at a contested election on the Sackville interest in 1685. A very active Member of James II’s Parliament, he was appointed to 18 committees, including those to inspect the disbandment accounts, to provide carriages for the navy and ordnance, to estimate the yield of a tax on new buildings, and to consider the bills for the general naturalization of Huguenot refugees and the regulation of hackney coaches. He was summoned to the meeting of the court caucus in the second session. He supported the Revolution like his patron, the 5th Earl (Charles Sackville), who made him knight harbinger, a post worth £400 p.a. He was again returned for East Grinstead at a by-election in 1693, but was reported dead on 22 Jan. 1695.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: B. M. Crook
- 1. Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. lxxxix), 102; CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 208; PCC 17 Sadler, 12 Irby.
- 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 401; ix. 486; Carlisle, Privy Chamber, 183.
- 3. C181/7/373; Cal. Treas. Bks. ii. 168, 184, 379; iii. 75, 205, 532; v. 577; CSP Dom. 1670, p. 481; Kent AO, U269/059.
- 4. CSP Dom. Add. 1625-49, p. 569; 1667, p. 433; PCC 17 Sadler, 18 Berkeley; Kent AO, U269/C69; SP29/11/96, 39/14; Add. 38484, f. 313; Cal. Treas. Bks. v. 192-5; Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvii), 213.
- 5. Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 430; Luttrell, iii. 431.