SMITH, Sir Thomas, 1st Bt. (c.1622-75), of Chester and Hatherton, Cheshire.
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Family and Education
b. c.1622, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Smith of Hatherton by Mary, da. of Sir Hugh Smith of Long Ashton, Som. educ. Magdalen Coll. Oxf. matric. 9 June 1638, aged 16. m. 16 June 1657, Abigail (d.1691), da. and coh. of Sir John Pate, 1st Bt., of Sysonby, Lincs., 1s. d.v.p. 2da. cr. Bt. 16 Aug. 1660; suc. fa. 1668.1
Cornet (royalist) 1642, capt. by 1646.2
J.p. Cheshire July 1660-d.; commr. for assessment, Chester 1661-3, 1664-74, Cheshire 1663-74, corporations, Cheshire 1662-3, loyal and indigent officers 1662; alderman, Chester 1663-d.3
Smith was descended from an alderman of Chester who bought the manor of Hough under Henry VIII. The family first sat for the county in 1545, but maintained their interest in the borough, for which Smith’s father was returned in both elections of 1640. He left Westminster before the Civil War and sat in the Parliament of Oxford. Smith himself, one of a family of twenty-two, served as a cornet of horse under Prince Rupert, and was a captain in the Chester garrison when it surrendered. He was comprised in his father’s composition, which was reduced to £3,350 on a net income of just over £900 p.a., in consideration of a favourable certificate from the parliamentary commander Sir William Brereton, as well as debts of £2,500 and losses by plunder of £1,150.4
Smith and his father were included in the list of Cheshire Royalists drawn up by Roger Whitley in 1658, but took no active part in conspiracy. He was created a baronet at the Restoration, and was returned for Chester to the Cavalier Parliament. In the opening session he was appointed to the committees for restoring the temporal jurisdiction of the clergy, for preventing mischief from schismatics, for the corporations and uniformity bills, and for the bill of pains and penalties. After this his activity in the House diminished, and he was named to only 35 committees in all. John Ratcliffe, however, reported him ‘ready and useful’ to assist Chester in its dispute with the county over taxation in 1667, and he was given a vote of thanks by the corporation. In his only recorded speech he defended a customs official against charges of extortionate fees on 28 Mar. 1668. He was listed among Ormonde’s friends in the House, but was not reckoned among the court party by either Government or Opposition in 1669-71. He defaulted on a call of the House in 1671, and was named to his last committee in the same session. He died on 22 May 1675, and was buried at St. Paul’s, Covent Garden. He left debts of over £8,000, and in 1678 a private Act was obtained for the sale of lands to the value of £400 p.a. Even Hatherton had to be alienated, and the family became extinct early in the 18th century without sitting in Parliament again.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Gillian Hampson
- 1. Ormerod, Cheshire, iii. 503; Soc. of Genealogists, St. Catherine Colman par. reg.; Chester corp. assembly bk. 2, f. 160v.
- 2. SP23/187/573, 579.
- 3. Chester corp. assembly bk. 2, ff. 137v, 149.
- 4. Ormerod, iii. 502; Keeler, Long Parl. 341-2; SP23/187/543-50.
- 5. Chester corp. mayors’ letters 3, nos. 415, 419, 420; Milward, 236; CSP Dom. 1677-8, p. 3; Ormerod, ii. 503.