THOMAS, of whom presently;
Ann; Jane; Elizabeth.
JOHN, his heir;
Thomas (Sir), Ambassador to Russia, 1604.
THOMAS, his heir;
PHILIP, his successor;
Barbara; Elizabeth; Philippa; Dorothy.
ENDYMION, his successor;
Elizabeth; Olivia; Katherine Clare.
PERCY CLINTON SYDNEY, his successor;
Eliza Maria Sydney.
Before moving to Ashford, John Smythe had made a fortune importing wine from Spain into the port of Bristol.
John’s son, “Customer” Thomas Smythe, was a major financial player in England. “Customer”, developed the very first stock company to spread risk and advance exploration with the Moscovy Company to find a northern route to East Asia above Russia.
He became Lord of the Manor of Ashford, Kent.
When “Customer” died, his eldest son, John Smythe, managed their vast holdings and investments in the various exploration companies.
Customer Smythe also invested in the profitable Drake voyages with a kinsman, Admiral William Wynter, one of the first English admirals.
The Smythes previously purchased or built a very large mansion on Philpot Street, adjacent to Fenchurch Street, London, from where they managed their various investments, and were front and centre in the various investments that later followed such as the Levant Company, Bermuda Company, The Virginia Company of London, and The North West Company.
The Smythes were also involved as Undertakers during the Plantation of Ulster.
John Smythe, the eldest son of Customer Smythe, was managing the family fortune and he resided at Ashford Manor and/or their other estate at Westenhanger.
In 1603, Robert Sydney was Lord Chamberlain for the household of Queen Anne of Denmark, consort of JAMES I.
Robert Mansell of Mount Desert (E), who was knighted at Cadiz where a brother of Thomas Smythe was killed, married a Lady in Waiting to Queen Anne.
The bride was the daughter of John Roper of Kent. Captain William Roper of the Eastern Shore had married the sister of Captain William Eppes, and the Ropers held land at Ivychurch.
Robert Sydney’s daughter married the nephew of Robert Mansell, and another of Sydney’s daughters, Barbara, married the son of the elder son, John Smythe of Ashford.
His name was also Thomas, and he held the title Viscount Strangford.
First published in January, 2011. Strangford arms courtesy of European Heraldry.