Thursday, 7 January 2010

Blackmore: Smyth Family discoveries

(to earlier correspondence, published on this blog on 4 January 2010)
31 December 2009

Hello Scott

I finished reading the book I mentioned about Stephen Powle and have written for the website a summary of his life and his link with the Smyth family. I thought I would pass you a copy prior to publication. I am convinced that Thomas Smyth died in 1592, and not in 1594 as William Holman and others (including Morant) since then have written.

You will also note Stephen Powle's connection with Virginia. Perhaps he encouraged his step-grand-children to emigrate?

[The item may now be viewed on ]


1 January 2010


I find this wildly fascinating! I just ordered a used copy of this book for myself. It sounds as if Thomas and Arthur really had an inside connection to go to the Virginia colony. I had always wondered of their motives and means of deciding to come to America. I think one might assume that they were well funded on the venture with this strong connection with the VA Company.

In addition to trying to re-create the crest in color, I am interested in finding pictures of Smyth Hall. Are there any surviving pictures that you know? I have searched the web with little luck.

This story adds a great deal to the Blackmore web page. Thank you for sharing.


2 January 2010

Hello Scott

Smyth Hall was demolished, according to my notes, in 1844, so no photographs will exist. I checked to see whether there was a drawing in ‘Excursions in the County of Essex’ (1818) but alas no. Morant’s work of 1768 does not include illustrations to my recollection. It seems you could be unlucky in your quest – unless someone contacts the website to the contrary.

The ‘Unlocking Essex’ website ( has the following description: “Smyth's Hall (TL59826/00713) The central-courtyard style building on the 1777 map by Chapman and AndrĂ© looks as if it might be Tudor in date, there were two buildings flanking either side of the western entrance into the moated enclosure, a gravelled yard in front of this entrance with three further buildings and two formal avenues of trees leaning to the house from the north and south. The house was pulled down prior to 1839 as it does not appear on the Tithe map of that date.”


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