Received 1 October 2014
I hope all is well there. A quick question: The Thomas Smyth who was born 1605 is listed as baptized in Braintree. His brother Arthur was baptized later at Blackmore. The way I understand the lineage is that the family was from Cressing Temple (Rivenhall area), with John having received that land in 1540 at the same time he received Blackmore Priory. We know that he and later his son Thomas lived at Smyth Hall. I am trying to figure out in which church in Braintree Thomas (1605) was baptized. I searched the available parishes listed under Braintree with no listings before 1700s. Also I wonder who built Smyth Hall? Maybe John? I assume Smyth Hall is in the area still considered Blackmore.
Of course any help or direction is appreciated.
Replied 6 October 2014
Thank you for your e mail.
King Henry VIII decreed the keeping of registers of baptisms, marriages and burials in 1538. Unfortunately not all parishes have records dating back that far. St Michaels, Braintree begins in 1660, which suggests that the first volume has been lost. Cressing survives from 1733.
Smyth Hall was said to be built by John Smyth using material from the demolished Priory. Smyth Hall was in Blackmore about ½ mile south of the village.