Bowyer-Smyth baronets

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The Smith, later Smyth, later Smijth, later Bowyer-Smijth, later Bowyer-Smyth Baronetcy, of Hill Hall in the County of Essex, was created on 28 November 1661 for Thomas Smith, High Sheriff of Essex in 1663. He was the great grandson of John Smith of Saffron Walden, Essex.


According to tradition John Smith was a descendant of Sir Roger de Clarendon, a natural son of Edward, the Black Prince. He was granted arms in 1545, and the original family crest of an eagle holding an ostrich feather was used to denote descent from Sir Roger de Clarendon. It was later substituted for a salamander in flames to commemorate the escape of Sir Thomas Smith from 'Bloody Mary's' fires. He married in 1508 Agnes Charnock and had four sons and four daughters.

The second son, Sir Thomas Smith was born in 1514. He was Secretary of State during the reigns of King Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth I. He was Ambassador to France three times during the reign of Elizabeth I and was created Chancellor of the Order of the Garter. Sir Thomas Smith's brother George was a draper in London. Upon the death of Thomas Smith in 1577 he inherited his estates, which he made over to his son in 1581 in return for the settlement of all his debts. His son Sir William Smith, born in 1550, was a Colonel in the Army in Ireland. He returned from Ireland in 1581 and was later sent by King James I to Spain with the Ambassador. He married in 1590 Bridget, the daughter of Thomas Fleetwood, Master of the Mint.

His son Thomas Smith was created a baronet 28 November 1661.

His son Edward, the second Baronet, was High Sheriff of Essex from 1680 to 1681. He changed the spelling of the family surname to Smyth.

His son, the third Baronet, died in 1774. Three of his sons, the fourth, fifth (who was High Sheriff of Essex from 1760 to 1761) and sixth Baronets, all succeeded in the title.

The latter was succeeded by his son, William, the seventh Baronet. Sometime between 1779 and 1799 the seventh Baronet changed the spelling of the family surname to Smijth to distinguish descent from Edward, the Black Prince. Two of his sons, the eighth and ninth Baronets, both died childless. On the latter's death in 1838 the title passed to his third son, Edward, the tenth Baronet. He was Chaplain to King George IV. His mother Anne was heiress of both the Windham and Bowyer families. She devised the Bowyer estates to her son Edward, who assumed by Royal licence in 1839 the surname of Bowyer-Smijth.

He was succeeded by his eldest son, William, the eleventh Baronet. He sat as Member of Parliament for South Essex. He married twice and had 15 children by his second marriage.

He was succeeded by his only surviving son from his first marriage, William, the twelfth Baronet. He was in the Diplomatic Service and also served as Sheriff of Essex in 1889. He died childless in 1916, and the baronetcy reverted to the late Baronet's first cousin, Alfred, the thirteenth Baronet. He was the eldest son of Reverend Alfred John Edward Bowyer-Smijth, younger son of the tenth Baronet. In 1916 he resumed the former spelling of the surname Bowyer-Smyth in lieu of Bowyer-Smijth. He died childless in 1927 and was succeeded by his nephew, Philip, the son of Clement Weyland Bowyer-Smijth.

Sir Philip Bowyer-Smyth, the fourteenth Baronet, was born in Sydney, Australia in 1894. He joined the Royal Navy in 1906, five years before the creation of an Australian navy, and served in World War I and World War II. He was the Naval Attache at Rome from 1938 to 1940, and he commanded the Australian warship H.M.A.S Perth from 1940 to 1941. He was Director of radio equipment for the Admiralty from 1943 to 1944, and then Commodore of East Africa from 1945 until 1946 when he became Aide-de-Camp to King George VI. He was married in 1922 to Margaret McCall-McCowan of Sydney, Australia, but later divorced and in 1951 married secondly Veronica Bower.

The current Baronet is married to director Mary "Coky" Giedroyc, sister of TV personality Mel Giedroyc.

Smith, later Smyth, later Smijth, later Bowyer-Smijth, later Bowyer-Smyth baronets, of Hill Hall (1661)[edit]

  • Sir Thomas Smith, 1st Baronet (c. 1602–1668)
  • Sir Edward Smyth, 2nd Baronet (1637–1713)
  • Sir Edward Smyth, 3rd Baronet (1686–1744)
  • Sir Edward Smyth, 4th Baronet (1710–1760)
  • Sir Charles Smyth, 5th Baronet (1711–1773)
  • Sir William Smyth, 6th Baronet (c. 1719–1777)
  • Sir William Smijth, 7th Baronet (1746–1823)
  • Sir Thomas Smijth, 8th Baronet (1781–1833)
  • Sir John Smijth, 9th Baronet (1782–1838)
  • Sir Edward Bowyer-Smijth, 10th Baronet(1 March 1785 – 15 August 1850)
  • Sir William Bowyer-Smijth, 11th Baronet (1814–1883)
  • Sir William Bowyer-Smijth, 12th Baronet (1840–1916)
  • Sir Alfred John Bowyer-Smyth, 13th Baronet (1850–1927)
  • Sir Philip Weyland Bowyer-Smyth, 14th Baronet (1894–1978)
  • Sir Thomas Weyland Bowyer-Smyth, 15th Baronet (born 1960)

See also[edit]



  • Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,[page needed]
  • Leigh Rayment's list of baronets [self-published source][better source needed]
  • "p. 17657 § 176569". Retrieved 2006-12-26. [unreliable source]
  • Strype, John. Life of the learned Sir Thomas Smith. Oxford, the Clarendon Press, 1820.
  • Cusack, Mary. History of Ireland, 1868.
  • Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and heraldic history of the Peerage and Baronetage, Burkes Peerage, London, 1937.
  • Scott-Giles, Charles. The romance of heraldry. 1951.
  • National Archives UK ref: C/241/162/68
  • National Archives UK ref: C/241/162/3
  • National Archives UK ref: C/136/25/3
  • National Archives UK ref: C/131/25/14
  • National Archives UK ref: C/241/162/5
  • Juliana Berners. The book containing the treatises of hawking, hunting, coat armour, fishing and blazing of arms, London, 1801.