SMITH, Hugh (by 1531-81), of Long Ashton, Som.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1531, 1st s. of John Smith of Bristol, Glos. by Joan, da. of John Parr; bro. of Matthew. educ. I. Temple, adm. 1550. m. 1556, Maud, da. and coh. of Hugh Biccombe of Crowcombe, Som., 1da. 2 other ch. suc. fa. 1 Sept. 1556.1

Offices Held

J.p. Som. 1573/74-8.2


Hugh Smith’s father bought Long Ashton, three miles from Bristol, of Sir Thomas Arundell in 1545, and it was as of Long Ashton alias of Bristol that the son sued out a general pardon at the accession of Elizabeth. Smith also inherited the manors of Ashton-Meriet and Durleigh; in 1556 he and his mother, just widowed, bought the manor of Mark; and as part of his marriage settlement he obtained the manor of Broomfield. In May 1560 he and his wife were licensed to create a use in part of his property, the feoffees being Richard Michell, Thomas Phelips, John Popham and Francis Stradling; if they had no son the beneficiary was to be Smith’s brother Matthew.3

Smith was in his early twenties when he had his brief experience of Parliament. As his name was inserted over an erasure on the indenture for Wareham he was evidently not the townsmen’s own choice. He had no personal link with the town, but his uncle by marriage Thomas Phelips had already sat for it at least twice, and when in the autumn of 1554 Phelips was elected for Melcombe Regis one of the Wareham seats was left free for Smith. Both he and his fellow-Member Roger Gerard joined Phelips in quitting the Parliament early without leave, and all three were informed against in the King’s bench for doing so. In Smith’s case a writ of venire facias was directed to the sheriff, but no further process is recorded.4

It is not known why in June 1556 Smith and his father were summoned before the Council, where they were ‘to be remitted to the commissioners of examinations’, but the reason may have been one of the son’s outbursts of ill temper. By nature arrogant and given to violence, he had been put out of commons at the Inner Temple in 1552 for striking a barrister who had counselled the arrest of his brother for debt. Later in life, and more seriously, he was involved in a long drawn-out dispute with his neighbours in Somerset which culminated in his removal from the commission of the peace and his commitment for a few weeks to the Fleet.5

Smith made his will on 27 Feb. 1581 asking to be buried in Long Ashton church, ‘where I have two children buried’, and appointing as overseers John Popham and (Sir) William Wynter. He died three days later leaving an only daughter, Elizabeth, married to Edward Morgan, and Long Ashton went to his brother and heir Matthew Smith, whom he had named his executor.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/108/109, 110/173. Collinson, Som. i. 72; ii. 292.
  • 2. APC, x. 292.
  • 3. Collinson, i. 72, 79; ii. 292, 298; CPR, 1555-7, p. 246; 1558-60, pp. 154, 262-3.
  • 4. C219/23/50; KB27/1176 rex roll 16.
  • 5. APC, v. 290; viii. 387; x. 230-2, 243, 291-2, 361, 390-1; xi. 292; xii. 276; Cal. I.T. Recs. i. 165; SP12/132/48, 165/51.
  • 6. PCC 9 Darcy; C142/193/87.