SMITH, Richard II (by 1516-81), of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Bailiff for commonalty, Newcastle-under-Lyme 1537-8, church reeve 1538-9, mayor 1547-8, 1549-50, alderman by 1555.3
Richard Smith of Newcastle had several better-known namesakes elsewhere, but his identification with the Member for that borough in November 1554 is all but certain in view of Mary’s request for the election of townsmen and entirely so a year later when it was Richard Smith ‘alderman’ who was returned. His fellow-Members were the brothers Sir Ralph and Sir Nicholas Bagnall, who took precedence over him on the returns as their family did over his in the town. If it is not surprising that Smith did not follow Sir Ralph Bagnall’s solitary example in refusing the absolution pronounced by Cardinal Pole in November 1554, his omission from the list of those who withdrew prematurely from that Parliament may imply that it was not he, but Thomas Smith II, who was the ‘Mr. Smythe’ listed among Sir Anthony Kingston’s followers in the next. In any case, he appears to have been a good churchman, serving as church reeve and obtaining in 1563 a pew in Newcastle church for his own use and that of future owners of his house called the ‘Hart’s Head’.4
In 1540 Smith shared with his father the grant from the crown of the ex-Dominican friary at Newcastle and 11 years later he obtained the reversion of the lease of the hospital of St. John the Baptist there. After the death of his father he bought Tunstall Court near Eccleshall in Staffordshire from John, 2nd Baron Sheffield and he was drawn into litigation over the ownership of several properties. His relations with his fellow-townsmen were not always cordial and in 1574 as joint lessee of the castle mills he brought an action against several of them for withdrawing their custom from the mills, but the frequency with which he was named executor or overseer in wills suggests that his reputation was unharmed. He was buried in Newcastle church on 22 May 1581 and was succeeded by his brother John.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard
- 1. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.
- 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. iii(2), 130; J. C. Wedgwood, Staffs. Parl. Hist. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc.), i. 347.
- 3. T. Pape, Newcastle-under-Lyme, 9, 186-7, 190-1; C219/24/143.
- 4. Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2; Pape, 42.
- 5. LP Hen. VIII, xvi; VCH Staffs. iii. 273, 289; viii. 8, 48; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. 1931, p. 30; Wedgwood, 347.