SMOTHYE, William (by 1516-57 or later), of Hereford.

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 1516. m. by 1547, Joan, da. of John Hosier of Hereford.1

Offices Held

Mayor, Hereford 1553-4.2


William Smothye was a merchant of Hereford who in 1551 was assessed for taxation in Bystreets ward on goods worth £16. In 1537 he shared the presentation to Catherine’s hospital in Ledbury with Richard Warnecombe and several other citizens. During the closing years of Henry VIII’s reign he was sued in Chancery by his stepsons for withholding their inheritances. His Membership followed his mayoralty and satisfied Queen Mary’s preference for townsmen, as well as perhaps for Catholics, and the fact that it did not comply with the request to Hereford from Bishop Heath, president of the council in the marches, to re-elect Thomas Havard and Thomas Bromwich, is to be explained by Havard’s return as a knight of the shire; the two weeks which elapsed between that election and the city’s would have sufficed to secure Heath’s consent to the substitution of Smothye and Leonard Boldyng, both of whom were to conduct themselves to his and the government’s satisfaction by not withdrawing from the Parliament without leave before its dissolution. In May 1555 Smothye testified against the vicar of St. Peter’s church in Hereford for removing vestments and ornaments. Mentioned as the lessee of property in Hereford in August 1557, Smothye may have died before the 1st Earl of Pembroke visited the city later that year as he does not appear to have helped entertain the earl.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: P. S. Edwards


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. C1/1133/51-52.
  • 2. R. Johnson, Anct. Customs, Hereford, 233.
  • 3. E179/117/219; Hereford cathedral muniments, chapter act. bk. 1512-66, f.80v; pub. lib., city muniments, bag 8, nos. 9, 12, 14, 15; C1/1133/51-52; HMC 13th Rep. IV, 318-19, 322; Johnson, 157, 159; CPR, 1553, p. 128; 1557-8, p. 135.