SMALMAN, Francis I (c.1565-1633), of Kinnersley Castle, Herefs.; formerly of St. John Street, Clerkenwell, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1565, o.s. of William Smalman of Ivington Bury, nr. Leominster, Herefs. and 1st w. Joan.1 m. (1) 29 Jan. 1591, Elizabeth (bur. 18 Oct. 1602), da. of one Stockmede, wid. of George Croft of Clerkenwell, 1s. d.v.p. 2da.;2 (2) Susanna (bur. 10 Aug. 1632), da. of one Fabian of Essex, wid. of John Clarke of Clerkenwell, 1s. 1da.3 suc. fa. 1608/9.4 d. 7 Sept. 1636.5 sig. Fra[ncis] Smalman.

Offices Held

J.p. Herefs. by c.1609-d.,6 sheriff 1614-15;7 commr. sewers, Wye valley 1621,8 subsidy, Herefs. 1621-2, 1624, 1626;9 subcommr. exacted fees, Herefs. 1623;10 commr. Forced Loan, Herefs. 1626-7,11 swans, Midland counties 1627.12


Smalman’s father rented the farm and stock of Ivington Bury, two miles south of Leominster, from his uncle Thomas for £113 p.a.13 Smalman himself went up to London and established himself in the inner suburbs as a merchant, money-lender, and property developer.14 However, he never lost touch with Leominster; his first wife was buried in the priory, and his stepmother was the mother of John Powle*. On her death in 1615 he succeeded to a messuage, garden and orchard that his father had purchased in the town.15 His own property purchases were on a far greater scale. By 1617 he had bought for ‘a very great sum of money’ Kinnersley castle and the manors of Kinnersley and Letton, situated about 12 miles north-west of Hereford, from the son of Roger Vaughan†.16 He seems to have experienced no difficulty in gaining acceptance by the local gentry. By 1616 Sir Thomas Coningsby† could express his confidence in Smalman’s ‘integrity and endeavour’, and was prepared to lay down £2,000 for a match between their children.17

Smalman was returned for Leominster in 1621, presumably with Coningsby’s support. He left no trace on the records of the third Jacobean Parliament, although he was certainly in London during the resumed session in November, when the opponents of the weirs on the Wye looked both to him and Coningsby’s son Fitzwilliam* to obtain satisfaction in Parliament. In January 1622 he was warned to attend the Privy Council for failing to contribute towards the benevolence for the Palatinate.18 On 7 Apr. 1624 he signed a letter addressed to the county Members asking them to seek the removal of the weirs on the Wye.19 He was noted as being absent from the meeting of the Herefordshire Forced Loan commission on 13 Feb. 1627.20

Smalman died aged 68, and was buried at Kinnersley on 9 Sept. 1633.21 In his will, made on 20 July 1633, he left his only daughter a portion of £1,000. A splendid memorial was erected by his son William, who sat for Leominster in the Short Parliament.22

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. PROB 11/114, ff. 372-4; C.J. Robinson, Hist. of Mansions and Manors of Herefs. 164.
  • 2. St. James Clerkenwell ed. R. Hovenden (Harl. Soc. reg. ix), 15; Robinson, 164; Herefs. RO, Leominster par. reg.
  • 3. Robinson, 164; STAC 8/264/15; Herefs. RO, Kinnersley par. reg.
  • 4. PROB 11/114, ff. 372-4.
  • 5. Robinson, 164.
  • 6. C66/1822; SP16/212, f. 28.
  • 7. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 61.
  • 8. C181/3, f. 33.
  • 9. C212/22/20-1, 23; Add. 11051, f. 141.
  • 10. Add. 70001, unfol. (7 July 1623).
  • 11. C115/71/6508; Add. 11051, f. 33v.
  • 12. C181/3, f. 228.
  • 13. PROB 11/77, f. 151v.
  • 14. HMC Hatfield, x. 84; APC, 1598-9, p. 37.
  • 15. PROB 11/114, f. 372v; 11/126, f. 52.
  • 16. E112/85/219, 222; RCHM Herefs. iii. 98.
  • 17. PROB 11/148, f. 292r-v.
  • 18. SP14/127/48.
  • 19. Herefs. RO, W15/2, Henry Vaughan to Fitzwilliam Coningsby, 14 Nov. 1621; Add. 70086/2, Sir Richard Hopton et al. to Sir John Scudamore and Sir Robert Harley, 7 Apr. 1624.
  • 20. SP16/54/2.I.
  • 21. Robinson, 164; Herefs. RO, Kinnersley par. reg.
  • 22. PROB 11/164, f. 274; RCHM Herefs. iii. 98.