People: Smyth, Richard (rector of Bury)


Smyth (Smythe/Smith)







Marital Status


Occupation Status

Clerk; rector of Bury


Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws

CCEd person ID 37371

Career: rector of Holy Trinity, Chester 1505 -1507; rector of Bury 1507- 1554/5; probably rector of Wigan 1551 -1554; probably vicar of Sandbach 1548-1554.

He resigned the living of Holy Trinity, valued at £8 15s 6d, and on the same day in October 1507 was admitted to Bury, valued at £29 11s 4d (these valuations are from the Valor Ecclesiasticus of 1535).

Although he is referred to as ‘in jure baccallarius’ I have not been able to find conclusive proof of the University he attended.

He was presented to Holy Trinity and to Bury by Thomas Stanley, earl of Derby.

Further notes: He was unpopular with his parishioners at Bury and in 1526 he appointed a parish clerk who was unacceptable to certain parishioners who attacked him and the clerk during a service in the church. He claimed that this violence had caused the church to be put under an interdict. Smyth claimed that such violence had been inflicted upon him that he was afraid to go out or to enter the church.

He built a chapel attached to Bury church which he may have intended as a chantry for himself.


George T. O. Bridgeman, The History of the Church and Manor of Wigan in the County of Lancaster, part I (Chetham Society, new series, 15, 1888), pp. 121-8.

Tim Cooper, The Last Generation of English Catholic Clergy: Parish Priests in the Diocese of Coventry and Lichfield in the Early Sixteenth Century (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999) p. 61.

J. P. Earwaker, The History of the Ancient Parish of Sandbach (No place of publication: published privately, 1890), p. 46.

Henry Fishwick (ed.), Pleadings and Depositions in the Duchy Court of Lancaster time of Henry VIII, (The Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 32, 1896), pp. 151-152.

Christopher Haigh, Reformation and Resistance in Tudor Lancashire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975), pp. 3-4, 57.

Douglas Jones, The Church in Chester 1300-1540 (Chetham Society 3rd series, 7, 1957), p. 172.

‘The parish of Bury’, in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1911), pp. 122-128. British History Online [accessed 4 February 2023]



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