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The township of Birtle-with-Bamford (near Bury, Lancs) included Gristle Hurst (for some time the domain of the Holt family), Smethurst (which afterwards gave a surname to its owners) and Castle Hill (for some time the domain of the Lomax family). These three places were in close proximity to one another.
In 1285, a Gift relating to Tack Lee Wood (quite close to Smethurst Hall) was witnessed by Adam de Smethurst, and others.
In 1357, Henry son of Robert, who was son of Alice de Smethurst made a successful claim for two messuages, 20 acres of land, etc., in Middleton (Lancs). It was claimed that whilst Robert's elder brother Gilbert had originally granted the land to his lord, Henry de Bury, it had been made under duress as at the time Gilbert had been imprisoned by Henry de Bury.
In 1438 an Article of Agreement refers to lands held by several persons including Roger of Smethurst and Alisander of the Wylde.
In 1439 a Perpetual Lease refers to a messuage and lands in Middleton, formerly held by Roger Smethurst and Alexander Wyld.
In 1568 Arthur Smethurst the elder made a settlement of an estate in Middleton, Bury and Manchester. The linkages between Henry, Roger, Arthur and then the two following branches of the Smethurst family have not yet been found.
[SMET581] Lawrence Smethurst (perhaps son of [SMEZ571] Richard, see later), married (at Bury, 3rd September 1594) --- [unnamed]. They had at least three children baptised at Bury, as follows:
Margret (baptised 15th December 1594);
Edmund (baptised 25th January 1595-96). "A child of Lawrence" was buried at Bury (22nd May 1596);
[SMET592] Jane (baptised 21st September 1600) married Daniel Stones, see later.
[SMET592] Jane Smethurst (born 1600, daughter of Lawrence), married (1617) [STON591] Daniel Stones (see STONES).
[SMEZ571] Richard Smethurst, had at least one child as follows:
[SMEZ581] Richard (born c.1571), see later;
possibly also the above mentioned [SMET581] Lawrence, see earlier.
Richard (yeoman of Broadoke) was mentioned (in 1595) in connection with his tenure of a close called Tacklee (as mentioned earlier, Tack Lee Wood was quite close to Smethurst Hall). He died 5th June 1597, and at his Inquisition Post Mortem it was recorded that he held lands in Bury (Lancs) of the Earl of Derby, and a messuage in Middleton of Queen Elizabeth as her ownership of Stanton Lacy (Salop), and that his son and heir Richard was then age 26.
[SMEZ581] Richard Smethurst (born c.1571) had the following children, all baptised at Bury:
Bartlemewe & Arthur (baptised 26th December 1591);
Thomas (baptised 20th February 1593-94), perhaps not baptised immediately after his birth, but the possibility that the year should read 1592-93 has not been checked;
[SMEZ391] Richard (baptised 26th December 1594), married 1. Alice ---, then 2. Margaret ---, see later;
Ellen (baptised 29th January 1597-98);
Arthur (baptised 9th November 1600);
Robert (baptised 20th May 1604);
Anne (baptised 31st May 1607);
Edmund (baptised 11th October 1607);
Thomas (born at Brookeshaw, baptised 24th December 1609);
Jane (born at Brokshaw, baptised 7th June 1612);
Ann (born at Brokshaw, baptised 14th August 1614);
Alice (born at "Br:", baptised 16th March 1616-17), married (at Bury, 18th May 1637) Joseph Stot;
There was a Richard Smethurst who married (at Rochdale, 20th May 1593) --- [unnamed], which could possibly have been his second marriage, especially if his first wife had died after giving birth to twins in 1591. Richard contributed to the Lay Subsidy (1622).
[SMEZ591] Richard Smethurst (born 1594) possibly married 1. Alice ---, then 2. Margaret ---, and had the following children baptised at Bury:
[SMZ602] Alice (born at Heape, baptised 27th October 1622), married Bartholomew Stones, see later;
Ann & Ellen (born at Broadockes, baptised November 1625);
Richard (born at Broadocke, baptised June 1627);
Anne (born at Broad-Oake, baptised May 1629);
Arthur (born at Broadoke, baptised 3rd June 1632);
Thomas (baptised 9th July 1637);
Samuel (born at Broody Oke, baptised 19th June 1639).
Richard, yeoman of Broadoake, died in 1649. The Administration of his estate (dated 21st November 1649) refers to his wife Margaret, and also mentions his son Richard. At the 1664 Hearth Tax for Heap & Heywood, deposited at the Lancashire Record Office [cat. DDKE/2/16/7], Richard's son Richard declared he had two hearths at Broad Oak. No doubt his widowed mother [or possibly step-mother] Margaret was living there with him. Margaret "of Broad Oake" died 30th May 1678, and was buried at Bury, 3rd June 1678. An Inventory of her effects at "ye Brode Oke" showed her property was valued at £20. 1s. 10d.
[SMEZ602] Alice Smethurst (born 1622, daughter of Richard) married (at Bury, 1st June 1636) [possibly his second-cousin once removed] [STON601] Bartholomew Stones (born 1616, see STONES).