Catalogue description Smyth of Heath, Family & Estate Records

This record is held by West Yorkshire Archive Service, Wakefield

Details of C547
Reference: C547
Title: Smyth of Heath, Family & Estate Records



C547/1/1 1633-1734 Warmfield & Heath


C547/1/2 1638-1707 Wortley


C547/1/3 1646-1682 Bradford


C547/1/4 1654-1782 Miscellaneous




C547/2/1 1779-1919 Surveys & valuation


C547/2/2 1869-1944 Letting of property


C547/2/3 1810-1979 Estate office accounts


C547/2/4 1863-1947 Estate correspondence


C547/2/5 1817-1976 Maps & plans




C547/3/1 1832-1874 J.G. Smyth


C547/3/2 1860s-c1935 G.J.F. Smyth


C547/3/3 1790-1949 Other family papers


C547/3/4 c1775-1952 Miscellaneous




C547/4/1 1779-1951 Warmfield & Heath charities


C547/4/2 1685-1902 Bequests


C547/4/3 1845-1951 Dame Mary Bowle's & Smyth's charities


C547/4/4 1904-1918 Countess of Westmorland's charity, Sharlston




C547/5/1 1709-1872 Heath Schools


C547/5/2 1891-1894 Warmfield school




C547/6/1 1810-1907

Date: 1633-1979
Related material:

For related collections see C409 & C1063 (Wakefield) & (DB) Dibb Lupton (Leeds)

Held by: West Yorkshire Archive Service, Wakefield, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Smyth family of Heath, Yorkshire

Physical description: 6 Series
Immediate source of acquisition:

Accession Number(s): C547


Date(s) of accession: 22 May 1986

  • Heath, Warmfield, West Riding of Yorkshire
Administrative / biographical background:

The pedigree of the Smyths of Heath derived from Richard Smyth of Myreshaw (born 1594) in the parish of Bradford. His grandson John Smyth (1654-1729) - the son of John Smyth of Myreshaw - became the first squire of Heath. He had amassed a huge fortune as an agriculturalist and woolstapler, and was responsible for the endowment of Smyth's charity schools. It was he who bought the Heath estate near Wakefield in 1709 which eventually became the family seat, and was also to become a J.P. for the West Riding. His first marriage to Hannah Harrison in 1683 produced the next heir, though short-lived, to the estate - John Smyth (1685-1731), also a J.P. in the West Riding. However, it was John's brother, Richard Smyth (1688-1730) - and his marriage to Anne Wheatley - that produced the male heir.


It was the son John Smyth (1715-1771) who succeeded to the estates at Heath and Myreshaw in 1731. He developed the estate and a new residence to be called Heath Hall - once called Esholt - after his marriage to Bridget Foxley of London in 1746. He was to employ the architect John Carr to create expensive additions and alterations to the new Hall in the 1750s. He was also to buy Bradford Soke Mill in 1768 which was to remain in the family until 1869.


The only child of John Smyth was a son also to be named likewise. This John Smyth (1748-1811) succeeded to the estate in 1771. His illustrious career was to include positions of Lord of the Admiralty and Treasury, and Master of the Mint, as well as being an M.P. for Pontefract for 25 years. His elopement and subsequent marriage in 1778 to the Duke of Grafton's daughter, Lady Georgiana Fitzroy, was not to hinder his career, reputation or further familiy connections. The marriage was to produce 8 children together. It was during his time that the purchase of the old Heath Hall from the Fauquier family (in 1809) took place - the ancient Hall once in the possession of Lady Mary Bolles until her death in 1662, and later to include the Maude and Dalston families among subsequent owners.


The second son John Henry Smyth (1780-1822) was to succeed his father at Heath Hall. He became M.P. for Cambridge and served as Secretary of State in Pitt's government. Like his father he also married a daugher of the Duke of Grafton - his second marriage to Lady Elizabeth Anne Fitzroy in 1814 - after his first short-lived marriage to Sarah Ibbetson. He was also to implement additions to the Hall from around this period.


The eldest son of 6 children - John George Smyth (1815-1869) - became the next squire. He became an M.P. for York and Colonel of the 2nd West York Militia. He married Diana Bosville MacDonald in 1837 while his sister Maria Isabella was to keep up the family tradition of marriage to a Fitzroy. Colonel Smyth's marriage was to produce 8 children.


The eldest son George John Fitzroy Smyth (1841-1935) - a Lieut-Colonel in the Coldstream Guards - was the last squire of Heath Hall. He was to let the Hall to the Wakefield banker Mr Tew in 1882. On Smyth's death in 1935 the estate passed to his nephew Sir George Thursby who sold it to Lord Halifax who in turn sold it in 1938. This last sale was to Mrs Edward F.Gray - a daughter of William James Smyth (a brother of G.J.F. Smyth) - and she, Diana Norah Smyth, was the last Lady of the Manor of Heath of the family. The Hall and part the estate was finally purchased from the descendants of the Smyths by the Oddie family in 1958.

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