Smith, John

, a traveller and ambassador, was the son of sir Clement Smith, of Little Baddow in Essex, by a sister of Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset, and consequently sister to Jane Seymour, the third queen of Henry VIII. He was educated at Oxford, but in what college is not known. Wood informs us that he | travelled into foreign countries, and became very accomplished both as a soldier and a gentleman. He was in France in the reign of his cousin Edward VI. and from the introduction to his book of “Instructions,” it appears that he had been in the service of several foreign princes. In 1576, when the states of the Netherlands took up arms in defence of their liberty against the encroachments of the Spanish government, they solicited queen Elizabeth for a loan; but, this being inconvenient, she sent Smith to intercede with the Spanish monarch in their behalf. For this purpose she conferred the honour of knighthood upon him. Wood imputes his mission to his “being a person of a Spanish port and demeanour, and well known to the Spaniards, who held him, as their king did, in high value, and especially for this reason that he was first cousin to king Edward VI.” Carnden, in his “History of Elizabeth,” says that he was graciously received by the king of Spain, and that “he retorted with such discretion the disgraceful injuries of Caspar Quiroga, archbishop of Toledo, against the queen, in hatred of her religion, and of the inquisitors of Sevil, who would not allow the attribute of Defender of the Faith in the queen’s title, that the king gave him thanks for it, and was displeased with the archbishop, desiring the ambassador to conceal the matter from the queen, and expressly commanded the said attribute to be allowed her.” We have no further account of his history, except that he was living in 1595, irv great esteem by learned and military men. He wrote, 1. ADiscourse concerning the forms and effects of divers Weapons, and other very important matters military; greatly mistaken by divers men of war in their days, and chiefly of the rnusquet, calyver, and long-bow, &c.” Lond. 1589, reprinted 1590, 4to. 2. “Certain instructions, observations, and orders military, requisite for all chieftains, captains, higher and lower officers,” ibid. 1594, 1595, 4to. To this are added “Instructions for enrolling and mustering.” There are two Mss. relative to his transactions in Spain in the Cotton library, and one in the Lambeth library. 1

1 Ath. Ox. vol. I. new edit.