Reverend William Symmes1

M, b. before 7 April 1559
FatherWilliam Symmes d. b 19 Sep 1582
MotherCatherine (?) d. b 18 Apr 1560
     William was born in Canterbury, County Kent, England. He was christened there on 7 April 1559 in St. George's.2 William married Mary (?). He entered the University of Cambridge in 1577, received is BA degree in 1581, his MA degree in 1584 & his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1591. He became a priest in 1586, and received a benefice in Kent, probably to allow him to continue his education and to obtain his B. of D degree. It should be remembered that Queen Elizabeth had passed laws to make the Church of England the only recognized church in the country. These laws were severe to the clergy who chose not to follow. William went to Sandwich to begin his ministry at St Mary's, a community on the sea, a short distance to the east of Canterbury. Little is known of his life beyond this time period.3 On 13 June 1606, Timothy St. Nicholas, of the Isle of Ely, the youngest son of Vincent St. Nicholas late of Ash, next Sandwich, in the county of Kent, leaves to his dear friend Mr. William Symmes "fower angells". Later in his will, he mentions as having received of William 50 pounds of lawful money of England to be used to educate and raise his two sons, Zachariah and William, as well as purchase lands in their name. The brothers are to receive 3 pounds each twice a year until the lands are purchased. It appears that William is still living, but is probably in fear of his life or imprisonment or both, and quite likely in hiding.4


Mary (?)


  1. [S81] Mary Lovering Holman, Ancestory of Colonel John Harrington Stevens & his wife Frances Helen Miller, pp. 1-2.
  2. [S1348] Clarence Almon Torrey, The Symmes in England, page 68 - Christenings - 1559 April 7 William s. of Mr. Sim'es.
  3. [S1348] Clarence Almon Torrey, The Symmes in England, page 69 - Symmes or Sym, William. Matric. Pens. From Clare, Easter, 1577; B.A. 1580-1; M.A. 1584; B.D. 1591. Fellow. Ord. deacon and priest (Peeterb.) Mar. 5, 1586-7. Beneficed in Kent. Doubtless father of he next Zechariah (1617).
  4. [S1354] Henry F Waters, Genealogical Gleanings in England, page 119-120. Timothy declares his age to be about 30 years, and requests his body to buried within the parish church at Ash, next to his father.