Born in 1355 the first born son of John Smyth of Coity, master at arms to a free company from Wales under the great military commander, Sir Robert Knolles.
I joined my father in France from an early age and was trained in the ways of warfare, weapons and siege tactics. After many years taking part in the French campaigns, I returned to my father’s estate after his death at the battle of Pontvallain in 1370.
I took to military work for Sir Edward Dalyngrigge and progressed through the ranks to the post of weapons trainer to my lord’s retinue. I was noticed by Richard FitzAlan, 11th Earl of Arundel and governor of Caernarfon, who took me into his service as steward to his manors in South Wales. At this time I married Barbara of Bridgend, the daughter of a local Welsh wool merchant and together we had a son Stephen.
During a weak truce between England and France, I was called upon to help reform the company as yet another conflict had broken out in Scotland. During the battle of Morranside in 1385 we were hard pressed by the Scots, and their allies the French, and I took several wounds in the defence of my lord.
On my recovery I was knighted by Earl Richard, in recognition for my service and valour and was given land and property in South Wales to govern in his name. At this time my good wife, Lady Barbara, is managing our estate and my son is in the service of the Earl`s household as a squire.
I myself am, as ever, still on campaign with my retinue to enforce our king’s rightful claims in France.