Thomas "Customer" Smythe (Kent, c. 1522 – 1591) was the collector of customs duties ("customer") in London during the Tudor period. His son and namesake Sir Thomas Smythe was an active supporter of the Virginia colony.
Customer Smythe was a younger son of John Smythe (d. 1538), a substantial yeoman and clothier, who married a daughter of Thomas Brounker. To Thomas, his younger son, born in 1522, he left a farm in the Hundred of Amesbury, Wilts, of the value of £20 per annum. Thomas, who must have been about sixteen years of age at the time of his father's death, came up to London with the intention of seeking his fortune. 
Thomas took up his freedom in his father's guild, the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, and subsequently in the Worshipful Company of Skinners, which may account for his intimate connection with Sir Andrew Judde, Lord Mayor of London in 1550, whose daughter Alice he married circa 1554.
In the reign of Mary I of England, Smythe purchased the Office of the Customs from one Mr. Cocker, for the sum of £2500. He was confirmed in his appointment at the Customs on the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558, and continued in the office for a period of eleven years. In 1567 he appears to have incurred her Majesty's severe displeasure, having been accused of issuing privy warrants whereby a loss of revenue was sustained, to the extent of some £6000; and it was only through the kind intervention of his friend William Cecil, Lord Burghley that he escaped imprisonment. Cecil persuaded the Queen to be lenient, as if time were allowed he would doubtless pay up, but if he were imprisoned her Majesty would be the loser.
The increasing wealth of the Customer only tends to shew that his gains were large; and Elizabeth, ever on the watch to replenish her exchequer, did not fail to require larger and larger fines for a renewal of the leases; with these demands he at length found himself unable to comply, and in consequence he again fell under her Majesty's severe displeasure. His October 1589 counteroffer of a more modest payment was rejected. His increasing infirmities and the weight of his Royal Mistress's displeasure combined to shorten his life. He died 7 June 1591, leaving his widow, then sixty years of age, and twelve children, six sons and six daughters.
Sir Thomas "Customer" Smythe, English Secretary of State is my 12th great grandfather.
your father → Rufus S. Nichols
his father → James "Jim" Ira Nichols
his father → Ezekiel H. Nichols
his father → "John" Ezekiel Nichols
his father → Rhoda Bond Nichols
his mother → Sgt. Wright Bond, Revolutionary Soldier
her father → Page Bond
his father → William Bond
his father → William Bond
his father → Dorothy Bond
his mother → Sgt. John Harris, Sr.
her father → Alyce Harris
his mother → Sir Thomas "Customer" Smythe, English Secretary of State