Samuel Smythe was the captain and part-owner of the Providence, a merchant vessel. While he was notorious for his frugal business decisions and for treating his crew members poorly, he did not flog his men or otherwise punish them, unlike Navy captains.
In 1754, Smythe came into contact with Haytham Kenway, who had not much earlier assassinated an individual at the Theatre Royal and had secured himself passage aboard the captain's ship through his contacts. This arrangement was much to Samuel's distaste, however, as he had sacrificed the chance at several naval contracts that would have potentially earned him a great deal of money.
Despite the initial bitterness towards Haytham, Samuel elected to request the man's help, as he feared a mutiny was forming amongst his men on the Providence. Once Haytham had disposed of the one responsible for painted barrels being thrown overboard, Smythe's attitude changed towards him, though this may have been due to the preservation of his cargo, and not out of any genuine admiration.
- The outfit worn by Samuel Smythe is identical to that of the Marquis de Lafayette, only with different colors.