The earliest smiley? :)
Who are these folks? The "Second Oxford Company," the unsung and mostly unknown translators of "The Acts of the Apostles" for the King James Bible. (If you haven't read Nicholson's book, I recommend it.)
And if you read the end product of their work, in Acts 18:2, some 4 centuries later (online even), you'll see an Internet smiley; ":)".
I have no idea why that colon is there but I've checked a number of places and it's there.
So I'll add, for all the rest of the Internet junkies who read this blog: Anglicans may have had the smiley first. (Look it up! :)