Archive:The Ancestry of John Whitney, Introduction
Melville, Henry, A.M., LL.B., The Ancestry of John Whitney: Who, with His Wife Elinor, and Sons John, Richard, Nathaniel, Thomas, and Jonathan, Emigrated from London, England, in the Year 1635, and Settled in Watertown, Massachusetts; the First of the Name in America, and the One from Whom a Great Majority of the Whitneys Now Living in the United States Are Descended (New York, NY: The De Vinne Press, 1896).
WHO, WITH HIS WIFE ELINOR, AND SONS JOHN,
RICHARD, NATHANIEL, THOMAS, AND JONATHAN,
EMIGRATED FROM LONDON, ENGLAND, IN THE
YEAR 1635, AND SETTLED IN WATERTOWN,
MASSACHUSETTS; THE FIRST OF THE NAME IN
AMERICA, AND THE ONE FROM WHOM A GREAT
MAJORITY OF THE WHITNEYS NOW LIVING
IN THE UNITED STATES ARE DESCENDED.
HENRY MELVILLE, A. M., LL. B.
OF THE CITY OF NEW-YORK
PRINTED AT THE DE VINNE PRESS
[Picture omitted] WHITNEY OF WHITNEY. Arms. Azure, a cross chequy or and gules. Crest. A bull's head couped sable, armed argent, the points gules. As registered in the College of Arms.
PREFACE AT the beginning of the work the results of which appear in the following pages, Mr. JOSEPH C. WHIT- NEY, of Boston, with great courtesy placed freely at my disposal a mass of memoranda accumulated in the course of several years of investigation by his late father HENRY AUSTIN WHITNEY. They sug- gested clearly the parentage of the emigrant, and only the discovery of the register of his baptism at Westminster and the entries in the records of the Merchant Taylors Company, connecting Westmin- ster with Isleworth, was necessary to complete the chain of proof. Finding that he was the son of Thomas Whitney, "gentleman," of Westminster, there was at once available the manuscript Whitney pedigrees of the British Museum, in which the said Thomas is mentioned. Acknowledgment of indebtedness for kind assis- tance is also especially due to the Reverend HENRY DEW and Miss JANE B. DEW, of Whitney; the Very Reverend Archdeacon BEVAN, of Hay Castle; Mrs. vii
viii Preface MARY DAWSON, daughter of the said Archdeacon, and wife of Colonel DAWSON of the British Army; the Reverend WALWYN TRUMPER, of Clifford; the Rev- erend H. J. R. MARSTON, of Icomb; the Reverend DAVID ROYCE, of Nether Swell; and EDWARD NASH, Esq., clerk of the Merchant Taylors Company. HENRY MELVILLE. New York, November, 1895.
THE ANCESTRY OF JOHN WHITNEY ------ SIX HUNDRED COPIES PRINTED
TO THE DESCENDANTS OF JOHN WHITNEY WHO HONOR THEIR FOREFATHERS AS THEY HOPE TO BE HONORED IN TURN BY POSTERITY THIS BOOK IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED
WHITNEY HERALDRY THOMAS FULLER, in his famous "History of the Worthies of England," states that the arms of Sir Robert Whitney, of Whitney, Knight, who was sheriff of Herefordshire in the first year of Richard II. (1377) were "Az. a cross checky or and Gules." How long these were borne by the family before that date is not known, but, from their nature, it is supposed that they originated during the early cru- sades. The records of the various Herald's Visita- tions, found in the College of Arms and among the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, show that they remained unchanged till the emigration of John Whitney in 1635. The same authorities describe the crest that went with the arms as "A bull's head, couped sa. armed arg. the points gu." Fairbairn's "Book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland," revised by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies, Edinburgh, 1892, gives the motto of the Whitneys of Herefordshire as "Magnanimiter cru- cem sustine," (gallantly uphold the cross). It also indicates that all the Whitney families in Great Brit- ain have retained the original crest substantially un- altered; for example: "WHITNEY, of Merton, Wexford, a bull's head couped sa., the horns arg., the points gu. ix
x Whitney Heraldry WHITNEY, of Cheshire, in Gloucester, same crest. "WHITNEY, of Hertfordshire, same crest. "WHITNEY, of Shropshire, a bull's head sa. attired per fesse gu. and arg. "WHITNEY, Benjamin, Esquire, of Upper Fitzwil- liam street, Dublin, Ireland, a bull's head couped sa. armed arg., tipped gu. gorged with a collar chequy or and sa., and charged upon the neck below the collar with a cross crosslet arg. "FETHERSTON-WHITNEY, Edmund Whitney, Es- quire, of Neopass, County Westmeath, Ireland -- 1, a bull's head couped sa., horned arg., tipped gu., gorged with a collar chequy arg. and gu. (for Whitney); 2, an antelope statant arg., attired or. (for Fetherston)." The originals of the two colored plates, showing respectively the Whitney arms and crest alone, and a shield with sixteen quarterings, were prepared by Charles H. Athill, Esquire, Richmond Herald, at the College of Arms, London. The third plate, with sixty- four quarterings, showing the impalement to which the great-grandparents of the emigrant were entitled, is the work of Mr. Gildersome-Dickinson, of London, and should be compared with a chart, arranged by him, which appears as an appendix.
Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 CHAPTER I ORIGIN AND EARLY HISTORY OF THE WHITNEY FAMILY . . . 7 Location and description of the parish of Whitney and the river Wye. Derivation of the name Whitney. Earliest mention. Origin of Whitney as a surname. Turstan the Fleming and Agnes de Merleberge. The grant of land to the Monastery of St. Peter. Origin of the name De Wigemore. Change from De Wige- more to De Whitney. Description of the Marches of Wales. Probable Character of the early Whitneys. Origin of the Whitney arms. CHAPTER II THE WHITNEYS OF THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY . . . . . . 41 Table of the reigns of the Sovereigns of England. The Testa de Nevill, 1242. Robert the earliest his- toric Whitney. John de Wytteneye, overseer of the King's Castle at Bristol, 1252. John de Wytteneye, assassinated in Hereford, 1272. Sir Eustace de Whitney confirms grant of his ancestors to St. Peters, about 1280; Lord of Pencombe, Little Cow- arne, and Whitney, 1281; granted Free Warren in Pencombe, Whitney, and Caldwell, 1284; summoned to military service beyond the seas, 1297; tenant of part of the Manor of Huntington, 1299; summoned to Scottish War, 1301. xi
xii Table of Contents CHAPTER III PAGE THE WHITNEYS OF THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY . . . . . . 51 The first Whitney in Parliament, 1313. John de Wytteneye, the monk of Westminster, 1303. John de Wytteneye, adviser of Edward II., 1314. Sir Eustace de Whitney, Member of Parliament, 1351-52. Sir Robert de Whitney in retinue of Duke of Clarence, 1368; Member of three Parliaments, 1376, 1379, 1380; Sheriff of Herefordshire, 1377. Sir Robert Whitney, Commissioner to negotiate treaty in Flan- ders, 1388; Member of Parliament, 1391. Commis- sioner to France, 1393; Knight Marshal at Court of Richard II.; sent to Ireland on the King's business in 1394; killed "at the capture of Edmund Mortimer," 1402. CHAPTER IV THE WHITNEYS OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY . . . . . . . 74 Grant of the Castle of Clifford and the lordships of Clifford and Glasbury to Robert Whitney on ac- count of the services of his father. Description of Clifford. Connection by marriage of the Whitney and Oldcastle families. Sir Robert Whitney, Sheriff, 1413; Member of Parliament, 1416; Captain of Fortress of Vire, 1420; Member of Parliament, 1422 ; Sheriff, 1428,1433, 1437; died, 1441. Thomas Whitney at Agincourt, 1415; granted land in France, 1419. Sir Eustace Whitney; marriages; adventure as Royal Commissioner in Wales ; Member of Par- liament, 1468. Robert Whitney attainted as a York- ist, 1459; Sheriff, 1476; marriage to Alice Vaughn; her ancestry ; Epithalamium by Lewis Glyn Cothi; marriage to Constance Touchett; her descent from William the Conqueror.
Table of Contents xiii CHAPTER V PAGE THE WHITNEYS OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY . . . . . . 116 James Whitney; his marriage to Blanche Milbourne; her ancestry and possessions. Description of Icomb. James Whitney, Receiver of Newport, 1521-22. James Whitney, Sewer of the Chamber, 1516; Re- ceiver General, etc., 1530. Robert Whitney of Icomb; marriage; in charge of estate of Duke of Bucking- ham, 1523; Sheriff of Gloucestershire, 1527-1530; nominated Knight of the Bath at Coronation of Anne Boleyn, 1533; pensioned from Monastery lands, 1535; "Attendant upon the King's person," in war of 1536, supplying forty men; death, 1541; will. John Whitney, the "bedfellow" of Roger As- cham. Robert Whitney, knighted, 1553; summoned by privy council, 1555, 1559; in Parliament, 1559. marriage; ancestry of his wife, Sybil Baskerville. quarterings of Whitney Arms; Inquest post mor- tem, 1567. James Whitney, knighted, 1570; Sheriff, 1574, 1586, 1587; Suitor for hand of Barbara Ga- mage; death 1587; will. CHAPTER VI THE LAST OF THE WHITNEYS OF WHITNEY . . . . . . . 181 Eustace Whitney, Sheriff, 1596; marriage and family. Sir Robert Whitney, knighted, 1617; Sheriff, 1639; officer in Cavalier Army at Worcester; marriage to daughter of Sir Thomas Lucy, and family. Constance Whitney's monument at St. Giles. Lucy Booth's monument in Hereford Cathedral. Sir Thomas Whitney, knighted by Charles II.; the last of the Whitneys of Whitney. Disposition of the estate; Chain of title; present condition. Whitney Castle. Whitney Court. ---- xiv Table of Contents CHAPTER VII PAGE COLLATERAL WHITNEY FAMILIES . . . . . . . . . . . 196 The Whitneys of Coole Pilate. Geoffrey Whitney, Poet. Thomas Whitney of Hay, Soldier. William Whitney of Abergeoir, Soldier. John Whitney of London, friend of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Geoffrey Whitney of London, Merchant Taylor. Walter Whitney of London, Plasterer. Sir William Whitney, Baronet. Thomas Whitney of Dieulacres, Abbot. Captain James Whitney, "Highwayman." Captain Thomas Whitney, "Pirate." CHAPTER VIII PAGE THE ANCESTRY OF JOHN WHITNEY . . . . . . . . . . . 207 Robert, third son of Sir Robert Whitney. Thomas Whitney of Westminster, son of Robert; his mar- riage, children, death, and estate. John Whitney, son of Thomas, shown to have been the emigrant by the records of the Merchant Taylors Company. Life of John Whitney, Puritan Emigrant.
APPENDIXES PAGE I. VISITATION OF 1634, IN COLLEGE OF ARMS . . 263 II. HARLEIAN MS. No.1140, IN BRITISH MUSEUM 264 III. HARLEIAN MS. No.1041, IN BRITISH MUSEUM 266 IV. HARLEIAN MS. No.1159, IN BRITISH MUSEUM 267 V. HARLEIAN MS. No.1159, IN BRITISH MUSEUM 268 VI. HARLEIAN MS. No. 1442 IN BRITISH MUSEUM 270 VII. HARLEIAN MS. No.1442, IN BRITISH MUSEUM 272 VIII. HARLEIAN MS. No.1442, IN BRITISH MUSEUM 273 IX. HARLEIAN MS. No.1545, IN BRITISH MUSEUM 275 X. CHAUNDLER PEDIGREE, VIS. OF LONDON . . . . 276 INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279 xv
List of Illustrations
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS ARMS AND CREST OF WHITNEY, colored . . . Frontispiece. FACSIMILES OF PASSAGES IN DOMESDAY BOOK: PAGE "Rex tenet Witenie" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Land of Alured de Merleberge . . . . . . . . . . 20 Land of Ralph de Mortimer . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 OPPOSITE PAGE THE WYE AT WHITNEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 THE BANKS OF THE WYE AT WHITNEY . . . . . . . . . 10 SCRIPTORIUM OF THE MONASTERY OF ST. PETER . . . . 14 PLAN OF EWIAS CASTLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 RUINS OF WIGEMORE CASTLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 MAP OF THE WHITNEY ESTATE, 1895 . . . . . . . . . 32 GRANT OF FREE WARREN TO EUSTACE DE WHYTENEYE . . . 48 RUINS OF CLIFFORD CASTLE, 1800 . . . . . . . . . . 76 GRANT OF CLIFFORD AND GLASBURY TO ROBERT WHITENEY, 1404 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 RUINS OF CLIFFORD CASTLE, 1895, LAND SIDE . . . . 82 RUINS OF CLIFFORD CASTLE, 1895, FROM THE WYE . . . 84 ARMS OF CLIFFORD, WALWYN, PENNOYRE AND WHIT- NEY, CARVED ON TOWER CEILING IN CLIFFORD CHURCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 KAY CASTLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 TOMB OF SIR JOHN BLACKETT . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 xvii
xviii List of Illustrations OPPOSITE PAGE ICOMB PLACE, FLOOR PLANS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 ICOMB PLACE, THE GATEWAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 ICOMB PLACE, THE FIRST COURT . . . . . . . . . . . 124 ICOMB PLACE, NORTHWEST ANGLE OF FIRST COURT . . . 126 ICOMB PLACE, DOOR INTO THE PASSAGE AT END OF DINING HALL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 ICOMB PLACE, VIEW OF EAST SIDE . . . . . . . . . . 136 AUTOGRAPH OF ROBERT WHITNEY, 1551 . . . . . . . . 144 WHITENEY QUARTERINGS, colored . . . . . . . . . . 150 MAP SHOWING WHITNEY POSSESSIONS . . . . . . . . . 160 AUTOGRAPH OF SIR JAMES WHITNEY, KNIGHT, 1581 . . . 166 PARISH CHURCH AT WHITNEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170 WHITNEY PARISH REGISTER . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182 MONUMENT OF CONSTANCE WHITNEY . . . . . . . . . . 184 MONUMENT OF LUCY (WHITNEY) BOOTH . . . . . . . . . 186 MONUMENT OF LUCY (WHITNEY) BOOTH . . . . . . . . . 188 WHITNEY COURT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190 WHITNEY BAPTISMAL FONT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192 WHITNEY RECTORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194 RHYDSPENCE INN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198 AUTOGRAPH OF SIR ROBERT WHITNEY, KNIGHT . . . . . 208 PARISH CHURCH OF ST. MARGARET, WESTMINSTER . . . . 210 REGISTER OF BAPTISM OF JOHN WHITNEY . . . . . . . 212 THE ANCESTRY OF JOHN WHITNEY, Chart . . . . . . . 216 RECORDS OF MERCHANT TAYLORS COMPANY . . . . . . . 218 RECORDS WRITTEN BY JOHN WHITNEY, Town Clerk . . . 240 AUTOGRAPH OF JOHN WHITNEY . . . . . . . . . . . . 244 APPOINTMENT OF JOHN WHITNEY CONSTABLE OF WATERTOWN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246 IMPALEMENT OF SIR ROBERT WHITNEY, KNIGHT, AND DAME SYBIL, HIS WIFE, colored . . . . . . . . . 260
THE ANCESTRY OF JOHN WHITNEY
Whatever may be the triumphs which the Future keeps in store for Democracy, there seems to be a fair probability that the pedigree of a famous man will never quite lose its interest. The mere tradition of a great ancestry has sometimes helped, visibly, to mould the character, of men who were intrinsically strong enough to stand alone. Reveries about historic birth and the doings of historic foregoers have frequently given colour to a lifetime, even when the man who has indulged in them bore Nature's own stamp that he was one of the chosen few who are to hand down greatness rather than derive it. Edward Edwards, Introduction to "Life of Sir Walter Raleigh."
INTRODUCTION SIR ROBERT WHITNEY, of Whitney, dubbed a knight the day after Queen Mary's corona- tion, October 2, 1553, "at the palace at Westmin- ster, before her in her chamber of presence under the Cloth of State,"1 had three sons: James, Eustace, and Robert. James, after having been knighted by Queen Elizabeth at Windsor in 1570, died without issue. The lines of descent through the two younger brothers were as follows: SIR ROBERT WHITNEY. __________________|______________ | | | Sir JAMES. EUSTACE WHITNEY, ROBERT WHITNEY, Esquire. Esquire. | | | | SIR ROBERT WHITNEY, THOMAS WHITNEY, of Whitney, knighted of Westminster, by James I. in 1617. Gentleman. | | | | Sir THOMAS WHITNEY, JOHN WHITNEY, of Whitney, nominated of Watertown, Knight of the Royal Puritan Emigrant. Oak by Charles II. 1 "Historical Memorials," by John Strype, vol. iii, p. 181. 3
4 The Ancestry of John Whitney There is reason to believe that when Sir Thomas died, without issue, his second cousin, John, who sur- vived him about two years, was his nearest male relative; yet, despite this tie of blood, three thousand miles of sea had long separated them, and their lives had been apart even farther than their residences. One the devoted churchman and royalist, the other the Puritan; one the English country gentleman, the other the struggling colonist; Thomas the favorite of the dissolute Charles II., John, the "selectman" of the God-fearing settlers of Watertown. The most interesting contrast, however, is in the fact that the former was the last of the illustrious English knightly line that for more than five hundred years had been established at Whitney, from which place it had taken its name, while the latter was the first of the Ameri- can line that still flourishes so vigorously. General Josiah Whitney of Harvard, Massachusetts, a hero of the Revolution; Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton-gin; Josiah Dwight Whitney, the geologist and author; William Dwight Whitney, the great philologist; General James Scollay Whitney, and his distinguished sons, Henry Melville Whitney of Bos- ton and William Collins Whitney of New York, are only a few of the more conspicuous of his descen- dants, whose names are famous even beyond the limits of the United States. Not long had the Knight been sleeping among his ancestors in the old church on the river's bank before the floods poured down from the Welsh mountains, swelling the Wye to a foaming torrent which swept past Hay and Clifford, and then, leaving its natural course, dashed against the ivy-clad ruins of Whitney Castle, and the good "White Tower," that had sur-
Introduction 5 vived so many centuries of border warfare, crumbled beneath the waves.1 Thus, as the family was begin- ning in the New World, it ended in the Old. There are probably as many of the name to-day in some Massachusetts village as can be found in all Eng- land. There has been, therefore, no one to keep alive the traditions of the old Sir Baldwins, Eustaces, and Roberts, great men as they were in their day and generation. The envious river even obliterated their tombs. For this reason any records that can be found throwing light on their history have a pecu- liar interest for the American Whitneys, now their principal and almost their sole representatives, es- pecially as such records show them entitled to the highest respect. Others having traced the descendants of John for ten generations,2 the present purpose is to start where these began, and work the other way, tracing his ancestry back to the foundation of the Whitney family. The following pages represent the result of four years of investigation, seven months of it in England. While it is not claimed that by any means 1 "Mansions and Manors of Herefordshire," by Rev. C. J. Robinson. Longmans & Co., London, 1873. "History of the Castles of Herefordshire and their Lords," 1869, by same author. 2 See "A Brief Account of the Descendants of John and Elinor Whitney of Watertown, Mass.," by Henry Austin Whitney. Reprinted, with additions, from N. E. Hist. and Gen. Reg. for April and July, 1857. Bond's "History and Genealogies of Watertown, Mass." Savage's "Genealogical Dictionary of N.E.," under "Whitney." "Descendants of John and Elinor Whitney," by William L. Whit- ney. Pottsville, Pa., 1880. "The Descendants of John Whitney, who came from London, Eng- land, to Watertown, Massachusetts, In 1635." 600 pages, 75 illustra- tions. By Fred. C. Pierce, 161 Dearborn Street, Chicago, 111., 1895. Price, $10.
6 The Ancestry of John Whitney all sources of information have been exhausted, or that mistakes in minor matters have been entirely avoided, it is believed that the documents cited1--full copies or translations of which have, as a rule, been given--show beyond the possibility of reasonable doubt not only how the Whitney name was trans- planted, and how time New World connected with the Old, but who were the heads of the family in un- broken line for fourteen generations, back from the emigration to the beginning of the thirteenth cen- tury, and, beyond that, who were their progenitors as early as the Norman Conquest. It is also believed that it is clearly pointed out, by reference to manu- scripts of the highest authority in time British Mu- seum, how, by the marriages of Robert Whitney, about 1470, with Constance, daughter of Baron Aud- ley and granddaughter of the Earl of Kent, and of another Robert, about 1540, with Sybil, daughter of Sir James Baskerville, the Whitneys of to-day can claim the blood of some of those whose names are most familiar in English history-the Saxon kings Alfred the Great and Edmund Ironside; the Nor- mans William the Conqueror and Henry I.; the Plan- tagenets Henry II., John, Henry III., and Edward I.; to say nothing of the members of the royal houses of Scotland, France, and Spain, with whom these were allied. 1 The principal sources of information taken advantage of are the wills collected at Somerset House; the old rolls in the Record Office, Chancery Lane; the Harleian manuscripts in the British Museum; and the registered pedigrees in the College of Arms.