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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).


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Contents

Title page




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.
 
 
BY  
HENRY MELVILLE, A. M., LL. B.
OF THE CITY OF NEW-YORK
 
 
 
 
 
NEW-YORK
PRINTED AT THE DE VINNE PRESS
1896


Frontispiece


[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


                     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

Dedication


                        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

Heraldry


                 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


                    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


                   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.


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