Archive:The Descendants of John Whitney, page 13

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The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635, by Frederick Clifton Pierce (Chicago: 1895)

Transcribed by the Whitney Research Group, 1999.


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WHITNEY GENEALOGY. 13

honorable order of knighthood in the time of the reign of Queen Mary, and his crest, we are informed, was the head of an ox. Another Sir Robert WHITNEY with the same crest is recorded to have been "dubbed at Wynesort" after 1536 and before 1570. Green records the circumstance that Sir James WHITNEY, knight, who, in 1574, was a member of parliament, was suitor for the hand of Barbara, Countess of Leicester, in 1585-85. The following legend explanatory of the Whitney crest is given: Sir Randolph de WHITNEY, the grandson of Eustace (founder of the name), accompanied Richard Coeur de Lion to the Crusades and distinguished himself greatly by his persona; strength and great courage. On one occasion he was sent by Richard on a mission to the French Commander, and as he was leaving the British camp the brother of Saladin (who he had twice before defeated) followed him, and with two Saracens in his company, and riding around a small hill, suddenly made a furious attack upon Eustace, knight. De WHITNEY defended himself with the greatest vigor, but his assailants were gaining upon him when a furious Spanish bull, which was feeding near the scene of conflict, was attracted by the red dress of the two Saracens and made so furious an attack upon them that they were diverted from their intended prey, and sought safety in flight. Sir Randolph soon succeeded in wounding his single assailant, whom he left for dead, and then overtaking the two Saracens he dispatched them and proceeded upon the mission of the king. According to the superstitions of that time, Sir Randolph attributed the event: to the especial interpo- sition of the Virgin, a medal of whom, consecrated by the pope, he had continually wore on his breast. On his return to England he erected a chapel to the virgin, which was called Our Lady of Palestine Oratory, the walls of which remain to this day, adjoining the grounds of the ancient family mansion of Whitney on the Wye As a matter of course, the name Whitney occurs in the lists of gentlemen in the commission of peaceof Herefordshire, as temp. Elizabeth, Eustace WHITNEY. About 1673. Thomas WHITNEY, of Whitney; in 1799, James WHITNEY of Norton Canon, related to the Whitney family of Whitney court. Probably to the same family is to be assigned John WHITNEY, the author of a very rare book, entitled "Genteel Recreation: or, the Pleasure of angling" a poem with the dialogue between Piscator and Corydon, 1700. There was a Rev. George WHITNEY instituted in 1807 to the rectory of Stretford, Herefordshire, who died in 1836. I have read somewhere, says Mr. GREEN, that a Captain WHITNEY was a com- panion of Sir Walter Raleigh, and of the name a lieutenant: fought at Worcester on the Royalists side. Sir Robert WHITNEY, knt. of King James' and Charles reign, had four sons, who all died without issue, and four daughters, to whom the estate descended. They all married and enjoyed shares in the property. Robert RODD, the only son of Thomas RODD, married Hannah WHITNEY, one of the four daughters, and conveyed her share to Robert PRICE of Foxley, by whom it was sold to William WARDOUR. The latter acquired the rest of the estate and built the present Whitney Court, and also in 1740, Whitney church, to replace the one swept away ten years before by a flood on the Wye, a calamity which involved the destruction of all the old family monuments but one, that to the memory of Williams of Calbava, in the neig- borhood, who married into the Whitney family. Mrs. BOURNE held the property from William WARDOUR, and left it to her grandson, the grandfather of the present owner, Tompkyns DEW, Esq., and of his brother, The Rev Henry DEW, rector of the parish The present representative of the Herefordshire Whitneys is Thomas WHITNEY, Esq., of Bath. The Whitneys were also established at a very early date at Cheshire, and had a seat at the Coole Pilate, a township in the widespread parish of Acton, near Nantwich, almost as soon as those of Herefordshire were settled upon the Welsh border. The manor of Coole Pilate was anciently parcel of the barony of Wich Malbank, is now the property of Kilmorey. In this twonship were two halls with considerable estates annexed, one of which belong to the Whitneys, who became possessed of it in the reign of Richard II.,1377-99, and had a seat there for many generations. This estate was purchased in 1744 of Hugh WHITNEY, by whose death the family is supposed to have become extinct. The purchaser was John DARLINGTON, whose daughter brought it in the marriage to Henry TOMKINSON, Esq., of Dorfold, the present proprietor. The hall is occupied by a farmer. Toward the end of the last century, Mr. Silas WHITNEY, also a poet or writer of verse, from the neigh- borhood of Nantwich, carried on business in Knutsford as a cotton manufactuer. He was reputed to be descended from the Whitneys of Coole Pilate, and a relative of the celebrated Josiah WEDGWOOD. When political feeling ran high and firece about the first French Revolution, he is said to have emigrated to the United States, where, however, no trace of him has been found.

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