Family:Whitney, Robert (s1491-1541)
Robert Whitney (James, Robert, Eustace, Robert, Robert, Robert, Eustace, Eustace, Robert, ...), son of James and Blanche (Milbourne) Whitney, born say 1491, Whitney, Herefordshire; died between 10 May 1541 and 11 Jun 1541, when his will was dated and proved, Icomb, Gloucestershire.
Melville says about him the following:
- Turning now to Robert Whitney, the elder brother, we find that he married Margaret, the daughter of Robert Wye of Gloucestershire, thus allying himself to one of the best families of that county, and took up his abode, quite likely before his father's death, in the manor-house, at Icomb.
- His name is mentioned in a great number of the state papers of the reign of Henry VIII., the following being the more important:
- In 15 Henry VIII. (July, 1523) an account was filed by the commissioners having in charge the confiscated lands of the late Duke of Buckingham, who reported that they had placed the stewardship of "Breknoke, Hay and Huntington" in the hands of "Llewellyn ap Morgan, Hugh Mervyn, John Walbieff, Robt. Whyteney, James and Roger Vaughn."
- In 16 Henry VIII. (May 2, 1524) "Rob. Wytney" was put in commission of the peace for Gloucestershire, and continued to be a magistrate, as appears from more than a score of documents, for the rest of his life, and as such took part, on several important occasions, in "Gaol Deliveries at Gloucester Castle."
- In 19 Henry VIII. (Nov.16, 1527) he was commissioned sheriff of Gloucestershire, and again November 7, 1528, November 21, 1529, and November 11, 1530.
- The most interesting record, however, is in 1533, on the occasion of Henry's marriage With Anne Boleyn.
- "Additional," Manuscript, No. 21116 f. 48 in British Museum, treating of this occasion, has the following:
- The Appointment what number of officers and servitors that shall attend upon the Queen's Grace, the Bishop and ladies, sitting at the Queen's board in the Great Hall at Westminster, the day of the coronation as followeth:
- * * * * * * *
- KNIGHTS OF THE BATH--Marquis of Dorset; earl of Derby; lords Clifford, Fitzwater, Hastings, Mountegle and Vaux; Mr. Parker, lord Morley's son; Mr. Wynsor, lord Wynsor's son; John Mordant, lord Mordant's son; Fras. Weston, Thomas Arundell, Mr. Corbet, Mr. Wyndham, John Barkeley, John Haddelston, Ric. Verney of Penley, Thomas Bonynges, Hen. Savile, John Germayne, Rob. Whitneye of Gloucestershire, George Fitzwilliams, John Tyndale.
- It appears that six out of this number, including Whitney, did not accept the honor of the highest grade of knighthood thus offered to them.
- What was his reason for declining we can only conjecture. He may have been ill at the time and unable to attend at court, or possibly, like many other conscientious men in England, he thought the marriage unlawful and therefore did not Care to have any connection with it.
- His declination must have been made with tact, for he continued in favor, and on September 30, 1535, when the famous suppression of the religious houses began, had granted to him a part of the income arising from the property lately belonging to the Monastery of Brewerne.
- From his action with reference to the Church of Rome, Henry, in 1536, found himself with a serious rebellion on his hands in Lincolnshire. The suppression of it Was entrusted to the Earl of Derby, and there is still in existence, at the Record Office, a memorandum, in his handwriting, of "The names of such noblemen and gentlemen as be appointed to attend upon the King's person, in the army that was being raised. Opposite each man's name is placed the number of men he furnished, including
- "Glouc. ROBT. WITNEY, 40."
- Further along Whitney is mentioned in a list of those to whom personal letters were to be written.
- There is also in the Record Office a curious lot of memoranda in the hand of Roland Lee, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, made about the same time, called "Remembrances." The sixth was
- To remember the farm of Rolright, Co. Gloucester, belonging to the Monastery of Ensam Oxf. which Mr. Whitney hath, that it would please Mr. Secretary to help Lewes, my servant, to the same.
- This means that he was going to write to the prime minister, Cromwell, to try to get away front Whitney a lease of some of the confiscated monastery lands, doubtless, as most such things were in those days, a matter of favor and a particularly profitable thing for the holder. The attempt was unsuccessful, for it appears that Robert had the land at the time of his death.
- He died in 1541, leaving a widow and nine children, viz.: 1, Robert; 2, John; 3, Charles; 4, George; 5, William; 6, James; 7, Richard; 8, Blanche; 9, Mary; not counting two other acknowledged sons who were illegitimate.
- His will was proved in the Prerogative's Court of Canterbury, and is still of record in Somerset House, London, as follows:
- THE LAST WILL OF ROBERT WHITNEY, Esquire,
- Dated 10 May 33d Henry VIII.  Proved 11 June, 1541. (P. C. C. 30, Alenger)
- In dei nomine Amen. I, ROBERT WHITNEY of Icombe in the County of Glouc' Esquier being of hole mynde the Tenthe day of maye in the XXXIIId yere of the Raigne of oure soveraigne Lorde Kyng Henry the eight make my will and testament as herafter folowithe. Furste I bequethe my soule unto almightye god and my body to be buryed where god shall please.
- Also I bequethe to my sonne Robert my II best gownes and my best dublett and my bason and Ewer of sylver. And all the Resydue of my plate I gene and bequethe to Margaret my wyfe.
- Also I beqnethe to John my sonne when he comythe to thage of XXIIII yeres my lease and ferme of Rollrighte in the Countye of Oxforde withe the Indenture of the same remaynyng in my Caskett at Icombe aforsaide and at that age he to haue foure hundred yewes V oxen VIII kyne twoo horses or the price of them as they shalbe praysed in the Inventarye and in the meanetyme till he come to the saide age XXIIII yeres my wyfe to take the proffittes of the saide ferme.
- Also I bequeathe to my sonne Charles when he comythe to the age of XXIIII yeres my lease and ferme in Greate Ryssenton called Nylis wt the Indenture of the same remaynyng in my Caskett at Icombe aforesaide and at that age foure hundred wethers or the price of them as they shalbe praised in the Inventarye and in the meane tyme my wyfe to have the proffittes of the same ferme.
- Also I bequethe to my sonne George when he comythe to the age of XXIIII yeres my lease and ferme of Malgasbury and three hundred shepe or the Valure thereof as they shalbe praised in the Inventarye and my wyffe to take the proffittes of the same ferme in the meane tyme tyll the saide George come to the saide age of XXIIII yeres.
- Also I bequethe to my sonne William when he comythe to the age of XXIIII yeres my lease and ferme called the Chauntery landes in Greate Ryssinton wt the Indenture of the same Remaynyng in my Caskett at Icombe aforesaide wt foure hundred wethers at that age or the price of them as they shalbe praysed in the Inventarye and in the meane tyme my wife to take the proffittes of the same ferme.
- Also I will if anny of my foresaide sonnes dye before the forsaide age to them lymitted and then the nexte youngest brother to haue his older next brother's legacy at the forsaide age Relingquisshing his legacye and porc'on before to hym lymittide the whiche legacye and porcc'on shall remayne to his next yonngiste when he comythe to the forsaide age and so lynyally to Remayne to the one from the other. That is to say as well to them as yett not namyd as to the other beforenamyd.
- Also I bequethe to James my sonne twenty pounde. And also I bequethe to Rycharde my sonne twenty pounde. And if it happen eyther of them do dye before the age of XXIIII yeres that porc'on to hym before bequethide to be Voyde. And if it happen either of them to haue anny of theire brothern porc'ons before lymittide that then theyre former legacye to cease and be voyde.
- Also I geue and bequethe to my Danghter Blaunche to her maryage of II hundred markes Also I geue and bequethe to my Daughter Mary to her maryage a hundred pounde.
- Also I geue to my twoo sonnes not legitimate the one called Anthony being at Icombe and the other called Charles being wt Master Willis VI£ XIIIs IIIId apece and they to have theire legacy at the age of XVIII yeres or before at my wyfe's dyscretion.
- Also I will that my wyfe haue all monye goodes and Cattells that she hathe gotten to be her owen to her use.
- Item, I will that my sarun'tes haue meate and Dryncke tyll Midsomer and my olde sarun'tes at that tyme to haue XII monnethes wages. Further I will that wt the proffittes of my fermes my Childern that will abide withe my wyfe haue meate Dryncke and apparell after her discretion further I will that after my debtes legaces and funeralls borne that my wyfe haue all the rest of my goodes and cattills to her owen use whome I make my Soule Executrix.
- In the pn's of my father in lawe Robert Wye and Jane Wye his wife maisteris Jane Parker Thomas Marshall Rycharde Colter Davy Mer'yke and Thomas Marten.
- Item, the Resydue of myne apparell unbequethide I will that my wife geue it amonges my childern and sarun'tes after her discrec'on.
- Item, if ther be anny Doute in the saide testament I will that it be declared by the saide Robert Wye. Also I will that Margaret my wyfe shall haue all my landes in Icombe for terme of her lyfe."
- The will dealt only with personal property, as, by operation of law, all the real estate descended to the eldest son, Robert.
Children of Robert and Margaret (Wye) Whitney, sons in order, daughters in order, but overall order uncertain:
i. (Sir) Robert Whitney, b. say 1517, Icomb, Gloucestershire; m. Sybil Baskerville. ii. John Whitney, b. say 1520, Icomb, Gloucestershire; probably the "bed-felloe" of Roger Ascham. iii. Elizabeth Whitney, b. say 1521, Icomb, Gloucestershire; m. William Bastard of Banbury, Oxfordshire. She is listed as a daughter in visitation pedigrees, but not in her father's will, possibly because she was already married and had received her portion. iv. Charles Whitney, b. say 1523, Icomb, Gloucestershire; no further record. v. George Whitney, b. say 1526, Icomb, Gloucestershire; m. Julian -----. vi. Blanche Whitney, b. say 1527, Icomb, Gloucestershire; no further record. vii. William Whitney, b. say 1529, Icomb, Gloucestershire; living 1587. viii. James Whitney, b. say 1532, Icomb, Gloucestershire. In 1574 he was involved in a Star Chamber suit regarding the manor of Nyles in Risington, Gloucestershire. ix. Mary Whitney, b. say 1533, Icomb, Gloucestershire; no further record. x. Richard Whitney, b. say 1535, Icomb, Gloucestershire; no further record.
Illegitimate sons of Robert Whitney, mother(s) unknown:
xi. Anthony Whitney, b. aft. 1523, d. after 1541. He was listed as being at Icombe in his father's will. xii. Charles Whitney, b. aft. 1523, d. after 1541. He was listed as being with Master Willis in his father's will.
1.^ Henry Melville, 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), p. 129.
2.^ The date is an estimate based on ages of relatives.
6.^ The date is an estimate based on ages of relatives.
18.^ Whitney v. Degle, 16 Eliz. (1574), STAC 5/W40/33.
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