Family:Whitney, Robert (s1525-1567)
Sir Robert Whitney, Knight (Robert, James, Robert, Eustace, Robert, Robert, Robert, Eustace, Eustace, Robert, ...), son of Robert and Margaret (Wye) Whitney; born say 1525, Icomb, Gloucestershire;; died 5 Aug 1567, Whitney, Herefordshire.
He married, first, say 1543, Sybil Baskerville, daughter of Sir James and Elizabeth (Beynton) Baskerville. She was born unknown, Eardisley, Herefordshire, and died shortly before 13 Apr 1559, probably Whitney, Herefordshire.
He married, second, Mary (Berkeley) (Perrot) Jones, widow of Sir Thomas Perrott, Sir Thomas Jones and daugher of Sir James Berkeley of Gloucester (see Bartrum's EW ap Ll. 7(A,sub 5)) as per Burke's Commoners. By Thomas Perrott (son of Sir Owen Perrot and Catrin ferch Robert Poyntz, son of Sir William Perrot by Jane ferch Henry Wogan; see Bartrum's PERROT 2), Mary Berkeley was the mother of Sir John Perrott (b.c. 1530, d.1592), reputed to have been a bastard son of King Henry VIII. For Mary Berkeley's descent from King Edward I see: Royal Lineage of our Noble and Gentle Ancestors by Joseph Foster
- "Dubbed in October, 1553, the day after Queen Mary's coronation. Summoned before the Privy Council in 1536 and 1559. Member of Parliament for Herefordshire in 1559. Died August 5, 1567."
Robert, the eldest son of Robert of Icomb, went back to Whitney, which, with the single exception just noted, was the residence of all the heads of the family. At his father's death, in 1541, he was still a minor, so Sir James Baskerville, Knight, of Eardisley, a few miles from Whitney, was appointed guardian of his person and property. The latter had a daughter, Sybil, whose acquaintance young Whitney thus had an opportunity to make, and whom, at some time prior to 1544, he married. Sir James died in 1546, and his will, proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, is still of record in Somerset House. Whitney was named as a legatee and as one of the executors. In 1550 "Robert Whytney Esquire" was appointed royal commissioner for the hundreds of "Huntingdon" and "Strettford" to assess and collect a tax known as a Lay Subsidy, and the original returns, bearing his signature, are still on file in the Record Office, London. A photograph is shown of one of these, dated January 6, 5 Edward VI. (1551-52). The next record we have of him is that already quoted in the introduction, of his being made a knight in 1553. Strype,1 in his quaint style, describes how "Sir Rob. Witney," and others, were "the Knights of the Carpet, dubbed October the 2d, the day after the Queen's (Mary) coronation, at the Palace at Westminster, before her in her chamber of presence, under the Cloth of State; by the Earl of Arundel; who had of her Highness commission to execute the same." In the records of the Privy Council, of a date two years later, can be found this minute:
ACTS OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL "At Grenewiche the XIth of Marche, 1555. Thapparaunce The Lord Chauncelour Mr. Comptroller Therle of Pembroke Mr. Secretary Petre The Bishop of Ely
A Lettre to Sir ROBERT WHITNAYE of the countye of Hereford, Knight, to give ordre fourthwith upon receipte hereof that George Whitnaye his brother maye make his undelayed repayre hither to the Courte."
There seems to be no way of ascertaining the object of the summons.
"Sir ROBERT WHITNEY, Knight" of the County of Hereford, appears as a member of the parliament that was summoned to meet at Westminster, January 23, 1558-59.
While in attendance, some of his "reteynours" became involved in a quarrel in the city of London, which brought Sir Robert into trouble with the famous Court of Star Chamber. This tribunal, organized to punish such crimes "committed by the great families, or their adherents, as the ordinary law courts could not, or through fear, dared not, deal with," was an instrument of the State used to extort confessions of guilt by means of torture. As might have been expected, its secret sessions developed into a terrible source of abuse, and became one of the greatest disgraces in the annals of a country which had hitherto boasted of immunity from anything of like nature. Of the proceedings in the case of Whitney we know nothing beyond what is disclosed in a minute of the Privy Council:
"At the Starre Chamber xxjth of Aprill 1559. The Lord Great Seale Mr. Secretary The Lord Treasourer Mr. Cave Therle of Shewisbury Mr. Mason The Lord Chamberlayne Mr. Sackevyle M. Vicechamberlain
A letter to Sir ROBERT WHITNEY, knight, requyring and commandinge him in the Quenes Majsties name, to cause not only so many of hys servauntes and reteynours as haue been lately here within the Cytie of London within this moneth now laste paste to appeare before the Lordes at the Courte within xxti dayes after the date of the sayd letter but as many besydes of his sayde servaunts to doo the lyke as have been with him and are within the said moneth departed from the sayd Cytie aboute his affairs or otherwise."
Harleian Manuscript No.1545, fol. 69, in the British Museum, has tricked upon it a Whitney armorial shield, with some, though not all of their quarterings as they existed at this time. A facsimile of it, as blazoned at the College of Arms, is shown in the accompanying plate, which is to be read as follows: the numbering being from left to right, beginning at the top and taking the four rows in succession:
- WHITNEY. Azure, a cross checky or and gules.
- MILBOURNE. Gules, a chevron between 3 escallops argent.
- EYNESFORD. Gules, fretty ermine.
- FURNIVAL. Argent, a bend between 6 martlets gules, a crescent for difference or.
- VERDON. Or, a fret gules.1
- LUVETOT. Argent, a lion rampant per fess gules and sable.
- BASKERVILLE. Argent, a chevron gules between 3 hurts, a crescent for difference.
- BOTELAR (Botler or Butler). Gules, a fess checky arg. and sable between 6 cross crosslets or.
- REES. Quarterly, per fess indented gules and ermine, in chief a file of 3 per pale or and Sable.
- LENTHALL (Leinthall). Gules, a fess ermine, in chief a file of 5 or.
- LE GROS. Quarterly Argent and azure, on a bend sable 3 martlets or.
- BREDWARDINE (Pedwardine). Argent, 2 lions passant in pale azure) langued gules.
- SOLLERS. Or, a chevron azure between 3 lions' heads erased gules.
- BRUGGE (Bridges). Argent, on a cross sable a leopard's face or.
- BLACKETT. Azure, a bend coticed between 6 cross crosslets fitche'e or.
- WHITNEY. As above.
1 "Although the Coat of Verdon appears among the Whitney quarterings, both in the College of Arms and in the Harl. MS. above cited, I find that the Whitneys cannot claim descent from that ancient house; the heiress of Verdon having married into the elder branch of Furnival while it was the younger line of the latter family, as indicated by the crescent for difference, from which the Milbourne coheiresses sprang."
C. E. Gildersome-Dickinson.
... in addition to those mentioned Sir Robert had in his "Impalement" the following arms, being almost without exception those of Norman families that in their day played a prominent part in the history of England.
- Ledet, Gu, a fess dancette between 14 cross crosslets or.
- Foliot, Barry nebuly of 6, ermine and gu.
- Reincourt, Azure a fess indented between 6 garbs or.
- De Morville, Azure seme'e de lis fretty or.
- Engayne, Gu, a fess indented between 6 cross crosslets or.
- Trivers, Argent, 3 bears statant in pale sa.
- Stuteville, Barry of 12, arg. and gules.
- Paveley, Az. a cross florette'e gules.
- Sapie, Arg. on a bend gules 3 buckles or.
To this list there probably should be added, Pycard, Gu, a fess or between 6 escallops arg; Delamere, arg. a fess between 8 cinqs gu.
By his wife Sybil Sir Robert had three sons and two daughters, viz., James and Eustace, who successively succeeded to the estate; Robert, who was the grandfather of John Whitney, the emigrant; Blanche, who married Robert Greville, and Elizabeth, who married John Bryce. He also acknowledged and brought up another son, William, who will be again mentioned.
Sir Robert Whitney died, as stated in an inquest post mortem, on August 5, 1567. This inquisition is exceedingly interesting, inasmuch as it shows to what noble proportions the Whitney estate had grown, till it included eight manors, viz.: 1, Whitney; 2, Pencombe; 3, Ocle Pitcherd; 4, Kings Caple; 5, Icomb; 6, Boughroyd; 7, Comwich; and 8, Clifton, not mentioning leased land, of which, from the will of Robert of Icomb, we have reason to suppose there was a considerable quantity.
It does not appear how or when the new manors, Boughroyd, Comwich, etc., came to the Whitney family. The name Ocle Pitcherd indicates its source, and that it was acquired by marriage is indicated by the British Museum pedigrees in the appendix. Sir Robert's descendants, therefore, undoubtedly have for an ancestor Sir Miles de Picarde', a Senlac knight, who helped Sir Bernard Newmarch conquer Brecknock, and secured great estates in Herefordshire, Wales, and the Marches. Sir Roger Pychard (Picarde') in 1222 possessed Straddewy, afterward known as "Tretower" Castle, Almaly, Thurkellston, Bishops Stanford, Great Cowarn, and Ocle Pychard. The manor was held by the Whitneys as early as 6 Henry VI., 1428, for in that year "Robert Whytney of Whytney" was taxed for "one Knight's fee late of John Clanbowe in Ocle Picard."
Inquest port mortem. Chancery. 9th Elizabeth, No.126. (1567.)
Co. Hereford--This Inquisition indented taken at Hereford in the County aforesaid the 18th day of September in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth by the grace of God of England, France & Ireland, Queen Defendor of the Faith &c. the Ninth before George Wistham Esq. Escheator of our said Lady the Queen in the County aforesd by virtue of a brief by our said Lady the Queen to him the said Escheator directed, upon the death of Robert Whitney, Knight, deceased, This Inquest being taken on the oaths of James Gomond Esq, John Breynton Esq, John Dansey gent, Walter Walwyn gent, Thomas Pembridge gent, John Parry of Wormebridge, gent, Jenkin Figgyns gent, Thomas Mordediche, gent, William Perowe, John Thomas of Kyngston, Richard Dayneham, Thomas Detyins and Philip Moore, who say upon oath that the said Robert Whitney, Knight, in the said brief named, was a long while before his death and at the time of his death siezed in his demesne as of fee of and in the Manor of Whitney & of and in twenty messuages3 two hundred acres of [arable] land, twenty-eight acres of meadow, thirty acres of pasture, ten acres of woodland & of ten shillings rent with the appurtenances in Whitney & of & in the avowdson of the Church of Whitney in the county aforesaid. And the said Robert Whitney being thus so siezed sometime before his death, to wit, on the fourteenth day of October in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord Henry VIII late King of England the thirty-eighth, as by his charter to the said Jurors upon the taking of this Inquisition as evidence shown Gave and Granted to Richard Seyborne for good counsel by him bestowed a certain annual rent or annuity of thirteen shillings and four pence issuing out of all and singular his manors, lands and tenements in Whitney, Co. Hereford and Boughroyd, Co. Radnor, to have and receive the said annuity or annual rent of thirteen shillings and four pence to the said Richard Seyborne for the term of his life at the feasts of the Annunciation of the Blessed Mary the Virgin and St. Michael the Archangel by equal portions yearly paid and if it should happen the said annuity or annual rent of thirteen shillings and four pence be in part or in all unpaid after such festival or festivals that it should then be lawful for the said Richard Seyborne or his assigns in the land or lands either in whole or part to enter to distrain the issues and price of the said annual rent or annuity of thirteen shillings and four pence to the amount of the arrear or arrearages if it shall please the said Richard Seyborne to have such satisfaction. And the said Richard Seyborne is in full life now residing at Sutton in the said County of Hereford.
And moreover the same Robert some while before his death to wit on the fifth day of March in the year of Edward VI late King of England the first as by his charter bearing date the same day and year now exhibited in evidence before the Jurors aforesaid Gave and Granted to one Morus Apowell one annuity or annual rent of forty shillings a year issuing out of the Manors of Whitney and Ocle Pitchard and Boughroyd and of all and singular his manors, messuages, lands and other tenements and other hereditaments wheresoever within this Realm of England & Wales to have and enjoy and to receive the said annuity or annual rent of forty shillings aforesaid to the said Morus Apowell and his assigns during the natural life of the said Morus payable at the Feasts of St. Michael the Archangel and the Annunciation of the Blessed Mary the Virgin by equal portions and if it should happen that the said annuity or annual rent of forty shillings from any cause either in part or whole should be unpaid after such festival or festivals that then it should be lawful for the said Morus Apowell or his assigns out of the said manors or premises to enter any part of the said manors and other premises to distrain for the said rent as aforesaid and having so distrained to take and carry away the said distraints to the value of such his rent of forty shillings or any part of the arrears till the same be paid. And the said Morus is surviving in full life and now residing at Monmouth in the County of Monmouth.
And moreover the said Jurors say that the said Robert Whitney sometime before his death and at the time of his death was also similarly seized in his demesne and as of fee of and in the manor of Pencombe in the County aforesaid and of and in fifteen messuages, two hundred acres of [arable] land, thirty acres of meadow, forty acres of pasture, half a pound of pepper and of and in forty pounds and forty pence rent with the appurtenances in Pencombe and of and in the avowdson of the Church of Pencombe in the County aforesaid, and being thus so seized the said Robert Whitney, knight, sometime before his death to wit, 15 May, 1565, in the seventh year of the reign of our said Lady the Queen at Whitney in the county aforesaid made and declared his last will in writing and by the same his will amongst other bequests gave and devised to one Eustace Whitney his younger son one annuity or annual rent of six pounds thirteen shillings and four pence per annum issuing out of and in his said Manor of Pencombe with the appurtenances in the said County of Hereford to have and to receive the said annuity or annual rent to the aforesaid Eustace Whitney for and during the whole term of the life of the said Eustace Whitney twice a year to wit at the feast of St. Michael the Archangel and the Annunciation of the Blessed Mary the Virgin in equal proportions. And if it should happen that the said rent or any part thereof should by chance in all or in part remain unpaid after the said festival or festivals then it should be lawful for the said Eustace or his assigns to enter the lands of the said Manor or any part thereof and distrain for such arrear or arrearages and carry off the distraints till the same be duly paid and satisfied. And they say, moreover, the said Eustace is in full life now residing at Whitney aforesaid.
And also the said Jurors say that the said Robert Whitney, Knight, by his said will gave and bequeathed to one Robert Whitney1 and then of his younger sons a like annuity or annual rent of six pounds thirteen shillings and four pence a year issuing out of the said manor of Pencombe to hold &c. to the said Robert Whitney the younger for the term of his life with like clauses, conditions and distraints as to the said Eustace were granted as by the said last will now exhibited before the said Jurors as evidence appeareth. And moreover the said Jurors say upon oath that the said Robert Whitney, knight, sometime before his death and at the time of his death was likewise seized in his demesne and as of fee of and in the Manor of Boughroyd Co. Radnor and of and in six messuages, three hundred acres of [arable] land, one hundred acres of meadow, eighty acres of pasture and of and in three pounds rent with the appurtenances in Boughroyd aforesaid in the said County of Radnor.
And also the Jurors say that the said Robert Whitney, knight, at the time of his death was seized in demesne as of fee of and in the Manor of Clyfton in the county of Warwick and of and in twelve messuages, forty acres of [arab1e] land, two hundred acres of meadow, three hundred acres of pasture and also of and in eight pounds rent with the appurtenances in Clyfton in the said County of Warwick.
Moreover the said Jurors say upon oath that the said Robert Whitney, Knight, at the said time of his death was seized in demesne as of fee of and in the Manor of Comwiche Co. Somerset and of and in five messuages three hundred acres of [arable] land, one hundred acres of meadow; eighty acres of pasture and of and in three pounds rent with the appurtenances in Comwiche aforesaid in the said County of Somerset.
And also the said Jurors say upon oath that the said Robert Whitney, Knight, a long while before his death was seized in demesne as of fee of and in the Manor of Icombe in the County of Gloucester and being so seized the same Robert Whitney by his deed indented bearing date the twenty-fifth of May in the seventh year of our said now Lady the Queen (made) between the said Robert Whitney by the name of Robert Whitney of Whitney in the county of Hereford, knight, on the one part and certain Henry Jones, Thomas Vaughan and Peter Vedle by the names of Henry Johnes knight natural [i. e. lawful] son and heir of Lady Mary Jones widow late wife of Thomas Jones knight deceased, Thomas Vaughan Esq. and Peter Veale gent, of the other part, gave, granted and confirmed to the said Henry Jones, Thomas Vaughan and Peter Veale by the name of the Manor of Icombe one messuage, his houses, edifices and mansion in Icombe aforesaid with the appurtenances called Icombe Park and the lands, tenements, meadows, pastures, feedings woods, underwoods with all his hereditaments whatsoever with all and singular the appurtenances as have heretofore been accepted, reputed or taken to be part or parcel of the said manor of Icombe situate, lying and being in Icombe or elsewhere in the county of Gloucester to have and to hold the said manor of Icombe and all the premises with all and singular the appurtenances to the said Henry, Thomas and Peter their heirs and assigns forever to the use and behoof of her the said Mary for the term of her natural life and from and after the decease of the said Mary to the use and behoof of him the said Robert Whitney knight and his heirs forever as by the said deed now before the Jurors exhibited plainly appeareth, and the said gift, grant and confirmation was made by force of a certain Act in the Parliament of Henry VIII late king of England in the twenty-seventh year of his reign at Westminster touching uses &c.
He is moreover seized of and in the reversion of a free tenement in Icombe aforesaid which after the death of the said Mary shall belong to James Whitney son and heir of the said Robert Whitney, knight, the which Mary is surviving at Whitney.
Moreover they say upon oath that the said Robert Whitney, Knight, at the time of his death was also seized in demesne and as of fee of and in the Manor of Ocle Pitcherd and Kyngs Caple twenty messuages, five hundred acres of [arable] land, two hundred acres of meadow and three hundred acres of pasture with the appurtenances in Ocle Pitcherd and Kyngs Caple in county Hereford aforesaid and that the said Robert being so seized in all and singular the several manors, lands and tenements aforesaid with the rest of the premises with their appurtenances died so seized after whose death all the manors and other premises with all and singular their appurtenances descended and of right ought to descend and come to James Whitney Esq. son and heir of the said Robert Whitney, knight, deceased.
And moreover the Jurors aforesaid say that the said manor of Whitney with the appurtenances were at the death of the said Robert Whitney, Knight, holden of the Honor of Kynton by knight service and valued per annum in all their rights beyond reprisals at XXXVI£ VIs VIIId.
And that the said Manor of Pencombe with all its appurtenances in the Manor of Pencombe with the lands &c. in Pencombe aforesaid were holden of the manor of Ewias by fealty only and valued per annum in all its members at XVIII£.
And the said manor of Ocle Pitcherd with the appurtenances and all the tenements in Ocle Pitcherd were holden in knight service of our said Lady the Queen as of her Honor of Webley as the twentieth part of a knight's fee and valued per annum in all at XVI£ VIs VIIId.
And the Manor of Kyngs Caple and all the lands and tenements in Kyngs Caple at the death of the said Robert Whitney, knight, were holden of John Selenger, knight, as of his manor of Kylpeck by fealty and suit of the Court of the manor aforesaid and valued in all their members at VII£.
And the Manor of Icombe with the appurtenances were holden of Our Lady the Queen as of her manor of Slaughter parcel of the possessions of the dissolved Monastery of Zyon in free socage.
And the said Manor of Boughroyd with the appurtenances in the County of Radnor and all the lands and tenements in Boughroyd aforesaid were holden of our said Lady the Queen by knight service as the twentieth part of a knight's fee and valued per annum above reprisals at XII£.
And the said Manors of Clyfton and Comwiche were holden of others than of our said Lady the Queen, valued per annum beyond all reprisals at XXXVII£ as the said Jurors think.
And the said Jurors say moreover upon their oath that the said Robert Whitney, Knight, held no other manors, messuages, lands, tenements, rents, reversions and services in the day that he died at Whitney aforesaid the fifth of August in the said Ninth year of our Lady Elizabeth as aforesaid and James Whitney, Esq., son and heir of the said Robert Whitney, knight, is aged twenty-three years at the taking of this Inquisition.
In witness or which thing, &c.
Children of Sir Robert and Sybil (Baskerville) Whitney:
i. (Sir) James Whitney, b. ca. 1544, Whitney, Herefordshire; d. 31 May 1587, aged 43 years, unmarried. ii. Eustace Whitney, b. say 1545, Whitney, Herefordshire; m. Margaret Vaughn. iii. Robert Whitney, b. say 1549, Whitney, Herefordshire; living 1567, but d. before 1587, without surviving issue. iv. Blanche Whitney, b. say 1540-1550, Whitney, Herefordshire; m. Robert Greville. Children: a. Fulke Greville, Esq., d. 1632, m. Mary Copley. b. Anne Greville. c. Blanche Greville, m. C John Blacklam. d. Dorothy Greville, b. ca. 1580; m. Peter Oates. (source) v. Elizabeth Whitney, b. say 1540-1550, Whitney, Herefordshire; m. John Pryce (John ap Rys, Esq.) See: Dwnn's Visitation of the Wales and the Marches and The Parliamentary History of the Principality of Wales Children: a. Alice Price; m. Thomas Dodd, Gent. (see C 78/154/14)
Illegitimate child of Sir Robert Whitney, maternity unknown but perhaps by Catherine Vaughan, daughter of William Vaughan, Esq., of Maesllwch, Radnor:
vi. William Whitney. He was provided for in the will of his half-brother Sir James Whitney in 1587, as follows: "I giue and bequeathe to William Whitney the base sonne of S[i]r Robert Whitney, Knighte, one annuitye or yearely penc[i]on of twenty pounds sterling During his naturall lyfe, or after the Deathe of Richard Syrell of Pencombe to haue in Lewe thereof the farme whiche the said Richard nowe holdeth at his chayce During his Lyfe."
The will of William Vaughan, Esq., of Maesllwch, Radnor, dated 1 Mar 1583, probated 12 Aug 1584, mentions his wife Ellinor Vaughan, dau. Elizabeth Vaughan, dau. Margaret Vaughan, dau. Mary Vaughan, dau. Frances Vaughan, base dau Elinor by Elizabeth verch Thomas, base son Hugh by Elizabeth verch Thomas, dau. Catherine Vaughan [note: NOT Whitney], William Whitney son of dau. Catherine, dau. Sybell, grandson Roger Vaughan, and base son William by Elizabeth Thomas. The will mentions lands in Llowes, Boughrood, Glasbury & Maesllwch, Radnor. This is almost certainly the William Vaughan of Glasbury who had dau. Margaret who m. Eustace Whitney of Whitney about 1588. The interesting thing about this will is that it mentions a William Whitney, son of William Vaughan's daughter Catherine Vaughan (not Catherine Whitney). This indicates that William was probably an illegitimate son of Catherine Vaughan and a man by the name of Whitney. It is believed that this is this William Whitney, making him the illegitimate son of Sir Robert Whitney and Catherine Vaughan, daughter of William Vaughan.
Was he perhaps William Whitney of Michaelchurch, Radnorshire, who in 1618 signed an agreement releasing to Sir Roberte Whitney of Whitney, Herefordshire, England all interest in the lands of Whitney, Clifford, or other lands in Herefordshire, Warwick, Somerset, or Radnorshire that he may have had a claim on?
1.^ 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), p. 216.
6.^ The location is the residence of her father.
7.^ "Robert Whitney one of the Knights for Hereford, was Licensed to go home, because his Wife was lately departed.", 'Journal of the House of Commons: April 1559', The Journals of all the Parliaments during the reign of Queen Elizabeth (1682), pp. 53-55.
18. ^ Will of William Vaughan of Maesllwch, Radnorshire - 12 August 1584 (abstract).