Mailing List:1996-12-25 02, Articles On Line, by Edward Sinker

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Mailing List Archives > 1996-12-25 02, Articles On Line, by Edward Sinker

From: Edward Sinker <sinker -at-> Subject: Articles On Line Date: Wed, 25 Dec 1996 20:36:26 +0000 Hi Robert >I have just uploaded two articles on the ancestry of John Whitney of >Watertown, Mass. One is by Donald Lines Jacobus, published in 1933-34, >and the other is by Paul C. Reed,published in 1994. Together they form >the scholarly basis for the challenge to Henry Melville, Thank you for mentioning the two URLs for the articles. I already have the Reed one and tried to download the Jacobus article but it didn't work. I don't know if others had any problem. I suspect a lot of people are away for Christmas at the moment. I stripped the URL down to <a href=""></a> but could not find it from there. Would it be possible for you to copy and paste them either for me or the the list? I find the Reed article assumes that you already know something about the claim being made by John Whitney and so does not bother to expand on some of his comments. Perhaps the Jacobus article helps to fill in the gaps. I find the comment by Reed that the Harleian mss "had been drawn up on behalf of John Whitney, apparently a cousin of the New England immigrant" rather unhelpful since he is claiming the descent but we don't even know if he is related to John and Elinor. Reed never saw, from what I can gather, the manuscripts in the British Museum. He refers to the Llyfr Baglan which was compiled between 1600-1607 which is 70 years before the claim was made. He makes odd comments such as "Robert was definitely third and not second son" but the mss clearly shows this to be the case so why is he even mentioning it and if the John to whom he is referring made the claim that Robert was the second son then he was so clearly wrong that his claim just could not have ever been taken seriously. Finally, Reed makes spends a considerable amount of time writing about the Towers marriage and that the father of Mary came from either Cheshire or Shropshire. The copy of the mss that I saw at Gloucestershire Public Record Office only mentions Shropshire. Shropshire is adjacent to Herefordshire so there is nothing odd in Robert marrying a girl from the county nexdoor. His Cheshire comment as far as I can see have nothing to do with the claim nor is there any documented connection between the Towers and the Whineys of Coole Pilate. Reed just wove in the one with the other and then goes on to use the "Whitney Family of Connecticut" to support his case of fraud. I do feel that Reed is suggesting that not only was this John Whitney attempting to perpetrate a fraud but he is also suggesting that Melville was also by saying that Melville, "supplemented his genealogy with many transcriptions of wills........., making his work appear to be highly trustworthy." What I ask you was Melville supposed to do, NOT supplement his genealogy with transcriptions, etc? Having said all that, I do find the claim, as I understand it unconvincing. The dates do suggest that descent from Robert, the fifth child of Sir Robert Whitney born about 1520 to be virtually impossible. Which makes me ask if the claim was correctly understood and why if the claim was so manifestly false that the manuscript was saved and stored in the British Museum. I would like to see what the arguments put forward by John Whitney were. I would like to see what the College of Arms had to say about it. I assume that the case was so weak that it never went to court. I would like to know who this John was. I think the case is still unproven either way. I look forward to seeing the Jacobus article. Edward Coates Sinker - email: sinker -at- Church Lea Bosbury Herefordshire HR8 1PX

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