Archive:The Ancestry of John Whitney, Chapter VIII, Part 2

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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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224         The Ancestry of John Whitney

   The "Taylors" at an early date came to consider
their title a misnomer and took steps to change it.
Maitland, in his "History of London" (1756), tells
how it came about.  "Many of the members of the
company being great merchants and Henry VII a
member thereof, he, for his greater Honour, by Letters
Patent of the eighteenth of his Reign, Anno 1503
reincorporated the same by the name of the Masters
and Wardens of the Merchant Taylors of the Frater-
nity of St. John the Baptist of the City of London."1
   The exact form of the new name was "The Men of
the Art and Mistery2 of Merchant Taylors of the
Fraternity of St. John the Baptist."
   Maitland goes on to state that in his day "they
consist of a Master, four Wardens, thirty-eight assis-
tants and three hundred and ninety-four Livery men
whose fine is twenty Pounds when admitted.  To
whom belongs a spacious and stately Hall in Thread-

for many years and during the whole of the reign of Edward III the
practice of reading and approving regulations went on in the Guild
Hall. In 1303 thirty-two 'misteries' were recognized, most of which,
and many others besides eventually blossomed out into full blown com-
panies of the modern kind, having become wealthy enough to obtain
royal charters.  We find however few, if any traces of companies formed
for the purpose of carrying on trade.  The 'mistery' met for a different
purpose, and was composed of men who traded each on his own account."
Loftie, p. 113.
   1 "This yere (XIX of Henry VII) the taylours sewyd to the Kinge to
be called Merchant Taylours; whereupon a grete grudge rose among
dyvers craftys in the Cyte agaynst them."  "Arnold's Chronicle,"
p. xlii.
   2 "The livery companies with their political and municipal power, are
so far as I can ascertain peculiar to London. No other City has per-
mitted such a development of its misteries and trades; nowhere else
in England have chartered associations of the kind attained such wealth
and power. The very word 'mistery,' often misspelled mystery, implies
skilled knowledge or 'mastery' of a branch or industrial art.  This mis-
tery was nowhere else more fully acknowledged and respected."  Loftie,
p. 186.

            The Ancestry of John Whitney            225

needle Street to treat the business of the Company
in.  They are possessed of a great Estate."
   Admission was secured only on vote of the com-
pany, and payment of the "fine," and, in the ordinary
case, the candidate must have been an "apprentice"
to a member for at least seven years.
   In the century that elapsed between the reincor-
poration and John Whitney's admission, the char-
acteristics of the Merchant Taylors became less
and less commercial and more and more social and
political.  They established a school and made it
one of the best in England.1 They founded chari-
ties which still flourish, and in many ways were a
powerful influence for the advancement of civiliza-
tion.2  In his day they were easily the leading livery
   We can obtain some idea of its position from an ac-
count of an event that took place the year that he
was apprenticed, recorded at page 352 in "A Survey

   1 In 1555 Sir Thomas White, a past master of the Merchant Taylors'
Company, founded St John's College, Oxford.  In 1561 White, Rich-
ard Hilles the then master, Sir William Harpur, and other promi-
nent Taylors making at the same time liberal private contributions,
induced their company to endow a school in London "for the better
education and bringing up of children in good manners and liter-
ature," providing that it "should have continuance by God's grace for-
ever."  Prior to that, the only public schools of any merit were St. Paul's,
founded by Colet for 153 boys, and Westminster, founded by Queen
Elizabeth, for 120.  The Merchant Taylors offered room from the first
for 250, and gave 100 free scholarships.
   Edmund Spenser, the poet author of the Faerie Queene, was one of
the first pupils.  Among the graduates have been many distinguished
in the professions, including no less than four archbishops and twenty-
nine bishops. An interesting account of the school appeared in the
"Illustrated London News" for September 28, 1895.
   2 The charities of the company now amount to over a quarter of a
million dollars a year.

226         The Ancestry of John Whitney

of the Cities of London and Westminster," by Robert
Seymoure, published in 1735, as follows:

   July 16, 1607, the day of Election of Masters and Wardens
of the Merchant-Taylors Company, that used to be kept with
great Solemnity and Feasting, King James I, with Prince
Henry and divers Honourable Personages, dined at Mer-
chant-Taylors Hall, and were entertained with great Variety
of Musick, Vocal and Instrumental, and Speeches.  The King
dined in the Chamber called the King's Chamber.  Then the
Master of the Company, John Swinnerton, attending with the
four Wardens, and other eminent Aldermen and Citizens, after
a Speech congratulatory made to him by Sir Henry Montague,
Recorder, presented him with a Purse of Gold:  And Richard
Langley, Clerk of the Company, deliver'd unto his Majesty
a Roll, wherein were enter'd the Names of such Kings and
Nobles, and other great Persons that had been Free of their
Company, Viz: Seven Kings, one Queen, seventeen Princes
and Dukes, two Dutchesses, one Archbishop, thirty-one
Earls, five Countesses, one Viscount, twenty-four Bishops,
sixty six Barons and Lords. two Ladies, seven Abbots, seven
Priests, and one Sub-prior, omitting a number of Knights,
Esquires, &c.  The King then said, that he was Free of an-
other Company, yet he would so much grace the Company
of Merchant-Taylors, that his eldest Son the Prince should
be Free thereof; and that he would see and be a Witness,
when the Garland should be put upon his Head.  And then
they resorted unto the Prince, who dined in the Great Hall;
and the Company presented him with another Purse full of
gold; and the Clerk deliver'd his Roll.  And his Highness
said, That not only himself would be Free of the Company,
but many other of his Lords, and commanded one of his
Gentlemen and the Clerk of the Company, to go to all the
Lords present, and to require them that loved him, and
were not Free of other Companies, to be Free of his Com-
pany:  And so were accordingly made Free twenty-two
Earls and Lords, amid a great many other Knights and Es-

            The Ancestry of John Whitney            227

quires; and of the Clergy, Dr. Montague, Dean of the
Chapel, and Adam Newton, Dean of Durham, and the
Prince's Tutor, and three Noblemen of the Low-Countries,
Ambassadors to the King; Viz : John Berke, Lord in Gods-
chalk Court, Counsellor of Dort; Sir John de Maldere, Knt.
Lord of Heyes, &c. and Chancellor of Zealand; Sir Noel de
Caron, Knt. Lord of Schoonwel, &c. Ambassador Ledger
from the States.  The Names of the English Nobles, that
had their Freedoms of this Company granted them at this
Time, were, the Duke of Lenox, the Earl of Nottingham,
Lord Admiral; the Earl of Suffolk, Lord Chamberlain; the
Earl of Salisbury, Principal Secretary to the King; and
several other Knights and Gentlemen, Scotch and English.
   There have been about 18 Lord Mayors of this Company."1

   When, therefore, Thomas Whitney thus apprenticed
young John, his eldest surviving son, he gave him a
good start in life and the best advantages his means
afforded.  A heavy premium, probably, had to be paid
to his master in 1607, and another one to the company,
when in 1614 the boy, at the age of twenty-one, was
made "free."
   Though we cannot be certain that Mr. Pring was
a cloth merchant, such was quite likely the case.
There is little doubt that he was a merchant of some
kind, and if so, he was of high standing in the com-
munity or he could not have belonged to the Mer-
chant Taylors Company.
   The apprentice did not "learn a trade," as we now
understand the expression, but rather "served a clerk-
ship" in the office of a large commercial house, where
be learned to be a skillful penman and neat and ac-

   1 It is to-day one of the so-called "Great Companies," with its Hall
still in Threadneedle street.

228         The Ancestry of John Whitney

curate accountant, of which we shall hereafter see so
many evidences in the Watertown records.
   Soon after starting in business for himself, Whit-
ney married.  The Christian name of his wife was
Elinor, but most diligent search, exhausting, as is
believed, all sources of information in or near Lon-
don, has failed to disclose her surname. Probably, as
in the case of his younger brother Robert, who, ac-
cording to the Harleian pedigrees, went to the west
of England for a bride, the marriage ceremony was
performed in some remote locality.
   Locating in Isleworth, he had born to him, as al-
ready noted, Mary, in 1619 (named for her grand-
mother), John, in 1621, and Richard, in 1623-24.
There, later, in 1624, his brother Robert was appren-
ticed to him, and soon after he moved away.  Mary
must have died before the embarkation, for she did
not accompany her parents to America . She may be
referred to in the following record of a burial in the
parish of St. Mary Aldermary, London:

   1626, Feb. 15, Mary, a child of John Whitney

   That this is so is rendered more probable by the
fact that, among the baptisms of that parish, is

   1627, Dec. 10, Thomas, sonn of John Whitne dwelling in
Bowe lanne.

   The emigrant had a son Thomas who must have
been born about this time. If he is thus located it
indicates that the removal from Isleworth to "Bowe
lanne" was not direct, for a Nathaniel is unaccounted
for who, in age, came between Richard and Thomas.
   Bow Lane can still be seen, a short street leading

            The Ancestry of John Whitney            229

from St. Mary Aldermary to Bow Church, where
bang the famous bells.
   In 1632, according to the records of the Merchant
Taylors, John Whitney filed the proper certificate
to gain for Robert admission into the company, and
prior to that, in September, 1631, he placed his eldest
son, John, Jr., then a boy of ten, in the Merchant
Taylors School, then the best educational institution
in London, and still one of great distinction. The
name appears in each annual catalogue till 1635,
when the family started, in the little ship "Elizabeth
and Ann," for their voyage to the far-away shores of
New England.
   Jonathan was born about 1633, and it is possible
that during this period of several years, when we do
not know John's residence, he had one or two other
children, who died in infancy.
   The causes that led him to leave forever his na-
tive land are familiar history. The great Puritan
emigration in which he joined was a natural result
of the spirit of the age which had already caused the
"Reformation," and then was developing into a
struggle for a growth of civil and religious liberty
under the British Constitution,--a struggle that in
1685 seemed hopeless.
   From 1629 till 1640 no parliament assembled in
England, and every previously prevailing theory of
right and justice was violated. Taxes were assessed
without legislative sanction, and without regard to
custom or equality.  Monopolies of trade in the
necessities of life were granted to royal favorites.
Knighthood--before an honor--was forced upon
every man of means for the sake of the fees thereby
secured. "Forced loans" from the common people

230         The Ancestry of John Whitney

were the order of the day.  Men had to pay for or-
dinary personal liberty, protection of property, and
the privilege of earning their daily bread.  By the
King's proclamation country people were forbidden
to enter London; all the shops on Cheapside, except
the goldsmiths', were closed; the building of more
houses was prohibited unless--and the rule was gen-
eral--special leave was purchased.  Then came the
famous ship money, the inquisitional Court of High
Commission, and a persecution of the Puritans that
recalled Queen Mary's bloody reign.
   The Star Chamber was allowed to reduce a wealthy
gentleman to poverty for merely sneering at the
badge of a nobleman, and to sentence a clergyman
to whipping, mutilation, and perpetual imprison-
ment for expressing an unfavorable opinion of cer-
tain bishops whose characters were worthy only of
   The majority of those who first settled Massachu-
setts came there simply because the condition of
affairs in the land of their ancestors had become
   To one of the prevailing schemes for raising un-
authorized revenues, perhaps, we are indebted for
our knowledge of the exact time of the emigration.
License to leave the kingdom had to be purchased,
and in the Record Office a document containing the
following is still on file:

   1 "The bulk of the country party abandoned all hope of English
freedom.  There was a sudden revival of the emigration to New Eng-
land, and men of blood and fortune now prepared to seek a home in
the west.  Oliver Cromwell is said by a doubtful tradition to have
been prevented from crossing the seas by a royal embargo.  It is more
certain that John Hampden purchased a tract of land on the Narra-
gansett."--Green's "History of the English People."

            The Ancestry of John Whitney            231

                 9-10 Charles I., (1635)
   A Register of the names of all the Passengers
passed from the port of London in this year,
          *      *      *      *      *      *
                    xiij Aprilis 1635.
          *      *      *      *      *      *
p. 24
   In the Elizabeth & Ann Roger Coop, Mr. Theis pties
hereunder expressed are to be imbarqued for New England
having taken the oaths of Allegeance & Supremacie & like-
wise brought Certificate both from the Ministers & Justices
where their abidings were latlie of their conformitie to the
discipline & orders of the Church of England & yt they are
no Subsedy men.1

Husb. Robert Hawkynns ...... 25  Wm. Hubbard ................ 35
Jo: Whitney ................ 35  Tho: Hubbard ............... 10
Jo: Palmerley .............. 20  Tho: Eaton .................  1
Richard Martin ............. 12  Maria Hawkynns ............. 24
Jo: Whitney ................ 11  Ellin Whitney .............. 30
Richard Whitney ............  9  Abigail Eaton .............. 35
Nathaniell Whitney .........  8  Sara Cartrack .............. 24
Tho. Whitney ...............  6  Jane Damand ................  9
Jonathan Whitney ...........  1  Mary Eaton .................  4
Nic Sension ................ 13  Marie Broomer .............. 10
Henry Jackson .............. 29  Mildred Cartrack ...........  2
                                 Joseph Alsopp .............. 14
p 24d
                        15th Aprill 1635.

   In the Eliza: & Anne de Lon' mr Roger Cooper v' New

      Percy Kinge 24 yers a maid servant to mr Ro: Crowley.

  1 See "The Original Lists of Persons of Quality * * *who went from
Great Britain to the American Plantations, 1600-1700."  Edited by
John Camden Hotten, 1874.

232         The Ancestry of John Whitney

                        27 Aprilis 1635.

   Theis under written names are to be transported to New
England, Roger Cooper Mr, bound thither in the Elizabeth
& Ann, the pties have brought Certificate from the Minister
at Westminster & the Justices of the Peace of his Confor-
mitie the ptie hath taken the oaths of Alleg: & Suprem:

   a carpenter, Richard Brocke, 31  Daniell Preston, ............. 13
                Edward Sall     24
p. 31d
                   29 Aprilis 1635,
   Theis under written names are to be transported to New
England imbarqued in the Elizabeth & Ann Roger Coop
Mr the ptie have brought Certificate from the Minster of
the pish & Justices of Peace of their Conformitie to thor-
ders & Discipline of the Church of England & yt they are
no Subsedy men,

Rich. Goard .................. 17  Joseph Faber ................ 26
a smith, Tho. Lord ........... 50  Tho. Pound .................. 21
uxor Dorothy ................. 40  Robert Lord .................  9
Thomas Lord .................. 16  Aymie Lord ..................  6
Ann Lord ..................... 14  Dorothy Lord ................  4
Wm. Lord ..................... 12  Josias Cobbett .............. 21
John Lord .................... 10  Jo: Halloway ................ 21
James Cobbett ................ 23  Jane Bonnet ................. 16
                                   Wm. Reeve ................... 22

p. 32
                  oedem 29 Aprilis 1635
a Taylor Christopher Stanley  32
         uxor Suzanna         31
         Wm. Samond           19

   It is to be noted that Whitney made his arrange-
ments more than two weeks before the vessel sailed,
which indicates that be was still living in or near
London--and also that some of his fellow passen-

         The Ancestry of John Whitney      233

gers were from "Westminster," and therefore quite
likely acquaintances.
   It is also to be noted that the ages given were in-
correct.  The eldest son, John, born at Isleworth in
1621, then fourteen, is put down as eleven. His
brother Richard, born at Isleworth in 1624, then
eleven, is put down as nine. Elinor, who, according
to the record in the first church at Watertown, was
sixty when she died in 1659, must have been thirty-
six instead of thirty, and JOHN himself, born in 1592,
was forty-three instead of thirty-five.
   The fact that all are given too young, and the
regularity of the scaling down, has suggested, in
the minds of some, that the misstatement was inten-
tional; but the advantage of falsification is not ap-
parent, unless, under the regulations, there was some-
thing to, be gained by having all the children under
   Mr. Henry Austin Whitney, referring to the sub-
ject, says: "That these lists were not always exact,
and indeed were often purposely incorrect, we have
many examples; and, in this instance, the ages were
doubtless given too young through design, either to
avoid some clause in the Subsidy Act or some of the
many embarrassments thrown in the way of emi-
grants."  To the writer, however, it seems more
probable that the recording of ages, which must have
been solely for identification, was deemed a formality
of little importance, and the clerk who made the me-
morandum guessed at them from observation with-
out troubling himself to ask questions.  That this
whole matter was carelessly attended to appears on
the face of the record.
   It is evident that Mr. Whitney had not prior to

234         The Ancestry of John Whitney

embarkation, publicly cut loose from the Church of
England. This is not surprising, in view of the fact
that a nonconformist could not depend on protection
of either property or life.
   The same oppression that drove out the Puritans
from 1630 to 1640, a few years later, led to a popular
uprising that plunged the country into civil war and
cost the King his head.
   The vessel did not sail till some time in May, which,
allowing for a prosperous voyage, would bring it
Boston Harbor about the first of July.  Pushing on
from there, the emigrant went a few miles up the
Charles and settled at Watertown, within the limits
of the present village, on high land, afterward, in
consequence, called "Whitney Hill."
   This locality had been known by the Indians as
"Pequusset" and was one of their favorite camping-
grounds. When Governor Winthrop came over in
1630, with a large company of new settlers, Sir
Richard Saltonstall, Rev. George Phillips, and a few
families left the main body at Charlestown and went
a few  miles up the river and located farms upon its
banks.  Their settlement was at first known as
"Saltonstall's Plantations," but after a few years it
was formally named Watertown from its natural
characteristics. The first houses were built east of
Mt. Auburn Cemetery, toward Cambridge, on the
spot where antiquarians think the Norsemen landed,
long before the time of Columbus.
   With John and Elinor Whitney in 1635 came a
comparatively large reinforcement of stalwart men
and devoted women, who soon made the town as
prosperous as any in New England. As Drake in
his history of it well says:

            The Ancestry of John Whitney            235

   "Some of these emigrants were from the West of
England, but the greater number came from London
and its vicinity. They were Puritan Non-Conformists
who, self-exiled from their native land, sought on an
unknown shore that liberty of religious worship which
had been denied them at home. They came to stay
and their familiarity with husbandry or some useful
handicraft, assured the permanency of their settle-
ment. A nobler body of men or one better equipped
physically and morally for the conquest of a wilder-
ness and the founding of a new state, the world has
never seen."
   They were of as high a class as any that ever
came to New England, and in intelligence and social
standing far superior to most of them  Some, had
been men of property and position at home, and had
no reason for emigration beyond the intolerance of
their religious belief.1  Though Puritans in sympathy,
they wore not of the narrow, bigoted sort, and their

   1 "Nor were the emigrants like the earlier colonists of the South,
broken men, adventurers, bankrupts, criminals; or simply poor men
and artisans like the Pilgrim Fathers of the Mayflower. They were in
great part men of the professional and middle classes; some of them
men of large landed estates, some zealous clergymen like Cotton,
Hooker and Roger Williams, some shrewd London lawyers, or young
scholars from Oxford. The bulk were God-fearing farmers from Lin-
colnshire or the Eastern counties. They desired in fact 'Only the best
as sharers in their enterprise,' men drawn forth from their fatherland
not by earthly want, or by the greed of gold, or by the lust of adventure,
but by the fear of God, and the zeal for a godly worship.  But strong
as was their zeal, it was not without a wrench that they tore themselves
from their English homes. 'Farewell,  dear England!' was the cry that
burst from the first little company of emigrants as its shores faded from
their sight.  'Our hearts,' wrote Winthrop's followers to the brethren
whom they had left behind, 'shall be fountains of tears for your ever-
lasting welfare, when we shall be in our poor cottages in the wilder-
ness.'" Green's "History of the English People."

236         The Ancestry of John Whitney

history is free from the blots now so much regretted
in that of Salem and Boston.
   On March 8, 1636, by vote of the General Court of
the colony, John Whitney was admitted a "free-
man." Only church members and persons of high
character and standing in the community could have
this honor. Many settlers were never admitted. None
but "freemen," however, were allowed to hold office
or "vote for rulers."
   Upon the first page of the Town Records, which be-
gan in 1634, is this:

   January 8, 1635. Agreed that no man being foreigner
coming out of England, or some other Plantation, shall
have liberty to sett downe amongst vs vnless he first have
ye Consent of ye Freemen of the Towne.

And a little later this, under date of December 13,

   Agreed by the Consent of the Freemen (in consideration
there be too many Inhabitants in the Towne and the Towne
thereby in danger to be ruinated) that no Foreigner comming
into the Towne or any Family arising among ourselves shall
have any benefitt either of Commonage or land vndivided
but what they shall purchase except that they buy a man's
right wholly in ye Towne.

   Under date of July 15, 1636, there is the first list of
inhabitants in connection with a division among them
of certain land. It is entitled "A Grant of the Great
Dividends to the freemen and to all the townsmen
then inhabiting, being 120 in number." Among these
names we find those of many of the progenitors of
the most distinguished American families. For ex-
ample: "Adams, Bartlett, Bigelow, Browne, Brooks,

            The Ancestry of John Whitney            237
Clarke, Coolidge, Dix, Dwight, Garfield, Hitchcock,
Kimball, Lawrence,  Philipps, Paine, Pendleton,
Shaw, Sherman, and Saltonstall."
   On this occasion Whitney secured 50 acres. He had
previously purchased a homestead of 16 acres, of
which Henry Austin Whitney has this account:

   He purchased a 16-acre homestead, which had been
granted to John Strickland, who was dismissed from the
Watertown Church May 29, 1636, and was one of that
colony from Watertown that went and planted Wethers-
field, the oldest town on the Connecticut River. This home-
stead was the permanent residence of Mr. Whitney. In
1668 he requested his youngest son Benjamin, who had
settled in York, Maine, to return and live with him on the
homestead with the assurance that it should be his own
after his father's decease.  In 1671, Benjamin, with his
father's consent, conveyed his right and obligation in the
homestead to his brother Joshua1, who had settled in Gro-
ton, for £40. After the decease of his father Joshua re-
turned to Groton and on the 20th of October, 1697, sold the
ancient homestead to Deacon Nathan Fiske.

   He also purchased outright from another earlier
settler a farm of one hundred and twenty acres. This
is one of the largest tracts of land mentioned in the
early records, for, situated in the primeval wilderness,
it was a great undertaking to enclose arid improve
even one acre.
   About 1640 there was made up the first "Inventory
of Grants and Possessions," in which, at page 50, is the

                "JOHN WHITNEY SEN.

   1. An Homestall of Sixteen Acres bounded the East with
William Jennison the west with Martin Underwood the

   1 Born in America.

238         The Ancestry of John Whitney

North with Isaac Mixer & the South with William Jen-
   2. Two acres of Meddow in Beverbrook Meddow bounded
the west with William Jennison & the South with the
   3. Fifty acres of vpland being a great Divident in the 3
Division and the 16 Lott.
   4. A Farme of One Hundred and twenty Acres vpland
bounded the North with the Highway the East with Edward
How & the west with Abram Browne.
   5. Ten    acres of Meddow in the remote Meddowes bounded
the North with the highway the South with, his owne the
East with Edward How & Garret Church.
   6. Ten acres of Plowland in the hither Plaine and the 1
   7. One Acre of Meddow in Pond Meddow bounded the
west with Isaac Sterne the South with John Stowers the
East with the highway.
   8. One Acre of Meddow bounded the west with Martin
Vnderwood & the East with Lawrence Waters.
   9. Eighteen Acres of upland beyond the farther Plaine
& the 45 Lott."

   This made him one of the largest holders of real 
estate in Watertown. Out of that mentioned, and
subsequent acquisitions, he, during his lifetime, made
generous provision for his large family of sons.
   The location of "Whitney Hill," where he lived, is
a matter of dispute. Without much doubt it was
either where the stand-pipe of the water works is
now erected, north of Mt. Auburn street, near Pal-
frey street, or the hill a little distance away crossed
by Lexington street.
   His broad acres indicate that, as compared with
his neighbors, he was in comfortable circumstances.
That he was held in the highest esteem by them is

            The Ancestry of John Whitney            239

shown by the fact that they admitted him, as a "free-
man" immediately on his arrival, and, in 1637, only
two years after, elected him "selectman" and by re-
elections continued him in office for several terms.
   Henry Austin Whitney states that he was contin-
ually in office from 1637 to 1655. This is probably a
mistake. At the top of the sixth page of the Town
Records is this entry:

   Decembr. 30, 1637. These 11 Freemen Chosen to Order
the civill affaires of ye Town for this yeare to come:
Thomas Mayhew, Daniel Pattrick, John Whitney, Edmund
James, John Firmin, John Stowers, Abram Browne, Ed-
mund Lewis, Edward Garfield, Ephraim Child, Simon Eire.

   From 1643 to 1647 the records of the town are en-
tirely lost.  The first entry when they begin again is
this, top of page 31:

          At a Generall Towne Meeting the
               8    (9)  1647
ordered that John Sherman shall goe to the Courte to an-
swer the complaynt of Robert Saltonstall.
   To order the prudentiall affayers of the Towne, Mr.
Brisco: Joseph Bemis.. Willyam Hamant: John Sherman:
John Whetny Sr.: Left Mason: Roger Porter: weare Chossen.

Page 33:
   At a Mettinge of the seauen men
at Mr. Whettnys the 30th      (9)          1647.
The list of all estates beinge taken in, by the seauen men,
and the Comissioner: (before chosen) the town chose John
Sherman to Drawe up the Rate for ye counstables to gather
by: and also to send a list to the Treasurer, or the just
sume of the whole estates of the Towne, &c.

240         The Ancestry of John Whitney

Pages 71, 72:
   the 30 of January 1647 at a publike Towne-meeting   *
*        *        *        *        *        Mr. Whetney
is chosen to take the Inuoyce for the towne, &c.

   This "taking the invoice" seems to have been
figuring out the amount of tax payable by each
owner of property.  It was a matter which Mr.
Whitney attended to for many year's thereafter. He
also appears to have been selected, on almost every
occasion when such work was to be done, to audit
the accounts of the other town officers. Very likely
his business experience in England made him the
best qualified for such work of any man in the set-
   There are incidental references to him on nearly
every page which show that he was constantly ac-
tive and in a variety of matters--for example,

Page 80:
   At a generall Towne Meetinge the 10 day--10 month
1649   *       *       *       *   Granted to Tho. Arnall a Smalle patch
of land neere his house abought six Rod: so as it prejudice
not the highway: to be sett out by John Whetny, Seir.

Page 84:
   At a meeting by the whole Towne the 16th of the (10)
1650   *      *     *   Simont Stone, Ephraime Child, Thomas
Hastings, Charles Chadwick, Samuel Thacher, Isaac Mexter,
John Wittney were Chosen for the ordering of the towne
affayres for the yeare following the psent date.

[Picture omitted]

            Written by John Whitney, Town Clerk.

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Copyright © 2004, 2006, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group