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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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                    CHAPTER VI


Eustace Whitney, Sheriff, 1606; marriage and family. Sir Robert
  Whitney, knighted, 1617; Sheriff, 1039; officer in Cavalier Army at
  Worcester; marriage to daughter of Sir Thomas Lucy, and family.
  Constance Whitney's monument in St. Giles. Lucy Booth's mon-
  ument in Hereford Cathedral. Sir Thomas Whitney, knighted by
  Charles II.; the last of the Whitneys of Whitney. Disposition of
  the estate; chain of title; present condition. Whitney Castle.
  Whitney Court.

EUSTACE WHITNEY, second son of Sir Robert,
succeeded Sir James in 1587, and held the estate
twenty-one years.
   He married, somewhat late in life and after thus
becoming head of the family, Margaret, daughter
and coheir of William Vaughan of Glasbury. The
births of all their children, except the eldest, are re-
corded in the Parish Register of Whitney. They
   1. Eleanor, who married Sir Henry Williams,
Knight, of Givernevett, Brecknockshire.
   2. Joan, born September 15, 1591, who married
John Wigmore of Lacton, Herefordshire.


182         The Ancestry of John Whitney

   3. Robert, born September 23, 1592, who will be
spoken of at length later.
   4. Thomas, born July 28, 1594.  Admitted June
22, 1610, to St. John College, Oxford.
   Eustace was not knighted, and, so far as appears,
held but one public office, that of sheriff of Hereford-
shire in 1596.
   The old register contains these two entries, almost
obliterated by time:

   Margret wyfe of Eustace Whitney was buried 26 of July,
   Eustace Whitney Esq. was buried the 12 daye of July,

   Robert Whitney, eldest son of Eustace, succeeded
him when only fifteen years of age, and, when not
more than eighteen, married Anne,, daughter of Sir
Thomas Lucy, Knight, of Charlecote in Warwick-
shire. This was the same Lucy who prosecuted Wil-
liam Shakspere for poaching and was lampooned by
the latter, in revenge, as "Justice Shallow." Accord-
ing to all other authorities he was a worthy gentle-
man. Charlecote is one of the most beautiful spots
in England and an object of interest for all visitors
to the Shakspere country.
   By comparing the pedigrees shown in the Appen-
dix with the Whitney register, we find that there
wore born to Robert and Anne no less than twelve
children, viz.:
   1. Constance, born about 1610, and buried in St.
Giles without Cripplegate, London, May 25, 1628,
whose epitaph we shall have occasion to mention.
   2. Lucy, born about 1610, who married, first, Wil-

[Picture omitted]


        The Last of the Whitneys of Whitney          183

liam Smallman, Esq., of Kinnersley, Herefordshire,
and afterward John Booth, captain of a troop of horse
in the service of Charles I. during the Civil War.
She was buried in Hereford Cathedral in 1673, and
also had a monument and epitaph worthy of notice.
A peculiarity of these mortuary records is that, ac-
cording to them, Constance and Lucy were each
"eldest" daughter of Sir Robert.  They certainly
were nearly the same age and possibly were twins.
It is more probable that Constance was the first
born, but, having been brought up from early child-
hood by her maternal grandmother, and having died
forty-five years before her sister, she was forgotten
when the Booth monument was erected.
   3. Anne (probably not next in age), born February
8, 1614, who married, January 17, 1634, Thomas Rodd
of Foxley in Herefordshire. The signature of Rodd
is on the pedigree, shown in Appendix, which was
registered in the College of Arms in 1634.
   4. Robert, born April 10, 1615, who died before his
father without issue.
   5. Francis, who died before his father without issue.
   6. Richard, baptized February 6, 1621, who died
before his father without issue.
   7. Thomas, baptized January 6, 1622, who inherited
the estate.
   8. Eleanor, who married a Doctor Wright.
   9. Susan, who married Henry Williams, Esq., of
Cabalva, near Whitney.
   10. Elizabeth, who died young.
   11. Bridget, baptized October 11, 1629, who was
buried at Whitney February 8, 1630, and
   12. William, baptized October 2, 1631, who died
before his father without issue.

184         The Ancestry of John Whitney

   Whitney received the honor of knighthood from
James I. in 1617, and in 1639 was sheriff of Hereford-
shire. For a number of years he was, as had been sev-
eral of his ancestors, commissioner to collect a royal
subsidy, and a photograph is shown of his signature
made in that capacity, February 20, 1640-41. When
the Civil War broke out, espousing the cause of the
king with all his heart, he sold Icomb and incum-
bered the rest of his estate to provide funds for it,
and, as is said,1 bravely led a portion of the Cavalier
forces on that disastrous day for Charles II., Crom-
well's "crowning mercy," at Worcester, September
3, 1651.
   Not long surviving the defeat, he died and was
buried at Whitney September 15, 1653.
   As already noted, his eldest daughter had long be-
fore been laid beneath the pavement of St. Giles,
where sleep John Milton, John Fox, Sir Martin Fro-
bisher and others of world-wide fame. Mr. Baddeley,
in his interesting account of this church,2 thus de-
scribes her monument, a photograph of which is here

                     CONSTANCE WHITNEY,

                   Buried May 25th, 1628.

   This very curious monument on the wall in the north
aisle has given rise to much speculation as to its meaning.
It represents a woman in her grave clothes rising from her
coffin, and with hands outstretched receiving from a cherub
on each side a crown and a chaplet. It is no doubt intended

   1 By Mr. Green, in introduction to "Works of Geoffrey Whitney."
   2 An "Account of the Church and Parish of St. Giles without Cripple-
gate, in the city of London," by John James Baddeley, Churchwarden,

[Picture omitted]

    In Church of St. Giles, without Cripplegate, London.

        The Last of the Whitneys of Whitney          185

to be emblematic of the Resurrection; but a legend has been
handed down from one church custodian to another, that
"it represents a woman awakening from a trance, into which
she had fallen, and in which state she had been buried. The
Sexton in his desire to possess himself of a valuable ring she
wore, cut her finger to obtain it, and in doing so, awakened
and saved her from a horrible death." It is further stated
that she returned home to her husband, and became the
mother of several children, but the fact that the inscription
on the monument states, amongst other thing; that she
died at the early age of 17, is surely inconsistent with such
a tale.
   There is no date given on the monument, but the Regis-
ter's record is "Mrs. Constance Whitney, Buried May
25th, 1628." The title Mrs. or Mistress was not restricted
then, as now, to married ladies.

   The inscription, on the representation of a coffin,
runs as follows:

                     TO THE MEMORIE

Of Constance Whitney, eldest daughter to Sr. Robert Whit-
ney, of Whitney, the proper possession of him and his an-
cestors, in Herefordshire for above 500 years past.  Her
mother was the fowrth daughter of Sir Thomas Lucy of
Charlecote, in Warwickshire, by Constance Kingsmel,
daughter and heyre of Richard Kingsmel, surveiour of the
Court of Wardes. This lady Lucy her grandmother soe
bred her, since she was 8 years old, that she excelled in all
noble qualities becomminge a Virgin:

   Of so sweete proportion of beauty and harmonic of parts,
   Shee had all sweetnesse of manners answerable,
   A delightfull sharpeness of witt,
   An offensles modestie of conversation,
   A singular respect and pietie to her parents,
   But religious even to example.

186         The Ancestry of John Whitney

   She departed this life most Christianly at seauenteene,
dyeing the griefe of all, but to her grandmother an unre-
coverable loss, save in her expectation shee shall not stay
long after her, and the comfort of knowing whose shee is,
and where in the resurrection to meete her.

   Her sister Lucy's monument, in Hereford Cathedral,
was hardly less interesting.  Thomas Dingley, the
antiquarian, who compiled "A History from Marble,"
in the reign of Charles II., made a pen-and-ink draw-
ing of it, within a few years after it was erected, which,
a few years ago, was reproduced, through photolithog-
raphy, by the Camden Society--fortunately, for, dur-
ing repairs in the cathedral, it was broken and its frag-
ments scattered. He described its location as "over
against ye clock house on a side wall in a chappel part
of the North of Hereford Cathedral," and showed a
tablet bearing the arms of Booth (argent, 3 boars'
heads erased and erected sable) quartered with those
of Whitney (az. a cross checky or. and gules), and
below it a larger stone with the inscription.
   Gosling, in his "History and Antiquities of the
Cathedral Church of Hereford," printed in 1717, re-
ferred to the same as being "At the West End of the
North Isle, on a black marble Tablet, enchased in
white, rimmed with Gold and supported by two
twisted Corinthian black Marble Pillars, on the Top
two Angels trumpeting."
   The arms remained on the wall of the chapel, but
the other stone was removed to the cloister, and its
setting of "Corinthian pillars," "Angels," etc., disap-
peared. There was no one to object to this act of
vandalism till, in the summer of 1894, it was noticed
by one of the American family, Hon. William Collins

[Picture omitted]

                In Hereford Cathedral.

        The Last of the Whitneys of Whitney          187

Whitney, of New York, who took steps to have tho
existing portions reunited in their original position.
   From the accompanying illustration a good idea
may be gained of its present appearance.
   The inscription is in these words:

                      P. M. S.

      Luciae Booth (Filiae natu-maximae
      Roti Whitney de Whitney Eq:Aurti
      Et in primis Nuptus Gulo Smallman
      Armig datae) maestissimus Conjux
      Johannes Booth Armiger erigi curauit

                     Hoc Marmor

      Non magis Prosapia^ claruit quam
      Pietate excelluit cujus indubitatam
      Charitate erga^ Pauperes dedit Tesseram
      Affabilitas erga^ Omnes emicuit et
      Conjugalis Affectus in Ea fuit Specimen
      Patientia indomitam Morbi ferociam
      Superauit, et cum ad nouam Palaestram
      Sole exorto Vestes induisset Corpus
      Exuebat placideq in Domino dormiebat

      Obijt III Non Apr Anno { Salut: 1673
                             { AEtat suae 64.

      The Sicke Diseased, Wearied and Opprest
      Fly to the Graue for Refuge and for Rest
      Let then this sacred Earth my Body close
      And noe rude Hands its Quiet interpose
      Whilst I this Tabernacle of Clay forsake
      And to Elysium doe my Journey take
      But when The Trumpet a Retreat shall sound
      And peirce the Cauernes of this holy Ground
      These scatterd Ashes shall to Me repaire
      And re vnited equall Glory share.

188         The Ancestry of John Whitney


   To the pious memory of Lucy Booth (eldest daughter of
Sir Robert Whitney, of Whitney, knight, and first married
to William Smallman, Esq.) her most sorrowful husband,
John Booth, Esq., has erected this monument.
   Her charity to the poor gave undoubted proof that she
was no more remarkable for her illustrious lineage than
she was for her fervent piety.
   She was courteous toward all and a model of conjugal
   Her patience conquered the fierce fury of disease: and
as, at dawn, she was girding herself for another day's strug-
gle in the battle of life, she put off mortality and peacefully
slept in the Lord.
   She died April 5, 1673, in the sixty-fourth year of her age.

   Thomas Whitney succeeded his father, Sir Robert.
Charles II., after he came to the throne in 1660, es-
tablished a new order of knighthood, to be known as
"Knights of the Royal Oak,"--in memory of his es-
cape, after the battle of Worcester, by hiding among
the thick foliage of a tree while his pursuers passed
beneathi it,--and nominated Whitney as one of the
charter members.
   Burke, in his "History of the Commons," edition
of 1836, gives a list of the knights with the annual
income of their estates, that of Whitney being £2000.
Few were as large, and the indication is that, despite
the impairment of his property, he was still a wealthy
man. The order was afterward abandoned on ac-
count of the apprehension that it might perpetuate
the memory of dissensions in a manner that would
endanger the safety of the kingdom.
   Sir Thomas married, in December, 1666, Elizabeth,

[Picture omitted]

               In Hereford Cathedral.

        The Last of the Whitneys of Whitney          189

daughter of Colonel William Cope of Icomb, and died
without issue in 1670, leaving four surviving sisters,
viz.: Anne Rodd, Lucy Booth, Elinor Wright, and
Susan Williams, and thus the family of Whitneys
of Whitney came to an end.
   There is still in existence a document, written in
1690 by Robert Price, which sets out what, in his
opinion, was then the condition of the title of the
manors of Whitney and Clifford. The author was
altogether wrong in his opening statement, for, as we
have seen, Clifford was not acquired till the time of
Sir James, who died in 1587, and the family of Whit-
ney had no existence before the Conquest. With the
other matters he doubtless was personally familiar.

                      & CLIFFORD

               IN THE COUNTY Of HEREFORD

   The Mannors of Whitney and Clifford, with all ye rents
and farms belonging to them, were ye ancient inheritance
and Patrimony of ye Whitneys, long before the Conquest, and
have lineally descended to Sir Robert Whitney; who, hav-
ing several sons and daughters by Dame Anne Whitney his
wife, did, by his deed of bargain and Sale of Release dated
the 10th day of March in ye 16th year of the raigne of King
James ye first, convey ye mannor of Whitney to himself for
life, ye remainder to Robert his oldest son and ye heirs male
of his body, ye remainder to ye second, and so to ye tenth
son in tayle male, and for want of such issue to ye said Sir
Robert Whitney and his right heirs forever. Sir R. Whit-
ney by Dame Anne his wife had issue, Robert, Richard,
Thomas, Francis, Lucy, Anne, Elinor, and Susanna.
   Sir Robert died in the year 1652. Robert his eldest son
dying without issue, in the life time of Sir Robert, Richard

190         The Ancestry of John Whitney

and Francis dye without issue, Thomas marrying Elizabeth
Cope, daughter to Colonel Cope of Icombe in the County of
Gloucester, her levying a fine "Sur cona 1 . . . . . of the
mannors of Whitney and Clifford in 1 . . . . . in ye 18th
year of King Charles ye Second and then settled some part
of ye demesne of the mannor of Whitney upon her for a

Afterwards in April, in ye 21st year of ye reign of King
Charles ye Second, Covenants by deed executed to levy an-
other fine (out of the same land) and that was to Thomas
Whitney for life, and as to part of ye demesne of Whitney,
Clifford and Castleton Farm to Elizabeth his wife for her
life and remainder to Thomas Whitney and his right heirs
forever. As for the mannors of Whitney and Clifford and
all ye messuages and lands of which 1 was before
declared to ye use of ye said Thomas Whitney and his right
heirs forever.
   Some short time after this deed and second fine Thomas
Whitney died without Yssue whereupon Elizabeth his relict
(amid now the wife of Mr. Sergeant Geers) entered and now
holds by ye second deed and fine; the manors of Whitney
and Clifford and several farms, and ye reversion of Mrs.
Whitney, now Geers, joynture descended to Lucy, Anne,
Elinor and Susanna, sisters and heirs to Thomas Whitney
who last died seized.
   1. Lucy Whitney was married to Mr. Smallman and after.
wards to Captain Booth by whom she had 3 daughters and
her fourth part of ye sayd copartenery is now in John Dut-
ton Colt and Thomas Stanley Esq. by those daughters.
   2. Anne Whitney married Thomas Rodd Esq., by whom
she had issue Robert Rodd her only son Thomas Rodd and
Anne his wife dying, Robert Rodd in possession of ye fourth
part of Whitney and Clifford has issue three daughters,
Lucy, Anna Sophia and Frances. Robert Rodd in con-
sideration of a marriage to bee had between Robert Price
then of Lincoln's Inn, Esq. and Lucy Rodd and in part of

   1 Illegible.

[Picture omitted]

                      WHITNEY COURT.

        The Last of the Whitneys of Whitney          191

portion, by deed dated 22nd of October, 1681, conveys his
fourth part of ye Mannors of Whitney and Clifford and all
his interest in the estates of Thomas Whitney, deceased, to
ye said Robert Price and his right heirs forever.
   3. Elinor Whitney. She marryed Doctor Wright who by
deede and fine conveyed their fourth part to Constance Wil-
liams (now wife to Sir David Williams) and her right heirs
   4. Susanna Whitney marry'd Henry Williams of Cabalva,
Esq., who are both dead, and Richard Williams their son
and heir inherited ye fourth part of ye said estate which is
now descended to Thomas his Brother and heir.
   Thus the Title stands as to the Estate at Whitney and
Clifford. I do not find that Clifford was ever entailed either
by Sir Robert Whitney or his son Thomas, and if it had,
Thomas Whitney's fine and deed by which he placed the
fee simple of his whole estate in himself has bar'd any en-
tayl as is known in ye family. Mr. Price having an absolute
estate in the fourth part of Whitney and Clifford (as appears
by his afore-recited title) has sold this estate of his to Mr.
Wardour by bargain and sale enrolled to which conveyance
there is annexed a Schedule of Leases of part of the Estate.
Two principal Leases Mr. Price has bought in and of the
rest will procure copies very suddenly to Mr. Wardour's
satisfaction. As the estate is of great antiquity in the fam-
ily and now expires more for want of the name than out of
any necessity there is to sell it, there being but two debts,
one a Judgment, another a Mortmayne made by Mr.
Thomas Whitney and both under a thousand pounds, which
do or can affect ye estate. If there be any doubt in any re-
spect as to the Title Mr. Price desires ye Querys may be
sent to him to which he doubts not but to give a full and
satisfactory answer.


   The evidences of ye Estate are by consent of ye Coheirs
of Whitney, lodged in ye hands of

192         The Ancestry of John Whitney

   1 Sir David Williams, who has a fourth part therein.
   2 A copy of Sir Robert Whitney's Settlement is sent up.
   3 A copy of Mr. Thomas Whitney's settlement on his lady
and both fines.
   4 A Lease and Release being Mr. Price's marriage settle-
ment, ye original is sent up.
   5 Mr. Penoyre's Lease of part of ye estate of Whitney.
   6 Mr. Randall's Lease of part of ye Estate and assign-
ment of them both.
                                  Robert Price,
                                      March 10th, 1690.

   Mr. Price does not seem to have had any know-
ledge of the entail created by the will of Sir James
Whitney, which provided for the passing of the
property to other male lines after the failure of
that of Eustace, and in no case allowed it to go to
   Unless this entail was barred, which, as to Clifford
at least, seems doubtful, Mrs. Rodd and her sisters,
their representatives and assigns, never acquired any
title except a prescriptive one based on adverse pos-
session. There will be occasion hereafter to note
that about 1676 it possibly was disputed.
   The descent of Whitney and Clifford from the time
of Mr. Price to the present day is said to have been
as follows:
   By purchase, the interests of all the other heirs were
acquired by Ann Sophia Rodd and her husband
William Wardour.  By the will of their son, who
had built the present church in 1740 and the court in
1745, it passed to a relative, Tomkyns Dew, and has
since been vested in his descendants.
   At present (1895) it is held by trustees, in trust for
a young child, Rosamond  Clifford, daughter of the

[Picture omitted]

                    BAPTISMAL FONT.
Supposed to have been saved from the ruins of the church
                 built by the Whitneys.

        The Last of the Whitneys of Whitney          193

late Tomkyns Dew of Whitney Court, who died a few
years since.
   To the Rev. Henry Dew, brother of said Tomkyns,
rector of Whitney, and to his accomplished and hos-
pitable family, the writer is indebted not only for
much of the foregoing information, but also for many
other courtesies.
   The property has recently been offered for sale,
and perhaps its present condition cannot be more
succinctly stated than by quoting the advertisement
in the "Hereford Times," June 3, 1893.

ESTATE.-To be sold, either together or in parcels, this
beautifully situated Freehold Residential Estate, practically
in a ring fence, comprising a total area of 2,650 acres or
thereabouts (of which 300 include valuable Woodlands,
chiefly Oak and Larch), and Rights of Pasturage on Mer-
bach Hill, together with the Advowson and Rectory of
Whitney and the Manor or Lordship of Whitney and Clif-
ford. The Farms are well let and of convenient sizes. The
Castle of Clifford (famous as the birthplace of "Fair Rosa-
mund") is situate on the property. The River Wye, which
intersects the estate, affords about seven miles of excellent
Salmon, Trout and other Fishing. The Partridge Shooting
is good. The Radnor and West Hereford Hounds hunt the
district. Whitney Court is a very commodious Mansion,
with Lodge, Gardens, and Stabling, and is within one mile
of Whitney Station and Post-office. Clifford Place, a smaller
Residence, makes a very good Shooting Lodge. Rentals,
which are moderate, including £80 tithe rent charge, pro-
duce £3,600 per annum.--For particulars and plans apply
to Messrs. J. R. Bridgford and Sons, Land Agents, 28 Cross-
street, Manchester; or Messrs. Glynne, Jones and Jones,
Solicitors, Bangor.

194         The Ancestry of John Whitney

   The site of Whitney Castle is indicated on the
ordnance maps prepared by the British government,
but regarding it, as Mr. Robinson in his "Castles of
Herefordshire" remarks, "we can say little more
than that there is no trace of a castle there now,
but tradition asserts that, beneath the river, which
changed its course in the year 1730, are still to be
sen marks of masonry which might have belonged
to such a structure. Certain it is that as late as 1675
the tower of a castle was, if not in existence, at least
in the memory of those who dwelt beside it."
   As has been said, successive floods not only under-
mined the castle,1 but washed away the original
manor-house, the rectory, the church, and the
churchyard. There is still in use, however, a baptis-
mal font which was saved from the original church,
an interesting relic, for from it doubtless was christ-
ened more than one child who afterward became the
head of the Whitney family.
   Reference to the map will show that the channel
of the Wye has shifted across the valley a full half
mile. Originally the course was nearly straight from
Clifford Common to Lockster's Pool, but the swift
stream, deflected by striking the little hill on which
stands Clifford Castle, ate away the bank and finally
burst its bounds and went further and further to the
north till it was stopped at the base of the wooded
hills known as Rhydspence Plantation and Whitney
   When the railroad cutting at Clifford, about thirty

   1 The castle was probably, like others in the neighborhood, on an
artificial mound surrounded by a deep moat connected with the stream.
This and the alluvial foundation rendered it particularly liable to be

[Picture omitted]

                   WHITNEY RECTORY.

        The Last of the Whitneys of Whitney          195

feet deep, was made in 1863, there were found all the
way down layers of sand and leaves, four to twelve
inches in thickness, deposited by successive floods,
and even birds' eggs, in perfect preservation, many
feet beneath the surface of the ground.
   The present court, a photograph of which is shown,
probably much inferior to the mansion that was the
residence of the Whitneys, is supposed to have been
begun by William Wardour,--the second proprietor
of that name, who also built the present church,--
and to have been added to according to the needs
and tastes of subsequent lords of the manor. It
stands close to the water's edge, and is a rambling,
roomy structure, of no particular style of architec-
ture, but comfortable and not lacking in pictur-
esqueness. The only building in the neighborhood
contemporary with the later Whitneys is Rhydspence
   The rectory, built by the present incumbent, is a
beautiful modern building, commanding a view of
the wide sweeping valley, with the chimneys of cot-
tages and farm-houses peeping from among the trees,
and Merbach Hill looming up beyond.
   Intending visitors should secure hotel accommo-
dations at Hereford or Hay, from which Whitney
can be reached, in a few minutes' ride by rail, several
times a day.

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