Archive:The Descendants of John Whitney, page 12

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The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635, by Frederick Clifton Pierce (Chicago: 1895)

Transcribed by the Whitney Research Group, 1999.

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river Wye, and at times overflowed by it; indeed the old church and rectory were entirely washed away by mountain torrents in 1780. There seems to be no record of Whitney in Herefordshire prior to the Dooms- day Book. This work was compiled between the years 1081 and 1087 by order of William the Conqueror, and contains the general survey of all the lands in the king- dom, their extent in each district, their proper tenures, value, the quantity of meadow, pasture, wood and arable land which they contained, and in some countries the number of tenants, cottages and slaves of all denominations who lived upon them This book places it in the hundred of Elsedune, and spells the name Witenie. In the general distribution of land among the followers of The Conqueror, it fell to the lot of Turstin the Fleming (Turstinus Flandrensis), the son of Rolf, who besides his possessions in Herefordshire, held lands in Hampshire, Dorsetshire, Berkshire, Somersetshire, Devonshire, Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire. Noth- ing further is known of him except; that his wife was named Agnes, and that his son, Sir Eustace (Eusatcius Miles) was called from Herefordshire-hamlet, Lord of Whitney, and so founded the family of DeWhitney. The particle was gradually dropped from the name in some cases, as early as the twelfth century, and it has long since entirely disappeared. The parish church of Whitney is about four miles from The Hay, in Beacon, Wales, and seventeen miles from Hereford. The parish contains nearly 1,500 acres, the chief owners being Tompkyns DEW, Esq., and the Rev. Spenser PHILLIPS. In old times it was a portion of the long stretching debatable ground within which were 141 little lord ships, often at war with each other, and amenable only to their several feudal chiefs. It was not included in any of three adjoining countries until 1585: by act of parliament for the incorporation of England and Wales, Hunting- ton, Clifford, Winforton, Eardesley, and Whitney were united into the hundred of Huntington. The castle of Whitney, the family stronghold, stood on the north bank of the Wye, and is now represented by a group of mounds and also by Whitney court, the residence of the present proprietor. Agnes, widow of Turstin, had also estates in the parish of Pencombe in the same county, one hide about 120 English acres; of which she and her son, Sir Eustace de Whitney, bestowed upon the Church of St. Peter, at Gloucester, free from all tax, in the time of the Abbet Reginald In the reign of Henry III., 1216-1272, Pencombe was stated to consist of 15 hides of land, one moiety of which was held by John de WHYTENE and Robert TREGOG, and the other moiety by Thomas de HENEGAN and Robert de WHYTENE by military service; and both of the honor of Ewias. In the earlier times when Bohuns Mortimers and Bishops of Hereford convulsed the whole country and overshadowed even the royal authority, little trace of the Whitneys appeared upon record; yet, in A.D. 1306, a Eustacius DE WHYTENEYE was knighted at the same time with a Corbet, a Lacy, and a Marnyon, and previous to that the same Eustacius, in 1277-1280, acted as patron of the living of Pencombe, and in the latter year presented a Roger de WHITNEY. In 1342 W. D. de WITE- NIE was the incumbent; in 1353 Baldwin de WHITNEY, and after 1378 Eustacius WHITNEY. Among the patrons of this living, at various times from 1343 to 1590, were; Robert de WHITNEY, 1355; Baldwin de WHITNEY,1357; Robert WHITNEY, knight, 1419-28; Robert Whitney 1589; then the crown during the minority of a Robert WHITNEY, and again in 1567 a Robert WHITNEY, knight, and lastly James WHITNEY, knight, in 1590. In 1593 John WHITNEY was a portionary or prebend in Broxash hundred. The name of Robertus WHITNEY, Chevalier Cortland was returned in the list of gentry, etc., in this country, made by commissioners in 1434 (1-2) Henry VI. In the offices of sheriffs of their county, knights of the shire in parliament and justices in the commission of the peace of the name Whitney may be traced in Herefordshire from Henry V., 1418, to George III., 1799. Thus of sheriffs of Here- fordshire have been; Robert WHITNEY, 1377-1378; Robert WHITNEY, 1413-14; Robert WHITNEY, knight 1427-28; Robert WHITNEY, knight, 1432-33; Robert WHITNEY, 1436-37; Robert WHITNEY, 1475-76; James WHITNEY, knight, 1585-95; Eustace WHIT- NEY, 1595-96; Robert WHITNEY, knight, 1638-39. Among the knights of the shire in parliament we find: Eustace de WHITNEY, 1312-13; Eustace de WHITNEY, 1351-52; Robert Whitteney, 1377; Robert de WHIT- TENEY, 1378-79; Robert de WHITNEY, knight 1379-80; Robert de WHITTENEY, 1396-96; Robert WHITTENEY, knight, 1417-18; Eustace WHITNEY, 1467-68; Robert WHITNEY, knight, 1558-59. The Robert WHITNEY of the parliament of First Elizabeth, 1558-59, received the

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