Archive:The Whitney Family of Connecticut, page xii

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The Whitney Family of Connecticut

by S. Whitney Phoenix
(New York: 1878)

Transcribed by Robert L. Ward.

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xii
The Whitneys.
In the offices of sheriffs of their county, knights of the shire in parliament, and justices in the commission of the peace, the name Whitney may be traced in Herefordshire from Henry V (1413) to George III (1799).
Thus of Sheriffs of Herefordshire there have been:1
Robert Whitney, 1377-8, 1 Richard II.
Robert Whitney, 1413-4, 1 Henry V.
Robert Whitney, Knt., 1427-8, 6 Henry VI.
Robert Whitney, Knt., 1432-3, 11 Henry VI.
Robert Whitney, 1436-7, 15 Henry VI.
Robert Whitney, 1475-6, 15 Edward IV.
James Whitney, Knt., 1573-4, 16 Elizabeth.
James Whitney, Knt., 1585-6, 28 Elizabeth.
Eustace Whitney, 1595-6, 38 Elizabeth.
Robert Whitney, Knt., 1638-9, 14 Charles I.
Among the Knights of the Shire, in parliament, we find:
Eustace de Whitney, 1312-13, 6 Edward II.
Eustace de Whiteney, 1351-2, 25 Edward III.
Robert Whitteney, 1377, 51 Edward III.
Robert de Whitteney, 1378-9, 2 Richard II.
Robert de Whitteney, Knt., 1379-80, 3 Richard II.
Robert Whitteney, 1395-6, 19 Richard II.
Robert Whitteney, Knt., 1417-8, 5 Henry V.
Robert Whitteney, 1422-3, 1 Henry VI.
Eustace Whitney, 1467-8, 7 Edward IV.
Robert Whitney,2 Knt., 1558-9, 1 Elizabeth.

  1 Duncumb, Vol. I, pp. 139-149.
  2 The Robert Whitney of the parliament of 1 Elizabeth had "receaued the honorable Ordre of Knighthode in the tyme of the reigne of Queene Mary," and his crest, we are informed, was the head of an ox. Another Sir Robert Whitney, with the same crest, is recorded to have been "dubbed at wynesore" after 1566 and before 1570. Green records the circumstance that Sir James Whitney, Knt., who in 1574 was a member of parliament, was a suitor for the hand of Barbara, countess of Leicester, in 1584 and 1585. See Gent. Mag. for 1847, p. 484.
    The following legend, explanatory of the Whitney crest, was received from a correspondent: but the author, after considerable research, has been unable to discover its authority, and is disposed to consider it apocryphal.
    Sir Randolph de Whitney, the grandson of Eustace (founder of the name), accompanied Richard, Coeur de Lion, to the Crusades, and distinguished himself greatly by his personal strength and great courage. On one occasion he was sent by Richard on a mission to the French commander; and, as he was leaving the British

camp, the brother of Saladin (whom he had twice before defeated) followed him, with two Saracens in his company, and riding around a small hill, suddenly made a furious attack upon the English knight. De Whitney defended himself with the greatest vigor, but his assailants were gaining upon him when a furious Spanish bull, which was feeding near the scene of conflict, was attracted by the red dress of the two Saracens, and made so furious an attack upon them that they were diverted from their intended prey, and sought safety in flight. Sir Randolph soon succeeded in wounding his single assailant, whom he left for dead; and then overtiring the two Saracens, he dispatched them, and proceeded upon the mission of the king. According to the superstition of that time, Sir Randolph attributed the event to the especial interposition of the Virgin, a medal of whom, consecrated by the Pope, he had continually worn on his breast. On his return to England, he erected a chapel to the virgin, which was called Our Lady of Palestine Oratory, the walls or which remain to this day, adjoining the grounds of the ancient family mansion.

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