Family:Whitney, Robert (c1498-1555)

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Robert Whitney, Gent. (Robert), son of Robert Whitney,[1] was born say 1498,[2] died 1555, before 17 Jul, Castleton, Clifford, Herefordshire.[3]

He married, say 1535, Elizabeth verch Morgan ap William,[4] daughter of Morgan ap William.[5] She was born say 1510,[6] and died after 17 Jul 1555.[7]

Sometime between 1518 and 1529, Robert Whitney was named in a suit regarding the detention of deeds relating to 'Bytterleys Hyde' in Pencombe, Herefordshire by William, son and heir of William Wykes.[8]

Sometime about 1532-8, "Robert Whytney of Castleton" was named in a suit regarding "detention of deeds relating to messuages and land in Newnton, late of [John] Ellettes, defendant having bought one-half from his grand-daughters."[9]

In 1539, "Robert Witney gent of Castelton" was listed on the Herefordshire Muster Rolls under Bache. He was listed as too poor to provide weoponry and "to find harness for a man". - Archive:Herefordshire Musters of 1539 and 1542

In 1542, "Rob(er)tus Whitney" was taxed £20 10s. at The Bage, Clifford.[10]

In 1544, "Robert Witney of Castelton, gentylman" was sued by Hugh Welshe who claimed that he was owed 40s. Robert did not appear in court and was ordered to be arrested by the sheriff and brought before the court on the Octaves of Trinity. He did not appear then either and was ordered to appear in the Michaelmas term.[11]

In 1545, "Rob(er)te Whytney" was taxed 10s. at The Bage, Clifford.[12]

In 1545, "Rob(er)tus Whytney" was taxed £20 xiiis. iiiid. on goods at The Bage, Clifford.[13]

In 1547, "Rob(er)tus Whytneye de Castelton" was taxed £3 6s. on lands at The Bage, Clifford. A "Rob(er)tus Whytneye" was also taxed £5 3s. 4d. on goods at The Bage.[14] It is unknown if this was the same person or not.

The will of Robert Whitney, gentleman, of Castleton, Herefordshire, was dated and proved in 1555. It names his wife Elizabeth, sons Nicholas and Thomas, and unmarried daughters Elinor and Margaret. It is reported to be faded and damaged.[15]

There are several pedigrees which mention him and his family. They conflict as to his parentage, but agree about his wife and children.[16] His will adds another daughter, which is confirmed by her witnessing his son Nicholas Whitney's will.[17]

Children of Robert and Elizabeth (verch Morgan ap William) Whitney, order uncertain:

i. Anne Whitney, b. say 1535, Castleton, Herefordshire;[18] m. bef. 1569, and prob. bef. 1555, Thomas Robage.
ii. Nicholas Whitney, b. say 1540, Castleton, Herefordshire;[19] m. ----- -----.
iii. Eleanor Whitney, b. say 1542, Castleton, Herefordshire;[20] unmarried on 20 Nov 1587.
iv. William Whitney, b. say 1545, Castleton, Herefordshire;[21] perhaps the same as William Whitney of Isleworth.
v. Margaret Whitney, b. say 1547, Castleton, Herefordshire;[22] m. after 1587, William Powell/Poell.
The mark of Thomas Whitney of Castleton
Thomas Whitney, b. say 1550, Castleton, Herefordshire.[23] In about 1589, Thomas brought suit against William Watkin Lewis and Evan Lloyd. It seems that about two or three years prior, he had killed Howell Watkins, who was the husband of his brother Nicholas's daughter Margery. Thomas stated that it was an unintended consequence that occurred when he and Howell were in an "affray", but William Watkin Lewis, brother of the deceased, claimed that Thomas had intentionally murdered Howell. A trial was held in the Marches of Wales in which a grand jury found Thomas innocent of murder, but it seems guilty of manslaughter. This case concerns lands in Craswall that Thomas had used to guarantee payment to the family of the deceased. It seems that there was a disagreement on whether the money had been paid, and that William Watkins Lewis and Evan Lloyd had then attempted to take the property. Thomas then brought suit to recover the land. These lands in Craswell are probably the same as those conveyed to Thomas in the 1555 will of his father.
vii. Richard Whitney, b. say 1553, Castleton, Herefordshire;[24] living 20 Nov 1587, when he was made coexecutor of his brother Nicholas's will. Mentioned in the records of a Court of Request suit brought by his brother Thomas Whitney in 1589.[25] No further record.


1.^  He was NOT the son by that name of James and Blanche (Milbourne) Whitney.

2.^  Estimated from the ages of relatives.

3.^  Will, Hereford County Record Office. The location of his death is documented in C 3/186/32, folio 1.

4.^  Melville, op. cit., pp. 265, 266, 275.

5.^  Melville, ibid.

6.^  Estimated from the ages of relatives.

7.^  She was mentioned in the will of her husband.

8.^  C 1/593/188

9.^  C 1/719/9

10.^  Herefordshire Taxes in the Reign of Henry VIII, Huntington Hundred, 1540 Subsidy Act, Second Payment in 1542.

11.^  Chief Justices' Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, Easter Term, 36 Henry VIII (1544), membrane 222 & Chief Justices' Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, Trinity Term, 36 Henry VIII (1544), membrane 197.

12.^  Herefordshire Taxes in the Reign of Henry VIII, The Benevolence of 1545, The Hundred of Huntyngton.

13.^  Herefordshire Taxes in the Reign of Henry VIII, Huntington Hundred, 1543 Subsidy Act, Anticipation in 1545 of the Third Payment.

14.^  Herefordshire Taxes in the Reign of Henry VIII, Huntington Hundred, 1545 Subsidy Act, Second Payment in 1547.

15.^  M. A. Faraday and E. J. L. Cole, editors, Calendar of probate and administration acts 1407-1541 and abstracts of wills 1541-1581 in the court books of the Bishop of Hereford (London: British Record Society, 1989), page 297; microfiche, New York Public Library.

16.^  Melville, loc. cit..

17.^  L.D.S. Film #91676, Hereford Record Office, Wills, folio 169.

18.^  Melville, op. cit., pp. 265, 266, 267, 275, 276.

19.^  Melville, ibid.

20.^  She was mentioned as unmarried in her father's will, 1555, and was still unmarried when she witnessed her brother's will, 20 Nov 1587. She is not mentioned in the visitation pedigrees.

21.^  Melville, op. cit., pp. 265, 266, 267, 275, 276.

22.^  Melville, ibid.

23.^  Melville, ibid.

24.^  Melville, ibid.

25.^  REQ 2/284/30, folio 3.

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

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