Archive:The Whitney Family of Connecticut, page xiv

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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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The Whitneys
purchaser was Mr. John Darlington, whose daughter brought it in marriage to Henry Tomkinson, Esq., of Dorfold, the present proprietor: the hall is occupied by a farmer."1
The Vale Royall of England2 testifies to the fact which the Lysons record. It describes where the brook Combrus, from which Combermere has its name, "meeteth shortly with the water of Weever, about Broomhall, a great Township," "near whereunto is scituate a Demean of the Whitneys, called the Mannour of Cole Pilate."
Manor of Coole Pilate. This manor, in the parish of Acton, was the homestead of the family; and here, or in the neighborhood, they long dwelt. The manor-house of Coole Pilate is pleasantly situated on the bank of the river Weever, at a short distance from the stream, and is now occupied by a farmer. Of the old structure little remains, except on the side looking toward the river. This side or wing is in the usual style of ancient Cheshire houses--a framework of timber painted externally black, and filled in with whitened plaster or brick.3 The opposite bank of the river is elevated and covered with wood, and the whole valley is undulating, and at some distance, at Combermere, very picturesque.
The alliances of the Cheshire Whitneys show them to have been of consideration in that county in the old time.4 About the reign of Henry VII (1485-1509) Anne, daughter of John Brooke, of Leighton, in Nantwich hundred, became the wife of Thomas Whitney, of Coole.5 She was an aunt to the Richard Brooke, Esq., who "Purchased from the King the Mannor of Norton with its Members and Appurtenances."6
Hugh Massey, of Denfleld and Audlem, also in Nantwich hundred, son and heir of William Massey (who came of age 3 Edward VI, A.D. 1550, and was descended from Sir Geoffrey Massey, of Tatton, near Knutsford, "who died 4 die Octobris 1457"), married "Elizabeth, sister of Hugh Whitney, of Coolane in Wenbury." He died in 1646, and was buried at Audlem.7
  1 In speaking of the extinction of the Cheshire Whitneys, the Lysons are not entirely correct. Toward the end of last century, Mr. Silas Whitney, also a poet, or writer of verse, from the neighborhood of Nantwich, carried on business in Knutsford as a cotton manufacturer. He was reputed to be descended from the Whitneys of Coole Pilate, and a relative of the celebrated Josiah Wedgwood. When political feeling ran high and fierce about the first French revolution, he is said to have emigrated to the United States--where, however, no trace of him has been found.
  2 King's edition, London, 1656, part II, p. 65.
  3 A view of this house is given by Mr. Green in the appendix to his edition of Whitney's Choice of Emblemes.
  4 Ormerod's Chester, Vol. III, p. 241.
  5 Sir Peter Leycester's Historical Antiquities, p. 32.
  6 37 Hen. VIII, 1545.
  7 As it is no particular purpose to write a genealogy of the English Whitneys, we refer the reader who may be anxious for further particulars, to Mr. Green's Introductory Dissertation (quoted above), pp. xli, xlii, and especially to Mr. Henry Austin Whitney's admirable Memoranda relating to Families of the Name of Whitney in England, Boston (Mass.), 1859. The latter gentleman has, besides, a vast store of manuscript material relating to the same subject, which, it is to be hoped, he will publish at no very distant day.
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