Family:Whitney, Robert (1592-1653)

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Sir Robert Whitney (Eustace, Robert, Robert, James, Robert, Eustace, Robert, Robert, Robert, Eustace, Eustace, Robert, ...), son of Eustace and Margaret (Vaughan) Whitney,[1] born 23 Sep 1592, Whitney, Herefordshire,[2] buried 15 Sep 1653, Whitney, Herefordshire.[3]

He was probably the Robert Whitney whose engagement to Dorothy Thynne was proposed in 1605 and announced in 1607.[4] Obviously that marriage did not take place.

He married, Anne Lucy,[5] daughter of Thomas and Constance (Kingsmill) Lucy of Charlicote, Warwickshire. According to the tomb engraving at St. Giles Cripplegate Church, London, Constance Kingsmill was the daughter and heir of Richard Kingsmill, Surveyor of the Court of Wards. [6] She was baptized 10 Aug 1589, Rudford, Gloucestershire,[7] and died unknown, Whitney, Herefordshire.[8]

On 23 Mar 1607/8, Robert Whitney, generosus, son and heir apparent of Eustace Whitney, of Whitney, co. Hereford, armiger, was admitted to Lincoln's Inn.[9]

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 Warwickshire. This was the same Lucy who prosecuted William Shakspere for poaching and was lampooned by the latter, in revenge, as "Justice Shallow." According to all other authorities he was a worthy gentleman. 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 Appendix with the Whitney register, we find that there were born to Robert and Anne no less than twelve children, ...
Whitney received the honor of knighthood from James I. in 1617, and in 1639 was sheriff of Herefordshire. For a number of years he was, as had been several 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 incumbered 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., Cromwell'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 before been laid beneath the pavement of St. Giles, where sleep John Milton, John Fox, Sir Martin Frobisher and others of world-wide fame.[10]

"In the beginning of the eighteenth century, it [the manor of Pencomb] was sold, with the patronage of the church, by Sir Robert Whitney, knt., to Sir Thomas Coningsby, knt., of Hampton court, in this county, from whom it descended to the present Earl of Essex, who sold it to Richard Arkwright, esq., with the several manors, &c., as already traced in this hundred. [NOTE: Since Sir Thomas Coningsby died in 1625, this must have happened at the beginning of the seventeenth century. --RLW][NOTE: According to the Hampton Court Estate catalogue, which includes the records for the manor of Pencombe, the manor and advowson of Pencombe was conveyed to Sir Thomas Coningesby in 1615 by Sir Robert Whitney (A63/II/284/1-18, 1614-1719) --TBD].[11]

Children of Sir Robert and Anne (Lucy) Whitney, order reconstructed (see notes section for details):

i. Constance Whitney,[12] b. ca. 1610, Whitney, Hereforshire,[13] buried 25 May 1628, St. Giles without Cripplegate, London,[14] unmarried.[15]
ii. Lucy Whitney,[16] b. ca. 1612, Whitney, Hereforshire;[17] d. 5 Apr 1673.[18]
iii. Anne Whitney,[19] b. 10 Feb 1613/4, and bp. 13 Feb 1613/4, Whitney, Hereforshire,[20] d. aft. 1635,[21] m. 17 Jan 1634/5, Whitney, Thomas Rodd of Moreton Jeffreys and Foxley, Herefordshire.[22]
iv. Robert Whitney,[23] b. 10 Apr 1615 and bp. 20 Apr 1615, Whitney, Hereforshire,[24] d. aft. 1647 and bef. 1658.[25] He had no children.[26] On 27 Nov 1633, Robert Whitney, son and heir apparent of Sir Robert Whitney of Whitney, co. Hereford, knight, was admitted to Lincoln's Inn.[27]
v. Eleanor Whitney,[28] b. say 1617, Whitney, Hereforshire,[29] d. aft. 1692,[30] m. Dr. Nathaniel Wright of Shrewsbury, both were deceased by 1692.[31]
vi. Constantine Whitney,[32] b. ca. 1619,[33] d. aft. 1638 and prob. bef. 1647,[34] matriculated Oxford University 4 May 1638 aged 15, where he was listed as 2nd son of Robert of Whitney, co. Hereford, equ. Brasenose Coll.[35]
vii. Richard Whitney,[36] bapt. 6 Feb 1621, Whitney, Hereforshire,[37] d. 1656,[38] matriculated Oxford University 4 May 1638, aged 13 when he was listed as "3 s. Robert, of Whitney, co. Hereford, equ Brasenose Coll.; student of Inner Temple 1647; buried in Temple church 6 Nov. 1656. See Foster’s Inns of Court Reg."[39]
Whitney, Richard, of the Inner Temple, gentleman, was buried in the Temple Chruch above the bencher's seates by the stone monemnt of a bishopp, lying along, on Thursday night, being the sixth of November, [1656].[40]
viii. (Sir) Thomas Whitney,[41] bapt. 6 Jan 1622, Whitney, Hereforshire,[42] d. 1670,[43] m. Elizabeth Cope.[44]
ix. Francis Whitney,[45] b. say 1624, Whitney, Hereforshire,[46] d. aft. 1658 but bef. 1672. He married Victoria (Clarke) who sued her former brother-in-law Thomas Whitney, Esq., later Sir Thomas, and who by 1672 was the wife of Edward Bereford of Wellington, Herefordshire, Esq. [47]
x. Susan Whitney,[48] b. say 1626, Whitney, Hereforshire,[49] d. aft. 1634,[50] m. Henry Williams, Esq., of Cabalva, near Whitney.[51]
xi. Bridget Whitney,[52] bp. 11 Oct 1629, Whitney, Hereforshire,[53] bur. 8 Feb 1629/30, Whitney, Herefordshire.[54]
xii. William Whitney,[55] bp. 2 Oct 1631, Whitney, Hereforshire,[56] d. aft. 1634 and bef. 1647, no children.[57]
xiii. Elizabeth Whitney,[58] b. say 1633, Whitney, Hereforshire;[59] d. aft. 1634, young.[60]


  • Whitney Manor Record document #379, dated 15 Nov 1622, is an agreement providing for the marriage of their eldest daughter Constance and their four other daughters Lucy, Anne, Eleanor and Susan Whitney. This record proves the following:
    • Constance was the eldest daughter.
    • Daughters Constance, Lucy, Anne, Eleanor and Susan were all born by 1622.
    • No other daughters were living in 1622.
    • Lucy, Anne, Eleanor and Susan were not married in 1622.
  • The Visitation of Herefordshire of 1634 appears to list the children of this family in order of birth, first listing sons "1. Robert Whitney eldest son & heire apparent aged about 20 yeares 1634; 2. Constantine Whitney; 3. Richard; 4. Thomas; 5. Francis; 6. William Whitney sixt son" and then listing daughters "A. Luce wife to William Smallman of Kinersley Co: Heref. gent.; B. Anne wife to Thomas Rodde of Foxley Co: Hereford; C. Elenor; D. Suzan; E. Elizabeth". This record indicates that:
    • Robert was the eldest (surviving) son in 1634, born about 1614.
    • The 2nd - 5th (surviving) sons were Constantine, Richard, Thomas, and Francis, probably born in that order.
    • William was the 6th (surviving) son in 1634
    • The surviving daughters in 1634, probably in order of birth were Lucy, Anne, Eleanor, Susan, and Elizabeth.
  • The 1638 matriculation records of two of the sons describe them as Constantine, age 15, 2nd son; and Richard, age 13, 3rd son. This proves the following:
    • Constantine was the 2nd eldest (surviving) son in 1638, and he was born about 1623.
    • Richard was the 3rd eldest (surviving) son in 1638, and he was born about 1625.
  • Whitney Manor Record document #260, dated 10 Dec 1647, describes the sons as "Robert Whitney, esq., his eldest son and heir, Richard Whitney, gent., Thomas Whitney, gent., and Francis Whitney, gent., his younger sons." This shows that:
    • Sons Robert, Richard, Thomas, and Francis were alive in 1647.
    • Robert was the eldest son.
    • The order of birth of the other sons was perhaps Richard, Thomas, Francis.
    • Sons Constantine and William were not listed, and were probably dead by 1647.
  • Chancery Suit C 6/133/56, dated 1655, lists defendants "Sir Richard Whitney, Dame Anna Whitney, Lucy Whitney". If the Dame Anna here refers to the mother of this family, then the Sir Richard Whitney probably refers to the son of this family. This shows that:
    • Son Richard may have been living in 1655.
  • Chancery Suit C 6/132/95, dated 1656, lists defendants "dame Anne Whitney, Francis Lucy, Sir Richard Lucy, Sir Robert Whitney." This indicates that:
    • son Robert may have been living in 1656.
  • Chancery Suit C 6/133/58, dated 1656, lists defendants "Dame Anne Whitney, Richard Whitney, Lucy Whitney, Sir Richard Whitney", and others. This indicates that:
    • son Richard may have been living in 1656.
  • Chancery Suit C 10/49/87, dated 1658, includes defendants "Thomas Whitney, Francis Whitney" in a case regarding Icomb Manor, so this almost certainly refers to sons Thomas and Francis in this family.
    • Thomas and Frances were living in 1658.
    • Thomas and Francis were probably the last living sons in 1658.
  • The Parish Registers of Whitney lists the following entries for children in this family: Anne Whitney, b. 10 Feb 1614; Robert Whitney, b. 10 Apr 1615; Richard Whitney, bp. 6 Feb 1621; Thomas Whitney, bp. 6 Jan 1622; Bridget Whitney, bp. 11 Oct 1629; Bridget Whitney, bur. 8 Feb 1630; William Whitney, bp. 2 Oct 1631.
  • Son Richard Whitney was buried in Temple church 6 Nov. 1656.
  • Although the matriculation records state that Constantine was 15 and Richard was 13, I suspect that these ages are incorrect, perhaps from a misreading. An age of 13 for Richard would mean he was born about 1625, yet we have a baptism date for Richard in 1621. While it is possible that there were two sons named Richard and that the elder died young, there is no burial mentioned in the Whitney parish registers are there are for Bridget, and adding yet another child into this family squeezes the dates such that it seems highly improbable. I think it much more likely that the ages listed in the matriculation records were inaccurate or misread.
  • From The Topographer and Genealogist, John Gough Nichols, Ed., Vol. III(1858) London: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons at page 407: The Right Worshipfull Mr Richard Kingsmill, of High Clere, in the countie of Southampton, esquire, surveior of the Court of Wardes & Leverees, maried to his first wyffe Alice the doughter of Richard Faulconer of Hurstbourne, and co-heire to her brother Richard Faulconer: By which Alice he had issue Constance, his only doughter and heire, maried to Sr Thomas Lucy of Charlecot in the countie of Warwick knight, who by her hath issue Thomas Lucy, Rihcard, George, Willm, Robert, Francis, Elizabeth, Anne, and Brigid. The said Richard Kingsmill, tooke to his second wyffe Elizabeth, daughter of David Woodroff, Alderman of London, by whom he had no issue. He ended this transitory lyffe at High Clere, the 17 of September, ano. 1600, and was in the parish church there worshipfully, according to his estate, comitted to the earth, and his ffunerals solemnised, the 7 of October next following. The principall mourner, Sr Thomas Lucy.


1.^  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), p. 182.

2.^  Ibid.

3.^  Melville, op. cit., p. 184.

4.^  Daniel R. Woolf, The Social Circulation of the Past: English Historical Culture 1500-1730 (Oxford University Press, 2003).

5.^  Melville, op. cit., p. 182.

6.^  Ibid; WHITNEY, G., & GREEN, H. (1971). A choice of emblemes. Anglistica & Americana, 49. Hildesheim, G. Olms. at pp. 32.

7.^  L.D.S. International Genealogical Index, Batch No. C032242.

8.^  We have no date for her death, but it was presumably at Whitney.

9.^  The Records of the Honorable Society of Lincoln's Inn: Register 1420-1893 (London: Lincoln's Inn; printed by H. S. Cartwright, 1896). Volume I: Admissions from A. D. 1420 to A. D. 1799., p. 147.

10.^  Melville, op. cit., pp. 182-184.

11.^  Henry Austin Whitney, The First Known Use of Whitney as a Surname: Its Probable Signification, and Other Data (Boston, MA: Henry Austin Whitney, 1875), p. ix.

12.^  Constance's parentage is identified in Harley 1140, f. 65b & 66, Harley 1159, f. 64b, Harley 1442, f. 65b

13.^  Constance died in 1628, aged 17, and was thus born about 1610 or 1611. Because Lucy was younger than Constance and older than Alice who was born early in 1614, it seems likely that Lucy was born about 1612 and Constance about 1610. It is also possible that Constance and Lucy were twins, born about 1611.

14.^  Melville, p. 182.

15.^  Constance's tomb has her surname listed as Whitney, indicating that she had not been married, Melville, p. 185

16.^  Lucy's parentage is identified in Harley 1140, f. 65b & 66, Harley 1159, f. 64b, Harley 1442, f. 65b

17.^  Lucy was age 64 when she died in 1673.

18.^  Source for death of Lucy

19.^  Anne's parentage is identified in Harley 1140, f. 65b & 66, Harley 1159, f. 64b, Harley 1442, f. 65b

20.^  Whitney, Herefordshire Parish Records

21.^  Anne had to have died after her marriage. Note - there are other documents which could push this date quite a bit back.

22.^  Parish Register, Whitney, Herefordshire, England.

23.^  Robert's parentage is identified in Harley 1140, f. 65b & 66, Harley 1159, f. 64b, Harley 1442, f. 65b

24.^  Whitney, Herefordshire Parish Records

25.^  Robert was listed as living in Whitney and Clifford Manor Record #260, dated 1647, but was probably deceased by 1658 when Chancery Suit C 10/49/87, lists only his brothers Thomas and Francis in relation to the Whitney family holdings. The statement that he died before his father in 1653 seems to be based solely on the fact that his younger brother Thomas inherited the family holdings. However, it seems possible that he may have inherited for a few years before he died, and the holdings then passed to his brother, or that he died during the transfer process. Additional records concerning the transfer of the property would need to be located and examined to get this answered properly.

26.^  Robert is listed as "S.P." (sine prole, no children) in Harley 1140, f. 65b & 66, Harley 1159, f. 64b, Harley 1442, f. 65b

27.^  The Records of the Honorable Society of Lincoln's Inn: Register 1420-1893 (London: Lincoln's Inn; printed by H. S. Cartwright, 1896). Volume I: Admissions from A. D. 1420 to A. D. 1799, page 223.

28.^  Eleanor's parentage is identified in Harley 1140, f. 65b & 66, Harley 1159, f. 64b, Harley 1442, f. 65b

29.^  According to the 1634 Visitation of Herefordshire, Eleanor was younger than her sister Anne, and older than sisters Susan and Elizabeth. Because Anne was born in 1614 and other children are known to have filled up the years 1621-1634, a birth year circa 1617 is the only possibility.

30.^  Eleanor was listed in the 1634 Visitation of Herefordshire, and can therefore be assumed to have been living at that time. She was described as "deceased" in the 1692 Item # 386 of the Whitney and Clifford Manor Records on page 65. -- ABB

31.^  Whitney and Clifford Manorial Records. Item # 386 on page 65. -- ABB

32.^  Source for parentage of Constantine

33.^  Source for birth of Constantine

34.^  Source for death of Constantine

35.^  Source for matriculation of Constantine

36.^  Source for parentage of Richard

37.^  Source for birth of Richard

38.^  Source for death of Richard

39.^  Source for matriculation of Richard

40.^  Death Records in the Register of Burials in the Temple Church, London England, page 2.

41.^  Source for parentage of Thomas

42.^  Source for birth of Thomas

43.^  Source for death of Thomas

44.^  Source for marriage of Thomas

45.^  Source for parentage of Francis

46.^  Source for birth of Francis

47.^  Francis was listed in Chancery Suit C 10/49/87, dated 1658, and was thus living as of this date. Item #381 dated 7 April 1672 from the Whitney and Clifford Manor Records Collection on page 62. -- ABB

48.^  Source for parentage of Susan

49.^  According to the 1634 Visitation of Herefordshire, Susan was younger than her sisters Anne and Eleanor, and older than sister Elizabeth. Because Anne was born in 1614 and other children are known to have filled up the years 1621-1634, a birth year circa 1619 is the only possibility.

50.^  Susan was listed in the 1634 Visitation of Herefordshire, and can therefore be assumed to have been living at that time.

51.^  Source for marriage of Susan

52.^  Whitney, Herefordshire Parish Records

53.^  Whitney, Herefordshire Parish Records

54.^  Whitney, Herefordshire Parish Records

55.^  Whitney, Herefordshire Parish Records

56.^  Whitney, Herefordshire Parish Records

57.^  Source for death of William

58.^  Source for parentage of Elizabeth

59.^  Source for birth of Elizabeth

60.^  Elizabeth was listed in the 1634 Visitation of Herefordshire, and can therefore be assumed to have been living at that time.

Copyright © 2006-2009, Robert L. Ward, Tim Doyle, Adrian Benjamin Burke, Esq., and the Whitney Research Group