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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Eleanor Whitfield's Mother

As we saw in our last post, Eleanor Whitfield's mother (first name unknown, maiden name also unknown), was identified in one of her obituaries as "Niece to the present Sir Robert Cotton, of Gidden, Bart. and first Cousin of John Cotton, of Shatton, Esq....".  I'm hoping this information will make her name and parentage easier to trace.

The information below is taken from:  A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies of England, Ireland and Scotland by John Burke and John Bernard Burke, 2nd edition.  Sir Robert Cotton (1669-1749)  appears on page 138, although the section on the family (Cotton, of Connington) begins on page 136.  The title was created in 1611 and went extinct in 1752.  This family is one of three Cotton families to receive a Baronetcy in England;  the others are the Cottons of Landwade and the Cottons of Combermere.

"v.  Sir Robert Cotton, of Gedding, in the county of Huntingdon, who m. first Elizabeth, daughter of ____ Wigston, esq;  and secondly, Mrs. Morton.  He died 12th July, 1749, aged eighty, and was succeeded by his son, 
vi.  Sir John Cotton [this is the John Cotton who was identified as Mrs. Whitfield's first cousin]  who m. Jane, daughter of Robert Burdett, bart. of Bramcote, and had one son and four daughters, viz. 
 John, died at Durham of the small-pox, 15th November 1739.
Jane, m. in October 1741, to Thomas Hart, edq. of Warfield, Berks.
Sir John d. 27th March, 1752, when the BARONETCY became EXTINCT."

So if Mrs. Whitfield, is Sir Robert's niece, it follows she is descended from either one of Sir Robert's siblings or possibly a sibling of one of his two wives.  Sir Robert Cotton's father was Sir John Cotton (1621- 1702)  and Sir John  had children by two successive wives.  The people highlighted in yellow are Sir John Cotton's children and Sir Robert Cotton's siblings, and the people highlighted in pink are Sir Robert's nieces and nephews.  The third generation is highlighted in green.  Sir Robert himself is highlighted in blue. 

"He m. first, Dorothy, daughter and sole heir of Edmund Anderson, of Stratton and Eyworth, in the county of Bedford, who had issue, 
John, who m. Frances, daughter of Sir George Downing, bart. of East Hatley, in the county of Cambridge, and dying in the lifetime of his father, anno 1681, left two sons and a daughter, viz. 
John, successor to his grandfather.
Thomas, m. Frances, only daughter and heir of William Langton, esq. of Peterborough, and left an only daughter, Mary
Frances,  b. 1677, m. to William Hanbury, esq. of Little Marcle, in Herefordshire, and had issue*
 (footnote: The daughters of Frances Cotton and William Hanbury were, 
Mary Hanbury, m. to the Rev. Martin Annesley, D.D., vicar of Bucklebury, Berks, and had issue....
Elizabeth Hanbury, m. to Thomas Neale, esq.
Frances Hanbury, m. to F. Bareel, esq.  
Catherine Hanbury, m. to Velters Cornewall, esq. of Moccas Court.)

Dorothy, m. to ____ Dennis, esq., of Gloucestershire.

He m. secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Honywood, knt. of Marks Hall, Essex, and sister and heir of John Le Mott Honywood, esq....By this lady he had several children, but only three to survive, viz.
Robert, who succeeded as fifth baronet [i.e. Mrs. Whitfield's uncle].
Elizabeth, m. first, to Lyonel Walden, esq. of Huntingdon, and secondly to ___ Smith, esq. of Westminster;  by her first husband she had, 
Lionel Walden, who d. unmarried.
Elizabeth Walden,  co-heir to her brother, m. first, to Charles Pitfield, esq., and secondly, to Talbot Touchet, esq.  By the former she had,
Charles Pitfield, who m. Miss Ashley, daughter of Solomon Ashley, esq., M.P....
Elizabeth Pitfield, m. to Edward Bigland, esq. of Long Whatton, in Leicestershire.

Hester Walden, co-heir to her brother, m.  Humphrey Orme, esq. of Peterborough, captain in the royal navy, and had a son, 
Walden Orme 

Mary Honywood, m. Doctor Roger Kenyon, and died s.p."  

The following excerpt, which goes over much of the same information, is from a contemporary book, The English Baronetage, Vol. 1, by Arthur Collins, printed in London in 1741.  It has a fabulous title page which I can't resist showing:

You'll notice the name Whitfield doesn't appear anywhere in either family record.   How annoying.
I think it's time to consider the other possibility, that Mrs. Whitfield is actually a relative of one of Sir Robert Cotton's wives and is only connected to Sir Robert by marriage.  His first wife was Elizabeth Wigston, and his second was "Mrs. Morton" (really? no first name? no parentage?  are they trying to make it challenging?).  Now to track down these two ladies' siblings and their children....

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Will of James Whitfield of St. James, London

James Whitfield is the father of Eleanor (Whitfield) Bland, who was the wife of Stephen Bland, and he is also the grandfather of Ann (Bland) Elliot, wife of Robert Elliot.   Trained as a barber and surgeon, he became a peruke-maker in London.  In case you don't know what a peruke is, it's one of the curly, powdered wigs that men wore in the 1700s.  It's similar to a periwig, but not as huge and extravagant.  

Here is James' London Freedom of the City Admission paper, which marks his apprenticeship to John Bon, Barber-Surgeon of London:

James is the son of another James Whitfield "late of Hodington in the county of Oxon" (or Oxford). I can't make out what James the elder's
profession is. 

Here is an obituary for James, from the London Chronicle, October 7, 1760.

Here is one for his wife, from the Whitehall Evening Post or London Intelligencer, December 31, 1748.

And another from the same newspaper, January 5, 1748.

This one gives more detail about Mrs. Whitfield's family, but I haven't yet been able to confirm any of the information using other sources.  The above obituaries were very kindly sent to me by a fellow researcher who is working on the same line.

And here is James Whitfield's will.

The important parts:
  • The will was written in Twickenham on April 12, 1757, but James describes himself as "of the Parish of St. James in the Liberty of Westminster Gentleman"
  • he asks to be interred in a wooden coffin and to "erect a stone with an Inscription to the Memory of my deceased wife and my self  the whole of my funeral expenses not to exceed twenty five pounds"  
  • he leaves an annuity of 50 pounds a year payable during the natural life of Daniel Smith Esquire and Thomas Budgon Esquire;  these two are to divide the annuity and pay 30 pounds yearly to James' daughter Eleanor Whitfield (our ancestor) and 20 pounds a year "to be equally divided between my three grandsons Cotton Latimer son of John Latimer and Velters Berkley and Henry Berkley sons of Lionel Spencer Berkley and his wife Margaret..."
  • in case of the death of his three grandsons, the twenty pound a year annuity "to devolve to my daughter Margaret Berkley for her natural life and in case of her death and my daughter Elenor (sic) should survive her in that case the whole Annuity of fifty pounds should devolve to my aforesaid daughter Eloanor (sic) to dispose of at her discretion..."
  • he leaves to Eleanor his "Gold watch with the Gold chain and two Gold seals affixed thereto as also (sic)  my two stools and fire screen which were the work of her deceased Sister Ann Latimer which are not to be valued or appraised or sold among the rest of my effects..." 
  • he also leaves Eleanor a bequest of 150 pounds "being part of a sum of money which will arise from the sale of my plate Linnon and household goods of my house at Twickenham..."
  • the rest of his estate he divides equally between his two daughters Margaret Latimer and Eleanor Whitfield 
  • he leaves "the property of the Remainder of my Lease of my house in St. James' Street" to Eleanor 
  • he directs his daughters Margaret and Eleanor to give the executor of the will 150 pounds yearly "for the use and benefit of my Grandson Cotton Latimer towards his maintenance" until he reaches the age of 21 years  

Eleanor seems to profit more from this will than her sister, perhaps because she is not yet married and presumably would have no other means of support.  He also gives more support to his grandson Cotton |Latimer than his two Berkley grandsons.  (Cotton Latimer must have been named after the Cotton family, members of the English gentry, to whom Mrs. Whitfield was related.)  All in all, given that James has a country home (Twickenham is now part of London but in the 1760s was a rural town) as well as a rental in the heart of fashionable \London, a good amount of money and a gold watch he appears to have been a prosperous gentleman.