WHITNEY, Sir Robert (c.1525-67), of Whitney, Herefs. and Iccombe, Glos.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1525, 1st s. of Robert Whitney by Margaret, da. of Robert Wye of Lypiatt Park, Stroud, Glos. m. (1) Sybil, da. of Sir James Baskerville of Eardisley, Herefs. 3s.; (2) Mary, 2da.; 1s. illegit. suc. fa. 1541 Kntd. Oct. 1553.1

Offices Held

Escheator, Herefs. Mar.-Dec. 1548, j.p. by 1555; sheriff, Rad. 1558-9; steward of Clifford, Herefs. and Glasbury, Rad., constable of Clifford castle 1561.2


The Christian name Robert was a favourite one in the Whitney family, and several namesakes were living in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire between 1540 and 1567. The pedigrees in the heralds’ visitations are confused and not to be relied upon, but it is reasonable to suppose that the 1559 MP was the Robert, ‘son and heir of Robert Whitney of Whitney’, whose wardship was granted in April 1542 to his uncle James Whitney, a gentleman usher of the chamber; livery of his lands was granted in July 1546. The extensive estates, in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, included the manor of Pencomb, which was held of the Crown by military service and entitled the holder to a pair of gilt spurs from the family of every manor of Hereford who died in office.3

The only reference found to Whitney in Parliament is the licence to return home, 13 Apr. 1559, ‘because his wife was lately departed’. There was evidently some trouble over his servants while he was at Westminster: on 21 Apr. the Privy Council wrote ordering him to send before ‘the lords at the court’ any of his attendants who had been in London during the previous month, or had left the city about his affairs or otherwise within the same period. He remained an active local official throughout the changes of the time, the bishops’ letters to the Privy Council in 1564 describing him as a justice ‘favourable’ to the Elizabethan church settlement, yet he was inexplicably omitted from commissions of the peace in 1561 and 1562. He died intestate at Whitney in August 1567; his widow and the heir, Whitney’s son James, were granted letters of administration six months later.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. C142/64/114, 146/126; Trans. Rad. Soc. xxxviii. 51; Duncumb, Herefs. Hundred of Huntingdon, 80 et seq.; Add. 19815, ff. 13, 59; Vis. Herefs. ed. Weaver, 8; PCC admon. act bk. 1567, f. 128.
  • 2. CPR, 1553 and App. Ed. VI, p. 402; 1560-3, p. 537; 1566-9, p. 320; SP11/5/6.
  • 3. Add. 19815, ff. 13, 59; Vis. Herefs. ed. Weaver, 75-6; Vis. Glos. (Harl. Soc. xxi), 267; LP Hen. VIII, xvii. p. 157; xxi(1), p. 684; Harl. 762, f. 11; Duncumb, op. cit. (1804-12), ii(1), p. 151.
  • 4. CJ, i. 59; APC, vii. 91; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 13; C142/146/126; PCC admon. act. bk. 1567, f. 128; CPR, 1566-9, p. 291.