Origins of the Chitty name and family

After the mercer's death, enquiry was made in 1566 whether Chesberyes near Wheeler Street was subject to the jurisdiction of Catteshall Court, and in 1574 Laurence Stoughton, the parson of Witley, sued Dr Henry and his brother John as 'deforciants' of the Manor. Stoughton was apparently successful and took possession of Chesberyes from Henry in 1575.

According to the Victoria County History, Tanhouse came eventually to a great-granddaughter of Dr Henry's brother John - a certain Dorothy.

Of the doctor's next elder brother, Thomas, nothing whatever is known, If he had children baptised in the missing register, he may have been ancestor of many later Chittys, but he left no will.

Richard (the mercer's second son) migrated to Chichester and set up as a weaver. He was aged 'four score and three years' when he made his will in 1635, and it was proved 1637. Besides his own house he left one in Godalming, but his will names only his wife and daughters and their children. (He seems to have had two married daughters named Martha, among others). The baptism of only one of his children has been discovered (dated 1577) and if he had a surviving son it is odd that no such man appears as beneficiary, witness, executor or overseer; yet it is tempting to suppose that Richard was the father of the Roundhead Henry Chitty.

This Henry Chitty of Chichester married at New Shoreham in 1605. In 1614 he was named as 'late servant' (probably meaning apprentice) in the will of Alderman William Holland of Chichester. By 1623, Henry was himself an Alderman and was engaged in a lawsuit regarding property which he had bought in Canterbury. In 1628 he and one of his daughters were named in the will of Alderman Augustine Hitchcocke of Chichester, and in 1632 Henry was sessor in goods and Mayor of Chichester, and took a lease of the Dolphin Inn, which he sold in 1637. (Perhaps he was too busy and too prosperous for Richard to trouble him with duties or leave him a share in his own, smaller, estate.) He appears as a J.P. in the West Sussex Protestation Returns in 1641/2, and was Captain of Train Bands in Chichester in 1642. Next year he was captain of a Company of Foot in the Parliamentary interest in Portsmouth Garrison. In 1614 he was described as a merchant, but his precise trade is not known. His will (1644/5) names only daughters and hisproperty included his dwelling in West Street near the High Cross, and leases at Bosham and North Vallence.

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Page created 29 Sept 2001 by Mike Chitty; text written 1975 by the late Erik Chitty