Origins of the Chitty name and family

In 1678 Joseph, the future Master of the Carpenters, in his turn took an apprentice from Bramley - another Joseph Chitty, son of his elder brother Henry the yeoman.

This Joseph, who died in 1705, was a carpenter and woodmonger of St Mary Somerset, London, but was buried at Shalford. In 1698 he had to administer the estate of his brother Richard, a member of the ship's company of 'The English Tiger'.

Joseph's son - yet another Joseph - lived in the parish of St Mary Somerset all his life (1687-1738) and rose to be Warden of the Carpenters' Company, though he was in fact a timber merchant, as was his son Samuel (1715-1768), eventually Master of the Carpenters. The Gentleman's Magazine recorded that Samuel died while at dinner at the London Tavern.

It must have been either Samuel or (perhaps more probably) his brother Henry 'of Covent Garden, gentleman' (1716-58) who was the keen theatre-goer mentioned in 'Johnson's England':

'There were riots at Drury Lane in 1744 over Fleetwood's capricious advance of prices ---. In order that grievances might have expression and that excesses might be avoided, a spokesman for the public was appointed in or about 1744 and regularly attended the pit on all important occasions. He was known as 'Mr Town', and the office was long held by a Mr Chitty.'

After Samuel's death, his widow, formerly Mary Pigou, seems to have been engaged as a coal-merchant in Lombard Street, in a firm continued after her death by Laurel or Luard & Norton.

The only surviving son of Samuel and Mary had a career which deserves further investigation. In the years 1760-63 (he was born or rather baptised in 1741) he was a Lieutenant of the 4th Foot.

Having been wounded at Havana in the successful battle against the Spaniards, he left the Army and was ordained as a clergyman, though he does not seem to have risen above the rank of Curate.

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