Chitty of London

A clothier was not, as now, a shopkeeper, but rather an industrialist or 'entrepreneur' who organised the various processes of cloth manufacture, and the CHITTYs were among the several leading Godalming families engaged in the industry and occasionally accused of improper practices in connection with it.

It appears that Matthew had brothers named Robert, Nicholas and John, and that all four left Godalming.

Robert settled at Greywell in Hampshire as a dyer, and after his burial at Odiham in 1612 there was a lawsuit in which his widow Catherine and his nephews Abraham and Matthew, sons of Matthew, appeared. (Chancery C2 1613 James I A2/31; CC says Catherine and Abraham cleared of fraud as executors, showing that Robert had very small means so that the charge that he concealed moneys due to his creditors was absurd).

Nicholas, who had sat on the Godalming jury and High Tything between 1588 and 1591, migrated as far as Tortington, near Lyminster, Sussex, where he died as a linen-draper in 1612, naming in his Will his brothers Robert and John and his 'cousin' Abraham - his late brother Matthew's son. (Will: Chichester Consistory Court, Arundel Deanery, No.20).

John was buried at Odiham in 1621, leaving daughters.

A Widow CHITTY from Greywell, buried at Odiham in 1611, may have been the mother of these four brothers, perhaps living at Robert's home. If so, was she Alice, formerly PEYTO, widow of Robert the Godalming clothier, who would have been well into her eighties? (We know that Henry the mercer's widow survived her first marriage by 69 years, and was a great-great-grandmother at her death!).

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Page created 29 Sept 2001 by Mike Chitty, based on the late Erik Chitty's 1975 text