A brief look at the will of Thomas Whiting (died 1679)

We know from his will that Stephen Byne, who died in 1675, was married to Rebecca Whiting, daughter of Thomas and Frances Whiting. Thomas Whiting’s own will, written in 1679, confirms some of the details in Stephen’s will and also includes additional useful information. Thomas was buried at St Botolph’s, Aldgate on 24th November 1679.

Joiners at work

Joiners at work

The first thing we learn from the will is Thomas’ occupation: he was a ‘citizen and joyner’, though presumably he was a master with his own business rather than a simple journeyman, since he is able to leave considerable money and property to his relatives and friends. At first I was thrown by the fact that Thomas refers to his wife Elizabeth, since we know that Rebecca’s mother was named Frances, and indeed this is the name given in Stephen Byne’s will. However, I’ve discovered that Frances Whiting died in 1676 and was buried at St Botolph’s, Aldgate on 10th August. This burial record also informs us that the Whitings lived in Houndsditch. On 22nd September 1677, someone by the name of Thomas Whiting married Elizabeth Plumer at the church of St Katherine by the Tower: I presume this is the same Thomas.

Aldgate, from Rocque's map of London, 1746, showing part of Houndsditch at top left and Tower Hill at bottom left

Aldgate, from Rocque’s map of London, 1746, showing part of Houndsditch at top left and Tower Hill at bottom left

Thomas Whiting’s will also confirms some of my guesses, in my discussion of Stephen Byne’s will, about the marriages of his daughters. He leaves money to his daughter Mary Kimber or Kember, who we learn is now a widow, and to her children Herbert (?) Higgins, Rebecca Kember and Mary Kember. A second daughter, Isabella, wife of Edward Davis, is also mentioned, and we receive confirmation that a third daughter was indeed named Dorcas, as I suspected. Her married name, which I wasn’t quite sure of before, appears to be Mercer.

Thomas Whiting also mentions his brother-in-law ‘Mr Deputy William Lillingston’, but it’s unclear whether he was the brother of his first or second wife. We know from other records that William also lived in Houndsditch, and from his own will of 1700 that William Lillingston was a ‘citizen and upholder’ (just like Stephen Byne). Interestingly, he owned property in Distaff Lane and Fish Street, just like my 8 x great grandparents John and Alice Byne and their heirs.

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