click to return home

The Chittick Family History
as written by Erminda (Chittick) Rentoul
1890 The Lodge, Cliftonville, Belfast. Ireland

Letter from James Alexander Rentoul to James Chittick, cousins.
included in Erminda's (James Rentoul's mother) book.

Descent from King Henry VIIth of England
  view the chart
Boscombe Hunt, May 21st
44 Lexham Garden, Kennington, London W

My Dear James,
I have been a long time in replying to your last letter but I have no special news and as which all letters to or from England and America are censored it renders letters less of private property and as for War news you have quite as full information as to current events as we have here.

As to my own immediate relatives in the War my nephew Alec Bob's son went to the front a few weeks ago after having been in training in York for over 15 months. He's in a Cavalry Regiment - a Lieutenant. As he is the sole heir to his grandfather a Yorkshire Manufacturer, who died a couple of years ago & left L350,000, Alec will be, if he lives, a very rich mart. Before this War began he had been living with me for one year preparing for Oxford University. It was arranged that after his University Career he would get called to the Bar and then would aim at a Political Career. In politics here money, the chief means of success or promotion, and as he is very quick & smart and also very witty he seems likely to be a success in politics. All that plan has changed by his joining the Army. He volunteered several months before Compulsory Service was brought in as he fell it his duty to do so. If he comes back safe he will probably go on with his previous plans. Both the Eslers are at the front as Captains in the Medical Service. Both are fine young men, and as doctors they acquire much less risk than ordinary fighting men. George Irwin's in training for Medical Service with-- but he has not yet had to leave England. His father, Irwin S. Dr. in practice in Co. Dunegal but as lie lost his health to considerable degree in the Boer War he's not fit for life in the trenches. Irwin as Jim Hern (Kem) is unfit for work of any kind and has been so for the past 10 or 12 years. My son Gervais has been rejected as unfit for service owing to a bad right arm which was dislocated at the elbow many years ago & being badly managed by the surgeon he cannot make full use of it though the defect cannot be noticed in ordinary work. My brother-in-law Brighters ? (a Schrulm ?) had 4 sons. All entered the Military Service when the War began. One had been in Military Service for a number of years and so he made Colonel at once Two others were in Military Service in the past & one of these has been killed. The fourth son who was a professor in ----------- has been given the rank of Captain but is kept at home engaged by the Army in finding suitable sites for Military Dept. Hospitals.

Gervais is married & has one child a daughter. He is in the head office at a salary but he's allowed to carry on his work as a barrister. While during the War barristers get very little work at present but things will come all right for lawyers after the War. Lizzie & I have taken a house here for five weeks to be near Hattie? (Walter?) as Dr. Matthews has been practically confined to bed and to the house for the past year & a half & has permanently settled here, as there is no hope of recovery. Lizzie returns to Belford next Monday & I go back to London next Tuesday) -- ---- check ----- the Court opening again. Lizzie hopes to come back from Bedford in a few weeks but then she finally gets rid of this --- ---who will live permanently with me in Lexham.

Owing to the War & the scarcity of printers in London I have, - been unable to get my Family Book published though it's ready for publication.

As to the Chideocks, there is little doubt but that we are descended from them, though we cannot prove the pedigree, but it does not greatly matter because the pedigree is perfect from Thomas Chittog of Lurg, Co. Fermanagh, who married Lady Elizabeth Stanley, daughter of Henry Stanley, 4h Earl of Derby. The right names of Thomas Chittog is stated in "O'Hart's Irish Pedigree" to be Chidcock, pronounced Chiddick, and, just as in "Burkes Peerage", it is stated that a person is the lineal descendent of some man who lived 180 years earlier, though the links cannot be set in detail. So Thomas Chittog is ststed to be descended from the Chiteocks, but even without bringing in the Chideocks, our descent from Henry VII is clearly proved in every step as follows:

*Henry Chittog changed his name to Chiddick. ( Chideock was, and is, still pronounced as Chiddick) & Henry thus spelled it Chiddick, but the people of Fermanagh pronounced it Chittick, so Henry began to adopt this, spelling, and, in his Will, signed himself as Henry Chittick. You will thus see that though Sir Wm. Betham, Ulster King at Arms, in his "English Families settled in Fermanagh" speaks of the family as Chittog, yet Henry reverted to the original name Chideock and writes that first and afterwards writes it as Chittick in his Will.

No pedigree is more perfectly proved than ours from Henry VII, and, even if there were no authority for our claim to be descended from the Chideocks, it is clear that we are descended from Lady Elizabeth Stanley of the Derby family, and through that family, from Henry VII and Edward IV. Our claim to be descended from the Chiteock's rests on the statement in "O'Hart's Irish Pedigrees" when he speaks of Thomas Chitog, who according to Sir Wm. Betham married the daughter of the 4th Earl of Derby, at that time King in the Isle of Man and "O'Hart" says, "now the proper name of this family (the Chittogs) is Chideock.". We have, therefore, Thomas Chittog and his son John Chittog, and we have Henry Chittog changing his name to Chiddick, and afterwards to Chittick. Beyond O'Hart's statement that the original name of the Chittogs was Chideock, we have no positive proof that the Chittog who came to Fermanagh, and married Lady Elizabeth Stanley, was descended from Sir John De Chideock but the fact the village of Chideock, which is near here, has always been pronounced Chiddick by the people.

Each recipient of a copy of the book may well add to his own copy portraits of his own family. For example, you could add portraits of yourself, your wife and your sons, also portraits of your grandfather Lindsay and Willie, and Gertrude, and your mother. I will add to my copy, portraits of my fathers, and myself and then I will have on one page small portraits of my sisters. I have all of these portraits and am now getting the blocks made. You could have on a one-page block, yourself and Margaret and your boys, and, on another page block your grandfather Lindsay, your mother and Willie and Gertrude.

The pedigree tables of descent which are already made out and in printed proof are: (1) Descent from five Ulster Planters (Islanders?) viz, Sir James Cunninghan, Sir John Calquhoon, Thomas Blannerhassett, Sir John Hume and George ------------ (11th Earl of Audley) and by intermarriages among the descendants of these 5 Planters they all ------------ in Captain James Calquhoon marrying with Deborah Blannerhassett the daughter of this marriage marrying Alderman Alec Squire of Londonderry, this was the great grandfather of our mother Annie Squire, who died in 1891.

The book will be of great interest I believe to your descendants & to mine as well as to the Eslers, Irwins & Clarks who are the offspring of my sisters. I have got the Rentoul Crest and Coat of Arms from Burkes Encyclopedia in a ----------- published in 1844. The Crest, an Elm Tree profiled & the motto, : "redez fermes" in :Resinley", on the arms are given as 3 eagles displayed fonts on a shield of Silver. The Squire Crest is an elephant's head & the motto ------ Conscere sibi" . I believe the Chittick Crest is a mailed arm & diffe? & the motto "Vincet que palibus"

The typewritten matter which you sent to Minnie contains several things which I did not know. I did not know of the "draught" made in 1740 of it. "The Town Bocik of Belfast" published 30 years ago has in all about Henry Le Squire and his Will devising his property to his brother George of Londonderry. Henry Le Squire and George Squire were grandsons of Rev. Dr. Squire who died Rector of Cilicherle in 1570. They had a brother Scipro Squire who was buried in Westminster Abbey. He was senior Chamberlain of the Court of Receipt in the Exchequer. The Rev. Dr. Squire who died in 1570 was descended from the Squires who were lords of the manor of West Wickham in 1413. George Squire of Londonderry was father of Gervais Squire who was so prominent in the siege of Londonderry and who died um married and his brother Alderman A. Squire was your grandmother's great great grandfather. All the steps of descent & marriages are shown in the pedigree tables of Squires.

As to sending over the oil paintings of grandfather & Grandmother so that I may have them copied here and sent back to you, I think it is better not to send them till the war is over. I should like them sent, as I have an artist friend here who does copying exceedingly well and very cheaply.

I have little news to give you. I am glad to know that your mother is well. I have a vivid recollection of any visit to Beachbank and her great kindness to me.

By the way, I forgot to say that we are unable to find out what is the relationship between us and the Humphrays of Claineren? Co. Fermanagh. The present living members of the Humphrays family are equally in the dark. It is evident that a Mr. Humphrays must have been married to a Miss Squire or a Miss Chittick because no Chittick or Squire married a Miss Humphrays. Now I remember Dr. Robert Humphrays , surgeon in the Royal Navy, his sister Mary Jane Huniphrays, being in a visit with us in Errity? for a week & I remember my mother and they called each other by their Christian names. This visit was in 1860 or 1861. This Dr. Robert Humphrays has an elder brother Christopher who inherited ------------------ which was a moderately sized house with a farm & also a small landed estate of a few farms ------------------------ -When he married, he and his uncle went to ---------------- on their wedding trip. Now these Humphrays, were not first cousins of your father and my mother. They were, at the closest, second cousins, that is their father and our grandfather or grandmother were sec. cousins probably first cousins. Of course Aunt Harriet could have told us the exact relationships, & how it came, but now she is gone and all the Humphrays of her generation are gone and none of us can find out the exact connection.

With best wishes to your mother, Willie, Gertrude & Margaret I am,
Your affectionate cousin,

Lizzie tells me that there are in the New York Library several books about the Hon. Robert Rentoul. I have written a sketch of his life taken from a book called "Memory Speeches and Writings of Hon. Robert Rentoul" and this sketch is in the Family Book. Now if there are several books about him and if you copied their titles and authors and sent the names to me I would add to my sketch the words, "See also such and such books" and if there are no such books it does not greatly matter but the more books that have been written about him the greater of course is his importance.

Chapters: < previous | index | next >

send us an e-mail search site map