Wives: The Two Wives of Lionel Chute, Schoolmaster of Ipswich, Massachusetts


Source: The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 163, April 2009

by William Wyman Fiske

[See responses by members of the Chute family to this article.]

The will of Lionel1 Chute (LionelA), schoolmaster of Ipswich, Massachusetts, written 4 May 1644 and proved 7 July 1645, leaves his estate to son James, including the "wearing apparel ... which was his brother Nathaniel's," and names wife Rose executrix.[1] A pedigree, supposedly made in the seventeenth century, says the testator married "the dau. of Robert Baker." [2] Evidence is presented here corroborating this aspect of the pedigree except that his wife was born Barker.

It has always been assumed that Rose was Lionel's only wife and the mother of his children. However, theirs was in fact a later marriage. On 19 November 1612 "Lyonell Chute and Thomasin Barker were maryed" at Belstead, Suffolk.[3] Lionel Chute's son James was baptized fourteen months later, on 2 February 1613/4, at Dedham, Essex.[4] Belstead lies approximately six miles northeast of Dedham. Given the proximity of the two parishes and the pairing of the Barker surname with Lionel Chute, it appears that this is the New England immigrant and that Thomasin Barker, his first wife, was the mother of his son James, from whom Lionel's New England line continues. It is unknown whether Thomasin's father was named Robert, as the Chute pedigree claims.[5]

Lionel1 Chute died between 4 May 1644, the date of his will, and 25 February 1644/5, when inventory of his estate was taken. His widow Rose (________) Chute is believed to have married Matthew1 Whipple of Ipswich as his second wife.[6] The marriage, for which no record has been found, took place sometime between 7 May 1645, when Matthew1 Whipple made his will, and 13 November 1646, when he amended it to make provision for wife Rose. Although definitive proof of a marriage between Matthew1 Whipple and the widow Rose (_______) Chute is lacking, the narrow time frame for Matthew's second marriage follows right after the death of Lionel1 Chute. Furthermore, the name Rose does not appear in the Ipswich vital records prior to 13 November 1646.[7]

The name Rose is not unique, but is unusual enough to suggest, in this instance, a possible origin for Rose (______) Chute. Matthew1 Whipple's sister-inČlaw, Susan (Clarke) Whipple, is known to have at least one sibling living in Ipswich, namely, Elizabeth (Clarke) Stacy, wife of Simon Stacy. Susan and Elizabeth Clarke, daughters of Stephen Clarke of Theydon Gamon, Essex, had a sister Rose baptized there 11 March 1597/8. With two daughters of Stephen Clarke known to have immigrated to Ipswich, it is reasonable to consider the possibility that others followed, especially since no evidence of Stephen's family has been found following the marriages of Susan and Elizabeth to Ipswich settlers John1 Whipple and Simon1 Stacy in 1621 and 1620, respectively.8

William Wyman Fiske, FASG, is a physician practicing on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife and children. Email: bfcape@mac.com.

1 The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts, 3 vols. (Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute, 1916-20), 1 :46-48. Witnessed (and proved) by Mark Simonds and Joseph Morse.
2 The substance of this pedigree was communicated in 1859 by D. Dudley, "Pedigree of Chute or Chewte," Register 13 (1859):123-24. The pedigree includes the marriages of many of Lionel's grandchildren, suggesting that it, at least in part, postdates the immigrant, who died in 1644-45. Based on this document, the arms of Lionel Chute were accepted by the Committee on Heraldry of NEHGS (Register 82 [1928]:154). See Rev. J. A. Pearman, "The Chutes of Bethersden, Appledore, and Hinxhill," Archaeologia Cantiana 18 (1889):55-71, at 56 and folding chart between 54 and 55, for a discussion of a very similar pedigree chart retained in England. The chart shows Lionel Chute's putative ancestress, the wife of Charles Chute, as a daughter of "John Crispe of the Isle of Thanet," rather than daughter of "John Crips of the Isle of Guernsey," as the pedigree published in 1859 shows (citation and summary courtesy of John C. Brandon).
3 Parish registers of Belstead, Suffolk [FHL 0,993,222 Items 1-2].
4 Parish registers of Dedham, Essex [FHL 1,565,773 Items 16-26]. See also Henry F. Waters, Genealogical Gleanings in England, 2 vols. (Boston: NEHGS, 1901), 2: 1203, for this baptism and for the baptism of his daughter Mary on 23 November 1619, also at Dedham.
5 There are some obvious inaccuracies in the pedigree. For example, it states that LionelA Chute (AnthonyB) had five children, only four of whom are named: Lionel, George, Charles, Judith. The will of LionelA Chute of Brampton, clerk, written 24 July 1592 and proved 1 August 1592, names three daughters, Grace, Sara, and Judith, and only one son, "Lionell Chewte his son [to whom he leaves] his graye nagge" (Waters, Genealogical Gleanings in England [note 4], 2: 120 1). The wil1 1eaves wife Susan his estate for "the care of the bringinge upp of his children." It was witnessed by Arthure Chewte gentleman and Thomas Jollye.
6 William Wyman Fiske, "The Whipple Family of Bishops Stortford, Hertforshire," The Genealogist 20 (2006):191- 217 at 210--11. Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, CD-ROM (Boston: NEHGS, 2001), provides a number of references for this marriage, but none contains actual proof.
7 Vital Records of Ipswich, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849, 3 vols. (Salem, Mass.: Essex institute, 19l0--19),
8 William Wyman Fiske, "Clarke and Stacy Origins of Three immigrants to Ipswich, Massachusetts: Simon and Elizabeth (Clarke) Stacy and Her Sister, Susanna (Clarke) Whipple," Register 160 (2006):17-29. In the alternative, Rose Clarke might have been the Rose Clark who married on 22 July 1624 at Great Burstead, Essex, Joseph Hills, baptized there 3 March 1602[/3?], later of Malden, Massachusetts (William Sanford Hills and Thomas Hills, The Hills Family in America [New York: Grafton Press, 1906], 255-61). The parish registers of Great Burstead, Essex, have not been filmed by the Family History Library for the years in question; however, Boyd's Marriage index confirms the year of Joseph Hills' marriage to Rose Clark as 1624. As tempting as it is to think that Rose (Clark) Hills might be the daughter of Stephen Clarke, no evidence of contact between the families in Malden and Ipswich has been found. And the fact that Stephen Clarke's daughter Rose was five years older than Joseph Hills would also suggest that Rose (Clark) Hills was a different woman.

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