Wives2: The Two Wives of Lionel Chute, Schoolmaster of Ipswich, Massachusetts

Chute Family Reactions to

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


The record which precipitated this article and discussion can be easily found by visiting the International Genealogical Index and searching for "Tomasine Barker". The relevant record is as follows:

Marriages: Spouse: LIONEL CHUTE
Marriage: 1612, Belstead, Suffolk, England
Comment: Record submitted by a member of the LDS Church. The source films cannot be sent to family history centers and have limited access at the Family History Library. A family group record for this family may be in the Family Group Record Collection; Archive Section. (See the Family History Library Catalog for the film number.) These records are alphabetical by name of the father or husband.
Source Information:
Batch Number: A178132
Sheet: 00
Source Call No.: 178132,178133 Type: Book

[Jackie's note: Several years ago, Steve Chute and I were having a discussion about whether Lionel's Rose was a "Baker" or a "Barker". This record was one of the items being discussed. When Fiske's article appeared, I asked Steve to revisit that discussion with me, as all of my e-mail records had disappeared in the "Carbonite Disaster of 2008". Steve was kind enough to do so. Thanks, Steve!]

Response from Steve Chute

"Yes, you and I did have occasion to discuss the Baker/Barker issue some years ago. And I did argue in favour of Lionel's wife being a Barker related to the Barkers of Grimston Hall just south of Ipswich and not far from Belstead. My reasons included, firstly, that the Belstead Parish records show Thomasine BARKER marrying Lionel Chute and secondly that the heraldry on the New England Chute Pedigree scroll displays the Grimston Hall Barkers coat of arms. Back then I wrote in part (and Fiske's article has not changed my mind):

"A careful search of available Parish records for Suffolk, of Sir Bernard Burke’s ‘General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales’ and of Joan Corder’s ‘Dictionary of Suffolk Arms’ revealed that this coat of arms belongs NOT to Baker but to the BARKER family of Suffolk. During Lionel’s and Rose’s time in England the senior branches of the Barker clan were seated at Sibton, at Clare and at Ipswich all in Suffolk. However only the coat of arms of the Ipswich Barkers matches that depicted on the scroll. The head of the Ipswich Barkers was Sir Robert Barker, Knight of the Bath, who held Grimston Hall at Trimley St. Martin, Suffolk which is near the mouth of the estuary of River Orwell just downstream from Ipswich proper. Sir Robert, born about 1572, was knighted at the coronation of James I in 1603. Between 1597 and 1614 he was returned to Parliament 4 times as MP for Ipswich. He was Sergeant at Law for Colchester in 1612 and a Justice of the Peace for 13 years from 1605 to 1617. He died in 1618. His son was created a Baronet in 1662, a title that remained in the family until the death in 1818 of the 4th Baronet, Sir William Barker, of Bocking Hall, Essex.

The earliest records of the Ipswich Barkers go back to 1327 AD when Reginaldo and Arnado le Barker held land in the Hundred of Cleydone in Suffolk. Cleydon encompassed the northern limits of present day Ipswich. They are recorded as being seated at Villa Gippewici. Gippeswyc or Gippewici was the medieval name for Ipswich. The name harks back to Ipswich’s Saxon roots about the year 625 AD when the East Saxons established a port (a wic in Saxon) at the corner (gipp in Saxon) of the Orwell estuary where the River Gipping joins.

Parish records show that by the beginning of the 17th century there were literally hundreds of Barker families in the towns and villages surrounding Ipswich. Most of course were just distant cousins of the senior Barkers at Grimston Hall. They were country squires, yeomen, husbandmen, tilers, blacksmiths, brewmasters and watermen. Many were engaged in the processing of wool, Ipswich’s largest export product in those days. There were a number of Rose Barkers but not one of them married a Lionel Chute. Within a few miles of Lionel’s home in Dedham at this time were several Robert Barkers who might have been his father-in-law. There was Robert Barker of Nayland married about 1579, Robert Barker, gent. of Ipswich recorded as paying a £140 assessment in 1568, Robert Barker an Ipswich merchant who died in 1612, Robert Barker who married Ann Gardiner 15 Jun 1571 in Ipswich and a Robert Barker of St Giles Colchester who died in 1618 to name only a few. No link with our Rose and any of these Roberts has yet been discovered.

St Mary the Virgin Church, Dedham, where James Chute, son of Lionel Chute, Jr. was christened in 1613
However, there is an intriquing IGI record from the Church of Latter Day Saints supposedly taken from a book of transcriptions by Charles Partridge made from original manuscripts held at the Suffolk Records Office. In the register of the Church of England parish church in Belstead, Suffolk is the entry that in 1612 Tomasine Barker b. 1591 was married to Lionel Chute. Tomasine’s parents were not named. This 1612 marriage corresponds nicely with the birth of Lionel’s eldest son James who was christened in St Mary the Virgin Church, the Church of England’s parish church in Dedham, on 2 Feb 1613. Moreover, Belstead lies just beyond the southwestern limits of Ipswich and barely 5 miles from Lionel’s home in Dedham, Essex. That there were two Lionel Chutes so close together, one who married a Rose Barker and another who married a Tomasine Barker, seems very unlikely. Until compelling evidence to the contrary is forthcoming I believe that Rose and Tomasine should be considered one and the same person. It is possible that Rose was a baptismal name taken by Tomasine when she joined the Puritan church in Ipswich Mass. Membership in one of these early Puritan churches required that a person profess, before the congregation, to having experienced a conversion. Only then might they be baptized and become a full member participating in church governance and able to receive communion. Most of the arriving immigrants, even though baptized at birth into the Church of England, acquiesed to the rules of the new churches and were duly baptized a second time. Apparently more women than men became full church members in this manner."

Response from Lionel Chute

With due respect to the author, the "discovery" that Lionel Chute married Tomasine Barker in Belstead in 1612 is very old news. Over 40 years ago a member of the Mormon church made this discovery, which has been openly posted on the LDS online database for years now (if you go to http://www.familysearch.org/eng/default.asp and type in "Lionel Chute" and "1612", you'll see 2 citations of this marriage record with the source being "Sealings for the dead, couples and children (includes some living spouses and children) 1943-1970; heir indexes, 1943-1968"). My guess is that Mr. Fiske saw this record on the LDS website (as I did) and from there obtained the Belstead Parish records for confirmation (which I did 3 years ago). If I am correct, and the LDS database is how Mr. Fiske made this "discovery", I think it borders on plagiarism not to mention in his piece that the find was actually made by someone else more than 40 years ago.

Something else I feel was missed in the piece is the Belstead-Ipswich connection. In the article, Mr. Fiske writes "Belstead lies approximately six miles northeast of Dedham" by way of explaining the link between Lionel's known residence in Dedham beginning in 1613 and the earlier Belstead marriage record of 1612. Later, in his footnote #5, Fiske adds - "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". But Mr. Fiske chose to omit the complete bequest from Lionel Sr. to Lionel Jr., which reads: "He [Lionell] did gyve to Lionell Chewte his son his graye nagg which he did ride on to Ippswich” ". While Belstead is 6 miles from Dedham, it is actually a suburb of Ipswich, only 3 miles away. I think it is worth noting that after Lionel Jr's stated trip to Ipswich in his father's will of 1592, we find him, of all places, just outside of Ipswich 20 years later. This, combined with the fact that Lionel Jr.'s mother was "of Ipswich" suggests strong Ipswich ties for Lionel Jr. that merit further research.

My biggest problem with the piece, however, is the punchline. After completely disregarding the possibility that "Tomasine" and "Rose" could have been the same person with a second or nick-name, he meekly offers the reader a "possible origin" of Rose as a sister-in-law of her future husband Mathew Whipple. This hypothesis hangs on just one twig of evidence, namely that a baby named "Rose" was born to Mathew Whipple's brother's wife's father in Theydon Garnon (sic), Essex in 1598. Knowing nothing else about this person named "Rose Clark" other than her English baptism, he then speculates that she not only lived to adulthood , but eventually emigrated to Ipswich, Mass. as 2 of her sisters did. This scenario is of course possible, but without any other evidence it just isn't, in my opinion, meaty enough to warrant an article in the NEHGR.

Agree? Disagree? Other thoughts?

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