Alfred Whitaker (1799-1852)

Alfred Whitaker was born on 27 Jul 1799, at Bratton, Wiltshire, England, the son of Philip Whitaker and  Anne Andrews. The first recorded evidence that Alfred Whitaker was practising as a solicitor in Frome, Somerset is on May 6, 1823,  Alfred Whitaker, Solicitor, Frome and his clerk J. Buller are witnesses to the will of James Clement, Clothier of Frome.  Both of them were also witnesses to a codicil to the will dated March 22, 1825. The will was proved on May 11, 1825 by the executors at PCC London.

According to Pallot’s Marriage Index for England: 1780 – 1837, Alfred Whitaker of Froome (sic) Selwood married Sarah Waylen at St. John the Baptist, Devizes, Wiltshire,England in 1823.  This was on or after June 10, as the Wiltshire Family History Society records a Marriage Licence Bond for the same couple dated Devizes St. John, June 10,1823 , Alfred Whitaker Attorney of Frome Selwood, Somerset, a batchelor and Sarah Waylen a spinster of Devizes St. John, Wiltshire. The Bondsman was Robert Waylen Jun., Silk Throwster of Devizes.

On Monday, August 29th, 1825 the Salisbury and Winchester Journal reported the forthcoming sale of the Estate of Messrs. C. and R. Willoughby on Thursday the 20th day Of September, 1825. Mr.Whitaker, solicitor of Frome is given as one of the solicitors, ‘at whose respectable Offices plans of the Estates may be seen’.

In 1827 a rate of 1s 6d was being charged for a house and office, etc., in Cork Street occupied by Whitaker and owned by a Thomas Bunn.

On 05 Aug 1835 three children were baptised at St. John the Baptist, Frome to parents Alfred and Catherine Whitaker, Edgar (born 26 Sep 1831), Edward (born 11 Mar 1833) and Edith Rose (born 31 Mar 1835).

I have been unable to find any evidence for the death of Sarah or Alfred’s marriage to Catherine, both of which are presumed to have occurred before 1835, and probably before 1831. 

Evidence would seem to suggest that Catherine was Catherine Mary Woolbert daughter of Thomas Dedrick Woolbert and Catherine Levett baptised  of  August 29, 1811 at Saint Martin In The Fields, Westminster, London, England.  Her mother appears to have died before 1830 as Thomas Wollbert married Mary Gearing on September 7, 1830 at Saint Bartholomew The Less, London. Catherine Mary Woolbert had a younger brother, Frederick Thomas Woolbert, baptised March 21, 1818 at Saint Mary, Nottingham.  On November 4, 1837 Alfred Whitaker, Solicitor, Frome and his clerk Frederick Woolbert witnessed the will of William Hagley of Frome Selwood. Codicils added on August 28, 1838 and November 19, 1838 were also witnessed by Alfred, but with a different clerk, Alfred Overbury.   Catherine Mary Woolbert also had a younger sister, Elizabeth Josephine Woolbert, born November 6, 1821 in London.  In the 1841 Census an Eliza Woolbert is living with the Whitakers at Cork Street, Frome

The Robson’s 1839 Directory, the 1840 and 1842 General Directory for the County of Somerset list Alfred Whitaker of Cork Street as Solicitor, Master Extraordinary in Chancery, Perpetual Commissioner, Commissioner of Bankrupts & Clerk to the Trustees of the Bath & Warminster Roads.  In the 1843 Law Lists, Alfred Whitaker is listed as a Country Attorney practising at Frome and is the agent for the London Solicitor, E.T. Whitaker.  (Probably Edward Thomas Whitaker).

In the 1851 Census the Whitakers have moved out of Frome to the nearby village of Beckington, living on frome Road.  Alfred’s occupation is given as Solicitor & District  Auditor to Poor Law Unions.  Eldest son Edgar is not with the rest of the family and has not been found in this or subsequent census returns.

The GRO Indexes record the death Alfred Whitaker in the Frome registration district during the Jul-Aug-Sep quarter of 1852 and his will dated June 21 1851 was proved on February 2, 1853.

In the Jul-Aug-Sep quarter of 1856 the England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes of the General Register Office records the marriage of Edith Rose Whitaker to Charles Harris in the Keynsham registration district  Charles Harris was a clergyman and in 1861 the couple can be found living at Church Street, Wandsworth, Surrey where he is Perpetual Curate of St Mary Summerstown Wandsworth. He was later appointed  Vicar of Wandsworth All Saints.  Also in 1861 we find Catherine and son Edward at Mortlake, Surrey where Edward is now a Civil Service Junior Clerk in the General Register Department where he was later to become Chief Clerk. Catherine died in 1889.

© Brian Tompkins 2007



  1. Brian Tompkins said,

    July 24, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Alfred Whitaker was my 4th cousin, 5 times removed.

  2. July 25, 2007 at 5:59 am

    […] July 24th, 2007 at 6:25 am (Location, Video) I found this  4 minute video of of the village of Beckington near Frome in Somerset posted on youtube by Miles Woolgar. Several family members lived here in the 19th century, Including Alfred Whitaker. […]

  3. Lucille Neustroski said,

    September 2, 2007 at 5:43 am

    Hi Brian

    I found your Alfred WHITAKER & Sarah WAYLEN on Google. I am related to Sarah my maiden name was WAYLEN. If you make contact I have a little info I have found and also you have given me a little from the 2nd marriage.
    It is late here so have put your page in Sarah’s family to look tomorrow


  4. September 30, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Pallot’s Marriage Index for England: 1780 – 1837 records the marriage of Alfred Whitaker of Froome Selwood, Somerset to Catherine Mary Woolbert a minor at St.Mary, Stratford Le Bow in 1828 (consent of Thos Dedrich Woolbert the father)

  5. Lucille NEUSTROSKI said,

    October 1, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Thanks for Catherine Mary’s marriage to Alfred WHITAKER. I have 1st wife Sarah WAYLEN died three months after marriage 11 Jun 1823
    The death came from the book “House of WAYLAND” written by her two brothers.

  6. Kit Coles said,

    October 17, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Alfred Whitaker was the brother of Edward Whitaker, solicitor, of London, and of the Reverend George Whitaker (1811-1882), fellow of Queens’ College, Cambridge, later Provost of Trinity College, Toronto. See the article on George Whitaker (educator) at the English Wikipedia.

  7. October 17, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    Thank you for the feedback. I don’t know if you are aware that Alfred Whitaker’s wife, Catherine Mary Woolbert was the sister of Emily Ann Woolbert, the wife of Edward Thomas Whitaker. An article on George Whitaker is in preparation.

  8. Kit Coles said,

    October 20, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Thank you, Brian. On your George Whitaker article, I expect you know about the existing printed sources? They include
    1. ‘The Reverend Geo. Whitaker, M.A., first provost, 1852–1881’ by C. E. Thomson in Trinity University Review (Toronto, 1902)
    2. ‘Whitaker, George, Church of England clergyman and educator’ by Christopher F. Headon in ‘Dictionary of Canadian Biography’ (online)
    3. ‘George Whitaker (1811–1882): a forgotten native of Bratton’ by Marjorie Reeves in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine 1980, pp 135–39.
    4. ‘The Founding Moment: Church, Society, and the Construction of Trinity College’ by William Westfall (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002)

  9. Kit Coles said,

    October 20, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Also, the text of GW’s ‘Sermons preached in Toronto; for the most part in the chapel of Trinity College’ (1882) – is online at the Canadian Libraries pages of

  10. December 15, 2007 at 8:16 am

    For more on the family history of Alfred Whitaker visit

  11. Mike Walker said,

    May 29, 2008 at 2:27 am

    My 2 cents worth…….

    Bath Chronicle 05/03/1835:
    March 1, Alfred Romilly, eldest child of Alfred Whitaker, esq; solicitor, Frome, aged 4 years and 10 months.

    Bath Chronicle 07/04/1842
    April 1, at the residence of her brother-in-law, Mr. Whitaker, solicitor, Frome, Miss Eliza Josephine Woolbert, aged 20.

    A couple of others that just could be connected:
    Bath Chronicle 18/02/1841
    Feb. 10, Nunton Church, near Salisbury, by the Rev. Charles King, Edwin F. Whitaker, Esq., solicitor, of Calne, to Mary, eldest daughter of the late Mr. P. Attwater of Nunton.

    Bath Chronicle 19/07/1843
    July 7, at Lickhill, Calne, the wife of Edwin E. Whitaker, esq., solicitor, a son and heir.

    Bath Chronicle 20/09/1843
    Sept. 8, aged 4 years, Mary Whitaker, the only daughter of Mr. Wm. Budd, of Bratton, Wilts.

  12. May 29, 2008 at 6:10 am

    It looks like you have found a previously unknown son of Alfred & Catherine. His death probably explains the triple baptism of his other children. that same year. Eliza Josephine Woolbert is obviously the same Eliza from the 1841 census and provides additional confirmation of Catherine’s parentage.

    Edwin could well be Edwin Eugene Whitaker, Alfred’s youngest brother, born 22 Jun 1814 at Bratton. If this proves to be the case then it is interesting to note that his grandmother was also an Attwater.

    I have no record of a William Budd, but it looks like he probably married one of the Bratton Whitakers. I will have to investigate further.

    • Ros West said,

      June 27, 2010 at 12:15 pm

      William Budd married Mary Whitaker at Bratton 10 Oct 1804, but which Mary I have no idea!
      Edwin Eugene Whitaker’s grandmother was indeed an Attwater, Caroline who married Thomas Whitaker 10 Jan 1765 Downton, Wiltshire (this latter information has not been checked) According to ‘Sheep Bell and Ploughshare,’ Caroline came from Bodenham near Salisbury and was related on her mother’s side with the Gays, who provided Bath with a mayor and the name of Gay Street and Nonconformity with an eminent 17th century preacher, Richard Gay.

  13. Peter Whitaker said,

    March 4, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Alfred and Catherine Whitaker were my G G Grandparents. I did find a certifiate online a few years ago giving permission for a divorcee to marry suggesting his first marriage ended with Sarah Waylen. I would be interested you opinions.

    • March 6, 2010 at 1:43 pm

      In ‘The House of Wayland’ published by James Waylen in 1886 he states: ‘Sarah, born 1800; mar. 1823 to Alfred Whitaker of Frome, solicitor, and died three months afterwards’.

  14. Peter Whitaker said,

    March 6, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks Brian.

  15. Bee said,

    March 8, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I have just found this site, again.
    Alfred’s parents Philip Whitaker and Ann Andrews were my 3 x G grandparents too. Do you know anything about Ann Andrews parents who I believe are James Andrews and Mary Harding?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: