For the genealogists amongst the ever increasing readership of this blog, this page has been brought to you to provide you with information on the Whitebytts line!
It has to be said that no-one, todate, has ever asked for this information but both The Major and Tansy feel it is important to be prepared!
(March 2008: A great amount of research has recently been undertaken investigating the Whitebytts name in the hope to bring the Reader more information!)
April 2008 – should anyone come across a branch of the Whitebytts family who we have failed to mention please feel free to send in a contribution and it can be added to this ‘Family Tree”!
The Whitebytts name can be traced back to
When Titus Whitebytius nearly became Emperor, but for an unfortunate incident with his toga.
His son and heir – Ceasar Whitebytius – caused great anxiety in Rome. The young Ceasar fell foul of the authorities on numerous occasions and became known for his wayward behaviour – either being citied as a ‘peeping tom’ or on the more serious charge of molesting the ladies of the great city. Fortunately when the young man was in his late twenties, he met and married a pretty young maiden – Delicius.
Ceasar and Delicius Whitebytius had several children. The most memorable being Anticus and Togodumnus (an early example of what would eventually take over the Whitebytts family).
Another of their children, Vesta Whitebytius, set up, what is believed to be, the first pre-prepared food industry.
The name evolved and was changed to Whitebytts during this time. It should be noted that the second ‘t’ has always been silent.
Time passed and not much was heard of the Whitebytts name. A branch of the family moved to England.
The priesthood beckoned for one member of the Family.
Friar Whitebytts joined a small brotherhood and learnt to become a Master Baker.
He was sent to the Court of King Alfred as a tutor but found his pupil seriously inept when it came to learning culinary skills – a fact for which the King later became famous.
In 1066 Aldun Whitebytts and his brother Aldredus Whitebytts ran the field kitchen at the Battle of Hastings and, in fact, if King Harold had listened to the brothers and stopped the battle for tea, it is thought he would have survived and the course of history could have been very different.
Portrait thought to be of Phillinda Whitebytts
The Whitebytts family again gained notoriety, it is believed in 1819 (though the exact date is unclear) when Phillinda Whitebytts was taken to The Royal Pavilion, Brighton by her parents, to be presented to the Prince Regent. Phillinda was caught in one of the small ante-chambers in a very compromising position with one of Prinnie’s cronnies. The name of the gentleman in question remains a mystery but it is reported he had managed to divest the young lady of some important items of apparel and was only stopped from reaching his goal by the untimely interruption of a Dandy in search of liquid refreshment. But the damage to her reputation had been done and from then on Phillinda was thought to be fast and not ‘good ton’. She eventually married a Squire and retired to the country.
Her sister, fared far better. The prettier of the two girls, Eudora Whitebytts was deemed to be the ‘catch of the year’ when she was launched on the ton and quickly snapped up by a viscount many years her senior, who had always had a roving eye but had alluded the match-making mamas until Eudora appeared.
Towards the end of the 19th Century Everard Whitebytts (great-nephew of Phillinda) emigrated to South Africa in search of his fortune. He took his wife and two teenage daughters with him.
Misfortune struck almost immediately as they became caught up in the Zulu unrest. Everard and his wife were killed in an early skirmish but his two daughters – Shona and Heidi Whitebytts – maidens of strict virtue to their dying day – held a band of the Zulu Warriors at bay for several days during what became known as the Siege of Little Hamlet. It has been acknowledged by the family that this was a little known incident to the outside world but has been regarded, ever since, as of great importance to those involved.
The Family have always referred to these two redoubtable ladies as “The Great Aunts”
Shona posing with her rifle
In 1912 Freda Whitebytts became a dedicated campaigner for women’s right to vote and joined the suffragette movement, chaining herself to the railings at Westminster for three days. Freda never married and became a recluse in later life. Many say she was disillusioned by all the publicity other members of the suffragette movement received and felt she had been overlooked and her contribution to the campaign ignored.
The current Whitebytts ‘clan’:
Major Dickie’s brother – Seymour Whitebytts – currently resides in Cannes, where he spends many pleasurable days promenading along La Croisette bird watching. Seymour is a very keen birdwatcher – especially in the summer…..
Dickie does admit that the American branch of the family has become an embarrassment. Suffice it to say he is not on speaking terms with his cousin, Randy Whitebytts, as he feels the man has brought the family name into disrepute. We have just heard that Randy’s wife, Selma Whitebytts, has just launched a very successful Escort Agency in New York. The less said about THAT enterprise the better!