Whittall Papers

Scope and Content

This small collection contains assorted papers relating to the family's history and commercial activities in Turkey. Some of material was gathered prior to a family reunion in London in 1999. The collection includes the following items on family history compiled by members of the family:

Genealogy of the Whittall family of Turkey, author unknown, 1996 and 1967; Photocopy of typescript 'The Early Whittalls', G.W. Whittall, 1975; Photocopy of Trading in the Levant: centenary of C. Whittall & Co., Smryna 1811-1911, C. Whittall and Company, Manchester, 1912; Days off with gun, rod and yacht around Izmir, Turkey, Edmund H. Giraud, n.d.; The Whittalls of Turkey 1809-1973, n.d.; Scrap-book 1809-1922, Ray Turrell, 1987; Typescript 'A childhood in Turkey 1906-1914', G.W. Whittall, n.d.; Photocopy of Family records: a record of the origin and history of the Giraud and Whittall families of Turkey, Edmund H. Giraud, 1984; MODA: a record with reflections from the days gone by, H.M.W. [Hugh M. Whittall] (private publiction), n.d.

Also included in the collection: Research notes on the Barker family and other family recollections, mid-late 20th c.; original, photocopied and transcript family documents, 1782-1965 (including grant of administration of James Whittall, Constantinople, May 1910, and grant of armorial bearing to Charlton Whittall of the City of Smyrna (residing at Constantinople), 4 Dec 1855); correspondence and copy correspondence of family members including some relating to family history, 1906-1987; assorted family trees and genealogical charts, including 'Over 150 years of trading in Turkey', giving details of family members and also partners of C. Whittall & Co., Smyrna 1811-1938, J.W. Whittall & Co., Constantinople 1873-1918, H. Whittall & Co., Izmir 1938 and J.W. Whittall & Co., Istanbul 1918; photocopy of unidentified photograph album belonging to Charles Groschler 'with Sam[uel] Bayliss' kind regards', containing views of Cassaba and Sardis, [19th century]; copy photograph of the family of Sir William and Lady Whittall, Moda, Constantinople, 1902, with typescript identification key; brochure entitled 'British Chamber of Commerce of Turkey: centenary 1887-1987' [1987]; publicity brochure for Vitsan (successor of J W Whittall and Co. Ltd.), n.d. [1970s-1980s].

Administrative / Biographical History

The Whittall family can be traced back to one James Whittall, tobacconist of Worcester (1696-1780). Following the emigration of his two great-grandsons, Charlton and James Whittall, to Smyrna, Turkey in 1809, the family became one of the principal ex-patriate families of the country, and was instrumental in establishing trade routes in this area.

Charlton Whittall (1791-1861) travelled to Turkey in 1809 to represent Breed & Co., Liverpool, and established C. Whittall & Co., Smyrna, in 1811. The firm was incorporated into membership of the British Levant Trading Company in 1812. He received the Freedom of Levant Co. in 1812 and was awarded the Imperial Order of Medjidieh, 4th class. He married the daughter of the Austrian Consul of Smyrna and grand-daughter of the Venetian Consul of Smyrna. He established the Anglican church at Bournabat in 1857. His brother James Whittall (1798-1836) came out to Smyrna c 1817 and also joined C. Whittall & Co., acquiring a third share in the company. Their sister Mary also joined them, but died unmarried in 1850 in Smyrna from a severe cold.

Descendants of Charlton and James continued the tradition as prominent merchants, founding the Whittall Tea Company, Ceylon, J Whittall & Co., London and J W Whittall & Co, Constantinople. There were numerous connections between the Whittalls and other prominent European families of Turkey such as the Barkers, La Fontaines and Girauds.

Access Information

Usual EUL arrangements apply.

Other Finding Aids

Not currently listed.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 4 March 2005, revised 24 March 2005. Encoded into EAD 3 June 2005.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Custodial History

Donated by a member of the Whittall family to Exeter University Library in 2004, who collected the papers from various family members. An additional deposit was made in February 2005.

Related Material

Other Whittall papers are understood to remain in the possession of family members. There are no other related collections held in public institutions.


The genealogy of the Whittall Family of Turkey, 1967, rev. 1996, Yolande Whittall and Benjamin Perkins (private publication)