The Whitaker Letters

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 418 Whitaker
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      2 boxes, 164 items

Scope and Content

Collection of letters, mainly from Lucy Whitaker (daughter of Thomas Thoresby of Leeds and widow of the Reverend Dr. Thomas Whitaker, historian of Whalley, Craven and Richmondshire) to her eldest son's widow, Jane.

Administrative / Biographical History

Jane Whitaker was the daughter of a Wolverhampton banker, James Hordern, and mother of the seven-year-old heir to the Whitaker estate of Holme-in-Cliviger, co Lancs. She continued to live in Wolverhampton until her father's death in 1825 and afterwards spent the summer months at the Holme.

Dr. Whitaker (1759-1821) was vicar of Whalley from 1809 and held it in plurality with Holme Chapel. He had rebuilt the estate chapel in 1788 and was patron of the living, a perpetual curacy. From 1818 he was also vicar of Blackburn.

The six Whitaker children are mentioned in the letters. The eldest son, Thomas, died as a result of a riding accident in 1817. William (b. 1798) was in the army in Bengal until his return to Blackburn in 1832 or 1833. Robert (b. 1800), known as Robert Nowell Whitaker, followed his father to St. John's College, Cambridge, and then took holy orders. He succeeded his father at Whalley Vicarage. John, 'our Benjamin' (b. 1807), went from school to a clerical post in Blackburn. The eldest daughter, Lucy (b. 1787) married Thomas Starkie KC of Blackburn, and lived in London where Mrs Lucy Whitaker spent the spring and summer after she was widowed. Mary Charlotte (b. 1793) died in 1816 of smallpox.


The collection is arranged into 1 series.

Access Information

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Acquisition Information



No further accruals are expected.


Pamela Maryfield, 'T D Whitaker, 1759-1821: Historian of Yorkshire and Lancashire', Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, volume 75 (2003), pp 165-180.