The Society has published Heritage Trail No.6 Chichester during the English Civil War available for download here. It describes the beginnings of the Civil War and in particular the impact it had on Chichester and the roles played by these individuals. Four of the main buildings and locations involved in this event are cited and form a trail that can be followed from the North to the East and finally to the South finishing at the Cathedral.
The information provided here supplements that in the Trail leaflet. It comprises:
a flow chart of the main events in the form of a timeline (see below) which can be printed off (click the image) or downloaded as a pdf for offline reference when walking the Trail
additional information (below the flow chart) about the personalities and events including links to other posts and sources – these will be added to where relevant.
Further information about Heritage Trail leaflets can be found here and on a separate website where there is detailed information whole project.
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PERSONALITIES Henry Chitty
Little seems to be known about Henry Chitty despite the important local role he played in the Civil War. Some information about his personal background was found in a genealogical study on the Chitty name here.
Henry Chitty (sometimes spelt Chittey) was the captain of the local militia, known as the trained band at the time of the Civil War. He was central in the defense of the City in 1642 as described in our Heritage Trail Leaflet No.6.
Little other information is known about him except for some personal details from a genealogical study of the Chitty Name from which the following is culled with thanks.
Henry’s father was Richard Chitty, the second son Henry Chitty a mercer Richard migrated to Chichester where he set up as a weaver. He was aged ‘four score and three years’ when he made his will in 1635, and it was proved 1637. Besides his own house he left one in Godalming, but his will names only his wife and daughters and their children. (He seems to have had two married daughters named Martha, among others). The baptism of only one of his children has been discovered (dated 1577) and if he had a surviving son it is odd that no such man appears as beneficiary, witness, executor or overseer; yet it is tempting to suppose that Richard was the father of the Roundhead Henry Chitty.
This Henry Chitty of Chichester married at New Shoreham in 1605. In 1614 he was named as ‘late servant’ (probably meaning apprentice) in the will of Alderman William Holland of Chichester. By 1623, Henry was himself an Alderman and was engaged in a lawsuit regarding property which he had bought in Canterbury.
In 1628 he and one of his daughters were named in the will of Alderman Augustine Hitchcocke of Chichester, and in 1632 Henry was sessor in goods and Mayor of Chichester, and took a lease of the Dolphin Inn, which he sold in 1637 (perhaps he was too busy and too prosperous for Richard to trouble him with duties or leave him a share in his own, smaller, estate). He appears as a J.P. in the West Sussex Protestation Returns in 1641/2, and was Captain of Train Bands in Chichester in 1642. Next year he was captain of a Company of Foot in the Parliamentary interest in Portsmouth Garrison. In 1614 he was described as a merchant, but his precise trade is not known. His will (1644/5) names only daughters and his property included his dwelling in West Street near the High Cross, and leases at Bosham and North Vallence* .
Many wealthy royalists lived in Chichester, or at least had homes in the city, including Sir John Morley, Sir Thomas Boyer and Christopher Lewknor. Opposing them were Henry Chitty, the captain of the local militia, known as the trained band, and the MP for Midhurst, William Cawley.
This leaflet describes the beginnings of the English Civil War and in particular the impact it had on Chichester and the roles played by these individuals. Four of the main buildings and locations involved in this event are cited and form a trail that can be followed from the North to the East and finally to the South finishing at the Cathedral.
Availability will be advertised here and on Twitter in due course.
For further information about the Trails project visit the dedicated Trail website here