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by Carol Minson - May 10, 1998

As you read the article, "The Whitfields of Allendale, Northumberland" - look what happens when you arrange your research chronologically:

  1687 May 2, Henry Reay son of Roger Reay, of Newcastle, master mariner, enrolled as apprentice to Samuel Gill, boothman.
(Archaeologia Aeliana, 3rd Series-Vol XIII-1916).
1695 27 Nov, Utrick Whitfield son of Utrick Whitfield of Whitfield, Northumberland, esquire, enrolled as apprentice to Thomas Hutchinson, boothman.
(Surtees Vol I01 p 327).
1703 May 13, Utrick Whitfield set over after death of Thomas Hutchinson to Henry Reay.
1703 May 13, Utrick Whitfield set over after death of Thomas Hutchinson to Henry Reay.
(Surtees Vol I01 p 327)
1705 Feb 8, Utrick Whitfield son of Utrick Whitfield of Whitfield, Northumberland, esquire, admission of Freemen.
  1707-8 Henry Reay, Sheriff
(Archaeologia Aeliana, 3rd Series-Vol XIII-1916).
1709 Dec 30. Admitted to Hostmen's Company.
(Archaeologia Aeliana, 3rd Series-Vol XIII-1916).
1709 Dec 30. "Henry Reay ... took up his freedom in Hostmen's Company."
[Error? Henry likely freeman when Sheriff.]
  ______ Married Hannah, d/o Utrick Whitfield of Whitfield, NBL. Children: Utrick Reay & Joseph Reay
(Tombstone at Tynemouth.)
1710 Sep 11, will of Thomas Bewick of Close House, Newcastle; wife Eleanor, dau Philadelphia.
  1712-1713 Henry Reay, Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne.
(Archaeologia Aeliana, 3rd Series-Vol XIII-1916).
1718-abt. Marriage of Utrick Whitfield to Philadelphia Bewick, probably in Newcastle.
(Calculated from data listed here.)
1721 Indenture of fine between Henry Reay, esquire, plaintiff & Eleanor Bewick, widow, and Utrick Whitfield and Philadelphia, his wife, deforciants of sev messuages in Newcastles & Northumberland.
(Archaeologia Aeliana, 3rd Series-Vol XIII-1916).
1721 (See Utrick Whitfield this date)
1724 Indenture- George Ledgard conveyed a messuage in Westgate Street for £600 to Utrick Whitfield, esquire, both of Newcastle.
(Archaeologia Aeliana, 3rd Series-Vol V-1909).
1728 Land & houses purchased by Utrick Whitfield in parish of Gateshead, Durham for £1,000. Formerly Recusants' Estates. One renter a "Hutchinson." (Widow of Utrick's former master?)
(Durham Recusants' Estates 1717-1778, Hudleston)
  1733, Jul 10, Hannah died, age 58.
(Tombstone at Tynemouth.)
  1734, Oct 18, Henry Reay,Esq., died.
(Tombstone at Tynemouth.)
1737 Aug 19: Philadelphia died.s.p.
(Archaeologia Aeliana, 3rd Series-Vol XIII-1916).
1741 Nov 11 "Deed of covenants whereby Whitfield covenants to produce deed of Mar 8, 1721 to levy fine between (1) Eleanor Bewick, widow, and Utrick Whitfield of Newcastle, gent, and Philadelphia, his wife, daughter and only child of Thos Bewick and said Eleanor and (2) Henry Reay."
1741 (See Utrick Whitfield this date)
1746 Dec 10 Will of Utrick Whitfield of Newburn, esquire, . . .in trust for his widow during her life, his houses etc., at Newburn; . . .to brother Matthew & wife 20£ each for mourning; to Ann, wife of nephew Robt. Whitfield, 10£; ... to Elizabeth, dau of said nephew Robt. Whitfield, £1,200; to Mary her sister, £800; . . . to Hannah, dau of late nephew, Utrick Reay, £600; ... to nephew Joseph Reay all the rest, etc; he to be sole executor, also guardian of said Elizabeth and Mary Whitfield during their minorities.
1746 (See Utrick Whitfield this date)
1747 Jan 10, Utrick Whitfield of Newcastle died, Tues last. Worth £140,000.*
(Newcastle Courant extracts for 1723-1800)

*According to the Gentleman's Magazine for 1747, he died leaving a fortune of £40,000.
(Archaeologia Aeliana, 3rd Series-Vol XIII-1916).

1754 Feb 23, Mrs. Whitfield, relict of Utrick Whitfield, esquire, died at her house in Westgate.
(Newcastle Courant extracts for 1723-1800).

Certain questions came to mind during organization of this data.

  1. Was there a certain age when a gentleman's son became an apprentice? (Henry Reay apprenticed 8 years before Utrick. Was he 8 years older?)
  2. Did the apprenticeship last a given number of years, or was that negotiable?
  3. What were the requirements to become a freeman?
  4. What is £40,000 in the 1740s comparable to today?

I knew I had several sources for Utric Whitfield and Henry Reay. Even so, I was ---surprised that they were contemporaries---surprised they were shirt-tail-relatives and---surprised to see so many details of their life.

It helps to organize your data by dates. You see the whole picture more clearly.

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© Carol Minson 1998

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