Big changes have come to — all content is now read-only, and member subscriptions and the Shop have been discontinued.
Learn more

Home Page |Surname List |Index of Individuals |InterneTree |Sources

View Tree for Theophilus (13) Robert Whalley pTheophilus (13) Robert Whalley p (b. 1616, d. 14 Feb 1719/20)

Theophilus (13) Robert Whalley p (son of Richard (12) Whaley and Frances Cromwell) was born 1616 in Kirkston, Nottinghamshire, England, and died 14 Feb 1719/20 in West Greenwich, Kent, RI. He married Elisabeth Mills on 07 Feb 1664/65 in Place: Rappahannock, Virginia, daughter of John Mills.

 Includes NotesNotes for Theophilus (13) Robert Whalley p:
(Needs editing)
Theophilus Whaley, born 1617 in England (Source: Eric E. Walker, e-mail ( 20 May 1996); died Abt. 1720 in W. Greenwich RI). He married Elizabeth Mills Bef. 1665.7. Elizabeth Mills, born 1645 in VA (Source: Nancy Cluff Snyder( 8/13/96); died 1715.

Notes for Theophilus Whaley: Theophilus Whaley (1617-about 1720)(!!)
He came to Rhode Island from Rappahannock Co., VA, where he sold his plantation in 1665. He was university-educated and born of wealthy parents, waited upon hand and foot by servants until the age of 18, by his own reported testimony. He was in VA before he was 21, and served there as a military officer. He returned to England to serve in the Parliamentary army under Oliver Cromwell, who may have been a close relative of his. If his real identity has been deduced correctly (see below), his regiment took part in the execution of Charles I in 1649, and its commander, an officer named Hacker, was later executed. It appears probable that Theophilus was actually Robert Whalley - brother of Edward Whalley, one of the two regicide judges who fled England and were concealed for some time in -- among other places -- Hadley, Massachusetts. If this is true, "Theophilus" was an assumed name, designed to cover his past after the ascension of Charles II to the throne in 1660. About that time, "Theophilus" returned to VA and bought land there, where he married Elizabeth Mills (1645-1715) and where two or three of their children were born. Sometime between 1665 and 1680 he came to Rhode
Island, settling at the head of Pettaquamscutt Pond in Narragansett. He never spoke of his past while living in Rhode Island. He made his living there by fishing, weaving, and teaching (he knew Greek, Latin and Hebrew), and seems to have avoided public notice and public office, though he sometimes penned deeds and other legal documents for less literate neighbors. Mysterious visits to his home by distinguished men from Boston and elsewhere enriched the humble life he had chosen to lead. During Queen Anne's War, a warship dropped anchor in Narragansett Bay and its captain, a kinsman of Theophilus Whaley bearing the same surname, sent a boat to Whaley's landing to invite him aboard for dinner. Whaley at first accepted, but changed his mind and did not go, explaining to a friend afterward that he feared a trap had been laid to take him back to England. This story seemed to confirm the suspicions of his contemporaries that he was himself one of the regicide judges - a suspicion that inexplicably persisted long after the movements of fugitive judges Goffe and Edward Whalley had become well known. He was on the tax rolls of Kingstown in 1687, and in 1709 or '10 he
acquired 120 acres at East Greenwich, which he gave to his only son Samuel the next year. He was buried with military honors near the home of his son-in-law Joseph Hopkins in West Greenwich.
Theophilus Whaley's children were Joan, Ann, Theodosia (my ancestor), Elizabeth, Martha (b. 1680), Lydia, and Samuel. Only Martha's birth date is known, but all the children were born after his return to VA about 1660. Since Elizabeth Mills was only 15 years old in 1660, it seems likely that
the marriage came a little later, though before 1665. I have no other information about Elizabeth.

>From Eric W. Weber Mon, 20 May 1996
Children of Theophilus Whaley and Elizabeth Mills are:
i. Theodosea Whaley, b. abt 1666 Rappahannock VA, married Robert Spenser.
ii. Joan Whaley. b. abt 1667
iii. Ann Whaley. b. abt 1669
iv. Elizabeth Whaley. b. Abt 1672
v. Lydia Whaley. b. abt 1685
vi. Martha Whaley, born 1680; died 1773; married Joseph Hopkins 1699, m.2 abt 1740 Robert Spencer.
vii. Samuel Whaley, born Abt. 1685; married (1) Patience Hearndon; married (2) -?- Hopkins.
Source: Keith Whaley,

Savage, Vol 4 Dictionary - First Settlers of New England, pub 1860 - 1862
WHALLEY, THEOPHILUS, Kingstown, R. I. came from Virg. with w. Eliz. a. 1676, had Joan, Ann, Theodosia, Eliz. Martha, Lydia, and Samuel; but it thot. that if not more, the eldest two were b. in Virg. Great uncertainty attaches to almost every thing he said or did, as is found oft. in regard to those wh. emig. from a dist. country, and liv. to gr. age. Potter says he knew Hebrew, Greek, &c. and d. a. 1719 or 20, aged a. 104. It would have been strange, if more than one myth had not sprung out of his grave. My first exercise of caution would be to examine the means of reducing his yrs. by 20 or near, for his only s. it is said, d. a. 1728, and it is quite improb. that when he was b. the f. was much beyond 70. Beside that his w. d. 8 or 10 yrs. bef. her h. Dr. Stiles in the exuberance of conject. that the requisite to sustain his credulity, supposes he may have been one of the regicides. But we kn. the names of all wh. acted in that tragedy, as well as of those wh. were nominat. and declin. to act. or withdrew, as did sev. aft. participat. some hours in the mockery of trial, bef. its end, among all of wh. is not that of Theophilus Whale. One of those misguid. men would have resort. to any other part of the world. sooner than to Virg.
WALLEY, EDWARD, Hadley, one of the gr. officers wh. had fought in the civil war, and serv. Cromwell more aft. it, first in the pretended Court for trial of Charles I. and next as one of the major-gen. to wh. the country in milit. destricts. twelve innumb. like the tribes of Israel, was made subject, as if martial law could forever be contin. Of that power, aft. short trial, tho. he was a relative of the great Protector, Cromwell's iron will was compel. to strip him, so odious had the tyranny grown. He fled from Eng. on the restorat. and with his s.-in-law, William Goffe, reach. Boston July 1660. In the foll. spring they resort. to New Haven, and thro. various suffer. found hiding at last in the shelter of Rev. John Russel's ho. at H. where d. in few yrs. and there was bur. The stone wh. was fondly suppos. from the initial letters E. W. to have been errected over his remains at New Haven, belong. no doubt, to the resting-place of Edward Wigglesworth, and bore date 1653, wh. was clumsi. attempt. to be alter. to 1673, or 8, as this might have been the yr. of Whalley;s death.
See Goffe.




Originally Published
Boston, 1860-1862

Spouse & Children* Elizabeth MILLS, d. Of John Mills who lived in Rappahannock Co. VA
- Theodesia WHALEY
- Elizabeth WHALEY
- Martha WHALEY
- Lydia WHALEY
- Samuel WHALEY

Another version: from
File Name: 1838363 (249,838 Bytes) Submitter:

Theophilus ("Robert") Whaley1
Life Events
Birth: 1616 Screveton, Nottingham, England
Death: 1720 West Greenwich, Kent County, Rhode Island
Burial: Hopkins Hill, West Greenwich, Kent County, Rhode Island
Miscellaneous Information
Physical Description:
Gender: M
1 Theophilus Whaley, father of Martha Whaley, is believed to be really Robert Whaley, who fled England after the execution of Charles I and assumed the name of "Theophilus." He married Elizabeth Wills (or Wells) in Virginia about1660, later settling in Rhode Island about 1680. He spent his last years at the home of son-in-law, Joseph Hopkins, in W.Greenwich; died at age 103. Was very well educated, knowing Hebrew, Greek and Latin. (He) is the same Theophilus Whaley who lived in Virginia for a time. Nowhere is there clear, definitive documentation proving the man in Virginia and the one in Rhode Island are one in the same. Nor have any documents surfaced showing either man arriving in America. Compiled and Published by Dorothy Ford Wulfeck, Nauatuck CT]: Elizabeth Mills married Theophilus Whaley [p14]. On page 216, a more detailed entry: ... Indian Wars; rem[oved] to R.I., where he d. 1719. 66V77-9.
(Under) Montgomery Sweeny] we find the following entry [p64]: heires and do make him Sole Executor of all weh: I am not posest wth both of Goods and Chattels giving to my Loving Friend Edmund Pagett my light Coloured Suite or Cloaths and my God Daughter Elizabeth Whale on Cow Calfe.
... mother of Judge Samuel Hopkins and a daughter who married Othniel Gorton.
1782 and had the following children: Thomas, Samuel, Theophilus, James(or Jeremy), John, and two daughters. Spencer 15 Jul 1697 at Kings Towne, Washington Co, RI. In New England Marriages Prior to 1700 Torrey included the following information [p696]: WAITE/WHALEY?; 16 Jul 1697; Kingston, RI
Whaley, daughter of Theophilus Whaley and Elizabeth Mills, in Greenwich [Genealogy of the Four Spencer Brothers by Mrs. Flora Clark, published bythe Spencer Historical & Genealogical Society, Volume Michael-1, Part 1,pages 12-13].
book in which he discussed the possibilities of Theophilus' identity.Some parts of the text have been left out that also cover this topic to save space or reduce the conflicting information. Samuel Whaley; Andrus & Church; Ithaca NY 1900. pp 85-90
name for the purpose of concealment. This is universally conceded. He lived on the farm of Col. Francis Willit at the north end of Pelequamscot Pond. He was found to be a man of sense and abilities -- reading Latin and Greek. It was a matter of wonder that he refused to live otherwise than in an obscure and unbecoming manner. He lived by fishing and writing for the settlers. He is, however, quoted as saying that until he was eighteen years old he knew not what it was to be without a
were evasive and ambiguous. But it was strongly believed in Narragansetand Rhode Island that he was the regicide. Col. Francis Willet said that "the gentlemen who visited him from Boston treated him [msd: Theophilus] with marked respect." Col. Thomas Willet, his most intimate neighbor, as late as 1755 affirmed it with confidence [msd: that is, Col Willet afirmed his statements as late as 1755, Theophilus was long dead by then]. He always treated him with familiarity and kindness, though cautious about it openly. He said: "During Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) a ship of war came up the Narraganset Bay and anchored before his father's house -- that the captain's name was Whaley -- that he greeted the suposed regicide as a kinsman and invited him on board to dine, but he declined to go."
of age, took part in the Indian wars, then returned to England and became an officer in the parliamentary army. After the restoration he returned to Virginia, about 1660, and married there in 1670 or '75. Some of his children were born there. He came to Rhode Island in about 1680, where he spent about forty years of his life.
he was taxed 3s, 11d. In 1710, Jan. 30, he had 120 acres conveyed to him from proprietors lands of East Greenwich. In 1711 he and his wife deeded son Samuel, for love, etc., 120 acres in East Greenwich. 2
his daughter, Mrs. Spencer, where he died about 1720. He was buried on Hopkins Hill, with military honors.
any record it has been suggested that Robert, brother of Edward theregicide, seems most evidently to be the man called Theophilus Whale. This evidence, however, is only circumstantial, but as no evidence pointing to another man more worthy of consideration is found, we may give it the more weight. Hecker commanded at the execution of Charles I and was himself executed for it. It is said Robert was never married, but this may refer only to his life in England. His marriage was at an advanced age. his concealment of his true name and pedigree from his wife and children is unaccountable. No record was left among his papers by which the world might know, after his death, something of his life in England. Regicides then had a world-wide fame.
In the reign of Charles II by whom the regicides were hunted, outlawed and executed, he lived in Virginia twenty years unmolested. At that time the English Church was established by law. "In Virginia" says Bancroft -- "sectaries found no favor from law." His removal from that colony to Rhode Island in 1680, which was in the reign of Charles II, seems to have been from the intolerances of Episcopacy,and not from any suspicion of him as a regicide.
the region of Narraganset. Children were born to him and he held real estate. Whereas Edward the regicide was known to have lived in concealment in New Haven and Old Hadley, hold no real estate in New England, and was hunted by the commissioners of King Charles II.
Tillinghast of East Greenwich had conveyed to Theophilus Whale of Kingstowne one hundred and twenty acres of the same tract. On Feb. "eighth and seventeenth," 1711, this Theophilus and his wife Elizabeth deeded this land to their son Samuel Whale, who on the same day transferred it to Joseph Hopkins of Kingstowne.
... will be seen that a somewhat mysterious person names Theophilus Whaley came to the South County from Virginia and there has been much speculation regarding him. Today in going over the records of the county of Rappahannock, (extinct since 1692 when it became Essex Co.) I found: "and Richard Cawthorne of same, planter, and Theophilus Whale and Daniel Swellivant both of Farnham parish, Rapp. Co. division of a tract owned by them and grant of 500 acres from it to Cawthorne. 20 Aug 1679. Theophilus Whale of Farnham, planter, 400 acres at Hodgkins Creek out of 674 acres that they owned there. 7 Jan 1679/80. ... planter, and Robert Beverley of Middlesex, gent. Whale conveys all his lands in Rapp. Co. Va. including the land where he now lives "or lately lived" to Beverley and made his loving friend Mr. Thomas George of Rapp.Co. his attorney to acknowledge and confirm the same 18 Feb. 1679/80. Signed Theophilus Wealle." ... send you this as it locates Whalley in Virginia before he came to Rhode Island and shows he was not a "mysterious stranger, " but a well known planter of Rappahannock County.
(Reign of ) King Charles I. about 1679-80, built an underground hut at the north end of the pond, and lived by fishing and writing for the settlers. From his name he was supposed to be the Judge, and when questioned, answered obscurely. Col. Francis Willet said that the gentlemen who visited there from Boston in his father's time, treated Whale with great respect and furnished him with money.
In Queen Anne's war a ship of war whose captain's name wasWhale anchored near there and they visited and recognized each other as cousins. Whale always used to say that he was collegiate education, had been brought up delicately, and had been a captain in the Indian wars in Virginia. He knew Hebrew, Greek, &c. He subsisted part of the time by weaving.
1, Joan; 2, Ann; 3, Theodosia, married Robert Spencer; 4, Elizabeth, married Charles Hazleton and had a daughter Penelope; 5, Martha, married first a Hopkins and then Robert Spencer. She [Martha] was the mother of Judge Samuel Hopkins, and of a daughter who married Othniel Gorton. 6, Lydia, married John Sweet; 7, Samuel, married first a Hopkins, then a Harrington. He died about 1782. His children were 1, Thomas; 2, Samuel;3, Theophilus; 4, James or Jeremy; 5, John, and two daughters.

was convinced that Whale was not Judge Whalley, but still believed him to be one of the King's Judges. Antiquities, Genealogy and Historical Matter Illustrating the History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Column III1884-85; by James N. Arnold, Editor; published by The NarragansetHistorical Publishing Company; Hamilton RI

He was living in 1649 in London, ENGLAND. Robert WHALEY, brother of Edward "the regicide" and son of Richard Esq. & Francis (Cromwell) Whaley, was present in 1649 for the execution of King Charles I of England. Robert was a Lieutenant in the regiment that executed the king. By 1660, he had returned to Virginia as Theophilus. ... known as Theophilus WHALEY was buried on Hopkins Hill, with military honors. He died about 1720 in West Greenwich, Kent Co, RI.
Many researchers believe Theophilus was, in fact, Robert Whaley brother to Edward "the regicide" Whaley who was one of the judges that sentenced King Charles I to death. Robert was a lieutenant in the regiment that carried out the order. When Charles II gained the throne in 1660 many of the Commonwealth fled England. Theophilus WHALEY (or Whale), of Narragansett RI, is an assumed name for the purpose of concealment. This is universally conceded [Rev Samuel Whaley: 1901 & Austin].
- reading both Latin & Greek. This probably accounts for his chosen pseudonym.

Charles I of England to death in 1648. Edward was a cousin of Oliver Cromwell, the man who took control of England and re-established order (rather brutally, at times). When Charles II came to power, Edward the regicide, fled to the Americas. When asked about it, Theophilus' answers were said to be evasive. Few, now, consider Theophilus to be Edward but rather Edward's brother Robert.
... circumstantial at best. But, given the number of "experts" who consider this to be the most likely combination, we will consider Theophilus and Robert the same man. At least, until other evidence is uncovered which provides more concrete ties. (Robert's mother Francis Cromwell was Oliver Cromwell's Aunt.)
some means (given his statements about servants) and died about 1720. He went to Rappahannock (later Essex) Co, Virginia before he was of age and took park in Indian 'wars.'
army but held no life-long military title. After the Crown's restoration, he returned to Virginia about 1660. and they had some children there ... rather than any suspicion of his being the regicide forcing the move. Several Virginia records place a Theophilus Whale and Wealle [sic] in Farnham Parish in1679/80 where he is called a 'planter.' Specifically, a 18 Feb 1679/80 document found in the Virginia State Archives appears to be a final sale of all properties before leaving for Rhode Island.
Loving Friend Theophilus Whale all my Woodland ground ... and do make him Sole Executor ... and my God Daughter Elizabeth Whale one Cow Calfe." [Wills of Rappahannock Co, Virginia 1656-1692; by William Sweeny; SAR Library, Glendale, CA].
spent the remaining 40-some years of his life. ... the north end of the pond. There is one story that says that during Queen Anne's war a ship captain, named Whale, anchored near there and they visited and recognized each other as cousins.
was taxes 3s 11d and on 30 Jan 1710 he had 120 acres conveyed to him from proprieters lands of East Greenwich. In 1711, Theophilus and Elizabeth deeded their son Samuel, for love, etc the 120 acres in East Greenwich.
He was buried on Hopkins Hill, with military honors.
Heckler's regiment in England. Heckler commanded the execution of Charles I himself and later died for it. It is said Robert never married, but that may refer to the life of Robert in England.

More About Theophilus (13) Robert Whalley p:
Fact 1: See Notes.

More About Theophilus (13) Robert Whalley p and Elisabeth Mills:
Marriage: 07 Feb 1664/65, Place: Rappahannock, Virginia.

Children of Theophilus (13) Robert Whalley p and Elisabeth Mills are:
  1. +Martha Whalley, b. 1680, East Greenwich, Kent, RI, d. 1773, Prob. E. Greenwich, Kent, RI.
Created with Family Tree Maker

Home | Help | About Us | | | Site Index | Terms of Service | PRIVACY
© 2009