WHITAKER, Henry (c.1549-89), of Westbury, Wilts.; later of Plymouth, Devon.
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Family and Education
b. c.1549, 1st s. of Stephen Whitaker of Westbury by a da. of Henry Nash of Tinhead, Wilts. m. Judith, da. of William Hawkins of Plymouth, 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 9 Nov. 1576.1
The Whitakers were one of the most important families in the Wiltshire woollen industry. Although they may have been connected with the Lancashire family of the same name, by the middle of the sixteenth century they were firmly established in and around Westbury. In 1569 Stephen Whitaker took a new lease, for his own life and the lives of his sons Henry and Stephen, of a mill in Westbury which had belonged to Lord Mountjoy, and when he died in 1576 he possessed property in Westbury and Warminster. His son and heir Henry was then rising 28.2
Henry Whitaker appears to have led the life of a country gentleman, leaving it to his brother Geoffrey to conduct the clothing business, which Geoffrey did to considerable advantage. Henry’s preference may have been strengthened by his marriage to the daughter of William, and niece of Sir John Hawkins, which led him to acquire property