The Chute Family: Annotated Letter from the College of Arms

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The North American Chute Family Connection via Lionel:
Annotated Response from the College of Arms

  by Lionel Chute, 1999
Note: Text in blue represents the annotations made by Lionel Chute of New Hampshire to this letter. Lionel initiated the correspondence with the College of Arms, specifically referencing the Anthony of Kent-Lionel Chute, Jr. line of descent which populated many lines in North America and South America. When he speaks of "us" he is referring to that specific line, not the Chute family overall. The name of the official at the College of Arms has not been reproduced here as he has not been asked for permission to do so.)



The College of Arms
Queen Victoria Street
London, England


13th October, 1999

Mr L. Chute
WASHINGTON NH 03280
United States of America

Dear Mr. Chute

Arms and Pedigrees of Chute

I refer to our recent correspondence and to your request that we make a search of our official records for Arms confirmed or granted to Chute of Taunton, Devonshire, Sussex and Kent. (I sent them copies of pages from WE Chute’s Genealogy that pertained to the English ancestors, as well as copies of their own Berkshire/Hampshire Pedigree that listed Lionel Chute as the son of Anthony (which was what WE Chute relied on for the Chute Geneology) . I write now to send you a report of my research and to answer the questions that you posed in your letters. (The cost of the following research was not cheap – I paid them more than $500!)

As you can see from my report, I was unable to find anywhere in the records a reference to Lionel (however spelled) Chute. This means, I am afraid, that I have not been able to connect you with the family of Chute, most particularly known for their residence of The Vyne, Basingstoke, Hampshire or, indeed, any other collateral branch mentioned in the official records. I have studied the various extracts that you sent me with your letters but still cannot see any connection with the armigerous branch of Chute who had their Armorial Bearings confirmed by Thomas Benolte, (Clarenceux King of Arms) in the Visitation of 1531. (As you and I have discussed, this all hinges on their having no proof that Anthony had Lionel (who had Lionel, who came to America with his son James.)

At this early period in time it was necessary to be able to prove that your family had borne the Armorial Bearings claimed "from ancient time" (between 60 and 80 years) and such claim had to be attested to by some prominent individual living in the County (such as a Justice of the Peace or notable landowner in the vicinity). Philip Chowte of Herne, Kent was able to provide such proof (I interpret this to mean that Phillip was able to prove that his FAMILY had borne Armorial Bearings between 60 and 80 years BEFORE the Visitation, which means that not only was Phillip entitled to bear arms, but his brother Anthony was as well) and it was even noted in the Visitation record that the Armorial Bearings had been granted by King Henry VIII for Philip Chowte's service as Standard Bearer. The Augmentation was still being recorded in the later Visitation of Kent in 1668 although it seems to have been omitted by 1750.

We can certainly let you have a coloured working drawing (suitable for printing purposes) or a certificated Library Painting (painted on vellum stretched and dampened over a frame with a suitable inscription) but it would be necessary to state the name of the original Grantee (Philip Chowte of Herne in the Parish of Apledor, Co. Kent) rather than that of your own name as a direct descendant, as we have been unable to prove the latter conclusively.

If you would like a transcript of any of the records mentioned in this report or, alternatively, artwork such as that described above, please let me know and I will send you a quotation for the work involved.

Yours sincerely, 13th October, 1999
Arms and Pedigrees of Chute

1.  The Visitation records:

I began my research in the official records by consulting the indexes of the Visitation records. These records cover the period between 1530 and 1689 and were compiled by the Heralds as they visited each county, checking that the Armorial Bearings being used by the nobility and gentry were correct and, at the same time, recording their pedigrees. They also investigated the unlawful assumption and display of Armorial Bearings as well as the unlawful use of the titles of "Esquire" and "Gentleman". There were the following references to Chute (spelled variously):-

1.1  D.13/40: A Visitation of Kent in 1531 by Thomas Benolte (Clarenceux King of Arms) records a two-generation narrative pedigree headed by "Philipe Chowte of herne with in the P'yshe of apledore in the county of kent, esquier, and at this present Capytayne of the castell of Cambre ...". (In other words, Phillip (or Phillip’s family) was visited in 1531, NOT Anthony – so it’s not surprising that Anthony’s family was not recorded here.)

By his first marriage to Joane Ensyne he had two sons (Thomas Chowte, eldest son, who died without issue; and Thomas Chowte, second son, living in 1530/1) and one daughter. By his second marriage to Elizabethe Gyrlynge he had another son, Phelipe Chowte, who died young. By his third marriage to Margarett Culpeper he had a further four sons (George Chowte; Edward Chowte; Blount Chowte; and Anthony Chowte) and one daughter.

There is a painted exemplification of the Arms and Crest, the blazons of which I would read as follows:-

Arms:  Gules three Swords in fess Azure [?Argent] hilt and pommel Or within an Orle of ten Mullets Or on a Canton per fess Argent and Vert a Lion passant reguardant Or
Crest:  On a wreath of the colours A gauntleted dexter Hand Azure grasping a broken Sword Azure hilt and pommel Or

I enclose a photocopy of this entry taken from The Harleian Society transcript of the Harleian manuscript copy of this particular Visitation of Kent. There is a cross-reference in this pedigree to Norfolk 11/80 (see below). (I have this, but again, it says NOTHING about our side of the family.)

1.2  C.16/69:  A Visitation of Kent in 1619 by John Philipott (Rouge Dragon Pursuivant) records a three-generation pedigree headed by George Chute of Bethersden and his wife, Elizabeth Gage.  (This is also ONLY Phillip’s family, so not of use to us). The pedigree ends with the three sons (George "Chowt", son and heir; Edward Chute; and Philip Chute) and two daughters of Edward Chute and his wife, Lidia Gibbon. There is a tricked depiction (i.e., a pen and ink drawing of Arms and/or Crest with the tinctures indicated by initial letters) of Arms and Crest, the blazons of which I would read as follows:-

Arms:  Gules three Swords fessways in pale points towards the dexter Argent hilts and pommels Or within an Orle often Mullets Gold
Crest:  As described in D.13/40 above.

1.3  C.24/411: A Visitation of London in 1633/4 by Henry St. George (Richmond Herald) records a five-generation pedigree headed by Anthony Chute [there is a cross-reference to Norfolk 11/79 - see below] of Kent and his wife, the daughter of Girling. The pedigree ends with the three sons (Challoner Chute of the Middle Temple "... Counsellor of the law", eldest son, living 1634 and married to Anne Scory; Alexander Chute; and Charles Maria Chute) and one daughter of Charles Chute of the Middle Temple (living 1634) and his wife, Ursula Challoner. There is no tricked depiction but below is written a simplified blazon of the Arms described in C.16/69 (in French): "Il porte geules trois espees de Chevalier arg. traversees en fesse encircle de moulets or." (This is VERY significant, because it serves as recorded and undeniable proof that Anthony, not just Phillip, was entitled to bear the Chute arms – SO, all we have to do is prove that Anthony had Lionel, and we’re all set!)

1.4  D.15/60: A Visitation of Surrey in 1662 by Sir Edward Bysshe (Clarenceux King of Arms) records a four-generation pedigree headed by George Chute of Bethersden, Kent. The pedigree ends with the son (George Chute, son and heir, aged 11) and one daughter of George Chute of Stockwell, Surrey and his first wife, Sarah Styles. He married, secondly, Margaret (nee Hussey) the widow of Lawrence Coles. There is a cross-reference in this pedigree to Norfolk 11/80 (see below).(This is Phillip’s family, not ours.)

1.5  C.12/235: A Visitation of Berkshire in 1666 by Eliam Ashmole (Windsor Herald) records a memorial inscription in Sunning church for Elizabeth Chute (died aged 3 1/2 on 18 May 1627) daughter of Sir George Chute (and Anne, his wife). (Also Phillip’s side.)

1.6  D.18/127: A Visitation of Kent in 1668 by Sir Edward Bysshe (Clarenceux King of Arms) records a three-generation pedigree headed by Edward Chute of Bethersden, Kent and his wife, Lidia Gibbon. The pedigree ends with the son (Sir George Chute of Hinxhill, Kent, Knt. married to Cicely Freke) of George Chute of Bethersden and his wife, Ellinor Toke. There is a tricked depiction of Arms, the blazon of which I would read as follows:- (Also Phillip’s side.)

Arms:  As described in C.I 6/69 above.

1.7  D.27/108b: A Visitation of Somerset in 1672 by Sir Edward Bysshe (Clarenceux King of Arms) records a four-generation pedigree headed by Robert Chute of Bridgwater, Somerset and his wife, Elenor Holworthy. The pedigree ends with the three sons (Robert Chute, son and heir, aged 9; Thomas Chute; and John Chute) and one daughter of Robert Chute of Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset (aged 38 in 1672) and his wife, Elizabeth Hobbs. All of the eldest sons in this pedigree are called Robert. (Also not us.)

2.  Grants made between 1530 and the present day:

I then made a search of the Registers of Grants made and confirmed between 1530 and the present day but found only one reference to Chute, as follows:-

Grants 12/125: The Grant of an Augmentation of a Canton of the Arms of Chute made to John Aldridge of Kingsclere, Hampshire at the request of John Chute of the Vine, Hampshire. There is a copy of the Memorial requesting this augmentation but no explanation is given in it; nor is there any reference to the Arms that were to be augmented although these, presumably, are those of Aldridge. However, The Vine, Hampshire eventually devolved on Thomas Lobb, the great-grandson through his mother of Challoner Chute of The Vine, Basingstoke, Hampshire) and it is possible that this is the reason that the Augmentation was requested. The augmented Armorial Bearings were to be borne by John Aldridge and his descendants and there is an exemplification of the Arms and Crest, the blazons of which read as follows: - (Also not us.)

Arms:  "Argent a Bordure Azure Bezante. On a dexter Canton Gules, three Swords Bar-ways in Pale Argent Pommels and Hilts Or"
Crest:  On a wreath "a Phaenix rising in Flames proper on the Breast and each Wing a Bezant"

3.  Pedigrees recorded between 1687 and the present day:

I then investigated the indexes of pedigrees officially recorded for Chute, and found the following references:-

3.1  2.D14/188: An extensive pedigree of Sadleir with a tricked depiction of quartered Arms with Chute at No. 3 as described in C.I 6/69 above. (Also not us.)

3.2  3.D14/304: A four-generation pedigree dated 5 May 1750 and headed by Chaloner Chute of the Vine, Southamptonshire, the son of Chaloner Chute "sometime Speaker of the House of Commons" and his wife, Catharine, only daughter of Richard Lennard, Lord Dacre of the South by Dorothy, the daughter of Dudley, Lord North by his second wife. The pedigree ends with the son (Thomas Chute, died in infancy) of Thomas Lennard Chute of Pickinham, Norfolk and his wife, Catharine Chute of the Vine. (Also not us.) There is a cross-reference in this pedigree to Norfolk 11/78 and there is a tricked depiction of the quartered Arms and Crest, the blazons of which read as follows:-

Arms:  (Quarterly 1st and 4th) Gules three Swords fesswise pointing to the dexter Argent hilts and pommels Or (Chute)

Crest: As described in D. 13/40.

3.3  Baronets 5/62: A Scheme of Quartering of 50 of Blount with Chute at No. 49. I would read the blazon as: Gules three Swords fesswise in pale the upper and lower pointing to the dexter and the centre pointing to the sinister Argent hilled and pommelled Sable semee of Mullets Sable. This exemplification defies the rules of blazon in that a colour should never be placed upon another colour - in this case Sable on Gules (black on red). (Also not us.)

3.3  Baronets 13/292: A three-generation pedigree headed by William Lyde Wiggett-Chute of the Middle Temple, London and of Pickenham Hall, Norfolk (sometime MP for Norfolk) who assumed the surname of Chute in addition to and after Wiggett by Royal Licence under Royal Signet and Sign Manual (dated 22 February 1827). He was authorised to quarter the Arms of Chute and Wiggett by a farther Royal Licence dated 6 July 1879 and there is an exemplification of the quartered Arms and Crests at reference Grants 36/201. He married Martha Buckworth. The pedigree ends with Sir Charles Lennard Chute of The Vyne, Southamptonshire (born 6 May 1879 and created a Baronet of the United Kingdom on 4 July 1952) and his wife, Laura Joan Baker. (Also not us.)

3.4  Norfolk 11/78-83: Pedigrees of several families incorporating nine generations of Chute over six pages headed by Anthony Chowte. The second generation records Anthony Chowte or Chute (named in the Will of his younger brother Philip Chowte in 1565) and his wife, the daughter of Girling of Suffolk.

The third generation records Christopher Chute (living in 1577); Arthur Chute of Wrentham and afterwards of Willingham All Saints (also called Ellough) Suffolk (living in 1577/8 and buried at Ellough on 9th July 1611, married firstly to Elizabeth See (through whom the descent continues) and secondly to Margaret Playters); and William Chute) and one daughter. All were named in their uncle Philip's Will). (This is an important record for us, but also problematic. Again, this pedigree ties Anthony Chute (Chowte) to the Chute Arms, but it does not list Lionel as one of his children. This could have happened either accidentally or deliberately, as the pedigree was recorded after 1722 by an English decendant, who may or may not have known that Lionel ever existed. After I received this letter I went to England to do some research. I didn’t get the “smoking gun” I was looking for, but I did confirm that Arthur Chewte, Gentleman, was the witness of Lionel Chewte’s will (and that this original document, which still exists, clearly shows their names to be spelled IDENTICALLY with each other), that according to Lionel’s will he was the clerk of Brampton Parish and was buried under the chancel in 1592, that (by another source) Lionel (“Chowse”) was the Rector of Brampton Parish from 1577 to 1592, and that Brampton Parish is within 5 miles of Wrentham, where Arthur Chewte lived and owned land given to him by his uncle Phillip. Brampton Parish is still standing (I have digital photos if you are interested!) and completely intact, but I found no stone or other marking in the floor for Lionel’s grave – however, he was buried under the altar, if we had a really rich relative we could give the Parish a BIG donation if they would let us exhume the coffin and see what Chute proof might have been buried with Lionel – just kidding?) You should also know that the Ellough Parish is a short walk from both Wrentham and the Brampton Parish, and that this is where Arthur’s wife “Margaret Chewte” was buried – to this day there is a brass plaque with her name AND the Chute coat of arms on the floor of the chapel (I have digital photos of this as well.

I saw other things of interest while in England, including Phillip’s original will (which clearly identifies and leaves stuff to ALL of his brother Anthony’s kids EXCEPT Lionel), Frostenden Parish (where Lionel Sr. married Susan Greene – it’s in excellent condition and I have photos), Lionel and Susan’s original marriage license of September, 1578 (I held it in my hands!), and various documents on Phillip, Anthony, Lionel, Lionel Jr., etc. I now have more leads on early documents that MAY contain a record of Anthony having Lionel – but so far, I’m stuck.)

There is no Lionel Chute (however spelled) in this pedigree which ends with the only son recorded of Thomas Lennard Chute of South Pickenham, Norfolk (son and heir, died 11 May 1722 aged 33 without issue) and his wife, Catharine Chute (both direct descendants in the 8th generation from Anthony Chowte who heads this pedigree. There are cross-references in this pedigree to C.24/411. -D. 14/304. D.I 3/40. D.I 5/60 and D. 18/127. 3.5

Norfolk 17/57: A pedigree of Chute, Lobb, Hicks and Ellis headed by Thomas Chute of South Pickenham, Norfolk, of St. Andrew's Holborn, Middlesex and of The Middle Temple, London (baptised 7 January 1633/4, Will dated 28 January 1700 and Administration granted 7 June 1701) and his wife, Elizabeth Revett. Their three sons (Thomas Lennard Chute; Devereux Chute; and Joseph Chute) and two daughters are recorded. There is an exemplification of the quartered Arms of Ellis with Chute in the third quarter (as in 3. D 14/3 04) and a cross-reference in this pedigree to Norfolk 11/82. (Not us.)

3.6  Surrey 16/306: A four-generation pedigree headed by William Lyde Wiggett-Chute of The Vyne, Basingstoke, Hampshire (born 16 June 1800 and died 6 July 1879 and who assumed the additional surname and Arms of Chute) and his wife, Martha Buckworth. The pedigree ends with the two sons (Francis Chaloner Chute; and Mervyn Russell Chute) of Mervyn Lyde Chute of Whipsnade, Bedfordshire (born 11 February 1881) and his second wife, Emerin Semple Keen. He had no children by his first wife, Frances Josephine Armour who died without issue. There is a cross-reference in this pedigree to Grants 36/201. (Not us.)


UPDATE: The 2nd to 4th lines of this paragraph, ("A Visitation of London in 1633/4 by Henry St. George (Richmond Herald) records a five-generation pedigree headed by Anthony Chute [there is a cross-reference to Norfolk 11/79 - see below] of Kent and his wife, the daughter of Girling.") took everyone back and ultimately sent Francis to the British Library for a second look at the Visitation Record. According to our family records, Anthony had married a daughter of "Gee", not a daughter of "Girling"; Philip is the Chute who had married the daughter of "Girling". Francis made this discovery:

"Yes - as I have recently been discussing with Steve, and have confirmed this week from Visitation record in the British Library (which I had not opened because the recent re-binding omitted the title of contents on the spine (of all stupid reasons)! - it appears that Anthony and brother Philip did both marry ladies née Girling. This looks odd and is probably the reason why the BCHR scribe wrote Gee as the name of Anthony's wife (when See was the surname of his son Arthur's wife.)"

Raising the new questions: did Anthony marry a "Gee" and a Girling, or only a Girling? Same family? Different families? More importantly, is this going to give the search for Anthony of Kent records an important shot of adrenalin? In any event, the records for Anthony of Kent have been changed to reflect Francis's discovery - which might never have been discovered at all were it not for Lionel's annotated letter.


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