Appendix 11 - Kitnors of Bossington, Porlock, and Stoke Pero

  1. In the first half of the 16th century a Chibbett and, in the second half, a Kitner were taxed at Bossington.
    In the 17th century a Ketnor was a tenant of land in Bossington.

    Source: History of Part of West Somerset, pp. 22, 320

  2. Joane Kitnor of Stoke Pero: In 1616 the will of Joane Kitnor of Stokepirrowe was proved.

    Source: Taunton Wills, Parts II and III; cf. Appendix 100a

  3. The wills, made in Porlock, of Michael and Joane Kitnor were proved in 1617 and 1621 respectively.

    Source: Taunton Wills, Parts II and III; cf. Appendix 100a

  4. In 1641 Walter Kytnor and two John Kitnors signed in Porlock the protest against Popery.

    Source: History of Part of West Somerset, p. 491; cf. Appendix 42

  5. On 5th December 1657, Andrew Kittner witnessed a will at Porlock

    Source: PCC Wills, vol viii, (BRS 61)

  6. In 1664/5 Dorothy Kitnor, widow, paid hearth tax at 2/- in Bossington and John Chebat was one of three who paid 10/- jointly at Porlock.

    Source: Dwelly's National Records, Vol. I, pp. 126, 129; Appendix 47a

  7. On 3rd January 1703 Joan Chibbett was buried at Porlock

    Source: A History of the Ancient Church of Porlock by Rev. Walter Hook (1893)

  8. In 1717 the will of Christian Kidnor, widow, of Porlock was proved.

    Source: Taunton Wills, Parts II and III; cf. Appendix 100a

  9. In 1719 and 1727 the wills of two John Kitnors alias Chibbet of Porlock were proved.

  10. In 1740 the will of Joan Chibbett alias Kitnor of Porlock was proved.

    Source: Taunton Wills, Parts II and III; cf. Appendix 100a

  11. In 1748 and 1750 respectively the wills of John and Emme Kitnor of Porlock were proved.

    Source: Taunton Wills, Parts II and III; cf. Appendix 100a

  12. In 1792 the will of Sarah Chibbott of Porlock was proved.

    Source: Taunton Wills, Parts II and III; cf. Appendix 100a

  13. 1851 census: William Chibbett, 'farmer's son' and aged 31, born at Porlock, was living with his cousin
    Prudence Leekey, aged 51, in Porlock Town (HO107/1920/16 p.5)

    John Chibbet, 31, merchant's clerk, born at Porlock, was living at Watchet (HO 107/1920/441 p. 26)

    James Chibbet, 26, born in Porlock, cabinet maker, and his family were living at Tower Hill, Williton (HO107/1920/415 p.89)

  14. 20th century

    H.J. Marshall in Exmoor, p.20 (1948), records that there was still a Chibbett living in Porlock. He writes:

    "One of the most original and loveable of all was Chibbett the carpenter. He had a cottage, which still stands,
    opposite 'The Ship'. Over the half hatch one could see him working at his trade, exactly like Holman Hunt's
    picture of Joseph, the village carpenter. I have often wondered if he was the original for that picture,
    for Holman Hunt used to come to Porlock in those days and must often have seen him. His straggling Nazarite beard,
    his ascetic face with its broad forehead and big shining eyes amid the litter of his workshop - all were there.

    "He was retiring and seemed shy and reserved. Yet he had travelled about the world in most unlikely places.
    By degrees he took me into his confidence, and the story of his odyssey came out.

    "In his younger days the urge to travel would suddenly come upon him. He obeyed the call; turned the key in his
    workshop; took his bag of tools and just enough money to take him to Bristol Quay - no more. Arrived there, he would go
    aboard the first ship that took his fancy, and ask the captain if he wanted a ship's carpenter. Chibbett always
    seemed to strike a lucky ship. One ship took him to Canada. There he wandered, carrying his bag of tools on his back,
    from ranch to ranch, always finding work waiting for him.
    I remember, in answer to my enquiry, "How did you get on?" his answer was: "The difficulty was to get away.
    I could have stayed for months or years. There was plenty to do. They wouldn't let me go."

    "So he travelled from place to place, through lonely ranches and villages springing rapidly into towns, and always
    carrying his bag of tools. Right across Canada he went, everywhere helping settlers and adventurers to build their houses
    and barns and stables and mend their wagons and farm tackle.

    "What a life it must have been! And he had nothing but his bag of tools and his skills to use them! His interest was life.

    "Another voyage brought him eventually to Palestine. There he made a spiritual pilgrimage.
    There, through all the sacred places of that - to him - Holy Land, he followed, always with his
    bag of tools on his back, literally in his Master's footsteps and following his Master's trade."

    This was Henry John Chibbett, carpenter and joiner, born in Watchet in 1850, who is recorded in the
    1901 census. He was the son of John and Mary Chibbett who in 1861 were farming at Dovery Farm (Doverhay?) Luccombe.

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Last updated on 26th January 2015