Academic journal article Theatre Notebook

Paternity of the Siblings of Charles and Thomas Dibdin

Academic journal article Theatre Notebook

Paternity of the Siblings of Charles and Thomas Dibdin

Article excerpt

Harriet Elizabeth Pitt, daughter of Ann Pitt of Covent Garden, had four illegitimate children. The two younger boys, Charles Isaac Mungo Dibdin and Thomas John Dibdin are well recorded; they were the sons of Charles Dibdin (1745-1814). Reference books tell us that Harriet's other two children, Cecil and Harriet, were the children of George Mattocks, and this statement has become so much part of the canon that its source is obscure and no references are given when it is repeated. In the decade since anything has been written about the Pitt family a mass of genealogical research material has become available on-line which is fully searchable, and it is now clear that Mattocks was not the father of either Cecil or Harriet.

The will of Ann Pitt's brother Cecil, a wealthy City merchant, signed on 7 November 1800 and proved in London on 18 May 1802 notes the names of his great nephews very carefully--he leaves bequests to "Thomas John Dibdin alias Pitt, George Cecil Anderson alias Pitt, and Charles Isaac Mungo Dibdin alias Pitt, the three sons of Harriot Elizabeth Pitt ...". The will of Elizabeth Pitt, widow of Cecil Pitt, signed on 28 March 1803 and proved in London on 30 May 1809 is equally precise and includes their great niece Harriet--she leaves bequests to "Charles Isaac Mungo Dibdin otherwise Pitt ... Thomas John Dibdin otherwise Pitt, George Cecil Anderson otherwise Pitt, and Harriet Ann Dibdin otherwise Pitt ... the sons and daughter of the said Harriet Elizabeth Pitt ...".

The parish register of St George the Martyr, Holborn (Camden since 1965) records the baptism on 27 June 1767 of George Cecil Anderson, son of George and Harriet, East Street, and the register of St George, Bloomsbury records the baptism on 8 April 1770 of Harriot Mary Ann [daughter] of Charles and Harriot Elizabeth Dibdin (born April 3). …

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