RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 259
Extent3 boxes, 2 rolled items
TitlePapers of the Whittall Family of Turkey
DescriptionThis collection contains assorted papers and accruals relating to the family's history and commercial activities in Turkey. Some of the material was gathered prior to a family reunion in London in 1999, and consists of 20th c. memoirs and items on family history compiled by members of the family, copies and transcripts of original correspondence and diary entries, wills, legal documents, photographs, presscuttings, privately published memoirs, research notes, genealogical tables, transcripts of notes from family Bibles, business brochures, talks and presentations, issues of journals and article extracts relating to the history of the Whittalls, the British community in Turkey and Anglo-Turkish relations, correspondence on family history matters, writings on related family branches such as the Giraud, Barker, Lafontaine and Cortazzi families, and various items of material relating to places in Turkey such as Istanbul [Constantinople], Izmir [Smyrna], Moda, Buca, Bournabat and Kadikoi.

The deposit also included five books which were transferred to the Reserve Collection:

'Genealogy of the Whittall family of Turkey', by Yolande Mitchell and Benjamin Perkins (1967), revised by Paul and Betty McKernan (1996)
Edmund H. Giraud, 'Days off with gun, rod and yacht around Izmir, Turkey' (1952)
'The Whittalls of Turkey 1809-1973' (undated, early 1970s)
Ray Turrell, 'Scrap-book 1809-1922' (1987)
Evelyn Lyle Kalcas, 'Gateways to the past: houses and gardens of old Bornova' (1983)
Admin HistoryThe Whittall family can be traced back to one James Whittall, tobacconist of Worcester (1696-1780). Following the emigration of his two great-grandsons, Charlton and James Whittall, to Smyrna, Turkey in 1809, the family became one of the principal ex-patriate families of the country, and was instrumental in establishing trade routes in this area.

Charlton Whittall (1791-1861) travelled to Turkey in 1809 to represent Breed & Co., Liverpool, and established C. Whittall & Co., Smyrna, in 1811. The firm was incorporated into membership of the British Levant Trading Company in 1812. He received the Freedom of Levant Co. in 1812 and was awarded the Imperial Order of Medjidieh, 4th class. He married the daughter of the Austrian Consul of Smyrna and grand-daughter of the Venetian Consul of Smyrna. He established the Anglican church at Bournabat in 1857. His brother James Whittall (1798-1836) came out to Smyrna c 1817 and also joined C. Whittall & Co., acquiring a third share in the company. Their sister Mary also joined them, but died unmarried in 1850 in Smyrna from a severe cold.

Descendants of Charlton and James continued the tradition as prominent merchants, founding the Whittall Tea Company, Ceylon, J Whittall & Co., London and J W Whittall & Co, Constantinople. There were numerous connections between the Whittalls and other prominent European families of Turkey such as the Barkers, La Fontaines and Girauds.
Access StatusOpen
Related MaterialNegatives relating to the family are held at A C Cooper Photographers, London. Certain books [marked in Description above] originally donated within the archive collection have been transferred to the Reserve Collection, Special Collections: see the online Exeter University Library OPAC for further details. Letter books relating to the Whittall family in England and their correspondence with Charlton Whittall of Smyrna, 1811-1847, are held at the Liverpool Record Office (acc. no. 2937). Other Whittall papers are understood to remain in the possession of family members.
Access ConditionsUsual EUL arrangements apply.
Finding_AidsBox listed as above.
Creator_NameWhittall; family; of Turkey; merchants and traders
Mgt_GroupMiddle Eastern papers
DS/UK/278Whittall; family; merchants and tradersfl 1696-1999
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