Tittle World

10,000 people worldwide share the surname Tittle. This is the place for anything interesting connected to the word Tittle.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Poet's dark looks inherited from a Tittle

Famous and Interesting 5: Margaret Tittle
The poet Robert Browning (left) was known for his dark complexion and curly black hair (when in Italy he was taken for a local). It appears this came from his grandmother, Margaret Tittle, a woman of mixed race who owned a sugar plantation on St Kitts in the Caribbean.
Remarkably Browning's wife Elizabeth Barrett (right) also had some African in her DNA, hers coming via Jamaica.

Some additional information from Kathleen D. Manchester, Historic heritage of St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla (the Author, Trinidad, 1971) pp.16-17. A notable personality was the Rev. John Tittle, who arrived in St. Kitts in 1730, and got into difficulty by encroaching on the public road at North Square Street where he lived. He is interesting in his own right, and also as an ancestor of the poet Robert Browning.
The Rev. gentleman was appointed by the SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) as attorney for Ponds and Lucas Estate, on condition that he ship all sugar to England to the Society. Yet, by a strange coincidence, privateers kept seizing his ships, which were then diverted to New York, where his brother lived! The SPG eventually dismissed him, after a court case in St. Kitts, when he was to answer several charges of misdemeanor. However, sustained by local support, and secure in his two cures of St. Peter’s and St. George’s, he refused to accept dismissal.
He married between 1731 and 1733 Margaret Starchan, daughter of the surgeon Dr. George Strachan of St. Kitts. Their daughter, Margaret Tittle, married in 1778 the first Robert Browning; and their son Robert, born in 1781, was sent to St. Kitts to work on his mother’s plantation. Young Robert lived and worked on prosperous Anderson Estate, which the Rev. Tittle had managed fro William Coleman, the London merchant, and himself. But Robert conceived such hatred of slavery that he gave up all his West Indian prospects, even supporting himself in St. Kitts by means unconnected with the system. His son was the poet Robert Browning.


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