CAROLINE ATTWATER WHITAKER
Caroline Attwater (1746-1824) (“Dorinda” as she was known in the Steele circle of the 1760s and ’70s), was Jane Attwater’s elder sister. Caroline married Thomas Whitaker (1735-84) of Bratton on 10 January 1765. After the death of her father in 1767, her mother, Anna Attwater (1710-84), remained in Bodenham with Caroline’s two younger sisters, Jane and Marianna. Caroline joined the Baptist church in Bratton, where the Whitakers were one of the leading families. Thomas’s relation, Jeffrey Whitaker (1703-75), had operated a school for boys in Bratton for almost forty years. Caroline and Thomas Whitaker had six children: Philip, who married Anne Andrews in 1798; Anna (1768-79) and Mary (1773-1800), both of whom died young; Thomas (176-1857), who married Sophia Williams; and Anna Jane (1784-1838), who never married, living with her mother at Bratton. Caroline lived the final forty years of her life as a widow. Her husband had been a prosperous farmer, and his two sons (and at least one grandson and great-grandson) would also become large landowners and farmers in the Bratton area. After her marriage to Philip Whitaker in 1798, Anne Andrews Whitaker (see entry above) found in Caroline Whitaker a second mother to replace the one she had lost in 1791, and remained close to her mother-in-law until the latter’s death in 1824.
For a more complete biographical notice and the surviving portion of Caroline Attwater's diary, see Timothy Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, 1720-1840, vol. 8 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2011), pp. 483-92.