William Ashton of Brandon was an important figure in the late 18th century. As well as owning property in Brandon, Gelston, Caythorpe and Normanton on Trent (Notts), he was steward to Lord Brownlow and a commissioner for Enclosure Awards.
William was born about 1754, but we don’t know his background. He married Arabella Southworth in Soho on 24 Jun 1777. She was from Wellam (near Retford) and was the only child of Thomas and Arabella Southworth. She was christened 16 Aug 1750 at Clarborough (near Wellam). They’re believed to have lived at Brandon Hall, which seems to have been extended around the late 1770s.
Clara died 4 Feb 1792, aged 42, giving birth to her eleventh child (Matthew). William died in died 22 Apr 1826 and was buried at the parish church for Brandon at Hough on the Hill. William and Arabella had 11 children:
1781 – Charlotte (died in infancy)
1779 – Arabella Ann
1782 – Catherine (died in infancy)
1783 – Emma
1778 – Sancta (died in infancy)
1780 – Sancta Ashton
1785 – Elizabeth
1786 – Charlotte
1788 – William Southworth Ashton
1790 – Sophia
1792 – Matthew Ashton
William (senior) left his property to his elder son, William Southworth Ashton, on the condition that he paid £500 each to his six surviving sisters:
Sancta married William Dolby of Marston in 1807. She died in 1837 and is buried at Marston.
William Ashton’s other daughters did not marry, but lived off their annuities. They seemed to have lived together in Foston (the 3 remaining sisters were there on the 1851 census). Arabella died in the Grantham area (possibly Foston) in 1841. Elizabeth died in Foston in 1845, but is buried at Hough. Sophia died in Foston in 1858 and is buried at Hough. Emma died in Foston in 1862 (aged 78). Charlotte died in Newark in 1872 (aged 85)
William Southworth Ashton was an officer in the Loveden Militia, being promoted to Captain on 7 Feb 1813. He married Mary Ann Peacock in 20 Jul 1825 at Northorpe, Lincs (near Kirton) and lived in Carlton Scroop. He ‘died suddenly when on a visit at the Rectory House at Carlton Scroop ‘by the breaking of a blood vessel on the 2nd March 1830 and in the 41st year of his age’. His widow retired to Northorpe.
The younger son Matthew Ashton also served in the Loveden Militia, being made a Lieutenant on the same day in Feb 1813 that his brother was promoted to captain. Matthew married Mary Wells (born 1797) in 1818 at Wellingore. His father had lent him £400 to set himself up as a Corn Factor in Grimsby (the loan was written off in the will), but by the 1840s he was a farmer at Hill House, Wellingore. Believed to have died in 1856.