Eason Family in Duston, Northamptonshire

A court roll entitled Duston pro Honore de Peverell lists the names called at a court held in Duston on 1 May 1679. One of them is Benjamin Easton, and against his name is a symbol indicating that he was "essoined" which means that he was not present but had offered an excuse for non-attendance. There is no indication of the purpose of the court, or of the proceedings, but the people named were collectively fined 6 shillings and 8 pence. The fines might have been payments for licences (e.g. to hunt) rather than punishments, but this is speculation.

Peverel, incidentally, was the surname of William Peverel, natural son of William the Conqueror, and founder of St James Abbey in Northampton. There is a district named St James to this day. Perhaps the Peverel family continued to be local landowners after the Conquest and that is how the name became associated with Duston, but in more recent times the major landowner of the area was the Spencer family, forebears of the late Princess of Wales.

Duston was open fields until the middle of this century. A newspaper cutting dated 1964 reported that Earl Spencer had sold land to the city council to enable Duston to expand. It's now a residential suburb of Northampton although the church has extensive grounds and is quite pretty.

A list of voters dated 1705 includes Benjamin Easton. At this time, only landowners with a certain amount of acreage qualified to vote.

A list of assessments for Land Tax in 1747 includes Benjamin Esson who had to pay 0-10-4, i.e. 10 shillings, 4 pence. This was one of the smaller assessments so Benjamin must have owned a modest-sized piece of land.

A list of the local militia dated 1771 includes Thos. Esson whose occupation is given as "hillier."

This information was taken from miscellaneous items (letters, photographs, personal reminiscences, etc.) available at the Northamptonshire Records Office in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England.


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