We Walk In Their Footsteps

A Few Of Our Predecessors

is fascinating to discover who lived in the village in days gone by.  The census of 1851 provides the names of all Ecton residents, adults and children both, but it is too comprehensive to be reproduced here.  It can be viewed by members of the public on microfilm at the County Record Office, Wootton.

Less well-known sources include the Militia Lists from which a fighting force could be raised for the defence of the realm against invasion or rebellion.  Liability to serve rested on able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 45 years with some exemptions such as the clergy, peers and poor men with three or more children born in wedlock. ( List A ).

There are numerous Northamptonshire Directories for the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, ‘Kelly’s’ being the most well thumbed.  These give brief details of leading worthies together with persons engaged in any kind of business, usually in alphabetical order, in every town and village.  (Lists B, C, and D ).

Though these lists make interesting reading, they do not lend themselves to statistical analysis.  However, we can compare the high proportion of servants and labourers in 1777 with the later diversity of trades.  Prior to the First World War, Ecton was plainly a self- contained community of hustle and bustle.  Since then, change has been ever increasing and revolutionary; much that was of value is now lost.  On a more light-hearted note the boast of certain villagers to belong to families stretching back generations can be put to the test!

Dr Douglas and Mrs Betty Shearing.



It should be noted that in the past the spelling of names was not standardised and possibly leaned heavily on local pronunciation. In addition there was no agreed schedule of occupations;  the description of “farmer”, for example, was particularly broad.

A - Militia List of Ecton Males, 18-45 years, 1777

servants to Ambrose Isted

BLASON William                        

BROWN John                                       

CLARK Thomas                        

GAUDERN William                        

MARSTON Richard                         

PRENTICE Stephen                        


ABBOT Ruben                                      

BLASON John                                      

BARRRET James                           

BAIZLEY John                                      

GARRET Robert                        

KNIGHT Joseph                         

LUCK Richard                                       

ORLEBAR Samuel                         

PINNEY Thomas                        

ROBINSON William                        

THOMPSON Jonas                            

WILSON John                                       

YAOUL John                                        


BAYES John                                         

LANGLEY John                        

LANGLEY Stephen                        

KING John                                            

STONEBANKS Lovell                          


CHILDS Arthur                         

WALTON Thomas            

husbandman’s sons                 

CHILDS Anthony                       

CHILDS Jonathan

LOVELL Allen                                      

LOVELL Peter                                       

LOVELL Jonathan                       

SLATTER John             


COX William


NICHOLLS Robert                          

SIMMONS John                        


CLARK Anthony                                   

MAINE William            


COLLINS Thomas                        

 LUCK John                                          

MORRIS Henry                        

THOMPSON James                           



GOODWIN Edwin                          

HART Thomas                                      

HENSMAN John                        

INGRAM James                         

JOHNSON William                        

JOLLEY William                                   

JAMES Edward                                     

JAMES Samuel                                     

KEMP John                                          

NABERRY Bartholomew                 

PETTIT John                                         

PINNEY William                                   

ROBINSON Thomas                        

servants to Rev. Whalley

HERN James                                         

MUSKEE William                        


HOWKINS Jonathon                                   

JOHNSON John                         


ISTED Samuel                                       

parish clerk

JOLLEY Edward                        


MORRIS William                        


NORRIS John                                       

NORRIS Henry                                      


THOMPSON Thomas                        


VAN John                                             



B -  Kelly’s Directory, 1847

Lord of the Manor                           Ambrose ISTED

Patronage                                               Rev. John C WHALLEY

Curate                                                   Rev. John SWAINSON

BARRET Alice (Mrs)                             mistress of Free School

BARRET James                                      master of Free School

BLASON George                                     baker

BLASON Thomas                         farrier

BRADSHAW Charles                          butcher

CHILD Anthony                                     farmer

CHILD Arthur                                        farmer

CHILD William                                      draper

DAWES Josiah                                       butcher

DOWNS Richard                                     farrier

FASCUTT W Woolston                                   farmer (Glebe farm)

GORDON Hugh                                      farmer

DUNKLEY Henry                            The Cottage

ELSON Esther (Mrs)                             manager, Co-operative Stores

FIELD John                                           butcher

GREEN J George                         wheelwright, carpenter

HOWARD J Thomas                         builder

HUNTER Afra (Miss)                           mistress, Infant School

ISTED Ambrose                                      esquire, The Hall

KIRBY Thomas                                      timber merchant and beerhouse

LANGDELL G Arthur                           shoe manufacturer

LANGDELL Thomas                         blacksmith

LANGLEY Mary (Mrs)                             shopkeeper

PENN John                                            shopkeeper

PERKINS Charlotte (Miss)

PETTIT William                                     blacksmith

SLOW William                                       victualler, `World’s End’

STREET William E                                  master of National School

TARRY John                                         market gardener

TARRY Sarah (Mrs)                             market gardener

TASSELL Daniel                                    gamekeeper

TASSELL Henry                                     baker


D - Kelly’s Directory, 1914 ( the population in 1911 was 504 )

Parish clerk                                            Archibald ROBINSON

Post                                                      Frank JOHNSON

Private residents

FIELD Rev. John                                                Baptist

GAMBLE Concrad                         The Cottage

JEPHSON Rev. Arthur                           Rectory

SOTHEBY (Mrs)                                     Ecton House



BAKER Frost                                         blacksmith

BARKER John                                       shoemaker

BLASON George                                     farmer

CALLIS Elizabeth (Mrs)                           farmer

COPNALL John                                     estate carpenter

DARKER Ellen (Mrs)                             beer retailer

DARKER George                                    tailor

DICKS Edgar                                         farmer

EALES Stephen J.                                  beer retailer

EARL John                                            farm bailiff to Mrs Sotheby

HAWKES Stephen                         farmer

LANGDELL Elizabeth (Mrs)               `Horse shoe’

LANGDELL Thomas                         blacksmith

LANGLEY Charles                          wholesal boot manufacturers,

LANGLEY Andrew                          grocers and butchers

PELL Samuel                                         farmer

JOHNSON George                           tailor

JOHNSON John                                      watchmaker

JOLLY Mary (Mrs)                             carrier

WALTON T Augustus                                   farmer

WATSON Margaret (Miss)               ladies boarding school

WILLS Joseph                                        `World’s End’

WRIGHT John                                        builder, wheelwright, blacksmith

                                                            and timber merchant


C - Whellan’s Directory, 1874

BLEASLEY Henry                            gardener

BLASON George                                     baker

BRADSHAW Charles                          butcher

BRADSHAW Daniel                           road surveyor

BUCKLAR William                         shoemaker

DARKER George                                    tailor

DAVIES Rev. C Tizard M. A.                  rector


FIELD John T.                                       butcher

GOOSEY Thomas E.                                 bailiff at N Irrigation farm

GREY William                                       gamekeeper to Mrs Sotheby

GREEN J. George                           wheelwright

HORNE Rebecca (Mrs)                             market gardener

KNOTT Wilfrid                                     carrier

LANGLEY George W.                                  shopkeeper, carrier

MABBUTT Charles                          foreman builder to Lady Wantage

MALLARD John                                     haulier

PENN David W.                                     shopkeeper

PERKINS William C.                                 `World’s End’

RICKETT Arthur                         farmer

ROBINSON Archibald                                   insurance agent, assistant overseer

                                                            and sec. Reading Room

ROBINSON William F.                                 farmer, The Lodge

SMITH William                                      head gardener to Mrs Sotheby