The Phillips, Weber, Kirk, & Staggs families of the Pacific Northwest

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  • ID: I21376
  • Name: Ralph "The Black Knt." ASHTON , of Middleton, Sir 1 2
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: BEF 1421 in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England 3
  • Death: BET 1484 AND 1487 2
  • Death: BEF 1490 1
  • Note:
    Sir Ralph Assheton, called "The Black Knight of Ashton", Page of Honour to Henry VI 1428, Knight Marshal of England, Lt Tower of London, Sheriff of Yorks 1473-74, V-Constable of England 1483 and supported Richard III but pardoned by Henry VII 6 June 1486. [Burke's Peerage]



    The tenants adopted the local surname. The earliest on record is Roger de Middleton, son of Alexander, who about 1180 made a grant of Ashworth. In 1193, having shared in the rebellion of John, Count of Mortain, he made peace with the king by a fine of 5 marks. It was found in 1212 that he held the fee of one knight (in Middleton) 'of ancient tenure,' of Roger de Montbegon, and also held a plough-land in Cheetham of the king. He died before 1226, when Avice his widow was of the king's gift. His son Robert succeeded, but was dead in 1242, when his heir held the knight's fee in Middleton, part of the dower of the Countess of Lincoln.

    This heir was his son Roger, who in 1243 had a suit with Geoffrey de Middleton respecting the third part of four plough-lands in Middleton. It was perhaps a later Roger de Middleton who appears in various ways as lord of the manor in the last quarter of the century, and whose son Roger succeeded him.

    In 1313 Roger de Middleton and Agnes his wife made a settlement of the manor, the remainders after the death of Agnes being, in default of male issue, to their daughters in succession--Maud, Ellen, Alice, Margaret, Margery, and Joan. Four years later a similar arrangement was made with respect to the third part of the manor and the advowson of the church. Roger died in August 1322; his widow Agnes was living in 1353, but probably died shortly afterwards. The manor and advowson then went to the representative of the second daughter, Maud, who was first in the remainder. She married Thomas de Barton of Fryton in Rydale, by whom she had several sons; and secondly John de Amsworth, who continued after her death to hold the manor by the courtesy of England, but was outlawed. Maud's right passed to her son John de Barton, after whom Thomas de Barton, perhaps a strustee, was in possession, followed by William, the son of John. William de Barton occurs between 1363 and 1384. He married Isabel, daughter of William de Radcliffe, and had a son Ralph, who died in 1398 seised of the manor of Middleton with its hamlets of Ashworth, Birtle, Ainsworth, Meadowcroft, and Lynalx. The heir was his son Richard, born at Middleton in 1386. The wardship was granted to James de Radcliffe. Richard de Bartonhad sons John and Richard, and was living in 1457. The elder son died before his father, leaving a daughter and heir Margery, who was in 1439 contracted to marry Ralph Ashton, a younger son of Sir John Ashton of Ashton-under-Lyne.

    The descent of the manor is somewhat uncertain. By a number of agreements made in 1457 a great part of the estate was settled upon heirs of 'Richard Barton, of Middleton, the elder, esquire,' the grandfather of Margery. Richard's widow Alice had lands granted to her as dower early in 1466. By 1480 the greater part of the Middleton estate was held by Sir Ralph Ashton and Margery his wife; but Alice Barton widow of Richard, Margery Barton widow of John, and Richard and Ralph Barton, held various messuages and lands 'of the inheritance of Margery.' Three years later it was recorded that Sir Ralph Ashton held the manor of Middleton in right of his wife, by one knight's fee, rendering yearly13s. 4d. and for ward of Lancaster Castle 10s.

    Sir Ralph Ashton, brought up at court and madea knight before 1464 and a banneret by Richard Duke of Gloucester at Huttonfield in Scotland, 1482, held various public offices and was by Richard III appointed Vice Constable of England. In his native place he acquired an evil reputation, the custom of 'riding the Black Lad' at Ashton commemorating (according to the general opinion) the popular detestation of his conduct. Early in 1484 he madea lease to Richard his son for twenty years of the manor of Middleton, and probably died shortly afterwards. In 1487 Richard Ashton, his son and heir, obtained a general pardon from Henry VII. He was made a knight in 1497, and held the manor of Middleton by the service of a knight's fee, until his death, 28 April 1507; the clear value at that time was estimated at 109 6s. 8d.

    From: 'Townships: Middleton', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5 (1911), pp. 161-169. URL: middleton lancashire Date accessed: 26 June 2012.

    Father: John de ASHTON , KB, MP, Sir b: ABT 1365 in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England
    Mother: Margaret BYRON b: ABT 1405 in Clayton, South Manchester, Lancashire, England

    Marriage 1 Margery (Margaret) dau. of John BARTON b: ABT 1421 in Middleton, Oldham, Lancashire, England
    • Married: 1439 in Contract Date 2
    1. Has Children Richard ASHTON , of Ashton under Lyne, Sir b: ABT 1444 in Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire, England

    1. Title: Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 106th Edition, Charles Mosley Editor-in-Chief, 1999
      Page: 605
    2. Title: VCH of Lancaster, 1918, editted by William Farrer & J Brownbill,
      Media: Book
      Page: 161-9
    3. Title: Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 106th Edition, Charles Mosley Editor-in-Chief, 1999
      Page: 605
      Text: Assuming he was at least 6 when Page of Honour for Henry VI in 1428 (Henry VI was also b. in 1421).
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