Esden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Esden is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in the village of Ashton, Lancashire. The first part of the name, Ash, was originally given to a person who resided in an area where ash trees prospered. There are eighteen parishes and townships called Ashton in numerous counties and there are also various minor localities of this same name.
Early Origins of the Esden family
The surname Esden was first found in Lancashire, where they held a family seat originally at Assheton, originally known as Assheton-under-Lyne. 
The manor of Middleton has an extensive history dating back to the de Lacy family. It passed through Thomas Plantagenet and then "it would appear that the manor subsequently passed to the Kydales and the Bartons; and by the marriage of Sir Ralph Assheton, commonly called the " Black Knight of Ashton," with the last heiress of the Bartons, it was conveyed to the Assheton family.
Sir Ralph was successively knight-marshal, and vice-constable of England, the latter office having been conferred upon him for his gallant services under Richard, Duke of Gloucester, afterwards Richard III.; and his devoted attachment to the house of York was rewarded by that sovereign with the grant of divers manors confiscated from the adherents of the house of Lancaster. His grandson, Sir Richard Assheton, was one of the heroes of Flodden-Field, and led to the attack in that memorable battle a body of Middleton bowmen, which formed part of the left wing under the command of Sir Edward Stanley; for his valour on the occasion, he received the honour of knighthood from Henry VIII., and various important privileges were conferred upon his manor of Middleton." 
"The manor [of Downham, Lancashire] is carried up to a period before the Conquest, when it was possessed by Aufray, or Alfred, a Saxon. It was granted by the Lacys to Ralph de Rous, and afterwards to Peter de Cestria; and by Henry, Duke of Lancaster, to John de Dyneley, a member of the Cliviger family. After the dissolution of Whalley Abbey, in which the fee vested, it was sold to Richard Assheton; and Downham Hall, existing in 1308, but rebuilt in 1775, became the seat of the Asshetons." 
Sir John de Ashton ( fl. 1370), was a military commander, the son of Thomas de Ashton, who had distinguished himself at the battle of Nevill's Cross. His son, Sir John de Ashton (d. 1428), was Seneschal of Bayeux. "He was one of forty-six esquires who were summoned to attend the grand coronation of Henry IV, in honour of which event they were solemnly admitted to the order of the Bath. He served in the parliament of 1413 as knight of the shire for Lancashire. " 
Sir Robert de Ashton (d. 1385), was a "civil, military, and naval officer under Edward III, was of the great northern family of Ashton or Assheton, of Ashton-under-Lyne, in the county of Lancaster." 
His son, Thomas de Ashton (fl. 1346), was a "warrior, the son and heir of Sir Robert de Ashton, and it is remarkable that, although the chief recorded event of his life shows him to have been a man of conspicuous military courage, he does not appear to have received the honour of knighthood." 
Early History of the Esden family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Esden research. Another 259 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1273, 1323, 1400, 1431, 1585, 1646, 1700, 1818, 1581, 1644, 1605, 1680, 1620, 1695, 1624, 1696, 1626, 1665, 1652, 1716, 1590, 1625, 1691, 1658, 1658, 1641, 1711, 1651, 1716, 1677, 1679, 1694 and 1698 are included under the topic Early Esden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Esden Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Esden family name include Ashton, Asshton, Asheton, Ashtown, Assheton, Ascheton and many more.
Early Notables of the Esden family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Sir Ralph Assheton, 1st Baronet of Lever (c. 1581-1644); Sir Ralph Assheton, 2nd Baronet of Lever (c. 1605-1680); Sir Edmund Assheton, 3rd Baronet of Lever (1620-1695); Sir John Assheton, 4th Baronet of Lever (1624-1696); Sir Ralph Assheton, 1st Baronet of Middleton (1626-1665), Sir Ralph Assheton, 2nd Baronet of Middleton (1652-1716.)
Nicholas Assheton (1590-1625), was a country squire who lived at Downham, near Clitheroe, Lancashire. "He is noteworthy on account of a brief diary which he left illustrating the character of the country life of that part of West Lancashire which is associated with the poet Spenser...
Another 172 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Esden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Esden family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Esden surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Alice Ashton, who sailed to Virginia in 1635. John Ashton arrived in Virginia in 1720; James Ashton sailed to Philadelphia in 1816; and Evan Ashton journeyed to San Francisco in 1852..
Related Stories +
The Esden Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Quid non resolutio
Motto Translation: Someone not weakening.
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print