Tooke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Tooke came to England with the ancestors of the Tooke family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Tooke family lived in Touques in the arrondissement of Pont L'Evesque, at the mouth of the river so called in Normandy. "Le Seigneur de Touque appears on the list of those who fought under William the Conqueror both in the Norman Chronicle and in the Romati de Rou." [1]

Early Origins of the Tooke family

The surname Tooke was first found in Yorkshire where Toc or Toka (no forename) was listed in the Domesday Survey of 1086. [2] Wace, the historian, mentions the Baron Touque as amongst the Companions of Duke William, at Hastings in 1066.

Other early entries for the family include: Rogerus filius Toke, who was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls for Northumberland in 1214; Wrange Tocha in the Pipe Rolls for Norfolk in 1166; Henry Thoche in Lincolnshire in the 12th century; Robert Toke in the Pipe Rolls for Suffolk in 1200; William Toke in the Curia Regis Rolls for Northumberland in 1211; and Robert Touk, who was found in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1325. [3]

"The surname is found spelled in 17 different ways. One of the most ancient is Toke, as preserved in the Godington family for many centuries. The Tookes of Hurston Clays, co. Sussex, of London, Herts, Dorset, &c., proven descendants of that house, have employed this orthography from the XVI. century." [4]

"In Nottinghamshire the Toukes were to be found for about three hundred years. William de Tulc, or Tuke, during the reign of Stephen, held of Ralph Silvain in Kelham, part of the great Richmond Fee, and was a benefactor of Rufford Abbey. His son William confirmed and added to his gifts, and he gave account of two marks, for having his land again, whereof he was disseized for being in Nottingham Castle, as most of our Nottinghamshire gentry were at that time, with Earl John." [1]

Henry, his heir, was living in 1218, and was followed by two Sir Walters, father and son, then by another Henry, and a Simon, mentioned in 1337.

There is a Kentish family of this name, derived from Robert de Toke, who was present with Henry III. at the battle of Northampton in 1264. His greatgrandson was seated at Westcliffe in Kent; and from him, in the fifth generation, descended John Toke of Bere, living in the reigns of Henry V. and Henry VI.

We would be remiss if we did not address the legendary Friar Tuck. Two royal writs in 1417 refer to Robert Stafford, a Sussex chaplain who had assumed the alias of Frere Tuk. Little more is known about him other than this "Friar Tuck" was still at large in 1429.

Early History of the Tooke family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tooke research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1130, 1175, 1545, 1498, 1580, 1657, 1615, 1674, 1663, 1595, 1675, 1598, 1673, 1732 and 1698 are included under the topic Early Tooke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tooke Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Tooke are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Tooke include Tooke, Tocque, Took, Touque, Tuck and others.

Early Notables of the Tooke family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Brian Tuke (d. 1545), secretary to Henry VIII, he was apparently son of Richard Tuke (d. 1498?); Thomas Tuke (c.1580-1657), an English clergyman and controversial writer, of Royalist views in later life; Sir Samuel Tuke (c.1615-1674), 1st Baronet, English officer in the Royalist army during the English Civil War and a notable playwright, best known for his 1663 play "The Adventure of...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tooke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Tooke migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Tooke, or a variant listed above:

Tooke Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Tooke, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • James Tooke, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1624 [5]
  • James Tooke, who settled in Virginia in 1637
  • John Tooke, who landed in Virginia in 1662 [5]
  • Tho Tooke, who landed in Virginia in 1662 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Tooke migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Tooke Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Tooke, aged 29, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Caucasian" [6]

New Zealand Tooke migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Tooke Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Benjamin Tooke, (b. 1853), aged 21, English settler from Suffolk travelling from London aboard the ship "Sussex" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 17th July 1874 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tooke (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Tooke (1774-1858), English economist, eponym of the Tooke Prize, born at Cronstadt on 29 Feb. 1774, the eldest son of William Tooke (1744–1820)
  • John Horne Tooke (1736-1812), English politician and philologist, born in Newport Street, Westminster, on 25 June 1736, the third of the seven children of John Horne, poulterer
  • William Tooke (1777-1863), English lawyer, politician, and President of the Society of Arts
  • Sir John Edward Tooke FRCP, PMedSci, English Inaugural Dean of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
  • William Tooke (1744-1820), British clergyman and historian of Russia


The Tooke 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: Militia mea multiplex
Motto Translation: My warfare is manifold.


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BARQUE CAUCASIAN 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/caucasian1852.shtml
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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