Excerpts from "A Garton Estate History, 1537-1800" by Clive K Towse 1980
Kindly sent by Clive from Cardiff.
"...The Towse family which settled at Garton-on-the-Wolds in the East Riding in the 1530s were of Somerset origin. The family had first risen to local prominence in Taunton as cloth dyers and wool merchants in the late fifteenth century and it is significant that the surname, which during this period is occasionally spelt Toose, means a carder of wool...
"...The wills of Thomas Towse (d1565) and his brother John (d 1572) make it clear that three or four brothers had made up this first generation of the family to settle in Garton. Throughout the remainder of the sixteenth century the family continued as lessees of the former monastic lands [Ellerton Priory] as well as becoming owners of lands in Garton and neighboring owners of lands in Garton and neighbouring villages. Bryan Towse (d 1615) the younger of the sons of the first Thomas and Bryan's son William (d 1663) may be credited with creating the estate which in one form or another the family were to retain until the close of the eighteenth century...
"...The Butler's Hall estate purchased by Richard Towse in the seventeenth century passed to his eldest son Jeremiah who sold it to Francis Leppington in 1709. This estate with additions descended to Edward Leppington in 1764...
"...Although no Towse occurs in the directory of Garton, several members of collateral branches of the family are, however, listed amongst the small tradesmen, rural craftsmen and farmers in neighbouring villages and market towns. The demise of the class of yeoman and 'resident squires' even in this pre-Reform Bill society is all but become established fact."
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