THE DENTON FAMILY BIBLE
by Bob Denton
©2016 – Issue 3, July 2020
These are highlights of this thirty-generation, 1000-year+ journey:
- Like all humans, our story started in Africa
- Dentons purloined stones from Hadrian’s Wall to build homes/castles
- some sources suggest our early ancestor Bueth-barn was Macbeth?
- Dentons earned their spurs rustling/fighting along the Scottish borders
- a Denton had a castle in Scotland burned down by Robert the Bruce
- one Denton knight may have started the Hundred Years’ War
- Denton tomb cryptic inscription suggests he was an early Freemason
- Dentons were engaged on both sides of the Wars of the Roses
- a great-uncle avenged his father’s murder, killed a priest, yet walked free
- for almost three centuries Dentons were prominent landowners and MPs
- one 16thcentury Denton wife became a Quaker
- Denton family in the Great Migration, formed a Long Island colony
- …then started a church there that is still extant today
- a descendant of this migrant prompted the naming of Denton, Texas
- one Denton was royal physician to Charles I and Charles II
- Denton married the niece of John Hampden, the leading Parliamentarian
- Oliver Cromwell personally sacked the Dentons’ Buckinghamshire seat
- a Denton patrician was sent by Cromwell to the Tower where he died
- while imprisoned his son died in a Royalist attempt to retake Abingdon
- we learn of the legal status in 1688 of wives who run off with a friend
- a mining disaster in 1888, memorialised across five Denton generations
- one Denton blacksmith ended up dying in Toxteth workhouse, Liverpool
- Dentons migrated from Lancashire to Durham to Bristol to Paris and Dubai
Left – Denton family’s original coat of arms, with ‘in chief’ three sable cinquefoils (black five-leaved flowers) with bars of argent (silver) and gule (red).
Middle – Sir John de Denton’s coat of arms as at 1375 CE.
Right – Denton family’s later full coat of arms, with three martlets and a lion crest, in some cases the crest is shown as a martlet or eagle (the latter following Roman usage).
To: John Denton (1562-1617)
of Cardew Hall, Dalston, Cumbria CA5 7JQ
I owe much of the early detail of this family history to John, one of England’s early historians. Albeit a remote relative as just a 9C13* (ninth cousin thirteen times removed), his account and family trees of my direct relatives proved invaluable. John prepared these for a significant 1603/4 manuscript he entitled Accompt of the most considerable Estates and Families in the county of Cumberland. It detailed both the topography and gentry of Cumberland from the Conquest until the reign of King James I. More on John later.
It made me ponder whether perhaps my recent confirmed interest in history and the Open University history degree courses was somewhere in the genes? More on genes below in ‘Where do I come from originally?’
John’s lasting legacy inspires me to be academically vigilant and rigorous in preparing, some four hundred years after his opus, my own Accompt of the Denton family.