This is intended as much as a hit list for future genealogy as anything else. These Dentons were discovered but did not readily present themselves as direct descendants. The task is to see if and how they might connect to the two main streams we have dealt with in this research. Go on – feel free to get these bolted on!
Many Dentons were uncovered as hailing from Halifax and they do feature in my tree as cousins. I feel they may be able to be tied in more closely with additional effort:
- Richard Denton my 1C13 was born in Halifax, Yorkshire in 1517 (died 10 August 1561). He was a lawyer to Henry VI and Mary Tudor. He married Gennett Banyster or Banastre (1527-1561) and they had three sons, John, Richard and Samuelis, and two daughters, Margaret and Janet. I am moved to mention him as much because I found a portrait of Gennett:
- In the reign of Charles I a Mrs Isabel Denton of Beeston near Leeds invented straw hats and bonnets, necessary in her case in view of her prodigal husband and a large family to support on her own. Her hats and bonnets soon provided good sales income and she was able to maintain her family in comfort and respectability until her death. One firm in Leeds sold £7,000 worth of bonnets in a year. She has to be related but I cannot seem to fit her into the tree
- I have used material below about another Richard, the Rev Richard Denton (1603-1633) of Halifax. Although he was merely a 3C11 he is included as he became a significant American colonist, establishing his own church on Long Island, later part of New York – See American Dentons below.
These Dentons are even more compelling (not to be confused with the GGF2 Peter and GGF1 Joseph). Way back in the 13th and 14thcenturies they are very likely relatives who settled around Newcastle where they served English interests on the eastern border against Scottish incursions. There was a mayor named Denton elected at Newcastle in 1216. John de Denton was appointed as a bailiff to the town in 1330, and later elected Mayor of Newcastle for 1333/4, 1336/8 and again in 1340/1. He was a wool exporter and war-contractor who was later accused of profiteering and corruption. For example in 1337 all those appointed to an enquiry into the value of land were John’s relatives, and they concluded plots of land belonging to the Corporation of Newcastle were owned by the king; the king then rented them to Denton.
The battle of Halidon Hill in 1333 saw the Scots choose to engage on very disadvantageous terms. In a move that would be used at Crecy a dozen years later the effective longbowmen of England secured the Scots defeat. At Bamburgh in 1335 a Denton family member arrested the Earl of Moray who had withdrawn from the battle and delivered him to the sheriff at York.
But evidently receiving payment was tough back then. The National Archives (TNA) has a petition raised by John de Denton in 1334 requiring payment of his outstanding account for the provision of a ship-of-war and eighty-two men-at-arms for the king’s service against Scotland (TNA ref: SC 8/105/5227). The background was that Edward III had planned to invade Scotland by land and sea and these forces were to assemble at Newcastle. However, a violent storm hit for several days and not only deprived him of necessary supplies but also damaged the fleet such that it was unable to proceed that year. (See also Sir Richard de Denton’s involvement in this event from Cumberland, further suggesting a family connection.)
On the 10 April 1341 John de Denton provided a receipt noting that the prior of the convent of Durham had paid up four years of rental arrears for its farm in Newcastle for 55 marks.
John’s third appointment as mayor was managed (rigged?) by an oligarchy of twelve burgesses and this led to other guilds rebelling, rioting and seizing the town’s gates. They elected their own candidate, Robert de Acton. King Edward III imposed a fine on the town for the unrest and prompted a new election procedure. Having lost, Denton was then impugned and accused of aiding the Scottish army. Knowing the jury was rigged he refused to plead so was imprisoned and died from starvation in 1344. Edward III reacted by taking over the town and seeking out John’s ‘killers’, many of whom were of the lesser burgesses and were killed in retribution.
Now back to my more direct lineage…