Bretons of Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire is an inland county in the eastern midlands bordered on the north by Leicestershire, Rutland, and Lincoln; on the east by Cambridge, Huntingdon, and Bedford; on the south by Buckingham and Oxford; and on the west by Warwickshire. A Belgic tribe--the Catuvellauni-- held it in the first century AD. After the Romans left, it became part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, but was invaded by Danes in 889 and by Vikings from York under the leadership of Olaf in 940. Northampton was one of four fortified burhs in the southern portion of Danish Mercia, the other three were Bedford, Huntingdon, and Cambridge. All were fortified by large armies and were part of the larger administrative and military network of the five boroughs of the Danelaw. Scandinavian influence may still be seen in a “handful of Scandinavian place names” ending in "by", and "thorpe". (Katherine Holman, The Northern Conquest: Vikings in Britain and Ireland, “, p. 63)
Visitations were carried out by the College of Arms to establish that those exhibitating arms were entitled to use them, two Visitation pedigrees were recorded for Breton families in Northampton, but the genealogical and heraldic evidence indicates that these families do not share a common male ancestor.
Breton of Teeton
A Breton family is said to have been seated at Teeton, in Ravensthorpe Parish, Northamptonshire since the late 12th century. (Whellan Francis, History Gazeteer, and Directory of Northamptonshire…, p. 328). So far little is known about the early generations of this line, but a Visitation pedigree for one branch of the family begins with John Breton of late 15th century date. Although this branch was extinguished in the direct male line with the death of Robert Breton, Esq. in 1714 (Francis, History Gazeteer, p. 328), other branches endured.
Arms: Argent, a fess dancettee gules, in chief three boars' heads couped sable
John Breton of Teken [Parish of Ravensthorpe] Gent. m Elizabeth d/o Seint Germayne of London, Gent
1. Christopher eldest son and heir
2. Henry 2dn son, priest
3. Anne m John Hill of East Haddon, Northants.
Christopher Breton Gent married 1st Christain d/o Thomas Saunders of Sibberton, Northants.
Issue by 1st wife:
1. Robert eldest son & heir b 1536 d 24 March 1596/7
2. Richard 2nd son
3. Elizabeth m Lawrence Gregg of Creaton, Northants.
4. Dorothy m Edward Holmes Sen of London
5. Frances m 1st Hymphrey Dextrer of Cranley, Northants 2nd John Wynberd of Cottesbrooke, Northants, merchant 3rd John Evans of Lodington, Northants.
6. Margaret m Wm Turner de Suton, Coldfield in Warwick [Camden, Visitation of Leicestershire 1619, p. 95)
Christopher married 2nd Ann d/o Robert Bayham, merchant-- 20 Jan 1545 (bur. 5 March 1558/9--Gen. Memoirs of the Extinct Family of Chester of Chicheley, v. 1, p. 76, by Robert Edmond Chester Waters)
Issue by 2nd wife: [Dates from Memoirs of Chester Family]
1. Alexander b 1546
2. Joseph b 4 Aug 1547
3. William b 1549
4. Mary ch 15 Nov 1553
5. Martha 21 Feb 1551
Christopher Breton was buried 18 Sept 1556 (Memoirs of Chester Family) or 5 March 1558/8 (Visitation pedigree)
Robert Breton, eldest son and heir of Christopher Breton, born 1536, died 24 March 1596/7 married Ursula Foxley 11 June 1561, daughter of Thomas Foxley, Esq. & Margaret, daughter of Thomas Lovett of Astwell, Northants. (Visitation of Northamptonshire, p. 22)
1. Bridget ch 16 June 1563
2. John ch 3 Oct 1567 d 27 April 1619
3. Mary ch 6 July 1577
Francis, History Gazeteer, p. 328: 39 Elizabeth
1597: Robert Breton died seized of the manor of Teeton with 9 virgates of land & the rectory and all tithes
John Breton ch 3 Oct 1567 d 27 April 1619 m Jane Bosvile
John Breton of Teeton, Esq. living in 1618 m Jane d/o Raphe Bosvile of Bradbone, Kent
1. Robert ch 9 April 1592, oldest son & heir married Elizabeth d/o of Francis Hervey of Cotton End iuxta Norwich, S'geant at law--his eldest daughter Mary married Wm Chester (Waters, Genealogical Memoirs of the Extinct Family of Chester of Chicheley, v. pp. 56,69,126)
2. Benedict ch 13 Juky 1595 d 1 June 1613
3. John ch 14 March 1601 * --no issue
4. Thomas ch 24 July 1603
5. Anthony ch 21 July 1607
7. Ursula ch 19 August 1593
8. Prudence ch 12 Sept 1596
* The IGI lists a John Breton ch 8 March 1600, son of John Breton--either the same as # 3 above or an older son born the year before who died in infancy.
Sources: Wm, Hervey, Metcalf, etc. Visitation of Northamptonshire Made in 1564, & 1618-19, pp. 4, 22, 99, amplified by :Whellan Francis, History Gazeteer, pp. 328; Robert Edmond Chester Waters, Genealogical Memoirs of the Extinct Family of Chester of Chicheley, v. pp. 56,69,126; records submitted to the IGI)
This family tree was last updated on 2 January 2019.