Touke

From Touques, arrondissement of Pont L'Evesque, at the mouth of the river so called. "Le Seigneur de Touque" appears on the list of those who fought under William the Conqueror both in the Norman Chronicle and in the Roman de Rou. "Roger de Touques occurs in Hants 1130 (Rot. Pip.); Humphrey in Derby, William also in Derby, and Roger in Dorset in 1165 (Liber Niger). Sir Walter Touk was of Notts and Derby about 1300, and bore Sable billetee Or, a quarter Ermine. Sir Robert Touk at the same time was of Cambridge, and bore Barry of six. Reginald Thukes, in the time of Stephen, gave Hanworth to Gloucester Abbey."—The Norman People. Henry Touke served Edward I. in his Scottish wars, and obtained from him a grant of the lands of Maud de Carrick and Isabel, the mother of Eustace of Bothwell (Sir Francis Palgrave, History and Affairs of Scotland). Thomas Tuke was of Lincoln at the same date (Rotul. Hundred), and Ralph Toke of Hampshire, John and Thomas Toke of Oxfordshire, and Richard Toke of Wiltshire.

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 "7 Ric. I. 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."—Thoroton's Notts. 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. Here the pedigree breaks off: but in 1440 we find Thomas Touc, holding lands in North and South Clifton, Northwell-Woodhouse, Ossington, Holme, North Muskham, Sutton and Kelham, and Robert Touc occurs four years afterwards. Then "the principal manor that was Tuke's, from that family came to Foljambe," most likely through an heiress.

A branch was seated at Leke, in the same county, where Humphrey de Touke held of Robert de Ferrers, t. Henry II.; John, son of Sir William, and grandson of Sir Philip de Touc of Leke, was living 9 Ed. I.

Morant, in his History of Essex, tells us that "Sir Brian Tuke, Treasurer of the Chamber to Henry VIII., received from him the manor of South Weald. He was Sheriff of the county in 1553, and a man of learning. Leland highly commends him for his wonderful eloquence in the English language. He had been constituted in 1522 Secretary to the King for the French tongue; was Clerk of the Parliament, and in 1528, being one of the King's Secretaries, was sent Ambassador to France with Bishop Tunstall." He died 1545, leaving two sons: 1, Charles, s. p.; 2, George.

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 great-grandson 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. He had three sons: 1, Thomas, of Bere: 2, Ralph, ancestor of the Tokes of Cambridgeshire, Dorsetshire, and Hertfordshire; and 3, John, s. p. Thomas married the heiress of Godinton, thenceforward the residence of the family, and was the father of John Toke, who received from Henry VII, as his reward for his expedition in a message on which he was employed to the French King, an augmentation of honour to his arms; viz. Argent, on a chevron between three greyhounds' heads erased Sable, collared Or, three plates. "Which coat," says Hasted, "the Tokes of Godinton have ever since borne, in the first quarter of their arms; placing the original arms of Toke, Parted per chevron, Sable and Argent, three griffins' heads erased and counterchanged, in the second place." Many of his descendants are buried in Great Chart Church; among them lies "Nicholas Toke of Godinton, usually called Captain Toke, sheriff in 1663, who, dying in 1680, was buried in the chancel, with his five wives. His portrait at full length is in the hall here, and that of Diana his fifth wife, daughter of the Earl of Winchilsea. There is an anecdote of him in the family, that at the age of ninety-three, being left a widower, he walked from hence to London, to pay his addresses to a sixth wife; but being taken ill, he presently died. His portrait well expresses the strength of his frame and constitution. Leaving no male issue by any of his wives, he devised this seat of Godinton, with the rest of his estate, to his nephew and heir-at-law, Nicholas Toke of Wye."—Ibid. Godinton Hall, still held by his representative, is a fine old Tudor house, containing some stained glass, good oak carving, and ancient andirons. "In the windows of the staircase are collected all the arms, quarterings, and matches of the family, in painted glass; they are numerous, very perfect, and well preserved. The drawing-room upstairs is curiously wainscoted with oak, and carved, particularly along the upper part of it; all round the room is a representation of the exercise and manoeuvres of the antient militia, with the men habited and accoutred with their arms, in every attitude of marching, exercise, &c, which makes a very droll exhibition of them. * * * * There was a vineyard at Godinton in Captain Nicholas Toke's time, from which was made wine of an extraordinary fine sort and flavour."—Ibid.

-- Cleveland

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