William Carling

Thomas Carling, the founder of the Carling Brewing Empire, was born in Etton in 1797. Thomas's father was a local farmer who brewed his own beer. In 1818, Thomas, the youngest of five children, left to seek his fortune in Canada, where he made the Yorkshire inspired beer for a large garrison of British Troops, who were entitled to six pints a day. They persuaded him to start brewing commercially in 1840.  Under the stewardship of Thomas Carling’s sons the business continued to prosper and, in 1878, they moved to a new, purpose-built brewery costing a quarter-of-a-million dollars.  Later on new products were developed (for example, Carling Black Label was first brewed in Canada in 1926) and the Carling brand went on to become famous throughout the world.

Knights Templar

Yorkshire was the stronghold of the Knights Templar, outside of London, and they once owned a manor in Etton.  The site, which they owned until until 1308, was the only religious house of the Templar in the East Riding.  It is no longer visible, but excavations in the 1960’s suggest a large complex with granaries, a hall and a brewery.  This important archaeological site is located to the north of Bank House at the western end of the village.

Imperial Gazeteer

In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Etton like this:

ETTON, a parish in Beverley district, E. R. Yorkshire; on the Wolds, 3¾ miles W of Arran r. station, and 4¼ NW of Beverley. It has a post office under Beverley. Acres, 3, 960. Real property, £4, 660. Pop., 502. Houses, 85. The property is divided among a few. The living is a rectory in the diocese of York. Value, £700.* Patron, the Archbishop of York. The church is ancient, has a low tower, and was restored in 1868. There are a P. Methodist chapel, and charities £21.

The name Etton means the farming settlement of a man called Eata. The –ton suffix indicates that it was of Anglian origin and the settlement existed at the time of the Doomsday Survey, when it was referred to as Ettone.  Its origins, therefore, would appear to be due to a North German family settling and farming here, during or after the end of the Roman occupation of Britain.

One of the earlier records dates from 1170 and is a charter granting the supply of spring water to a mill pond belonging to Thomas de Etton, which is the first record of the Etton family. The Village pond is of ancient origin too, with the earliest reference being in the Charter of 1140.  The medieval village was in fact larger than the current one. Earthworks to the North of Church Farm and in the former parkland of Low Hall suggest the existence of former, probably medieval, buildings.

In the late 18th century the Enclosure Awards show subdivisions of plots to the east of the rectory on the north side of Main Street in traditional medieval strip plots. During the end of the medieval period, Etton suffered from a decline and by the 17th century the open fields of the village were closed.  The maps of the village dating before Enclosure (1771) show a village whose present shape is readily identifiable, though New Street is as it name indicates, is not yet shown. The 19th century perhaps best demonstrates the village’s self-sufficiency.

Etton Mill, first recorded in 1807 worked until 1890, Bulmer’s Directory of 1892 records the following occupations: huntsman, corn miller, carrier, blacksmith, saddler, cobbler, butcher, grocer, wheelwright and joiner, station-master, market gardener, parish clerk/registrar, tailor and draper, publican, postmaster, schoolmaster and rector.

The population has followed the typical pattern of slow growth of all the villages in the area which have not been subject of suburban housing expansion. Indeed it has

fluctuated and is now at its lowest level in approximately 200 years.:

1377 - 174 poll tax payers

1672 -68 households paying hearth tax

1743 -55 families

1764 - 41 families

1801 - 321 (pop)

1891 - 398 (pop)

1901 - 422 (pop)

1931 - 374 (pop)

1951 - 556 (pop)

1971 - 301 (pop)

1981 - 280 (pop)

2001 - 285 (pop)

The east end of the village appears to have been where a major manorial site was based.  Visible today are several earthworks, a mound and Low Hall, which incorporates stretches of 17th century brickwork.  Parts of Etton became parkland relatively early, especially the eastern half, which is still dominated by the remains of it. There is distinctive difference between the western end with its long and narrow plots and densely built up streetscene and the eastern part with the large houses which are set in a park-like landscape.

Rev John Lothropp

Rev John Lothropp was born in Etton in 1584.  He was an English Anglican clergyman, who became a Congregationalist minister and emigrant to New England. He was among the first settlers of Barnstable, Massachusetts. Perhaps Lothropp's principal claim to fame is that he was a strong proponent of the idea of the Separation of Church and State (also called 'Freedom of Religion'), keeping the government out of religion and religion out of the government. This idea was considered heretical in England during his time, but eventually became the mainstream view of people in the United States of America, because of the efforts of John Lothropp and others. Lothropp left an indelible mark on the culture of New England, and through that, upon the rest of the country. He has had many notable descendents, including at least 6 US presidents, as well as many other prominent Governors, and government and business people.


Farming has always been an important part of Village life in Etton.  Here is an extract from Etton's school log from 1 July, 1863, when there were 69 pupils on the school list:

“Thirty-three children present. Seven children are away pulling ketlocks from wheat, while two are singling turnips. Several are going about the lanes with babies while their mothers are hoeing turnips.”