Who were the Ancient Eacotts?
Small bits of information exist to tell us who the ancient Eacotts were. From 1200 to 1600 they were small estate holders at Woodmancote, Bagendon, Rendcomb, North Cerney and adjacent parishes. During the 13 and 14 hundreds they must have suffered from the ravages of the plague, likely only one or two families survived this period. They were people of some social standing and influence. They interacted and married into families of some station in life.

Our earliest Eycott to date is Simon. Master of a hospital far removed from Woodmancote. Likely an educated person and a cleric. In his time to be educate was unusual and indicates his family had means or connections to arrange this.

In earlier times they took part in protests against the power of the local church and attended the Kings court to voice this concern. Only a person of the rank of small gentry or better could indulge in this. He appeared to be a person with business in Cirencester in the wool trade as well as being a farmer. At the time, men still had to serve legal duties to their lord as shown by the guard duty at Bagendon bridge. (Perrott's Brook). In essence he spent the night as a watchman guarding against thieves who might be about.

In the 1400s one was assistant curate at North Cerney and had the money to install a stained glass window. Only a family of some means could have done this.

During the wars of the Roses the Eycotts were likely influenced on the side of the Yorkists since their rose badge appears in the North Cerney church. Although no records are know of the Eycotts having lordship of any land, always being tenents or renters it is clear from early records they were not serfs but yeomen. At least some of them were significant from the 1200's to the 1600's.
Two local families of note, the Rich and the Vyner families were neighbours of the Eacotts. A Rich was Henry VIII's minister of finance, and a Vyner whose mother was an Eacott was connected to at least one Lord Mayor of London during Cromwell's time in 1600's. The small landowners along the Churn specialized in Cotswold sheep. The wool from these sheep was prized in Europe and the local farmers became quite well off from the sale of wool. The wills of Thomas and Richard in late 1500's were the wills of persons who were quite well off. The giving of brass pots and pewter indicated wealth. Pewter was owned only by those with money. Lesser folk used wood and only the very rich had silver
The Vyner family became wealthy as goldsmiths, and some of the Eycotts were known to be goldsmiths in Cirencester in the 1600s. There had to be wealth to even consider being a goldsmith. The craftsmen who belonged to this guild were very solid middle class artisans.
In the early 1600's Elizabeth I paid a visit to the Berkeleys who owned Rendcomb as well as Berkeley castle. Lady Berkeley used it as one of their summer homes. Such a visit would have been the opportunity for a state occasion and significant local people would have attended. Very likely the Eacotts would have been there in some capacity. Some time later, Berkeley Eycott was a well known local person living at Cirencester and Bagendon. He was a warden of Bagendon Church while operting a goldsmith's business in Cirencester. The full extent of the relation to the Eycott and the Berkeleys is not known.

At this same time in history, 1608, Smith undertook to record all men fit for military service. The absence of Eacotts is puzzling. Were they left off because of poor records, special permission, suspect loyalty or !!?

We also know that an Eycott in the 1600s was a rough mason, who presumable built walls and foundations, and perhaps buildings.

During this time the family may have had sympathy with the Roundheads and Cromwell during the civil war. Local first names were popular puritan names and the relationship to the
Vyner family may have had some impact since the Vyner who was Lord Mayor of London was a contemporary of Cromwell.

By 1700 the Eycott line at Woodmancote were owners of a fine manor house, a huge Lebanon Cedar, one of the first planted in England is located near the house. This line were held in question as to their loyalty to the crown since they were registered as papists or papist sympathizers at the time of the Jacobite uprisings. Yet at the same time an Eycott was also appointed constable of Bagendon, a position of loyalty to the crown.

During the 1700s the movement of Eacotts away from the Churn valley seems to be related to taking up farming. The line which moved to South Cerney and thence to Purton may have been farmers. South Cerney was a quarry and weaving town and some may have been masons and weavers. The only known Eacott weaver was a William who worked for J&G Clarke in
Trowbridge. Yet there were Eycotts who owned mills at Stonehouse near Stroud. There were stone masons and builders living near Stroud hired to repair gates after a riot. At least two of the Wiltshire Eacotts were plumbers and glaziers.
There appears to be some sort of relationship with Longleat and the Marquis of Bath. The Woodmancote manor passed under the feudal protection of the Marquis of Bath in later times. The woods at the manor were the last feudal rights given up by the Marquis, whose family name was Thynne. The Woodmancote manor was remodeled by the same architect who worked on Longleat. In the 1700s Eacotts began living at Warminster which was adjacent to Longleat. It is not known how or why they came to be there.
At Cromhall and Alveston the Eacotts seem to have been predominantly farmers. In this area lands have become known with Eacott names. Eacott's Moor is located near Alveston.
At Stonehouse during the period from about 1770 to 1840 the father, and perhaps grandfather, Henry Eycott and son, Frederick Eycott were active clothiers owning and operating mills. The Manor of Frocester in 1803 was put on sale by George, Earl of Warwick. Leonard Parkinson bought the manor and much of the land. Henry Eycott of Stonehouse purchased another part but sold it to Parkinson in 1806. The Stonehouse Upper Mill was owned by Messers Eycott by 1776 who worked the mill which has 3 stocks and a corn mill. During this time woolen broadcloth was being produced throughout this area and a special skill in coloring the cloth was employed. Mills were generally quite profitable. Bond's Mill the lowest in the parish was built in 1714 and in 1784 the Eycott's had 4 pairs of fulling stock at the mill.. Henry leased the mill to William Wood in 1832. His son Frederick leased it to William Wise in 1840 after a power loom had been built in 1837. Another estate at Nostend was owned by Henry from 1813 to 1830. Nostend was mostly Clutterbuck land. Frederick had 139 acres at Nostend in 1839. Is this the same Henry who led the Gloucester Militia in the early 1800's? Clearly they were a prosperous and influential family at that time. . (History of Gloucester vol 10)
In Berkshire the line from Chaddleworth has provided a line of Eacotts who were often inclined to become active ministers and missionaries. This group has members whose work spanned the globe in the days of empire.
The London and Surrey groups have some records of having been shopkeepers and publicans.

In more recent times in the 1800s the Eacotts included farmers, preachers, a farrier in Somerset, horse trainers, dentist , chemist , police officer, builders, printers.

The work of the Eacotts who live or have lived in this century include preachers, shopkeepers, an actor, builders, office workers, teachers, doctors, administrators and farm related jobs.

If any traits are handed down it would seem there is high level of social skill and an ability to build things among the Eacotts.
If one looks at the arithmetic, any living Eacott (exact surname) would have in the year 1700 ( about 8 generations back) 256 grandparents. Going back to 1500, or 15 generations there would be 32,800 grandparents, and in 1375, 20 generations back there would have been 1 million grandparents. So, in theory every person in England in those days would now be an ancestor of an Eacott.
Prior to 1900 there had lived, from the earliest records to 1900 about 700 Eacotts, mostly in Gloucester and Wiltshire. Today there are about four family groups in Canada, four in USA, Some in Australia, 1 in New Zealand and a couple of dozen in Britain. All told there are probably 300 Eacotts alive in the world today. About 50 in Australia, 40 in Canada, 24 in USA, 150 in Britain.
Census of England 1891
The following Eacott derivation names were found in a study of the 1891 Census for England

Eacott 258
Eckett 171
Ecott 56
Eccott 50
Eycott 39
Eacot 10

Total 584

No persons in England were known to have these spellings :
Eacutt, Eccot, Eycot, Ekutt, Ekott, Eacoot, Ekett, Eakett, Eakott, Ecot, Ecket
Index of Places associated with Eacotts  (1997)
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This is a list of places with the dates the names were known, the variants of the names and the number of persons recorded there.  
This is a map of South West England which covers most of the places in the index above. It should be viewed magnified 300 to 400%. This is an adobe PDF file.
Collection of Wills  of Eacott Eycott
This is a collection of  wills and their locations, some with content information. In Adobe PDF format version 5 or higher. When open scroll down.
Click on image!
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