Location: Norwich, Thompson, Purely & Serjeant's Inn
William Tooke, esq. originally from Norwich who purchases the property from John Morphew, gentleman, the son-in-law of the widow Mary Bond, who had inherited the properties from her brother the Reverend John Cater. William Tooke, esquire interestingly bears the same ancient arms of Tooke as those of Bere Court and Godinton Park who are recorded as being descended of the ancient Norman house of de Touk. This William Tooke, esq. had significant impact on the Parish of Thompson because upon his arrival here he started purchasing more lands around the area and in a way putting the old manor of Thompson back together. It had been fragmented over the years by inheritance and sale, a story I won’t go into here. There was another family of importance holding lands here in the day, the de Grey’s. William and the de Grey’s despised one another, possibly this feud between the Tooke’s and de Grey’s is what prompted William to end up in Thompson and buy up all the land. At one point they challenge one another to a good old fashioned duel, a story I do not yet have all the details on. Another interesting story regarding this William is his association with a person known to history a John Horne Tooke. John Horne Tooke was born John Horne, son of a poulterer of London. He was a great friend of William Tooke, esq. and helped him in a legal/political battle with the de Greys. Horne changed his name to Tooke on the promise of inheriting William Tooke’s estates. In the end, however, William Tooke’s nephew, William Tooke-Harwood, became heir. William Tooke-Harwood was the son of William’s sister Elizabeth who married Thomas Harwood of Bracondale on January 16, 1745. There is a memorial plaque embedded in the wall of the church of St. Martin’s dedicated by William’s grand nephew John Basely Tooke, son of William Tooke-Harwood’s sister Margaret Basely. Margaret Basely, widow of Norwich, was the only sole heir of Tooke-Harwood and by her the Thompson properties passed to her son John Basely. Upon inheriting the Tooke properties John Basely changed his name to John Basely Tooke a practice that was common with the gentry of the day.