Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire, England / Dryden family
The Dryden family had held Canons Ashby since the sixteenth century and enjoyed the titled status from 1619, when Erasmus was created a Baronet. Following the death without issue of his grandson, Robert (c.1638-1708), the estates passed to Edward Dryden, a successful London grocer who continued to trade even following his inheritance. He made many improvements to a house that had grown piecemeal over the years, although these were limited by an estate income that amounted to £1100 per annum in the early eighteenth century. This relatively modest sum was the backdrop to the thrifty lifestyle of his son, Sir John, and the later financial problems of John’s adopted daughter Elizabeth and her husband, John Turner-Dryden. The latter purchased a Baronetcy in 1793, but died in 1797 leaving debts of £10,980. Elizabeth maintained control over the estate until her death in 1824, when Canons Ashby passed to her second son, Henry.