The Askes were an old Yorkshire family whose origins can be traced to the eleventh century when they held lands of the earl of Richmond in North Yorkshire. A younger branch of the family founded by Conan, the second son of Hugh de Aske, came by property in Aughton through marriage. Conan's son, Richard Aske, founded a chantry in Howden church in 1365 indicating that he was living in the area to the south west of York at the time. His grandson, John de Aske, had a daughter, Alicia, whose marriage to German Haye brought with it land in Aughton and when she and her husband died without issue it reverted to John de Aske and his male heirs (Legard, The Legards, p.21; Saltmarshe, 'The Aske family', pp.2-3; DX55/46).
John de Aske was thus the first lord of the manor of Aughton in the family. His great grandson, Sir Robert Aske, was the father of Robert Aske northern leader of the Pilgrimage of Grace who was executed in 1537. The south side of Aughton church bears a slightly cryptic inscription designed as a family mnemonic to the event. The eldest son, John Aske, did well out of the Reformation - DDBH/3/32 comprises letters patent of 1542 granting him the site of Ellerton Priory with fishing rights in the Derwent, as well as a mansion house in York that had belonged to Bolton Priory, Thykhede Priory and manor and also Deighton manor and mansion house. He had nine children, the eldest son being Robert Aske, who married Anne Sutton and had one son, also Robert Aske, and a daughter who married into the Fairfax family. Intermarriage with the Fairfax's became a feature in the next generation (Legard, The Legards, p.21; Saltmarshe, 'The Aske family', pp.2-3; DX55/56).
The only son, Robert, married Elena Merring and their daughter, Ellen, married Thomas, 1st Baron Fairfax of Cameron. Their son, John Aske (1565-1605), married Christiana daughter of Thomas Fairfax. He sold the estates at Aughton, though the moated manor house of the late sixteenth century still remains. Their eldest son, John Aske (d.1655) had no male heirs who survived him. His second son, Richard Aske (1589-1626), had ten children by his wife, Ellen. Their eldest son, Robert Aske (b.1617), died unmarried in 1656. Their second son died as an infant and their third son, Richard Aske (b.1619), had only female heirs. Their fourth son, Francis Aske (1620-1712), had six sons by his wife, Barbury, including twin boys who died in infancy. Their eldest son, Robert Aske (1654-1692), had four children, including three sons who outlived him. The third son, Thomas Aske (1686-1727), married Jane Precious and by her had another Thomas Aske (1727-1812). His son, Thomas Aske (d.1826), was followed by another male heir called Thomas Aske (1782-1834) and he and his wife, Charlotte Brown, had two daughters and a son, Thomas Aske (1822-1866). He died unmarried, leaving two illegitimate daughters. Thomas and Charlotte Aske's eldest daughter, Margaret (1813-1833), married James Coultous and was the ancestor of the compiler of this genealogical collection about the Aske family (DX55/56; Pevsner & Neave, York and the East Riding, pp.268-9).