The name of Boothby can be traced to a very remote era in the History of this Country as far back as the reign of the Saxon King Egbert who flourished upwards of one thousand years ago. The name therefore is connected with the first establishment of the Saxon Heptarchy. King Egbert caused the Heptarchy to be divided into Counties, Hundreds, and Wapentakes, and it is found that one of the Wapentakes of Lincolnshire is called Boothby, a conjectural proof that it then or originally belonged to a family of that name.
In the County of Lincoln, there is also a market town called Boothby Pagnell, and a manor house bearing the same name. They are said by the ancient historians, Camden and Leyland, to have received their names from the Boothby family who resided there.
The exact lineal succession of a family of so ancient a descent cannot with precision be traced through the earliest generations. However, it is found that Adam de Boothby was Abbot of Peterboro in 1321. Theobaldus de Boothby was Governor of Pontefract castle, -which he held for a long time against the Lancastrians during the civil war of the Roses.-Glover, History of Derbyshire, 1839.
The Boothbys are of Danish origin as shown by the termination of their name. They were settled in Lincolnshire about three hundred years before the Norman invasion. William Camden, the author of "Brittania," in the sixteenth century, speaking of Lincolnshire, says: "The Hundred or Wapentake of Boothby, Boothby Pagnell, a market town, and a gentleman's old seat called Boothby, were denominated from one Boothby who there inhabited."-BURKE.
This family takes its surname from the Wapentake or Hundred of Boothby, and the manor of Boothby in the County of Lincoln. In Domesday book it is written Bodebi (the Normans frequently wrote " d " for " th "), in the Chronicle of Croyland Abbey under the year 1114 it is written " Botheby," but in the same chronicle under the year 1189 it is written " Bobi," and in one of the family deeds in the reign of Richard I. it is written " Boby de Bodeby," and in several other deeds, and in the public records up to 20 Edward I. it is written " Bobi " and " Boby " as before the Conquest, and in the reign of Henry V. it is first written Boothby as at present. The Danish " Be " means the Messenger or First Comer, and " Bi " the Danish affix means " House of," hence the name signifies the House of the Messenger or First Comer.
The Boothbys claim to be descended from the ancient Saxon, or rather Anglo-Danish Nobility, and herein they are supported by the evidence of Testa de Neville, which proves that they held their paternal inheritance " de herede de Brunn," and by Knights service of Gilbert de Gaunt. Brunn, now Bourne, is a town in Lincolnshire a few miles from Boothby, the last Saxon lord of which was Hereward de Brun, the hero and general of the Saxon Forces who resisted the Conqueror in the Isle of Ely, and who recovered his paternal inheritance by force of arms from the Normans, and as Ingalph, the contemporary of the Abbot of Croyland records " transmitted them to his descendants." He was son of Leofric lord of Brun, younger son of Leofric Earl of Marcia and L,eicester by his Countess Godiva. Part of the lordship of Brun continued in the Boothby family till the reign of Richard 1I., when John de Botheby, Chancellor of Ireland, conveyed it with other lands for his relative Sir John Pagnell. The Wake family inherited the greater part of the lands of the Saxon lords of Brittany, front which family the lordships of Brun and Deeping passed by inheritance to the Royal Family by the marriage of Joan, " The fair maid of Kent," to the Black Prince, though parts of the lordships remained in the possession of the Boothbys.
In the reigns of the Norman, and Plantagenet Kings we find the family had many minors and other lands in the counties of Lincoln, Leicester, Huntington, and York lie following are mentioned in the family deeds, post mortem inquisitions and other evidences. The manor of Boothby, now Boothby Pagnell, near Grantham, and lands adjacent thereto in Somerby, Ingoldsby, Botsfield, Westby, Bogwythesby, Paunton and Skylington, also lands in Brun (now Bourne), Deeping, Mostin, Bicker Donington, and the Manor of Welton with the messuage called Boothby Hall, near Spillsbury, and lands in Willoughby, Tattersliall, Candlesby, Skydbroke and Skyrbeek, also the Manors of Bransby and Yarthorphe with lands in Darlington, all in the County of Lincoln. The manors of Botolphbridge and Orton Longueville in the County of Huntingdon, the manors of Sproxton, Boby and Grettimondel with lands in Long Whitton and Dunsthorpe in the Comity of Leicester. The manors of Ryehill and Camerington and Milthorpe Dane with lands in Otheringham Sunthorpe and Sallerington in the County of York.
Marchington, Co. Stafford, was the home of a branch of the family later, and after that the family gradually dividing we find Ashbourne Hall, Derbyshire, the ancestral hall for many generations from the 16th to the 19th centuries.