1) A person who burns ‘ashes’, that is produces potash, principally as a lye for soap-making.
1462 John Jewell, asshbrynner, York. The by-name ‘askbrenner’ occurred much earlier in several parts of Yorkshire: n.d. Roger Ascbrennar, Scaling
1308 William the Askebrenner, Holme
1339 Robert Askebrenner, Sowerby. Wood or bracken were burnt and known as ‘soap ashes’ or ‘wood ashes’: in 1587 Mr Kaye of Woodsome Hall payd for the stubbing of parts of his woodland which produced 20 loods of soope ashe and in Holmfirth an agreement between two tenants in 1586 included boon work in autumn viz one day mawynge and half of all the potash burned . The inventory of Christopher Sikes of Lepton linked manure and sope ashes in 1644 and in 1755 the Mirfield diarist Joseph Ismay listed Soot, Soap Ashes and Rape Dust as items which were in occasional use as ‘manure’. The activity is referred to quite frequently in the eighteenth century, e.g. 1715 Joseph Jennings and Richard Wilkinson were partners and did Joyn in Burning Bracken to Ashes for the soape makers, West Riding.