Friday, 18 April 2014

(118) Altham of Mark Hall, Oxhey Place and Timbercombe

The Althams were prominent citizens of London in the 16th century. James Altham (d. 1583/4) purchased the Mark Hall estate in Latton (Essex) in 1562, where there was a large Tudor courtyard house in which he entertained Queen Elizabeth no less than three times in the 1570s. His eldest son became a Roman Catholic and was excluded from the succession on that account, so Mark Hall passed to his second son, Edward Altham (d. 1605). James's youngest son, Sir James Altham (c.1555-1617), became a successful lawyer and judge and he and his son, Sir James Altham (d. 1624) lived at Oxhey Place in Hertfordshire.  Mark Hall passed in turn to two of Edward Altham's sons, Sir James Altham (1572-1610) and Sir Edward Altham (d. 1632), and then to the latter's son, Sir James Altham (1614-76), who was an active Royalist and was made a Knight of the Bath at the Restoration for his part in the Civil War. Sir James died without male issue and Mark Hall passed to his brother Leventhorpe Altham (1618-81), a London wine merchant, who was succeeded in turn by his son James Altham (1662-97) and grandson Peyton Altham (1695-1741).  Three of the latter's sons inherited in turn, the last of whom, Sir William Altham (1736-1818) altered the house before selling the estate in 1778 to his cousin William Lushington (1748-1823); Lushington rebuilt the house but sold it in 1786.  Sir William, who was unmarried, lived later at The White House, Thetford (Norfolk) and served as mayor of that town in 1793.

The eldest daughter of James Altham (1662-97), Mary Altham (1688-1752), married her kinsman, the Rev. Dr. Roger Altham, Archdeacon of Middlesex, and their eldest son, Roger Altham (1718-88) was a successful canon lawyer. His wife inherited a share in the Fenton House estate in Northumberland, which was sold by his daughter's trustees in 1829. The Althams might have faded into obscurity but for Maj. William Surtees Altham Cook (1813-87), who substituted the name Altham for Cook in 1862 and purchased the Timbercombe estate in Somerset in 1871. His second son was Lt-Gen. Sir Edward Altham Altham (1856-1943), who rose to prominence in the First World War.  His youngest son was Harry Surtees Altham (1888-1965), a schoolmaster at Winchester College who was a noted cricket writer and served as President of the MCC in 1959-60.

Mark Hall, Latton, Essex

Mark Hall shown on an estate map of 1616 (Essex RO D/DAr P1)

The manor house was first mentioned in 1270, but in 1422 it was described as ruinous. A new house was probably built in the early 16th century, as cellars of that date were recorded in 1921. Lord Morley, the lessee, was living at Mark Hall in 1538, and James Altham entertained Elizabeth I there in 1571, 1576, and 1578.  An old watercolour (the current whereabouts of which I have been unable to trace, but which was reproduced in the Essex Review in 1908) shows the house to have been laid out round a courtyard, with a main hall building with a porch and two cross-wings occupying one side, a gatehouse block on the far side of the court, and ranges of lodgings, stables and barns connecting the two.

The 16th century Mark Hall from an old watercolour, reproduced from the Essex Review, 1908

Considerable alterations to the house and grounds were made by William Altham shortly before 1771, when Mark Hall was said to be 'singular in its construction, though not disagreeable to the eye'. William Lushington, who bought the estate in 1778, built a new two storey classical house, with a double-bowed front, to the west of the old site. He also began enlarging and landscaping the park, diverting the road past the church for the purpose, and demolishing the 'small but elaborate' Jacobean Latton Hall in the process. 

Mark Hall in about 1930.

Montagu Burgoyne is said to have spent £30,000 on the house and grounds, and it seems likely that much of this was on the grounds (although the interiors of the house could also have been unfinished in 1778).  Burgoyne is known to have consulted Humphry Repton on landscaping in 1789-91 and a view of the house by Repton appeared in Peacock's Polite Repository for 1792. The building was enlarged in the 19th century and given swan-necked pediments over the windows on the main front. 

Mark Hall from the Ordnance Survey 6" map surveyed in 1873-74. The map shows clearly the courtyard of the Tudor house and the adjacent site of the Georgian mansion.

The smoking ruins of Mark Hall, 1947

The service wing of the house undergoing renovation in 1948.
After the Gilbeys left, Mark Hall became a land girls' hostel, but it was largely destroyed by fire in 1947. The east wing, which survived the fire, was later used as a temporary school until it was demolished in 1960. The 18th and 19th century stable block was converted into a veteran cycle museum by Harlow District Council in 1981 and part of the walled garden also survives. 

Descent: Edmund Shaa (who leased 1521 to Henry Parker, 10th Baron Morley); to brother, Thomas Shaa, who sold 1538 to Lord Morley (d. 1556); to Henry Parker (1531-77), 11th Baron Morley, who sold 1562 to James Altham (d. 1583); to son, Edward Altham (d. 1605); to son, Sir James Altham (d. 1610); to brother, Sir Edward Altham (d. 1632); to son, Sir James Altham (1614-); to brother, Leventhorpe Altham (1618-81); to son, James Altham (1662-97); to son, Peyton Altham (1695-1741); to son, James Altham (1723-44); to brother, Edward Altham (1731-57); to brother, Sir William Altham (1736-1818), who sold 1778 to his cousin, William Lushington (1748-1823), who sold 1786 to Montagu Burgoyne (1750-1836); who sold 1819 to Richard Arkwright, who gave it in 1820 to his son, Rev. Joseph Arkwright (d. 1864), vicar of Latton; to son, Loftus W. Arkwright (d. 1889) of Parndon Hall, who let it to relations; to son, Loftus J.W. Arkwright, who established Mark Hall Estate Co., which let it c.1893 to Newman Gilbey (d. 1942); used as Land Girls Hostel, 1943-47 when burnt down; estate sold 1947 to Harlow Development Corporation.

Oxhey Place, Hertfordshire

The Oxhey Place estate (originally called St. Cleeres or St. Clowes) was formed at the end of the 16th century when the Oxhey Hall estate was broken up and disemparked. It is likely but not certain that a new house was built then by Francis Heydon, but Sir James Altham certainly added the chapel of 1612 which is the only part of the estate to survive today. 

Oxhey Place: the chapel of 1612. Image: Diamond Geezer. Licenced under this Creative Commons licence

Oxhey was sold by the Althams in 1639 and from 1668-1866 was a property of the Bucknall and Estcourt families. Sir John Bucknall was responsible for rebuilding the house in 1688, reputedly at a cost of £3,000.

Oxhey Place as rebuilt in 1688.  Image: Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies.

The only depiction of this building which I have found is a naive drawing in the Oldfield Collection in Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies, which shows a house with an eleven-bay, three-storey front, a balustraded parapet, some elaborate shaped pediments over the ground and first-floor windows, and an improbable centrepiece, which may have incorporated some stonework from the previous house.  Some of the woodwork from old St. Cleeres was also used to make a new reredos in the chapel at about the same date.

Ordnance Survey 6" map surveyed 1872-74, showing the site before the erection of the Victorian house

A view of the Oxhey Place estate after the demolition of the house, painted by Francis Goodall and exhibited at the Royal Academy, as reproduced in the Illustrated London News.

The Bucknalls Oxhey Place was taken down in 1799, leaving only a farmhouse to bear the name through much of the 19th century, but in 1877 Thomas Blackwell, a partner in the famous pickle-making firm, Crosse & Blackwell, bought part of the estate and built a new house, which survived until c.1955-60, when it was burned down.  By then the grounds had become a London County Council housing estate and the house was in use as a medical centre.

Descent: Francis Heydon (fl. 1598); sold 1601 to Henry Fleetwood, who sold 1602 to Robert Bowyer and Richard Fusse; who sold 1604 to Sir James Altham (c.1555-1617), kt.; to son, Sir James Altham (d. 1624); to son, Sutton Altham (1622-30); to sisters, Elizabeth (1620-98), Countess of Anglesey and Frances (1621-50), Countess of Carbery, who sold 1639 to John Heydon; sold 1668 to Sir William Bucknall (d. 1676), kt. of London; to son, Sir John Bucknall (d. 1711), kt, who rebuilt the house in 1688; to son, William Bucknall (d. 1746); to son, John Askell Bucknall (d. 1796); to nephew, William Grimston (later Bucknall) (d. 1814), who demolished the house in 1799; to brother, Harbottle Grimston (later Bucknall) (d. 1823); to sister, Jane (d. 1829), wife of Thomas Estcourt of Estcourt Park (Glos); to son, Thomas Grimston Bucknall Estcourt; to son, Thomas Henry Sutton Sotheron Estcourt, who sold 1866 to Rt. Hon. William Henry Smith, who sold part of the estate for building and the rest in 1877 to Thomas Blackwell, who built a new house; to son, Thomas F. Blackwell; to son, Walter R. Blackwell (fl. 1908)...London County Council who developed the estate for housing; the house was intended to be preserved as a medical centre but burned down c.1955-60.

Timbercombe, Broomfield, Somerset

Timbercombe from the air.  Image: Bing Maps

A large Victorian villa in the Quantocks, lying between Spaxton, Aisholt and Broomfield and now in the latter parish, although formerly in Spaxton.  The house appears to have been substantially remodelled, if not completely rebuilt, in recent years.

Descent: Orlando Reeves (fl. 1853); sold by order of Chancery in 1853 to Lt-Col. James Chicheley Hyde (d. 1867); sold 1871 to William Surtees Altham (d. 1887); to widow, who sold to William T. White (d. 1910); to widow, Janey Catherine Anne White (d. 1935); sold 1936 to Henry Herbert Sweet-Escott (d. 1954); sold 1959 to John Samuel Byard White (b. 1936).

Altham family of Mark Hall and Timbercombe

Altham, Edward (d. 1571). Son of Christopher Altham of Girlington (Yorks WR) (fl. 1482). Sheriff of London, 1531. He married Audrey, daughter of Richard Hildersham of Stitchworth (Cambs) and had issue (probably among others):
(1) James Altham (d. 1583) (q.v.).
His was buried at Latton, 5 November 1571.

Altham, James (d. 1583/4) of Mark Hall.  Son and heir of Edward Altham (fl. 1531) and his wife Audrey, daughter of Richard Hildersham of Stitchworth (Cambs). Clothworker of London; Sheriff of London, 1557; High Sheriff of Essex, 1570. He married 1st, 29 January 1548, Elizabeth (d. 1558), daughter of Thomas Blanke of London and sister and heir to Sir Thomas Blanke, Lord Mayor of London, and 2nd, Mary (1517-1602), daughter of Thomas Mathews of Colchester (Essex) and widow of Thomas Langton and Sir Andrew Judd, Lord Mayor of London in 1550, and had issue five children including:
(1.1) Thomas Altham (d. c.1607), who was disinherited by his father for becoming a Roman Catholic; lived in Monmouth, Hereford and Abergavenny but owned house property in London; married [forename unknown] Bray or Gunter and had issue one son and three daughters, one of whom became a nun in Belgium; will proved 19 December 1607;
(1.2) Edward Altham (d. 1605) (q.v.);
(1.3) Sir James Altham (c.1555-1617), of Oxhey Place (Herts) (q.v.) [see below, Altham family of Oxhey Place]
He purchased Mark Hall, Latton (Essex) and the adjoining Priory estate in 1562 and entertained Queen Elizabeth there in 1571, 1576 and 1578.
He died 28 February 1583/4 and was buried in the chancel of Latton church, 1 March 1583/4, where he is commemorated by a monument. His will was proved 19 March 1583.

Altham, Edward (d. 1605) of Mark Hall.  Second son and heir of James Altham (d. 1583/4) of Mark Hall and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Blanke of London. He married 1st, 16 June 1558, Fortune Fowell, and 2nd, 5 February 1577, Elizabeth (d. 1621), daughter and co-heir of John Barne of Willesden (Middx) and granddaughter of Sir John Barne, kt., Lord Mayor of London in 1552, and had issue:
(1.1) Helen Altham (b. 1568), baptised 10 February 1568;
(1.2) Sir James Altham (1572-1610), kt. (q.v.); 
(1.3) Sir Edward Altham (d. 1632), kt. (q.v.);
(2.1) Mary Altham (1578-1647); married, c.1598, Ralph Hawtry of Ruislip (Middx) and had issue three sons and one daughter; buried at Ruislip, 4 April 1647, where there is a monument to her memory;
(2.2) Richard Altham (d. 1599); buried 30 May 1599;
(2.3) Capt. Emmanuel Altham (d. 1635); visited America, 1623 and Mauritius, 1628 (from whence he sent a live dodo to his brother, Edward); died in the East Indies, 1635; will proved November 1638.
He inherited Mark Hall from his father in 1583. After his death his estates passed in turn to his two sons.
He died 1 April 1605 and was buried at Latton (Essex), 8 April 1605; his will was proved 7 August 1605. His widow was buried 7 January 1621 with her husband; her will was proved 10 January 1622.

Altham, Sir James (1572-1610), kt., of Mark Hall. Son of Edward Altham (d. 1605) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Barne of Willesden (Middx), baptised 25 February 1572. Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (admitted 1599) and Grays Inn (admitted 1600). Knighted, 9 January 1609/10. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Francis Barrington, bt., and had issue:
(1) Joan Altham (b. 1610), baptised 27 March 1610; married Oliver St. John (c.1598-1673), the leading Parliamentarian, and had issue two sons and two daughters; died before 1638.
He inherited Mark Hall from his father in 1605. At his death without male issue, it passed to his brother, Sir Edward Altham.
He was buried at Latton, 15 July 1610. His widow married 2nd, 26 June 1611, Sir William Masham (1591-1656), 1st bt., and had further issue; she died before 18 March 1656.

Altham, Sir Edward (d. 1632), kt., of Mark Hall.  Second son of Edward Altham (d. 1605) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Barne of Willesden (Middx). Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (admitted 1599) and Grays Inn (admitted 1604). Knighted by King James I at Royston (Herts), 21 May 1613. He married* 1st, 1 June 1608, Margaret (d. 1611), daughter of Thomas Nash, and 2nd, 31 March 1612, Joan (d. 1654), daughter of Sir John Leventhorpe, 1st bt. of Shingle Hall, Sawbridgeworth (Herts), and had issue:
(1.1) Jane Altham (1610-20), baptised 15 April 1610; died young, 20 February 1619/20;
(1.2) Margaret Altham (1611-25), baptised 25 August 1611; buried 28 August 1625;
(2.1) Joan Altham (1613-58), baptised 8 June 1613; married, 1632, Sir Thomas Smith (d. 1668), 1st bt., of Hill Hall (Essex) and had issue eleven sons and two daughters; died 14 July 1658;
(2.2) Sir James Altham (1614-76), knight (q.v.);
(2.3) Edward Altham (1615-16), baptised 18 June 1615; died in infancy and was buried, 26 March 1616;
(2.4) John Altham (1616-58), baptised 3 June 1616; educated at Bishops Stortford and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (admitted 1633/34) and Grays Inn (admitted 1637; called to bar, 1648; ancient of the inn, 1658); died unmarried and was buried 7 December 1658; will proved 11 January 1659;
(2.5) Elizabeth Altham (d. 1646/7); buried 28 February 1646/7;
(2.6) Leventhorpe Altham (1618-81) (q.v.);
(2.7) Mary Altham (1619-44); married Sir William Halton, bt. of Little Sampford (Essex) and had issue; buried 30 September 1644**;
(2.8) Edward Altham (1622-94), baptised 13 October 1622; educated at St Catherine's College, Cambridge (admitted 1641; BA 1643/4); left to continue his studies overseas; undertook an unsuccessful mercantile journey to Constantinople, 1647; settled in Rome (Italy) in 1648 as a merchant (in partnership with Edward Brome or Brown), art agent and painter; received into the Roman Catholic church, 1652; he apparently lived an eremitic life at one time and there is a self-portrait of him as a hermit in the style of Salvator Rosa at Kingston Lacy (Dorset); died unmarried, 12 February 1694;
(2.9) Bridget Altham (d. c.1660); married 4 December 1650, Sir Peter Tyrell (d. 1711), 1st bt. of Hanslope (Bucks) but had no issue; living in 1658 but dead by 1664/5;
(2.10) Emmanuel Altham (b. 1625), baptised 25 April 1625; was unable to settle to a profession and sponged upon his mother and brothers; a member of the bodyguard for King Charles II in the weeks after his return from exile; living in 1663.
He inherited Mark Hall from his elder brother in 1610.
He died 28 May 1632 and was buried at Latton, 29 May 1632, where he is commemorated by a monument attributed to Thomas Stanton; his will was proved 29 November 1632. His first wife was buried 25 August 1611. His widow was buried at Latton, 25 September 1654.
*The baptism of an Emanuel, son of Edward Altham at Latton on 7 September 1600 may be evidence of a previous, unrecorded marriage, or conceivably of an illegitimate child.
**The date in the register; her monument says 29 December 1644.

Altham, Sir James (1614-76), KB, of Mark Hall.  Elder son of Sir Edward Altham (d. 1632), kt., and his second wife Joan, daughter of Sir John Leventhorpe, bt. of Shingle Hall, Sawbridgeworth (Herts), baptised 23 July 1614. Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (admitted 1629/30; BA 1632/3). A Royalist during the Civil War and was fined £500 as a delinquent by Parliament; made a Knight of the Bath at the Coronation of King Charles II. He married, 1630, Alice (d. 1678), only daughter and heir of Sir John Spencer bt. of Offley Place (Herts), and had issue:
(1) Mary Altham (b. 1637), baptised 15 June 1637; married, 1655 (later sep.), Sir John Tufton (1623-85), 2nd bt., but died without issue.
He inherited Mark Hall from his father in 1632. At his death it passed to his brother.
He was buried 4 February 1675/6 and his will was proved at Chelmsford. His widow was buried 13 May 1678.

Altham, Leventhorpe (1618-81), of Mark Hall.  Younger son of Sir Edward Altham (d. 1632), kt., and his second wife Joan, daughter of Sir John Leventhorpe, bt. of Shingle Hall, Sawbridgeworth (Herts), born 9 June and baptised 30 June 1618.  Wine merchant in London. He married, March 1656, Joan (c.1634-91), daughter of David Edwards of Oswestry (Shropshire) and had issue:
(1) Edward Altham (b. 1658), baptised 9 October 1658;
(2) James Altham (1662-97) (q.v.);
(3) Theodosia Altham (b. 1665), baptised 7 August 1665; married, 14 July 1691, John Tilley;
(4) John Altham (b. 1666), baptised 18 July 1666.
He lived in London and at Hackney (Middx) until he inherited Mark Hall from his brother in 1675/6.
He died 24 August 1681 and was buried at Latton the following day. His widow died 15 October 1691.

Altham, James (1662-97), of Mark Hall.  Only son of Leventhorpe Altham (1618-81) of Mark Hall and his wife Joan, daughter of David Edwards of Oswestry (Shropshire), born 1662. He married, after 18 July 1687, Mary (d. 1731), daughter of Admiral John Tinker, and had issue:
(1) Mary Altham (1688-1752) (q.v.);
(2) Elizabeth Altham (b. c.1690), baptised 20 January 1690/1; married, 6 January 1712/3, Dr. Daniel Turner (1667-1741), surgeon and medical writer, and had issue;
(3) James Altham (b. 1692), baptised 24 November 1692; died young;
(4) Dorothy Altham (c.1694-1730), married, 24 November 1724, John Peyton, younger brother of Sir Yelverton Peyton, bt. of Grimston (Norfolk) and had issue; died 4 May 1730.
(5) Peyton Altham (1695-1741) (q.v.);
(6) Jane Altham, married, 28 July 1711, Richard Strutt of Bishops Stortford (Herts), attorney, and had issue;
(7) James Altham (b. c.1697); living in 1731.
He inherited Mark Hall from his father in 1681.
He died 28 December 1697. His widow lived in Cambridge died 2 February and was buried at Latton, 5 February 1731/2; her will was proved 7 February 1731/2.

Altham, Peyton (1695-1741), of Mark Hall. Eldest surviving son of James Altham (1662-97) of Mark Hall and his wife Mary, daughter of Admiral John Tinker, born 1695. Educated at St. John's College, Cambridge (admitted 1715). He married at East Harling (Norfolk), 29 October 1721, Mary (d. 1768), daughter of John Beard, Governor of Bengal, and had issue:
(1) Mary Altham (1722-38), baptised 12 September 1722; buried 15 March 1737/8;
(2) James Altham (1723-44), baptised 11 September 1723; died in the East Indies;
(3) Charlotte Altham (1725-63), baptised 30 April 1725; married, 2 February 1762, James Altham (b. 1710); buried 24 February 1763;
(4) Elizabeth Altham (b. 1726), baptised 1 May 1726; died unmarried;
(5) Harriott Altham (1727-73), baptised 7 October 1727; married, 7 August 1759, Rev. Stotherd Abdy (c. 1728-73), rector of Theydon Garnons (Essex) and Archdeacon of Essex [see Abdy of Albyns];
(6) Frances Altham (1728-49), baptised 19 October 1728; buried 20 June 1749;
(6) Edward Altham (b. & d. 1730), baptised 2 May 1730; died in infancy and was buried 6 September 1730;
(7) Edward Altham (1731-57), baptised 29 June 1731; died unmarried and was buried 3 January 1757; will proved 18 January 1757;
(8) Sir William Altham (1736-1818), kt. (q.v.);
He inherited Mark Hall from his father in 1697 and came of age in 1716. At his death he left his widow a life interest in the house, which she gave up to her son in 1755.
He died 2 November 1741 and was buried at Latton, 6 November 1741, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 13 January 1741/2. His widow was buried 20 February 1768.

Altham, Sir William (1736-1818), of Mark Hall. Only son of Peyton Altham (1695-1741) of Mark Hall and his wife Mary, daughter of John Beard, Governor of Bengal, baptised 5 June 1736. Educated at Hitchin and Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1754). Knighted by King George III, 13 September 1786. Mayor of Thetford, 1793. In old age he suffered from asthma and found relief in a proprietary medicine called Stramonium, which he publicly endorsed. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Mark Hall from his elder brother in 1757, and he altered the old house before 1771. He sold the estate to William Lushington in 1778, and lived subsequently at The White House, Thetford (Norfolk) until 1802, when he is reported to have moved to Bath.
He died at Kensington House, 7 August and was buried at Latton, 14 August 1818.

Altham, Mary (1688-1752) Elder daughter of James Altham (1662-97) of Mark Hall and his wife Mary, daughter of Admiral John Tinker, baptised 19 September 1688. She married, after 31 May 1705, her kinsman, the Ven. Roger Altham DD (1658-1730), vicar of Latton, 1705-30, prebendary of St. Paul's Cathedral, 1695-1730 and Archdeacon of Middlesex, 1717-30, and had issue:
(1) Roger Altham (b. 1706), baptised 31 May 1706; died young;
(2) Mary Altham (later Lushington) (c.1707-75) (q.v.);
(3) Jane Altham (b. 1708/9), baptised 28 March 1709;
(4) James Altham (b. 1710), baptised 25 July 1710; married 1st, 8 September 1730, Mary Hanway (d. 1736) and had issue, and 2nd, 2 February 1762, Charlotte (1725-63), daughter of Peyton Altham of Mark Hall;
(5) Elizabeth Altham (b. 1712), baptised 21 April 1712; living in 1731; probably the person of this name who married, after 23 April 1736, John Cumberlege;
(6) John Altham (b. 1714); baptised 4 November 1714; possibly the person of this name who married, 27 August 1738, Martha Wilton;
(7) Roger Altham (1718-88) (q.v.).
(8) Dorothy Altham (b. 1721), baptised 19 October 1721; living in 1731.
She died in November 1752. Her husband died in February 1729/30 and was buried at Latton, 3 March 1729/30, where there is an inscription to his memory.

Mary Lushington
by J.H. Mortimer, 1774
Lushington (née Altham), Mary (c.1707-75).  Daughter of Ven. Roger Altham DD (1658-1730) and his wife Mary, elder daughter of James Altham of Mark Hall.  She married, 10 May 1737, Rev. Henry Lushington (1709-79), vicar of Eastbourne (Sussex), and had issue:
(1) Henry Lushington (1738-63), born 10 August and baptised 9 September 1738; on the staff of Maj-Gen. Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive (Clive of India); survived the Black Hole of Calcutta but was murdered in India in 1763;
(2) Charlotte Lushington (1739-c.1820), born 11 December 1739 and baptised 15 January 1739/40; married, 20 November 1762, Ralph Leycester (1737-1822) of Toft and had issue four sons and three daughters; died between 1817 and 1821;
(3) Jane Lushington (1739-), born 11 December 1739 and baptised 15 January 1739/40; married Rev. Thomas Altham LLD (d. 1782), son of Rev. James Altham of Woodford (Essex), and had issue one son and one daughter;
(4) Matthew Altham Lushington (1740-54), born 12 November and baptised 12 December 1740; educated at Charterhouse, but died there and was buried 26 December 1754;
(5) Maria Lushington (1742-1806). born 29 March and baptised 10 May 1742; married, 19 November 1767, John Tilson (d. 1774) of Watlington Park (Oxon) and had issue; will proved 17 February 1806;
(6) Sir Stephen Lushington (1744-1807), 1st bt., of South Hill Park (Berks), born 17 June 1744; Director of the East India Company (Chairman, 1790-91, 1795-6, 1799-1800), 1782-1805; MP for Hedon 1783-84, Helston 1790-96, Mitchell 1796-1802, Penrhyn 1802-06 and Plympton Erle 1806-07; created a baronet, 26 April 1791; married 6th June 1771, Hester (d. 1830), daughter of John Boldero of Aspenden Hall (Herts) and had issue three sons; died 12 January 1807 [see a future post on the Lushington family of South Hill Park];
(7) William Lushington (1748-1823) of Mark Hall; served with HEIC Bengal Service to 1773; MP for the City of London; purchased Mark Hall from his cousin, Sir William Altham, in 1778 and sold it to Montagu Burgoyne in 1786; married, 28 March 1769 in India, Paulina, daughter of Thomas French and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 1823;
(8) Catherine Lushington; died in infancy.
She died in 1775. Her husband married 2nd, Mary Gilbert, and died in 1799.

Altham, Roger (1718-88). Son of Ven. Roger Altham DD (1658-1730) and his wife Mary, elder daughter of James Altham of Mark Hall, baptised 25 September 1718. Proctor in Doctor's Commons; called to the bar in Inner Temple, 1754; Seal Keeper of the High Court of Admiralty; Registrar of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex and of the Dean & Chapter of Westminster. He married, 4 November 1746, Mary (d. 1781), daughter and co-heir of Robert Isaacson of Fenton (Northbld) and had issue: 
(1) Frances Altham (1749-1819), baptised 28 April 1749; married, 26 December 1777, James Heseltine (1745-1804) and had issue one son and one daughter; buried at Islington (Middx), 30 June 1819;
(2) Arabella Altham (1755-1827), baptised 14 May 1755; married 12 June 1780, John Graham Clarke of Kenton Lodge (Northbld) and had issue (including Mary Graham Clarke 1781-1828, the mother of Elizabeth Barrett Browning); died 10 November 1827;
(3) Mary Altham (1759-1810) (q.v.); 
(4) Jane Altham (1763-95), baptised 13 September 1762; married, 1783, Nathaniel Bishop (1760-1836) and had issue; died 25 May and was buried at Islington (Middx), 1 June 1795;
(5) Charlotte Altham; married, 25 September 1794, Thomas Lewis and had issue a son.
He inherited a moiety of the Fenton House estate in Northumberland in right of his wife, and at his death it was divided equally among his five daughters. In 1859 their descendants joined together to sell the whole moiety to the Earl of Durham, who also bought the other moiety, and whose descendants still own the estate.
He died 11 October 1788; his will was proved 29 October 1788. His wife died 3/8 March 1781.

Surtees (née Altham), Mary (1759-1810). Second daughter of Roger Altham (1718-88) of Fenton House (Northbld) and his wife Mary, daughter of Robert Isaacson of Fenton House, born 29 May 1759.  She married, 4 December 1781, Aubone Surtees (1752-1827) of Hauxley Hall (Northbld), second son of Aubone Surtees (1711-1800) of Newcastle, banker, and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Surtees (1783-1862) (q.v.)
She inherited one fifth of a moiety of the Fenton House estate from her father in 1788, but it was sold by the trustees of her marriage settlement in 1829.
She died 23 July 1810. Her husband died in 1827.

Cook (née Surtees), Elizabeth (1783-1862).  Only daughter of Aubone Surtees (1752-1827) and his wife Mary, daughter of Roger Altham of Fenton House (Northbld), born 18 July 1783. She married, 8 October 1808, Col. John Cook (1772-1829) of 28th Light Dragoons, Inspector of Yeomanry Cavalry and author of Observations on Fox-Hunting, and had issue (with other children who did not survive infancy):
(1) Rev. John Aubone Cook (1811-59), born 29 November 1811 at Pilgrim's Hatch, Brentwood (Essex); educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (admitted 1834; BA 1839; MA 1847); ordained deacon, 1838 and priest, 1839; curate of St Margaret, Westminster, 1844-50; vicar of South Benfleet (Essex) 1850-59 and Rural Dean of Canewdon; noted for his selfless care of his parishioners during a cholera outbreak in 1854; died unmarried, 29 September 1859; grant of adminstration 18 November 1859 (estate under £300);
(2) Elizabeth Sarah Cook (c.1811-87); died unmarried, 29 April 1887; will proved 6 June 1887 (estate £2,008);
(3) William Surtees Altham Cook (later Altham) (1813-87) (q.v.);
(4) Mary Susannah Altham Cook (d. 1883); died unmarried, 12 December 1883; will proved 15 January 1884 (estate £1,627);
(5) Susan Cook (b. c.1824), born in France; married [forename unknown] Stone; died without issue after 1861.
The family lived in France when the children were growing up.
She died 1 September 1862; her will was proved 18 September 1862 (estate under £600). Her husband died 3 December 1829.

Altham (né Cook), Maj. William Surtees (1813-87), of Timbercombe. Second son of Col. John Cook and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Aubone Surtees, born 24 March 1813. Major in 83rd Foot. JP for Somerset. He assumed the name and arms of Altham by royal licence, 20 February 1862. He married 1st, 6 April 1850, his cousin Henrietta (1809-60), daughter of Edward Barrett Moulton-Barrett of Hope End (Herefs), and 2nd, 20 February 1862, his cousin Arabella (1820-1908), daughter of Jesse Addams QC, DCL, and had issue:
(1.1) Rev. Altham Surtees Altham (1851-1931) (q.v.);
(1.2) Mary Altham Altham (1853-1951); died unmarried aged 98, 7 June 1951; will proved 18 July 1951 (estate £250);
(1.3) Lt-Gen. Sir Edward Altham Altham (1856-1943) (q.v.);
(2.1) Charlotte Altham (1864-1934); married, 1889, Rev. Alexander Lamont Stewart (d. 1904), rector of Aisholt (Somerset), and had issue a daughter; died 20 October 1934; will proved 11 December 1934 (estate £1,637).
He purchased the Timbercombe estate in Somerset in 1871; at his death it passed to his wife, who sold it to William T. White.
He died 14 February 1887; his will was proved 14 May 1887 (estate £832). His widow died 7 February 1908; her will was proved 4 April 1908 (estate £7,856)

Altham, Rev. Altham Surtees (1851-1931). Elder son of Maj. William Surtees Cooke (later Altham) of Timbercombe, and his first wife, Henrietta, daughter of Edward Barrett Moulton-Barrett of Hope End (Herefs), born 23 January and baptised 5 February 1851. Educated at Winchester and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1869; BA 1872; MA 1876); ordained deacon, 1874 and priest, 1875; curate in Taunton, 1874-87; vicar of Holy Trinity, Taunton, 1887-90 and All Saints, Wellingborough (Northants), 1891-1903; rector of Lapford (Devon), 1903-27. He married, 26 April 1881, Bertha Emma, daughter of Rev. Francis Fisher, vicar of Hilmarton (Wilts), and had issue:
(1) Henrietta Fanny Altham (b. 1882), born 7 November 1882; died unmarried, 23 January 1957 and was buried at Lapford (Devon); will proved 8 March 1957 (estate £8,629);
(2) John Altham Surtees Altham (1886-1950); motor engineer; married, 1916, Violet May Wise and had issue a daughter; died 31 January 1950; administration of goods granted 23 June 1950 (estate £9,035).
He died 1 October 1931. His will was proved 10 December 1931 (estate £1,161).

Altham, Lt-Gen. Sir Edward Altham (1856-1943). Second son of Maj. William Surtees Cooke (later Altham) and his first wife, Henrietta, daughter of Edward Barrett Moulton-Barrett of Hope End (Herefs), born 13 April 1856. Educated at Winchester and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1874).  Joined Royal Scots Regiment, 1876; Bechunaland expedition 1884-1885; Staff College 1888-1889; Intelligence Div, War Office 1897-1899; Assistant Adjutant General, Intelligence, South Africa 1899-1900; Staff College 1900; Intelligence Div 1900-1904; General Staff, South Africa 1906-1908; in charge of Administration, Northern Command 1908-1910; Southern Command 1911-1915; World War I 1914-1918; Inspector General of Communications, Dardanelles 1915; Inspector General of Communications, Egyptian Expeditionary Force 1916; Quartermaster General, India 1917-1919; retired 1920; Col. of Royal Scots Greys, 1918-35; author of The principles of war, historically illustrated, 1914; appointed CMG, 1901; CB 1904; KCB 1916; KCIE 1919. He married, 5 November 1880, Georgina Emily (1855-1945), daughter of William Macpherson Nichol of Inverness and had issue:
(1) Capt. Edward Altham (1882-1950), born 7 January and baptised 17 February 1882; educated at Royal Naval College, Greenwich and HMS Britannia; served in Royal Navy 1896-1922 (Lt, 1902; Cmdr, 1913; Captain, 1919; ret. 1922); Secretary of Royal United Services Institute; Chief of Naval Postal & Telegraph Censorship, 1939-44; naval editor of Encyclopaedia Britannica; appointed CB 1919; married 1st, 23 May 1908 (div.), Fiorella Cecil, daughter of Reginald C.B. Willis of Ealing (Middx) and had issue one son and one daughter, and 2nd, 14 August 1922, Joyce Ellinor Mylius, daughter of Louis Henry Mylius Dick; lived in London; died 16 October 1950; will proved 29 December 1950 (estate £5,232);
(2) Dorothy Mary Altham (1883-1969), born 26 December 1883 and baptised 23 January 1884; died unmarried, 31 March 1969;
(3) Harry Surtees Altham (1888-1965), born 30 November 1888 and baptised 10 January 1989; educated at Repton and Trinity College, Oxford; schoolmaster at Winchester College, 1913-15, 1919-49; served with 69th Rifles in WW1, 1915-19; appointed MC and DSO, 1918; CBE 1957; Treasurer of MCC, 1950-63 and President, 1959-60; Chairman of MCC Youth Cricket Association, 1952-65; author of A history of cricket, 1926; Hampshire County Cricket, 1957 and editor of The MCC Cricket Coaching Book, 1952; married, 27 June 1917, (Winifred) Alison, daughter of Somerville Read Livingstone-Learmonth, a sheep farmer in Australia, and had issue one son and two daughters; lived at Kingsmead, Winchester; died 11 March 1965; will proved 19 May 1965 (estate £7,389).
In retirement he lived at 7 Kingsgate Street, Winchester (Hants).
He died 27 September 1943; his will was proved 8 December 1943 (estate £8,085). His widow died 27 September 1945

Altham family of Oxhey Place

Altham, Sir James (c.1555-1617), of Oxhey Place.  Youngest son of James Altham (d. 1583) of Mark Hall (Essex) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Blanke of London. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1571) and Grays Inn (admitted 1575; called to bar, 1581; ancient of the inn, 1595; bencher, 1599; reader, 1601); barrister-at-law; 
MP for Bramber, 1589; serjeant-at-law, 1603; knighted 15 February 1606/7; Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, 1607-17. A Puritan in religion. He married 1st, 1584, Margaret (d. 1597), daughter and heir of Oliver Skinner, 2nd, Mary, daughter of Hugh Staines of London and widow of [forename unknown] Grimes, and 3rd, Ellen or Helen (d. 1638), the widow of John Hyde of London, and had issue (probably among others):
(1.1) Sir James Altham (fl. 1621) of Oxhey Place (q.v.);
(2.1) Richard Altham (d. 1623); educated at Grays Inn (admitted 1614/5) and Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1615); died without issue, 1623;
(2.2) Mary Altham; married Sir Francis Stidolph of Mickleham (Surrey);
(2.3) Elizabeth Altham (d. 1662/3); married 1st, Sir Francis Astley (d. 1638), kt. of Hillmorton (Warks), 2nd, Robert Digby (d. 1642), 1st Baron Digby of Geashill, and 3rd, Sir Robert Bernard (1601-66), 1st bt.; died 3 January 1662/3;
(2.4) Susan Altham.
He acquired the Oxhey Place (Herts) estate in 1604.
He died at Serjeant's Inn, 21 February 1617, and was buried at Oxhey, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 10 March 1617. His widow died in 1638; her will was proved 11 May 1638.

Altham, Sir James (d. 1624), of Oxhey Place. Son of Sir James Altham (fl. late 16th cent.) of Oxhey Place and his wife Margaret, daughter of Oliver Skinner. Educated at Grays Inn (admitted 1600) and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (admitted 1603). Knighted, 1608. He married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Sir Richard Sutton, kt. of London, one of the auditors to King James I, and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Altham (1620-98); married, 24 April 1638, Arthur Annesley (1614-86), 2nd Viscount Valentia and later 1st Earl of Anglesey, and had issue; buried 26 January 1697/8;
(2) Frances Altham (1621-50); married, 8 August 1637, Lt-Gen. Richard Vaughan (d. 1687), 2nd Earl of Carbery and had issue three sons and one daughter;
(3) Sutton Altham (1622-30), baptised 28 August 1622; died young in 1630.
He inherited Oxhey Place from his father in 1606.
He died 15 February 1623/4. His widow married 2nd, Sir John Ashfield of Netherhall. 


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1898, i, p.19; Anon, 'Some Althams of Mark Hall in the seventeenth century', The Essex Review, 1908, pp. 74-87, 134-46; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1972, iii, p.17; J. Kenworthy-Browne et al, Burke's & Savill's Guide to Country Houses:  vol 3, East Anglia, 1981, p. 62; Carter, Goode & Laurie, Humphry Repton, 1982, p. 151; J. Montagu, 'Edward Altham as a hermit', in E. Chaney & P. Mack, England and the Continental Renaissance, 1990; J. Bettley & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Essex, 2nd edn, 2007, pp. 455-56;

Location of archives

Altham family of Mark Hall: deeds and an estate map, 17th-18th cents. [Essex Record Office, D/DAr]; correspondence, 1618-1716 [Cambridge University Library, MS Add. 9270]
Altham, Sir James (d. 1610), MP and judge: misc. correspondence and papers, 16th-17th cent. [Inner Temple Library; British Library Add. MSS. 12497, 40746; Harleian MS. 1546; Lansdowne MS. 87]
Altham (né Cook), William Surtees (1813-87): diaries, 1847-87 [Baylor University, Waco, Texas: Armstrong-Browning Collection]

Coat of arms

Quarterly: 1st and 4th, paly of six, ermine and azure on a chief perpales or and gules, a lion, passant guardant counterchanged, a bordure engrailed of the last; 2nd and 3rd, azure, on a chevron argent, between three garbs or, as many fleurs-de-lis gules.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

(117) Alston of Odell Castle, baronets

The Alston family were small landowners on the Suffolk/Essex border by the 14th century, and in the 16th century their property was centred on Sayham (or Siam) Hall at Newton. Edward Alston (1507-92) was the common ancestor of the Alstons of Newton and later of Odell, described in this post, and the Alstons of Chelsea and Bradwell Abbey. The Alstons of Elmdon may also have been related, since the main element of their coat of arms was the same ten stars as the other branches of the family used, but it has not been possible to establish a connection.

William Alston (1562-1633) of Sayham Hall married twice. His second wife is reputed to have fomented discord between her husband and the children of his first marriage, with the aim of securing the legacy of his estates for her own children. 
Siam Hall, Newton in 1938.
Whether this is true or not, it was the eldest son of the second marriage, Joseph Alston (fl. 1664) who inherited Sayham Hall, but this branch of the family subsequently declined into obscurity, and in later centuries the house was little more than a farm.  The eldest son by the first marriage, William Alston (c.1594-1641), was a lawyer and made enough money to buy a small estate at Marlesford (Suffolk); this passed to his son and grandson, being sold before the latter's death in 1727.

The law was beginning to feature largely in the lives of the male Alstons. Several members of the family had legal training even if they did not practice as lawyers, and they were in and out of the courts constantly in a series of family and neighbourly disputes which suggest sharp practice and an unattractively litigious character. By far the most bizarre story, however, concerns John Alston (1576-1656) of Stisted (Essex), whose activities seem finally to have stirred sufficient resentment in his neighbours to provoke a 'rough music' demonstration against the family in 1645. Far from swallowing the rebuke and becoming a better citizen, however, Alston dressed up what had happened in the most lurid and salacious story involving magic, rape, sexual assault and theft, and attempted to prosecute some of his neighbours on these very serious charges. It is not clear how far his case proceeded, but he must have continued to build a reputation for making life extremely uncomfortable for those unfortunate enough to cross him. The full story of the allegations is included in chapter 9 of Frances Timbers' Magic and Masculinity, 2014.

A younger brother of William Alston (1562-1633) was Thomas Alston of Gedding Hall (1572-1620). He bred up four sons to the law and they all had successful careers. The eldest, William Alston (1607-38), became Keeper of the Briefs in the Court of Kings Bench, which was a notoriously profitable post, and was able to buy the Odell Castle estate in Bedfordshire in 1633. Two of his brothers clubbed together and bought the nearby Hinwick Hall a few years later, but while the sale was still going through, William died, leaving Odell to his next brother, Sir Thomas Alston (1609-78), 1st bt. With Thomas at Odell, John Alston (c.1614-87) occupied Hinwick Hall, but when he bought two manors at Pavenham in 1647, Hinwick became surplus to requirements and was sold in 1653.  The fourth brother, Sir Edward Alston (1611-82), also acquired land in Bedfordshire, but this was sequestrated during the Civil War, and he did not recover it. Instead, in the late 1650s, he bought an estate at East Barnet (Herts), where he was licenced to create a park in 1660, and the manor of Strixton (Northants).

Odell Castle and Pavenham Bury in Bedfordshire became the centre of the Alston empire. Sir Rowland Alston (1652-97), 2nd bt., inherited Odell Castle and when he died young left his wife a life interest in the house and estate. She survived him until 1728, and remarried, her second husband being Sir John Wolstonholme of Forty Hall, Enfield (Middx). Lady Wolstonholme is believed to have undertaken a major remodelling of the house at Odell in about 1705, creating the main front which is recorded in most views of the house. By the time she died, the baronetcy had passed to one of her younger sons, Sir Rowland Alston (1679-1759), 4th bt., who had a reputation for leading a dissolute and immoral life which did not prevent him sitting as one of the MPs for the county from 1722-41. The estate passed to his elder son, Sir Thomas Alston (1724-74), 5th bt., who despite intermittent bouts of insanity - perhaps brought on by excessive drinking - was also MP for Bedfordshire from 1747-61.  In 1752, his wife seems to have run off with a horse dealer from Stafford called John Wasse, and he himself subsequently installed a 'housekeeper' by whom he had two sons, the elder of whom eventually inherited the Odell estate. His wife also had a son by her lover, who subsequently used the name Sir Charles Alston, but he had no real claim on the baronetcy and no part of the estate.

Sir Thomas also inherited, in 1763, the estate of his aunt, Ann Mead of Harrold Hall (Beds). 
When he died in 1774, the baronetcy passed to his younger brother, Col. Sir Rowland Alston (c.1727-91), but the Odell and Harrold estates passed first to his 'housekeeper', Margaret Lee (d. 1809), who married the tenant of Harrold Hall, Robert Garstin (d. 1815), and then to his natural son, Thomas Alston (c.1755-1823). 

By contrast with his father and grandfather, Thomas seems to have been an upright and moral citizen and despite his own illegitimacy he secured his children respectable marriages. Thomas himself seems to have lived first at Harrold Hall, which he remodelled in 1816, but he later moved to Odell Castle. Money was beginning to become a concern, however. One of his younger sons, Rev. Vere John Alston (1788-1863), who was rector of Odell, became insolvent and was obliged to flee to France in 1847, where he lived for the last sixteen years of his life. Justinian Alston (1780-1848), who inherited the Odell estate, seems to have had the money for extensive European travel, but his son, Crewe Alston (1828-1901) was bankrupted by the Agricultural Depression of the 1880s, and only preserved the estate because it was entailed, meaning that he was a tenant for life without the power to sell. His son, Rowland Crewe Alston (1852-1933) retained Odell Castle until his death, but by 1927 it was in poor condition. In 1930 he had to move out on health grounds, and in 1931 the house burned down. The estate was sold after his death to Lord Luke, ending the family's association with Odell after just over 300 years.

Pishiobury House from Neale's Views of Seats, 1821
Rowland Alston (1782-1865), one of the younger brothers of Justinian Alston, married the heiress of Pishiobury, Sawbridgeworth (Herts) in about 1810, but sold the house in 1847. His descendants were civil servants, diplomats, soldiers and colonial administrators, and mostly lived in London, but Alexander Rowland Alston (1863-1945) bought The Tofte (now Tofte Manor) at Sharnbrook (Beds) and remodelled it in 1902.  It was sold before his death, but he was probably the last member of the family to be a Bedfordshire country house owner.

Tofte Manor, Sharnbrook, showing A.R. Alston's additions of 1902.

Odell Castle, Bedfordshire

The castle was originally a small medieval fortress on a mound on the north bank of the Ouse between Harrold and Felmersham. In the mid 16th century John Leland saw "nothing but straunge Ruins", and nothing now remains to show either the extent or disposition of the original buildings or the date of their erection. A new house was apparently built for Richard Chetwode in the early 17th century (the kitchen wing was dated 1623) which probably utilized the remains of the castle keep, as the basement walls on the south-west and north-west sides of house were enormously thick.  
Odell Castle in 1811, by Thomas Fisher, showing the house as remodelled for Lady Wolstenholme c.1705.
Image: Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service X254/88/201.

In the early 18th century Lady Wolstenholme made considerable alterations to the interior of the house and rebuilt both the north-east and south-east fronts, while in 1864-65 the south-west range was again rebuilt and heightened, and a two storey bay window was added to the end bay of the south-west range, which also formed the end of the south-east front.

The two-storey gabled main block of the 17th-19th century house faced the south-east and was built of stone. The ground floor of the house was considerably above ground level, so the house was entered both from the courtyard between the two wings on the north-west side, and on the main front, up a steep flight of stone steps.  At the end of the entrance corridor was the Monks' Hall, a large room lined with 18th-century panelling, and other interiors mentioned in 1927 include a morning room, drawing room, dining room and 'stone parlour'. 

Odell Castle in 1863, before the Victorian alterations.
Image: Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service CDE81/1

Odell Castle after the alterations of 1864-65. Image: Matthew Beckett
By 1927 the house was in poor condition and largely unoccupied, and parts of the service accommodation were said to be being demolished; it was said to be "quite unlettable, even at a nominal rent". In 1930 W.C. Alston moved out to a bungalow in the village 'on health grounds' - which suggests something about the dire state the place was in - and the following year the house was burned down by a fire which appears to have originated in the boiler room. In 1934 the estate was sold to Lord Luke, whose son slowly rebuilt the house after the Second World War to a different design, only moving in during 1962. The house was sold again in 1998.

Odell Castle: the ruins after the fire of 1931. Image: Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service Z50/86/19.

Odell Castle as rebuilt for Lord Luke.

Descent: Anthony de Wahull (d. 1542); to daughter, Agnes de Wahull (1542-76), later wife of Richard Chetwode (d. 1560) and Sir George Calvely; to son, Richard Chetwode (b. c.1560), who sold 1633 to William Alston (1607-38); to brother, Sir Thomas Alston (1609-78), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Rowland Alston (1652-97), 2nd bt.; to widow, Temperance, Lady Alston (later wife of Sir John Wolstonholme) (d. 1728); to son, Sir Rowland Alston (1679-1759), 4th bt.; to son, Sir Thomas Alston (c.1724-74), 5th bt.; to housekeeper, Margaret Lee (d. 1809), later wife of Robert Garstin (d. 1815); to illegitimate son, Thomas Alston (c.1755-1823); to son, Justinian Alston (1780-1848); to son, Crewe Alston (1828-1901); to son. Rowland Crewe Alston (1852-1933); sold in 1934 to Sir George Lawson-Johnston (1873-1943), 1st Baron Luke; to son, Ian St. John Lawson-Johnston (1905-96), 2nd Baron Luke; sold 1998...

Pavenham Bury, Bedfordshire

Pavenham Bury, as first remodelled in 1842. Image: Matthew Beckett

Pavenham Bury, as extended in the late 19th century. Image: Matthew Beckett
The house was formerly known as Berrystead Manor House, and the alternative form of Pavenham Bury was adopted after the house was extensively remodelled in 1842 as a square neo-Jacobean three-by-three bay house with two prominent two-storey bay windows on each front. It was extended by the addition of an extra bay with a matching bay window, probably in the early 20th century.  However, there was an earlier house at the core, and it retained an 18th century staircase, perhaps dating from the short period of ownership by John Franklyn, until the end. The house was badly damaged by fire in 1960 and demolished the following year; some of the fixtures and fittings were re-used to fit out the former stables and coach house as a new house, now known as Pavenham Court.

Descent: Edward Vaux (1588-1661), 4th Baron Vaux of Harrowden; sold 1647 to John Alston (c.1614-87); to son, William Alston (1637-1708); to son, William Alston (1665-1713), whose widow remarried to Rev. Vere John Alston (1685-1762); to son, William Alston (1710-36); to sisters, Frances Alston, later wife of Nehemiah Brandreth (1713-53) and Mary Alston (b. 1714), wife of Rev. John Lord (d. 1778), who sold c.1745 to John Franklyn (d. 1748)....Francis Green (d. 1840); to nephew, Thomas Abbot Green; sold c.1850 to [forename unknown] Harvey; sold 1851 to Joseph Tucker (1800-77); to daughter, Mary Tucker, later wife of Rev. William Burton-Alexander; to son, Joseph Tucker Burton-Alexander (b. 1879), who sold c.1919 to Sir George Lawson-Johnston (1873-1943), 1st Baron Luke; to son, Ian St. John Lawson-Johnston (1905-96), 2nd Baron Luke, who let to Sir Percy Laurie c.1950; burnt 1960 and demolished 1961.

Harrold Hall, Bedfordshire

Harrold Hall: the 17th century north elevation in 1957. Image: Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service Z53/54/4

Harrold Hall: the fine timber staircase of 1610. Image: Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service Z53/54/8
Harrold Hall was built on the site of the medieval Harrold Priory for Francis Farrar in 1608-10, and unusually the building accounts survive. The house stood immediately south-east of the church; it had three storeys and was built to the standard E-plan with the front facing south towards the River Great Ouse. It was built of rubble stone with ashlar dressings, and had an entrance porch which rose the full height of the house, making it notably similar to Hinwick House nearby. The accounts show that the stone carving was the work of the master mason, Thomas Grumbold. In 1816 the porch was destroyed and a large two storey addition was built between the flanking wings of the 17th century house to provide some grand new rooms for Thomas Alston.

Harrold Hall: the new block of 1816 set between the wings of the Jacobean house. Image: Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service Z53/54/3

Harrold Hall: the drawing room of 1816. Image: Bedfordshire Archives & Local Studies Service Z53/54/7
The house was occupied by the Pioneer Corps during World War II and was only briefly reoccupied before being demolished in 1961. The staircase was moved to St John's Rectory in Bedford (now the local St. John's Ambulance headquarters). The site of the house was redeveloped for a small housing estate called Hall Close.

Descent: sold 1558 to Ralph Farrar (d. 1560); to son, Francis Farrar (d. 1616); to daughter and son-in-law, Sir Thomas Boteler... William Boteler; to daughter, Mary Boteler, who sold 1702 to Anne Jolliffe (d. 1732); to niece, Anne Alston (d. 1763), wife of Dr. Richard Mead MD; to nephew, Sir Thomas Alston (c.1724-74), 4th bt.; to housekeeper, Margaret Lee (d. 1809), later the wife of Robert Garstin (d. 1815); to illegitimate son, Thomas Alston (c.1755-1823), who remodelled it; to son, Justinian Alston (1780-1848); to son, Crewe Alston (1828-1901); to son. Rowland Crewe Alston (1852-1933), who sold 1907 to Arthur Cecil Tyrell Beck, who sold 1912 to Trustees of Rowland Alison Alston (1888-1948); sold 1938 to Edgar Clayson, who sold 1950... demolished 1961.  

The house was generally let except for the periods 1702-63, 1815-c.1830 and 1877-1924: tenants included Margaret Mordaunt, 1625-53; Sir Oliver Boteler, c.1653-71; Richard Orlebar (d. 1690), c.1680-90; Mrs Lee (fl. 1777); Robert Garstin (d. 1815), 1797-1815; Col. J.H. Lethbridge, 1839; Maj. Richard Magenis, c.1841-64; Edward Marsh Harvey, 1865-77; Capt. Esme Arkwright, 1924-28.

Alston family of Sayham Hall, Newton

Alston, William (fl. c.1500), of Newton (Suffolk).  Son of John Alston of Newton.  He married Ann, daughter of Thomas Symons and had issue including:
(1) Edward Alston (1507-92) of Sayham Hall, Newton (q.v.);
(2) William Alston; probably died without issue;
(3) Robert Alston; probably died without issue.
He owned land at Newton which had been in the family since the 14th century.
His date of death is unknown.

Alston, Edward (1507-92), of Sayham Hall (Suffolk).  Eldest son and heir of William Alston (fl. c.1500) and his wife Ann, daughter of Thomas Symons; born 1507.  He married 1st, Elizabeth (d. 1590?), daughter of John Coleman and 2nd, 16 December 1590, Elizabeth alias Christiana* Bull (d. 1593), widow, and had issue:
(1.1) William Alston (c.1537-1618) of Sayham Hall (q.v.);
(1.2) Thomas Alston (c.1554-1614) [from whom descended the Alstons of Chelsea and Bradwell Abbey (q.v.)];
(1.3) Alice Alston (fl. 1591); married [forename unknown] King and had issue a daughter.
He acquired Sayham Hall, Newton in about 1550.
He was buried at Newton, 14 November 1592; his will was proved in PCC, 6 May 1593. His first wife may be the Elizabeth Alston buried at Newton, 30 September 1590. His widow was buried at Newton, 28 September 1593. 
*Their marriage licence of 14 December calls her Christiana; the register calls her Elizabeth. The burial of an Elizabeth Alston on 26 June 1591 has led some authorities to assume there were three marriages, but the date of the marriage licence makes that untenable.

Alston, William (c.1537-1618), of Sayham Hall (Suffolk) and Sible Hedingham (Essex).  Elder son of Edward Alston (1507-92) and his first wife, Elizabeth, daughter of John Coleman, born about 1537.  He married 1st, Margery, daughter and co-heir of [forename unknown] Holmsted esq. of Maplestead (Essex), and 2nd, about 12 September 1608, Parnell Ellis of Newton, widow, and had issue:
(1.1) William Alston (1562-1633) (q.v.);
(1.2) Thomas Alston (b. 1564/5), baptised 18 February 1564/5; died young;
(1.3) Edward Alston (1565/6-1617) of Shelland Hall and Boxford, clothier; baptised 10 March 1565/6; married 1st, 19 April 1596, Susan (d. 1596), daughter of John Brand and 2nd, about 1599, Anne Ardley (d. 1626), and had issue by his second wife three sons and three daughters; died 22 and was buried at Boxford, 26 January 1617; will proved 9 February 1617/8;
(1.4) John Alston (b. 1567), baptised 20 May 1567; probably died young;
(1.5) Anne Alston (b. 1568), born 15 and baptised 16 August 1568;
(1.6) Peter Alston (1569-1628) of Lovetofts Hall, Bramford (Suffolk), baptised 30 November 1569; married 1st, Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Petlow and 2nd, 27 August 1618, Katherine, daughter of Edward Buggs and had issue by his first wife five sons and two daughters; died 3 April 1628; will proved 16 May 1629;
(1.7) Elizabeth Alston (fl. 1616); married, 29 July 1590, Ralph Northey and had issue two sons and two daughters; living in 1616;
(1.8) Thomas Alston (1572-1620) (q.v.) [see below, under Alston family of Odell Castle, baronets];
(1.9) John Alston (1576-1656) of Kentish Manor, Stisted and Belchamp Otten (Essex), baptised 23 December 1576; married Anne (1574/5-1657), daughter of Thomas Cracherode of Toppesfield (Essex) and had issue six sons and four daughters; buried at Stisted, 13 September 1656; will proved 26 November 1656;
(1.10) Joseph Alston (1578-c.1625), baptised 9 November 1578;
(1.11) Margery Alston (b. 1584), baptised 6 October 1584; married 15 October 1601, Valentine Parker and had issue one son and one daughter; living in 1616.
He inherited Sayham Hall, Newton from his father in 1592, and part of his father-in-law's property at Sible Hedingham (Essex).
He died 9 and was buried 13 January 1617/8.

Alston, William (1562-1633) of Sayham alias Siam Hall, Newton.  Eldest son of William Alston (c.1537-1618) and his first wife, Margery, daughter of [forename unknown] Holmsted esq. of Maplestead (Essex), born 1562. He married 1st, Marian, daughter of Richard Holborowe of Bulmer (Essex), and 2nd, 20 June 1607, Anne Neuce (1578-1660) of Hadham (Herts), and had issue:
(1.1) William Alston (c.1594-1641) (q.v.);
(1.2) Elizabeth Alston (b. 1594/5), baptised 12 February 1594/5; married [forename unknown] Chaplin and had issue a son; living in 1641;
(1.3) Ralph Alston (b. 1596); attorney-at-law; married, 1617 at Wormingford (Essex), Elizabeth Causton (b. 1598) and had issue two sons and one daughter; living in 1641;
(1.4) Rev. Edward Alston (1598-c.1675), baptised 20 June 1598; educated at Queens' College Cambridge (matriculated 1615) and Trinity Hall, Cambridge (LLB 1619); ordained priest, 1622/3; rector of Pentlow (Essex), 1623-45, when he was deprived, and 1660-75; married 1st, 19 January 1625/6, Millicent (d. 1634/5), daughter of Rev. Simon Wells DD and 2nd, 11 July 1639, Faith, daughter of Rev. Randolph Lister, rector of Alpheton (Suffolk) and had issue by his first wife two daughters; buried 9 December 1675;
(1.5) Thomas Alston (c.1598-1658?), baptised 6 January 1598/9; living 1641; perhaps the Thomas Alston, batchelor, who died at Smyrna (Turkey) in 1658;
(1.6) Margery Alston (b. c.1600); married Francis Coleman, gent. and had issue a son; living 1641;
(2.1) Joseph Alston (fl. 1664) of Sayham Hall and Kersey (Suffolk); educated at Inner Temple (admitted 1626); married 1st, about March 1637/8, Elizabeth Brand, and 2nd, 27 June 1654, Frances Clopton, and had issue by his second wife four sons and one daughter; living in 1664;
(2.2) Benjamin Alston (fl. 1634);
(2.3) Jacob Alston (fl. 1634);
(2.4) Anne Alston (fl. 1618); married John Tracy junior and had issue two sons and one daughter;
(2.5) Neuce Alston (b. c.1612); died young;
(2.6) Jonas alias Jonah Alston (1613-58) of Moulton (Suffolk), baptised 5 September 1613; died about 1658; administration granted in PCC, 1658;
(2.7) John Alston (b. 1613), baptised 5 September 1613 [could be a twin of the above, or they may be one and the same person, with confusion over the name];
(2.8) Jane Alston (1614-21), baptised 2 January 1614/15; buried at Newton, 25 April 1621;
(2.9) Neuce Alston (1616-24), baptised 1 January 1616/17; buried at Newton, 24 October 1624;
(2.10) Tobias Alston (b. 1620), baptised 2 April 1620; as a teenager, compiled a miscellany of verse (now in the Beinecke Library at Yale University, USA); probably died between 1639 and 1645;
(2.11) Susan Alston (fl. 1618);
(2.12) Bridget Alston (fl. 1618).
He inherited the Sayham alias Siam Hall, Newton, estate from his father in 1618. At his death it was bequeathed to the eldest son of his second marriage, his second wife having reputedly conspired with her son to turn William against the children of his first marriage.
He was buried 5 November 1633 at Newton (Suffolk). His first wife died in about 1601. His widow died about 1660; her will was proved in PCC, 30 April 1661.

Alston, William (c.1594-1641) of Sherts, Marlesford (Suffolk).  Eldest son of William Alston (1562-1633) and his first wife, Marian, daughter of Richard Holborowe of Bulmer (Essex), born about 1594. Educated at Queens College, Cambridge (admitted 1612) and Inner Temple (admitted 1613). He married 1st, 21 May 1618, Avice (1593-1633), daughter and co-heir of Jeffrey Pitman of Woodbridge (Suffolk) and 2nd, Margaret (fl. 1641), daughter of Henry Groom of Ufford (Suffolk) and had issue:
(1.1) Avice Alston (1620-56), baptised 17 December 1620; married, Sir Thomas Foster kt. (who gained his knighthood after she died) and had issue eleven children; died 26 April 1656 and was buried at Thorpe (Surrey), where she is commemorated by a monument;
(1.2) Alice Alston (1623-73), baptised 1 May 1623; married Daniel Clench of Burgh (Suffolk); died 1673;
(1.3) Catherine Alston (b. c.1624), baptised 10 February 1623/4; probably died young;
(1.4) Elizabeth Alston (b. c.1626), baptised 17 January 1626/7; married, c.1652, Thomas Mann of the Inner Temple and Yoxford (Suffolk), and had issue six sons and six daughters;
(1.5) William Alston (b. c.1628), baptised 5 March 1627/8; died young;
(1.6) Samuel Alston (1630-75) of Marlesford, baptised 1630; JP for Suffolk; Major in Suffolk Militia; married 1st, 9 May 1650, Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Mann of Ipswich, and had issue one daughter; married 2nd, 26 September 1661, Frances Wythe; and 3rd, c.1665, Alice (d. 1686), daughter of Francis Nicholson of Chapelle (Essex), and had issue two sons and two daughters; buried 21 December 1675; will proved in the PCC, 20 June 1676;
(1.7) Thomas Alston (b. 1631; fl. 1712), baptised 3 July 1631; educated at Bury St Edmunds Grammar School and Inner Temple (admitted, 1651; called to bar, 1658); barrister-at-law; married, 6 August 1684, Anne Guilford, widow; died without issue after 1712;
(1.8) Mary Alston (1632-33), baptised 20 November 1632; died in infancy and was buried 1 September 1633; 
(1.9) Mary Alston (c.1633-1714) of Reading (Berks); died unmarried; will proved 7 May 1714.
He acquired an estate at Marlesford (Suffolk); at his death this passed to his son, Samuel and then to his grandson, Samuel Alston (1659-1727) who sold it.
He died 3 June 1641 and was buried in the chancel of Marlesford church (Suffolk) where he is commemorated by a monument.  His will was proved in the PCC, 6 August 1641. His first wife was buried, 18 May 1633.

Alston family of Odell Castle, baronets

Alston, Thomas (1572-1620), of Gedding Hall (Suffolk).  Sixth son of William Alston (c.1537-1618) and his first wife Margery, daughter of [forename unknown] Holmstead of Maplestead (Essex), baptised 16 November 1572. He married, 28 April 1606, Frances (d. 1644), daughter of Simon Blomfield of Coddenham and Monks Eleigh (Suffolk), and had issue:
(1) William Alston (1607-38), baptised 12 October 1607; purchased the Odell Castle estate, 1633; educated at Newton (Suffolk), Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (admitted 1624) and Inner Temple (admitted 1626/7; called to bar, 1634); barrister-at-law; Keeper of the Briefs in the Court of Kings Bench, 1634; died unmarried, 3 March 1637/8 and was buried at Odell (Beds), 16 March 1637/8, where he is commemorated by a monument; will proved 8 March 1637/8;
(2) Sir Thomas Alston (1609-78) (q.v.);
(3) Sir Edward Alston (1611-82) (q.v.); 
(4) John Alston (c.1614-87) (q.v.);
(5) Frances Alston (1618-c.1650), baptised 18 May 1618; married 1st, 3 August 1642, George Gooday of Bowers Hall, Pentlow (Suffolk), and 2nd, about 1646, Sir William Monson (d. 1672), 1st Viscount Monson of Castlemaine (who was degraded from the peerage as a regicide in 1661), and had issue by her second husband two sons and one daughter; died before 25 February 1650/1.
He purchased Gedding Hall (Suffolk).
He died 21 January 1619/20. His widow married 2nd, 16 February 1625/6, Sir John Temple of Stanton (Bucks) and died 11 September 1644; her will was proved 9 August 1646.

Alston, Sir Edward (1611-82), kt., of Frithhouse, East Barnet (Herts) and Strixton Manor (Northants).  Third son of Thomas Alston (1572-1620) of Gedding Hall and his wife Frances, daughter of Simon Blomfield of Coddenham and Monks Eleigh (Suffolk), baptised 22 May 1611. Educated at Eton and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (admitted 1628) and Inner Temple (admitted 1628).  Barrister-at-law of Inner Temple; knighted at Oxford, 1643; as a Royalist his lands in Bedfordshire were sequestrated, 1644 and he would appear not to have recovered them; he was granted a pension of £100 a year by King Charles II, perhaps in lieu of recovery.  He married 1st, Hester, daughter of Sir William Ashcombe of Alverscot (Oxon), and 2nd, 24 November 1670, Anne (d. 1696), widow of William Stratton and had issue:
(1.1) William Alston (c.1632-90); educated at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (admitted 1648) and Inner Temple (admitted 1647; called to bar, 1654); married, 21 August 1656, Elizabeth (d. 1664), daughter of Anthony Denny of Orleigh (Devon) and had issue three daughters; died 1690 and was buried at Strixton; will proved in PCC, 23 July 1690;
(1.2) Frances Alston (1633-35), baptised 31 December 1633; died in infancy and was buried at Odell, 1 April 1635;
(1.3) Thomas Alston (1635-58), baptised 14 April 1635; apprentice to Henry Davy of London, Turkey merchant, 1652-55 and then sent to Smyrna as Davy's agent, 1656-58; died unmarried before June 1658, when a grant of administration was issued;
(1.4) Frances Alston (b. 1636), baptised 30 January 1636/7; probably died young;
(1.5) Catherine Alston (1638-c.1718), baptised 24 February 1638/9; married John Wiseman of Bozeat and had issue one son and three daughters; will proved in PCC, 5 February 1718;
(1.6) Edward Alston (1641-1715), baptised 14 March 1640/1; educated at Grays Inn (admitted 1662); was subject to intermittent periods of madness and lived mainly with relatives or a keeper; died unmarried and without issue; buried in London, 9 December 1715; will proved in PCC, 2 November 1716;
(1.7) John Alston (1643-1705) of Edmonton (Middx), baptised 7 April 1643; died unmarried and without issue, January 1705 and was buried at Strixton;
(1.8) Ven. Charles Alston (c.1648-1714); educated at Clare Hall, Cambridge (admitted 1665/6; BA 1669; MA 1673; DD 1685); rector of Strixton (Northants), 1681-88; vicar of Northall (Middx), 1685-1714, where he built a new vicarage; prebendary of St Paul's Cathedral, 1681-1714 and Treasurer, 1707-14; Archdeacon of Middlesex 1689 and of Essex 1689-1714; died 7 June 1714 and was buried at Strixton; grant of administration, 31 August 1714.
He purchased, before 1658/9, the Frithhouse estate at East Barnet (Herts) where he had licence to impark 160 acres in 1660 (this estate was sold in 1682), and, about 1657, the manor of Strixton (Northants), which passed in turn to his eldest and youngest sons; the latter sold the estate before 1707 to his sister, Catherine Wiseman, who bequeathed it to her daughters, who sold it to John Spencer of Althorp (Northants). 
He died January 1681/2 and was buried at Strixton; his will was proved 12 January 1682/3.

Alston, John (c.1614-87), of Pavenham Bury. Youngest son of Thomas Alston (1572-1620) and his wife Frances, daughter of Simon Blomfield of Coddenham and Monks Eleigh (Suffolk), born about 1614. Educated at Eton, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (admitted 1631) and Inner Temple (admitted 1631; called to the bar, 1646). Barrister-at-law. He married, 4 January 1634/5, Dorothy (d. 1668), daughter of Sir John Temple of Stantonbury (his stepfather) and had issue, with three other children who died young:
(1) Frances Alston (1636-1722), baptised 20 March 1636; married Dr. Edward Reynolds, Archdeacon of Norfolk (1630-98) and had issue seven sons and five daughters; buried at Kingsthorpe (Northants), 17 September 1722
(2) twin, William Alston (1637-1708), baptised 13 August 1637; educated at St John's College, Cambridge (admitted 1654) and Inner Temple (admitted 1654; called to bar, 1662); barrister-at-law; married 1st, 16 October 1664, Thomasine Brooke (1643-69) and had issue two sons and one daughter, and 2nd, Sarah Lancaster (d. 1714); died 14 and was buried 16 November 1708 at Pavenham;
(3) twin, Dorothy Alston (b. 1637), baptised 13 August 1637; married Thomas Wells;
(4) John Alston (c.1640-1719); married, c.1669, Annie Wallis (fl. 1720) and had issue three sons and five daughters; buried 2 January 1718/9 at Pavenham;
(5) Thomas Alston (d. before 1678); apprenticed to William Stonestreet of London, grocer; died unmarried and without issue before 1678;
(6) Elizabeth Alston (b. 1639), baptised 25 March 1639; married, October 1661, Longworth Crosse of London, widower;
(7) Mary Alston (1642-44), baptised 27 November 1642; died in infancy and was buried 16 May 1644;
(8) Mary Alston (b. c.1653); married 31 October 1671, John Leman of London and had issue one son;
He purchased the manors of Cheynes and Braes at Pavenham (Beds), 1647 and lived in the 1640s and 1650s at Hinwick Hall (Beds), which he had bought with his brothers in 1638. At his death his estate at Pavenham passed to his son, William (1637-1708) and then to the latter's son William (1665-1713), grandson William (1710-36) and his sisters, who sold c.1745.
He died 13 August 1687 and was buried at Pavenham, 15 August 1687. 

Alston, Sir Thomas (1609-78), 1st bt.  Second son of Thomas Alston (1572-1620) and his wife Frances, daughter of Simon Blomfield of Coddenham and Monks Eleigh (Suffolk), baptised 28 August 1609.  Educated at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (admitted 1626) and Inner Temple (admitted 1627; called to the bar, 1639); barrister-at-law. High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, 1641-42; Assessment Commissioner for Bedfordshire, 1643, 1660; knighted, 13 June 1642. In the Civil War he was a Parliamentarian. He married, c.1639, Elizabeth (d. 1677), daughter of Sir Rowland St. John of Woodford (Northants) and had issue:
(1) Frances Alston (1642-94), baptised 2 March 1642/3; married, 24 January 1668/9, Sir John Pickering (c.1640-1703), 2nd bt. of Titchmarsh (Northants), and had issue two sons; buried 21 April 1694;
(2) Thomas Alston (1647-68), baptised 11 May 1647; educated at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1666); died in Oxford, 2 June 1668 and was buried at Odell, 2 July 1668;
(3) Rowland Alston (1650-52), baptised 26 July 1650; died in infancy and was buried, 11 October 1652;
(4) Elizabeth Alston (b. 1651) of Birchmoor, Woburn (Beds), baptised 28 May 1651; married 1st, 3 June 1672, Staveley Staunton of Birchmoor and had issue one daughter, and 2nd, 18 May 1679, Montague Pickering (1654-94), and had issue one son;
(5) Sir Rowland Alston (1652-97), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(6) Edward Alston (1655-58), baptised 18 November 1655; died young and was buried at Odell, 1 November 1658.
He purchased the Hinwick Hall estate with his brothers in 1638, but inherited the Odell Castle estate from his brother later the same year. Hinwick Hall was sold to the Orlebar family in 1653.
He died 5 July 1678 and was buried at Odell, 11 July 1678, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 19 July 1678. His wife was buried 10 September 1677.

Alston, Sir Rowland (1652-97), 2nd bt. Only surviving son of Sir Thomas Alston (1609-78), 1st bt., and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Rowland St. John of Woodford (Northants), baptised 11 November 1652. Educated at the Inner Temple (admitted 1670). He married, c.1675, the Hon. Temperance (1656-1728), daughter of Thomas Crewe, 2nd Baron Crewe of Stene, and had issue:
(1) Sir Thomas Alston (1676-1714), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(2) St. John Alston (1677-81), baptised 29 August 1677; died young and was buried at Odell, 23 May 1681;
(3) Crewe Alston (1678-c.1702), baptised 10 August 1678; sailor on HMS Essex; died before 5 March 1702/3, when a grant of administration was issued;
(4) Sir Rowland Alston (1679-1759), 4th bt. (q.v.);
(5) Horace Alston (1680/1-1712), baptised 21 March 1680/81; appointed Under-Sheriff of Durham for life, 1703, by his kinsman, Rt. Rev. Nathaniel Crewe, 3rd Baron Crewe of Stene, Bishop of Durham; died unmarried and was buried in Durham Cathedral, 9 December 1712;
(6) Rachel Alston (1681/2-83), baptised 20 February 1681/2; died in infancy and was buried at Odell, 30 June 1683;
(7) St. John Alston (1683-90), baptised 12 February 1682/3; died young and was buried 25 February 1689/90;
(8) Elizabeth Alston (1684-1756), baptised 18 November 1684; married 1st, 27 January 1725/6, Rt. Hon. General William Steuart (d. 1726) and 2nd, Henry Rowe (c.1692-1769) of Epsom (Surrey); died without issue, 21 May 1756 and was buried at Epsom;
(9) Rev. Vere John Alston (1685-1762), baptised 13 December 1685; educated at Lincoln College, Oxford (admitted 1706; BA 1709); ordained deacon and priest, 1713; rector of Odell, 1714-62; married 1st, 1 March 1713/4, Elizabeth (1689-1730), daughter of [forename unknown] Everard and widow of William Alston (1665-1713), and had issue four daughters; 2nd, 26 July 1731, Sarah Goffe (d. 1739/40) of Pavenham; and 3rd, 17 July 1740, Elizabeth Bletsoe (d. 1748) of Harrold (Beds); died 20 June 1762 and was buried at Odell, 23 June 1762; will proved at Bedford, 2 August 1762;
(10) Temperance Alston (1687-88), baptised 14 May 1687; died in infancy and was buried at Odell, 8 April 1688;
(11) Mary Alston (1687-1729), baptised 21 September 1687; married James Selby (d. 1724) of Wavendon (Bucks) and had issue one son; buried at Wavendon, 2 April 1729;
(12) Jemima Alston (1688-89), baptised 23 July 1688; died in infancy and was buried at Odell, 18 June 1689;
(13) Ann Alston (1689-1763), baptised 28 November 1689; married Dr Richard Mead MD (1673-1754); died without issue, 8 February 1763 and was buried at Harrold (Beds);
(14) Paulet Alston (b. & d. 1691), baptised 21 May and buried at Odell, 5 August 1691.
He inherited the Odell Castle estate from his father in 1678.  At his death he left a life interest to his widow, who seems to have remodelled the house.
He was buried at Odell, 24 September 1697. His widow married 2nd, 7 February 1700, Sir John Wolstonholme (1649-1709), 3rd bt., of Forty Hall, Enfield (Middx) and died 18 October 1728; she was buried at Odell with her first husband.

Alston, Sir Thomas (1676-1714), 3rd bt. Eldest son of Sir Rowland Alston (1652-97), 2nd bt., and his wife Temperance, daughter of Thomas Crewe, 2nd Baron Crewe of Stene, baptised 1676. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1692; MA 1693); MP for Bedford, 1698. He was unmarried and without issue.
He was buried at Odell, 25 December 1714; his will was proved at Bedford, 3 March 1714/5. He left instructions that his personal papers were to be burned and instructed that his corpse should be buried with minimal ceremony, being carried from his house to his grave after dark by the estate tenants, with only relations, tenants and villagers of Odell present, each of whom was to receive a pair of gloves to mark the occasion. 

Alston, Sir Rowland (1679-1759), 4th bt. Fourth son of Sir Rowland Alston (1652-97), 2nd bt., and his wife Temperance, daughter of Thomas Crewe, 2nd Baron Crewe of Stene, baptised 6 September 1679. Whig MP for Bedfordshire, 1722-41.  He had a reputation for leading a dissolute and immoral life, which led to reservations about his parliamentary candidacy. He married, 28 July 1717, Elizabeth (1698-1742), daughter and heiress of Capt. Thomas Raynes, and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Alston (c.1718-56); died unmarried, 30 April and was buried at Odell, 7 May 1756;
(2) Ann Alston (d. 1725); buried 4 May 1725;
(3) Temperance Alston (1718/9-25), baptised 22 January 1718/9; buried 29 May 1725;
(4) Rachel Alston (b. & d. 1722), baptised 24 August and was buried at Odell, 6 October 1722;
(5) Sir Thomas Alston (c.1724-74), 5th bt. (q.v.);
(6) Ann Alston (b. c.1726; fl. 1774); married, 3 March 1747/8, Rev. Dr. Robert Pye (d. 1788), vicar of Knotting and later rector of Odell and prebendary of Rochester Cathedral, and had issue a daughter; living in 1774;
(7) Col. Sir Rowland Alston (c.1727-91), 6th bt. (q.v.);
He inherited the Odell Castle estate from his mother in 1728.
He died 2 January 1759 and was buried at Odell; his will was proved 15 January 1759. His wife died 12 August 1742 and was buried at Odell, 20 August 1742.

Sir Thomas Alston, 5th bt.
Alston, Sir Thomas (c.1724-74), 5th bt. Elder son of Sir Rowland Alston (1679-1759), 4th bt., and his wife Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Capt. Thomas Raynes, born about 1724. Educated at Westminster School and Queens College, Cambridge (admitted, 1740); served in 1st Foot Guards (ensign, 1741; captain, 1743; retired, 1745); MP for Bedfordshire, 1747-61. He suffered from periods of insanity and was briefly confined in an asylum in 1752, but released on promising to undergo treatment. He himself "insisted he had been greatly heated of late by drinking and . . . . . that any extravagancies he might have been guilty of, were owing to that, and to that only", but the following year a friend wrote "I hear he has been in a bad way again lately". Lord Egmont thought him "frequently not in any tolerable state of sanity even for Parliament", but he was returned unopposed in 1754. He married, 30 August 1750, Catherine Davies (d. 1778), daughter of Rev. Thomas Davies Bovey of Longstowe (Cambs), but they separated by mutual consent in 1752 and had no legitimate issue. He then formed a liaison with his housekeeper, Margaret Lee (d. 1809), by whom he had issue:
(X1) Thomas Alston (c.1755-1823) (q.v.);
(X2) Rowland Alston (1758-87), baptised 21 July 1758; educated at Inner Temple (admitted 1776); died unmarried, 21 April 1787; buried at Odell.
He inherited the Odell Castle estate from his father in 1759, and property at Lydd and Molash (Kent) and Harrold (Beds) from his great-aunt, Ann Mead, in 1763.  At his death his estates passed to Margaret Lee and then to their natural son, Thomas Alston.
He died 18 July 1774 and was succeeded in the title by his brother; his will was proved 21 November 1776 after legal proceedings to contest its validity. Margaret Lee married, 1792, Lt-Col. Robert Garstin (d. 1815) of Harrold and Braganstown (Ireland), and lived at Harrold until her death on 24 July 1809. Following their separation, Alston's wife had a relationship with John Wasse, reputedly a horse dealer from Stafford, and had issue a son, Charles Wasse alias Alston (who after 1791 assumed the title of baronet without authority) and a daughter; the children took the surname Alston in 1774.

Col. Sir Rowland Alston, 6th bt.
Alston, Col. Sir Rowland (c.1727-91), 6th bt.  Younger son of Sir Rowland Alston (1679-1759), 4th bt., and his wife Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Capt. Thomas Raynes, born about 1727.  Educated at Westminster and Clare College, Cambridge (admitted 1743). Served in 1st Foot Guards (ensign, 1745; captain, 1748; lieutenant-colonel, 1758; retired, 1762); High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, 1779-80. He married, 22 September 1753 in the Fleet Liberty, London, Gertrude (1731-1807), daughter of Rev. Thomas Durnford, rector of Rockbourne (Hants), but had no issue, so at his death the family baronetcy became extinct.
He died 29 June 1791 and was buried 9 July 1791 at Odell; his will was proved in the PCC, 13 July 1791. His widow died 14 March 1807 and was buried at Odell, 24 March 1807.

Alston, Thomas (c.1755-1823), of Odell Castle.  Illegitimate son of Sir Thomas Alston (c.1724-74) and Margaret Lee, born about 1755. Served in Royal Regiment of Horse Guards (captain, 1774). He married, 1778, Elizabeth (b. 1756), daughter of Justinian Raynsford of Brixworth Hall (Northants) and had issue:
(1) Thomas Alston (b. 1779); died young;
(2) Justinian Alston (1780-1848) (q.v.);
(3) Rowland Alston (1782-1865) (q.v.);
(4) Thomas Alston (1784-1807), born 21 February 1784; served with 40th Regiment of Foot; killed at Battle of Montevideo (Uruguay), 3 February 1807; commemorated by a fine monument at Odell church;
(5) Elizabeth Jane Alston (1787-1809); born 4 February and baptised 21 March 1787; died 3 and buried 13 January 1809;
(6) Rev. Vere John Alston (1788-1863); educated at St John's College, Cambridge (admitted 1806, BA 1810); rector of Cowesby (Yorks), 1816-32; rector of Odell, 1829-63, but became bankrupt and fled to France in 1847, where he lived in exile for the rest of his life; married 1st, August 1813, Elizabeth Mary, daughter of the Rev. James Barnard of Combe Florey (Somerset) and had issue three sons and two daughters, and 2nd, 2 October 1845, Maria (d. 1863), daughter of Benjamin Longuet of Bath, and widow of Richard Orlebar of Hinwick; died in Calais, 24 May 1863; will proved 30 June 1865 (estate under £2000);
(7) Henry Frederick Alston (1790-1864), born 23 January and baptised 7 August 1790; secretary of the Canterbury Association (to assist emigrants to New Zealand); married 1st, 11 December 1811, Elizabeth, daughter of David Ball of Satborough [not identified] (Somerset) and had issue three sons and one daughter, 2nd, 13 November 1826, Louisa Sophia (b. 1794), daughter of Nicholas Raynsford and had issue one son, and 3rd, 29 October 1839, Jane (1818-77), daughter of Alex Nicholson of Ufford (Suffolk) and had issue two daughters; died 20 and was buried 26 December 1864; will proved 13 December 1865 (estate under £800);
(8) Charlotte Temperance Alston (1791-1810), born 16 November and baptised 29 December 1791; died at Sidmouth (Devon), 1810, aged 19;
(9) Mary Ann Alston (1793-?1870), born 11 and baptised 21 May 1793; died unmarried; perhaps the person of that name buried at St Giles, Camberwell (Surrey), 9 December 1870;
(10) Frances Margaret Alston (1794-1869), born 5 and baptised 14 September 1794; died unmarried at Wembdon (Somerset), 14 January 1869; will proved 11 February 1869 (estate under £6,000);
(11) Emma Maria Alston (1796-1883), born 27 April and baptised 5 May 1796; died unmarried at Wembdon (Somerset), 15 March 1883; will proved 1 May 1883 (estate £10,239);
(12) Caroline Matilda Alston (1799-1871), born 19 February and baptised 10 March 1799; died unmarried at Wembdon (Somerset), 28 July 1871; will proved 12 August 1871 (estate under £10,000);
(13) Rev. Charles William Horace Alston (1801-70); educated at St Mary Hall, Oxford (BA 1831; MA 1832); ordained deacon 1830 and priest, 1831; vicar of Wembdon (Somerset), 1845-70; died unmarried, 10 August 1870; will proved 10 September 1870 (estate under £5,000).
He inherited the Odell Castle and Harrold Hall estates from his mother in 1809, and remodelled Harrold Hall in 1816.
He died 31 January 1823.

Alston, Justinian (1780-1848) of Odell Castle. Eldest surviving son of Thomas Alston (c.1755-1823) and his wife Elizabeth Raynsford of Brixworth Hall, baptised 19 October 1780. Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1798; BA 1802). JP for Bedfordshire, 1817. He married, 20 June 1816, Mary (d. 1845), daughter of Gen. John Manners Ker and had issue:
(1) Justinian Alston (1817-45), baptised 6 July 1817; educated at Eton; married, 1841 at Frankfurt (Germany), Anna Hepburne (c.1823-58), daughter of A.H. Mercer; died 2 October 1845 at Baden Baden (Germany);
(2) Isabella Jane Alston (b. 1819), born 8 October and baptised 7 November 1819; married Maj. Henich of the Grand Duchy of Baden (Germany);
(3) Mary Elizabeth Alston (b. 1821), born 24 October and baptised 20 November 1821; married, 1840, M. de Lassence.
(4) Crewe Alston (1828-1901) (q.v.);
He lived at Wootton (Beds) until he inherited the Odell Castle estate from his father in 1823.
He died at Winterbach (Germany), 11 January 1848.

Alston, Crewe (1828-1901) of Odell Castle.  Younger but only surviving son of Justinian Alston (1780-1848) and his wife Mary, daughter of Gen. John Manners Ker, born 28 July and baptised 4 August 1828. Educated at St. John's College, Cambridge (admitted, 1848); JP for Bedfordshire; High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, 1862. Treasurer of the Society for the Promoting a Cessation of Hostilities in America, which supported the Confederate cause in the American Civil War. He was bankrupted in 1885. He married 1st, 27 February 1851, Mary (d. 1856), daughter of Rev. Hugh Speke, and 2nd, 21 December 1857, Emily Dorothy Henrietta Cecil (1836-1904), daughter of Frederick Beckford Long of Hampton Lodge, Farnborough (Hants), and had issue:
(1.1) Rowland Crewe Alston (1852-1933) (q.v.);
(1.2) Vere Speke Alston (1853-1931), born 11 April and baptised 19 May 1853; educated at Harrow, Pembroke College, Cambridge (matriculated 1872; BA 1876) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1875; called to bar, 1878); practised before the High Court at Umballa (India), and afterwards at Cairo (Egypt); Judge of the Native Court of Appeal at Cairo, 1897.  In retirement lived in London and Cannes (France).  Married, 1 September 1898, Ann Sophia Penn, daughter of Samuel Chew, of Philadelphia (USA), but died without issue, 5 November 1931; will proved 29 January 1932 (estate £18,218);
(1.3) Mary Emma Isabella Alston (1855-1937); married, 28 February 1881 at British Embassy in Rome, Charles Edward Coles (d. 1926) of Ruishton Lodge (Somerset), son of Maj-Gen. Coles, and had issue one son; lived in Biarritz and later Cannes (France); died 14 March 1937; will proved 29 May 1937 (estate £640);
(2.1) Emily Isabella Alston (1858-64), born 5 September 1858; died young, 9 June 1864;
(2.2) Edith Alston (1859-1921) of Clock House, Marnhull (Dorset), born 21 December 1859 and baptised 15 April 1860; died unmarried, 10 May 1921 and was buried at Odell, 14 May 1921; will proved 20 July 1921 (estate £496);
(2.3) Diana Alston (c.1860-1940) of Clock House, Marnhull (Dorset), baptised 3 March 1861; married, 8 October 1884, George Burnand (d. 1917) of Bexhill (Sussex) and had issue; died 31 December 1940 and was buried at Marnhull, 2 January 1941, aged 80; grant of administration, 28 May 1941 (estate £364);
(2.4) Beatrice Alston (1862-1928), baptised 25 August 1862; died unmarried, 28 October 1928; will proved 3 April 1928 (estate £3,606);
(2.5) Crewe Alston (1864-65), born 23 March 1864; died in infancy, 8 February 1865 and was buried at Odell, 15 February 1865;
(2.6) Dudley Alston (b. 1865), baptised 17 December 1865; commercial clerk; married, 6 August 1892, Annie Emma Maris and had issue at least one daughter.
He inherited Odell Castle from his father in 1848; it was protected during his bankruptcy by the entail which meant he was only a life tenant, with no power to sell.
He died 11 August and was buried at Odell, 14 August 1901. His widow died 24 November 1904; her will was proved 24 January 1905 (estate £134).

Alston, Rowland Crewe (1852-1933), of Odell Castle. Eldest son of Crewe Alston (1828-1901) and his first wife, Mary, daughter of Rev. Hugh Speke, born 14 February 1852. Educated at Brighton College, Peterhouse, Cambridge (matriculated 1872; BA 1876), and Inner Temple (admitted 1877). JP for Bedfordshire. He married, 1st, 17 August 1882, Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Capt. Richard Alison Johnson of Bredenbury Court (Herefs) and 2nd, 23 December 1916, Catherine McKechnie (d. 1945), and had issue:
(1.1) May Alison Alston (b. 1883), born 8 July 1883; living 1901
(1.2) Vera Alison Alston (b. & d. 1885), baptised 25 February 1885; died about April 1885;
(1.3) Avice Lucy Alston (b.1886), born 13 November and baptised 12 December 1886; married, 26 October 1910, Gordon Alston Coles, son of Charles Edward Coles of Ruishton Lodge (Somerset)
(1.4) Capt. Rowland Alison Alston (1888-1948) of Harrold Hall, born 2 May and baptised 28 July 1888; educated at Eton; Lt. in Coldstream Guards and served WW1 as Capt. in Northamptonshire Regiment; MBE 1919; lived at Harrold Hall, c.1914-28; married 1st, 7 June 1910 (div. 1926), Dorothy Mildred (1887-1966), daughter of Charles Grey Pym of Caesar's Camp (Beds), and had issue two daughters; married 2nd, July 1932, Seraphine Amelia (known as Amelie) Scher (d. 1961); died 7 October 1948 at Cagnes-sur-Mer (France); will proved 20 May 1949 (estate £20,470);
(2.1) Crewe Alston (1918-2004), born 11 February 1918; served in RAF during WW2; married, 2 August 1947, Freda Elsie (1918-2000), daughter of George Roddis; died 29 January and was buried 13 February 2004;
(2.2) Temperance Alston (1920-2011), born 29 July 1920; served in WW2 in Women's Land Army, 1942-48; emigrated to Australia, 1961; married, June 1988, Roderick Payne (1909-98); died without issue in Brisbane (Australia), 8 November 2011.
He inherited Odell Castle from his father in 1901; it was destroyed by fire in 1931 and the estate was sold after his death.
He died 12 January and was buried at Odell, 16 January 1933; his will was proved 29 January 1934 and 2 April 1935 (estate £24,084). 

Alston family of Pishiobury (Herts) and The Tofte, Sharnbrook (Beds)

Alston, Rowland (1782-1865) of Pishiobury. Third, but second surviving, son of Thomas Alston (c.1755-1823) of Odell Castle and his wife Elizabeth Raynsford of Brixworth Hall (Northants), born 7 June 1782. Served as an Ensign in 3rd Regiment of Guards and saw action in Battle of Copenhagen, 1807. JP for Hertfordshire and Essex and Chairman of Hertfordshire Quarter Sessions; DL for Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire; MP for Hertfordshire, 1835; Provincial Grand Master of Freemasons in Essex, 1845-54. He married, 26 May 1810, Rose (1782-1824), eldest daughter of Jeremiah Milles of Pishiobury (Herts) and had issue:
(1) Rowland Gardiner Alston (1812-82), born 1 March 1812 and baptised 14 April 1812; educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1830; BA 1834); DL for Hertfordshire; died unmarried, 24 April 1882;
(2) William Vere Alston (1816-92), born 3 July 1816; educated at Eton; civil servant in War Office; married Ellen Mary Annesley; died unmarried, 10 January 1892; will proved 24 February 1892 (estate £342);
(3) Charles Jeremiah Walter Alston (1817-18), born 4 June and baptised 15 August 1817; died in infancy, 20 May 1818;
(4) Rose Alston (1818-87), born 7 April 1818; nun at Ascot Priory (Berks); died unmarried, 23 April 1887;
(5) Harriet Alston (1819-77), born 30 June 1819; married, 19 October 1841, Sir Thomas Neville Abdy (d. 1877), 1st bt., and had issue four sons and one daughter; died 8 July 1877;
(6) Sir Francis Beilby Alston (1820-1905), kt. (q.v.)
(7) Caroline Alston (1822-1907), born 14 February 1822; married, 25 December 1854, Col. Charles Hesketh Case HEICS (d. 1876), son of Henry Case; died ?without issue, 16 April 1907; will proved 14 June 1907 (estate £26,312).
He inherited Pishiobury in right of his wife, but sold it to Mr Ede, a Turkey merchant, in 1847.
He died 21 November 1865. 

Alston, Sir Francis Beilby (1820-1905). Youngest son of Rowland Alston (1782-1865) of Pishiobury and his wife Rose, daughter of Jeremiah Milles of Pishiobury, born 29 November and baptised 6 December 1820. Educated at Eton; civil servant in Foreign Office, 1839-90 (Senior Clerk, 1857-66; Chief Clerk, 1866-90); JP for Middlesex and London; married, 24 April 1862, Emily Louisa Caroline (1842-1907), elder daughter of Bridges Taylor of Elsinore (Denmark), and had issue:
(1) Alexander Rowland Alston (1863-1945) of The Tofte, Sharnbrook (q.v.);
(2) Elca Rose Alston (1865-1889), born 25 February and baptised 8 April 1865; married, 6 November 1888, Edward Constable Curtis (d. 1947) of The Hall, Great Berkhamsted (Herts), but died without issue, 31 July 1889; buried at Berkhamsted, 3 August 1889;
(3) Norah Frances Alston (1867-1939); married, 24 December 1895, Godfrey William Paget Mellor, second son of Rt. Hon. John William Mellor PC MP (d. 1935) and had issue; died 1 February 1939; will proved 20 March 1939 (estate £3,421);
(4) Rt. Hon. Sir Beilby Francis Alston (1868-1929), born 8 October 1868; educated privately and abroad; entered diplomatic service, 1890 (in Peking, 1911-13, 1916-17; Minister Plenipotentiary to Japan, 1919-20 and China, 1920-22; Minister to Argentina and Paraguay, 1923-25; HM Ambassador to Brazil, 1926-29); admitted to Privy Council, 1925; CB 1913; KCMG 1920; GBE 1929. He married, 19 May 1900, Hilda (d. 1945), daughter of Maj-Gen. R. Gream of Hassocks (Sussex) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 28 June 1929; will proved 10 August 1929 (estate £22,103);
(5) Avis Theresa Alston (b. & d. 1870), baptised 20 March 1870; died in infancy, 20 July 1870; 
(6) Edward Gardiner Alston (1871-97), educated at Rugby; served as Lt. in Coldstream Guards; Vice-Consul in Nyasaland (now Malawi) and distinguished himself by suppressing the slave trade in British Central Africa; died unmarried of fever, 14 April 1897;
(7) Col. Conyers William Alston (1873-1934), born 12 February and baptised 3 April 1873; educated at Rugby and Queens College, Oxford (matriculated 1891); served in Royal Artillery in Boer War and WW1, wounded; Col. and Inspector-General of Cape Field Artillery; married, 25 March 1905, Jane Madeline (1873-1958), daughter of John M. McEacharn of Glasgow and had issue two daughters; died at Stellenbosch (South Africa), 11 May 1934; will proved 18 December 1935 (estate £1,453);
(8) Rowland Ernest Alston (1874-1904), born 7 June 1874; educated at Rugby; Lieutenant in 1st Bttn, Royal Fusiliers; served in expedition to Tibet, 1904, where he died of pneumonia and was buried in the Chumbi Valley; administration granted 21 August 1905 (estate £1,848);
(9) Elca Temperance Alston (1876-1940), baptised 6 December 1876; died unmarried, 11 February 1940; will proved 22 April 1940 (estate £4,741);
(10) Brig-Gen. Francis George Alston CMG DSO (1878-1961), born 19 July 1878; educated at Eton and abroad; served with Scots Guards in Boer War and WW1 (Capt, 1906; Major 1915; Lt-Col. 1921; Colonel, 1922); Brig-Gen. in charge of administration of London district, 1918-20; Lt-Col. of Scots Guards, 1921-25 and 1927-31; Instructor Senior Officers School, 1925-1927; Assistant Adjutant-General, War Office, 1927 and 1939-1941; Assistant Quartermaster General, Western Command, 1932-1935; retired, 1935; married, 1 June 1907, Harriet Antoinette, daughter of John Tarn, and had issue one son and two daughters; died 10 March 1961; will proved 28 April 1961 (estate £24,412).
He died 24 August 1905; his will was proved, 5 October 1906 (estate £58,530). His widow died 25 November 1907; her will was proved 21 December 1907 (estate £9,141).

Alston, Alexander Rowland (1863-1945) of The Tofte, Sharnbrook.  Eldest son of Sir Francis Beilby Alston KCMG (1820-1905) and his wife Emily Louisa Caroline, daughter of Bridges Taylor, born 2 July and baptised 22 August 1863. Educated at Eton. JP for Bedfordshire; High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, 1917-18. Treasurer of the North Bedfordshire Unionist Association. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society; an active traveller and big game hunter; freemason and antiquary. He married, 12 July 1898, Muriel Marian Beatrice (b. 1866), daughter of Canon Thomas Blundell, rector of Halsall (Lancs) and had issue:
(1) Alexandra Rose Alston (1899-1966), born 27 May 1899; married, 4 January 1923, Bertram Francis George Currie (d. 1959), banker, of Dingley Hall (Northants) and had issue one son and two daughters; died about December 1966;
(2) Adelaide Muriel Alston (1901-42), born 2 April 1901; died unmarried, 29 January 1942; will proved 8 September 1942 (estate £554);
(3) Maj. Edward Rowland Milles Alston (b. 1902), born 5 September 1902; educated at Eton; served in Scots Guards; MBE 1946; married 3 October 1924, Sylvia Doreen Isabel, daughter of Walter Lawrence Bevan of Trent Park and had issue one daughter; lived latterly in Majorca (Spain);
(4) Rosemary Alston (1904-70), born 24 June 1904; died unmarried, December 1970.
He acquired Tofte Manor (alias The Tofte), Sharnbrook and remodelled it in 1902, but sold it before his death.
He died 9 July 1945. His wife died 15 July 1941; her will was proved 23 January 1942 (estate £360).


Burke's Extinct & Dormant Baronetcies, 2nd edn, 1841, pp. 5-7; L. Cresswell, Stemmata Alstoniana, 1905; R. Marchbank, Pavenham: the life story of a village, 1993;;

Location of archives

Alston family of Odell, baronets: deeds, family and estate papers, 1523-1919 [Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service]
Alston family of Pishiobury and The Tofte: legal and financial papers, 19th-20th centuries [Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service X781]; diplomatic correspondence of Sir Francis Beilby Alston, 1908-15 [The National Archives, FO800/244-248]; diaries of Edward Gardiner Alston, 1894-96 [National Archives of Zimbabwe, AL4]

Coat of arms

Azure, ten etoiles or, four, three, two and one.