Tuesday, 19 July 2016

(221) Aston of Aston Hall, Aston-by-Sutton

Aston of Aston-by-Sutton
The Aston family is first documented in the reign of Henry II, when charters record one Gilbert de Aston, Lord of Aston juxta Sutton. The family built up a large estate in Cheshire and other parts of the country (especially in Berkshire, Warwickshire and Derbyshire), largely through the marriage of their male heirs to a female heiresses. The estate descended lineally until the death of Sir Thomas Aston, 4th Baronet, in 1744, when the baronetcy reverted to a collateral male line settled on the family's Berkshire estate, and the Cheshire property passed to his elder sister Catherine, wife of the Hon. & Rev. Henry Harvey (d. 1748), who took the name of Aston. The estate remains in the possession of their descendants. The genealogy of the family is traced below from the early 15th century, but the account given is very deficient until the mid 17th century because of the unfortunate deficiency of key parish register sources. 

Sir Richard Aston (d. 1492), kt. was succeeded by his grandson, Richard Aston (c.1470-1529), and then by the latter's son, Thomas Aston (d. 1553). In addition to five known legitimate sons, Thomas was probably also the father of an illegitimate son, Sir Roger Aston (d. 1612), kt., who was for unknown reasons raised in Scotland and came to hold positions of trust at the court of King James VI of Scotland. He was married to a cousin of the King and was employed on sensitive diplomatic work as well as carrying out his duties as huntsman, falconer and park-keeper. When King James inherited the English throne, he moved south with him, and became MP for Cheshire and Master of the Wardrobe in addition to his other responsibilities. No doubt if Sir Roger had had sons he would have founded a cadet branch of the Astons, but as it was his substantial estate was divided among his four daughters.

Thomas Aston's eldest legitimate son, and the heir to the Aston estate, was John Aston (c.1513-73), who was succeeded at his death by Sir Thomas Aston (c.1547-1613), kt., who is recorded to have reconstructed the medieval manor house at Aston in 1575-77. Sir Thomas's second son was Sir Arthur Aston (c.1572-1627), a professional soldier who was killed during the Duke of Buckingham's ill-fated assault on the Ile de Rhé and who was the father of another Sir Arthur Aston (1590-1649), a Royalist commander in the Civil War who was among those massacred in 1649 after Cromwellian forces captured Drogheda in Ireland. The younger Sir Arthur regularly appears in lists of the top ten 'most bizarre deaths' as he is said to have had his brains dashed out with his own wooden leg!

Sir Thomas was succeeded at Aston in 1613 by his eldest son, John Aston, who died two years later leaving a young family. His eldest son and heir, Sir Thomas Aston (1600-46), 1st bt., was educated at Oxford as well as the Inns of Court.
Sir Thomas Aston, 1st bt., at the deathbed of his wife,
by John Souch, 
1635.
He was MP for Cheshire during the Short Parliament in 1640, and his diary of its proceedings survives. When the Civil War broke out in 1642 he raised and commanded a troop of horse for the King, but after fighting at Edgehill was involved only in local engagements in Cheshire and Staffordshire. After one of these he was captured by the Roundheads and sent as a prisoner to Stafford Castle, where he died a few years later from injuries received while attempting to escape. Sir Thomas married twice, and when his first wife died in 1635 he commissioned a painting of himself at her deathbed from John Souch. None of the children from this marriage survived into adulthood, and Sir Thomas married again, choosing as his bride Anne, the daughter and sole heiress of Sir Henry Willoughby, bt. of Risley Hall (Derbys). This second marriage produced a son and heir and two daughters, but the family was very young when Sir Thomas died in 1646. The Aston estate had then been sequestered for delinquency, but Sir Thomas' brother John Aston (1604-50) seems to have stepped in to prevent its sale and it was eventually returned to the family after the payment of fines. Sir Thomas' widow married again (to Hon. Anchitel Grey, a younger son of the 1st Earl of Stamford) and took her new husband and children to live at Risley.


Sir Willoughby Aston (1640-1702), 2nd bt., succeeded to the Aston estate when he came of age in 1661. Even before that, King Charles II's gratitude for his father's Civil War service had earned him a lucrative contract to collect the customs on French wine imports into the ports of Chester and north Wales. The income from this source may have helped to pay for his ambitious rebuilding of the old medieval and Elizabethan manor house at Aston with an up-to-date house on a new site in the park, in about 1668. Sir Willoughby married, in 1664 or 1665, Mary Offley, the child of a prominent Royalist family in Staffordshire. At the time of the marriage she can only have been fourteen or fifteen, but over the next thirty years she bore him twenty-one children, fourteen of whom survived into adulthood. In 1688, when Anne Grey died, her estate at Risley (Derbys) passed to her widower and then to her daughter (Elizabeth Grey) by her second marriage, but Anne's other property, including estates at Nuneaton (Warks) and Stanford-in-the-Vale (Berks) came to Sir Willoughby Aston, and in 1686 he also inherited Wadley House from his maternal kinsman, Sir Henry Purefoy (1657-86), 1st bt.

At his death in 1702, Sir Willoughby divided his estates between two of his sons. The eldest, Sir Thomas Aston (1666-1725), 3rd bt. received the Cheshire and Warwickshire properties, and Richard Aston (1675-1741), the Berkshire estates. Why Richard was favoured for this inheritance above his elder brothers (several of whom, like himself, were London merchants), is not clear. In 1723, on the death of Elizabeth Grey, Richard also inherited the Risley estate in Derbyshire, although he seems rarely to have visited it.

In contrast to his father, Sir Thomas Aston, 3rd bt., married relatively late in life, and when he died in 1725 he left a young family of one son and eight daughters. His widow and the daughters moved to Lichfield, where the young Dr Samuel Johnson was a frequent visitor to their house, delighting particularly in the company and conversation of the second daughter, Molly Aston (c.1706-56), despite her strongly Whig political views, which were at odds with his Tory sentiments. The Cheshire and Warwickshire estates passed to Sir Thomas Aston (1704-44), 4th bt., who married at the beginning of 1736 but was widowed little more than a year later, and left childless. He died unexpectedly while travelling in France in 1744, and his estates passed to his eldest sister, Catherine (1705-55), and her husband, the Hon. & Rev. Henry Hervey (1700-48), fifth son of the 1st Earl of Bristol. Hervey took the name Aston under a private Act of Parliament in 1743, and on his wife's death in 1755 the estates passed to their only surviving son, Henry Hervey Aston (1741-85), who came of age in 1762. The younger Henry's marriage in 1759 to Catherine Dicconson of Wrightington Hall produced a number of children, but seems to have been a somewhat intermittent relationship: in 1765 he travelled on the continent with a Frenchwoman who was passed off as Mrs. Aston, and in his will he provided for four illegitimate children by two different ladies. His only legitimate son was Col. Henry Hervey Aston (1762-98), a warm-tempered man who was regularly embroiled in duels and whose sporting interests extended beyond hunting to cricket and pugilism. Col. Aston was also responsible for the remodelling of Aston Hall to the designs of Samuel Wyatt, and for laying out the grounds to the designs of Humphry Repton. In 1794 he accepted a commission in the 12th Foot, with whom he went to India two years later. He was mortally wounded in a duel with a brother officer on 23 December 1798 (the second he had fought on consecutive days), leaving his widow (1765-1815) to bring up their young family and complete the landscaping of the grounds at Aston.

Henry Charles Hervey Aston (1792-1821) came of age in 1813 and married the following year to the daughter of an Irish merchant trading in Spain. His only son, Arthur Wellington Hervey Aston (1816-39) died unmarried soon after coming of age, prompting a Chancery suit about the descent of the estates. Following a decree in 1843, the Warwickshire estates were sold for the benefit of some of the claimants, while the core Aston estate passed to his uncle, Sir Arthur Ingram Aston (1796-1859), kt., a career diplomat who was British minister in Spain at the time. Sir Arthur retired from the service and took up his duties as squire at Aston, but as he was unmarried and without issue he sought to simplify the succession to the estate by buying out the reversionary interest of one his great-nephews, Charles Arthur Chetwynd Talbot (1843-69) in order bequeath the estate in its entirety to the other, Lt-Col. Arthur Hervey Talbot (1838-84).  Unfortunately, after his death, the purchase of the reversionary interest was set aside by the courts on the grounds that Charles Talbot had been in a weak bargaining position and had insufficient knowledge of the value of his rights. As a result the estate was vested in Trustees and let during the later 19th century. Brig-Gen. Arthur Hervey Talbot (1863-1927) moved back into the hall in about 1900 but let it again later. When General Talbot died his affairs were found to be in some confusion, and anxiety over the future of the estate was blamed for the suicide of his son and heir, Col. Douglas Hervey Talbot, a few months later. The next heir was Col. Talbot's only son, Bryan Hervey Talbot (1916-2008), who demolished the main house soon after coming of age. In the 1950s he refurbished the dower house, Aston Lodge, as a new centre for the estate, and this remains the property of his descendants.

In 1702, Sir Willoughby Aston, 2nd bt., left Wadley House and his Berkshire estates to one of his younger sons, Richard Aston (1675-1741), who seems to have been responsible for the substantial rebuilding of Wadley House in the early 18th century. Richard also, in 1723, inherited the Risley Hall estate in Derbyshire from his half-aunt, Elizabeth Grey, but having invested heavily in improving Wadley, he understandably largely ignored the large house at Risley, which was occupied by his agent. In 1741, Richard was succeeded in both estates by his elder son, Willoughby Aston (1714-72), who in 1744 also inherited the family baronetcy on the death of his cousin, Sir Thomas Aston, 4th bt. Sir Willoughby Aston, 5th bt. tried and failed to sell the Risley estate in 1741, and in 1757 he demolished the old house there. In 1764 he also sold the Wadley House estate to his brother-in-law, Charles Pye of Faringdon House, and he lived thereafter chiefly in London, although he also retained (and indeed rebuilt) a town house in Derby. When Sir Willoughby died in 1772, the remaining Risley estate was sold almost at once by his son and heir, Sir Willoughby Aston (1749-1815), 6th and last bt., who like his father lived chiefly in London, although he seems to have rented a number of properties in Hampshire in the late 18th century. He died without issue in 1815, and on his widow's death in 1823 their property was divided between his sisters and her surviving relations.


Aston Hall, Aston-by-Sutton, Cheshire

The medieval house stood south-west of Aston church, and formed the western side of an irregular quadrangle of office and farm buildings, which was reconstructed in 1575-77 for Sir Thomas Aston. It seems likely that this house was damaged during the Civil War, for it was replaced by Sir Willoughby Aston, 2nd bt., soon after he came of age at the Restoration. The new house was built in 1668 and as first designed it was probably of two storeys with hipped roofs and attics. The architect is unknown, but the suggestion that this was Thomas Webb of Middlewich, mason, who worked at Erddig Hall (Flints.) in the 1680s and who in 1697 rebuilt the chancel of Aston church for Sir Willoughby, seems improbable as he would have been a very young man and perhaps still an apprentice at the time. 


Aston Hall, Aston-by-Sutton. Image: Cheshire Archives & Local Studies
In the early 19th century, Ormerod described the new building as 'sumptuous' but by then the house had been altered to the designs of Samuel Wyatt in the early 1790s. Wyatt was at that time also engaged on alterations to Kinmel Park (Denbighs.) and the Bishop's Palace at St. Asaph (Flints.), which no doubt explains how the commission arose. Wyatt's alterations produced the house shown in the photographs here. It would seem that he raised the wings to three storeys and the centre to four, refenestrated the house with regular sash windows, and added the pedimented tripartite centrepiece on the first floor and the ground-floor portico. Unfortunately, nothing is known about the interior decoration of the house.


Aston Hall, Aston-by-Sutton: side elevation.

Alongside Wyatt's remodelling of the house, Col. Henry Hervey Aston commissioned Humphry Repton to landscape the grounds, and the resultant 'Red Book' (now in the Mellon Collection) is dated 1793. There was a park here by the early 17th century, but the timber trees in the grounds had been felled for naval use in the 1740s, leaving a large open lawn. Repton criticised the approach to the house as being too open, and laid out the line of a new drive from the Top Lodge between two stands of trees, and planted belts of coppice wood to screen less sightly features of the estate, and to create framed vistas in the landscape. Col. Aston was killed in a duel in India in 1798, but in 1802 his widow brought Repton back to undertake further work, with the support of one of his sons and James Wyatt; their proposals were sketched in the back of the original Red Book. The main change made at this time was to demolish two mills close to the house in Dingley Dell and build in their place a summerhouse set at the top of a cascade; the mill pool and its dam were retained to power the cascade. Repton published an engraving of this 'Garden Room', probably used as a conservatory for tender plants, in Peacock's Polite Repository in 1804: it was a little tripartite building with a central canted bay commanding views down the Dell, and flanking bays with round-arched windows.



Aston Hall and the centre of the park from the Ordnance Survey 6" map surveyed in 1874-77.

For much of the 19th century, Aston Hall was owned by minors and absentees and then passed to trustees who leased it. Arthur Hervey Talbot took up residence in the hall about 1900 but it was again let by 1914, and after Bryan Hervey Talbot came of age in 1937 the main house was demolished in 1938, while the Georgian dower house (now called Aston Lodge) with a plain classical brick front was retained as a centre for the estate. There are also two lodges (one of which, Top Lodge, is said to be by Wyatt, although it does not look very typical of him), a brick dovecote of 1696, and extensive walled gardens. The church at Aston was built originally as a chapel of ease and only gained parochial status in 1635. It was restored by Sir Thomas Aston, 1st bt., in 1637, and the chancel was rebuilt by Thomas Webb for Sir Willoughby Aston, 2nd bt. in 1697. The nave was replaced in 1736-40, and there may have been further changes by Samuel Wyatt c.1793. The church was restored in 1857 and again, after Second World War bomb damage, by Wright & Hamlyn in 1949-50.

Descent: Sir Richard Aston (d. 1492), kt.; to grandson, Richard Aston (d. 1529); to son, Thomas Aston (d. 1553); to son, John Aston (d. 1573); to son, Sir Thomas Aston (d. 1613), kt.; to son, John Aston (d. 1615); to son, Sir Thomas Aston (1600-46), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Willoughby Aston (1640-1702), 2nd bt., who rebuilt the house; to son, Sir Thomas Aston (1666-1725), 3rd bt.; to son, Sir Thomas Aston (c.1705-44), 4th bt.; to sister, Catherine (1705-55), wife of Hon. & Rev. Dr. John Hervey (later Aston) (1700-48); to son, Henry Hervey Aston (1741-85); to son, Col. Henry Hervey Aston (1762-98), who remodelled the house and laid out the grounds; to son, Henry Charles Hervey Aston (1792-1821); to son, Arthur Wellington Hervey Aston (1815-39); to uncle, Sir Arthur Ingram Aston (1798-1859), kt; to Trustees, who let the house to Robert Daglish (d. 1883) and as a school (fl. 1893-95); to Arthur Hervey Talbot (1863-1927) who occupied the house c.1900 but later let to Sir J.S. Harmood Banner (fl. 1914) and Lt-Col. George Crosfield (fl. 1929); to son, Col. Douglas Hervey Aston (1882-1927); to son, Bryan Hervey Aston (1916-2008), who demolished 1938.


Risley Hall, Derbyshire


Risley Hall: the only known view is this woodcut copied from a lost painting by Joseph Barlow Robinson in the 1860s, and used as an illustration in his Derbyshire Gatherings.


The house depicted by Robinson consisted of two parallel stone ranges running north to south joined at one end by service accommodation and at the other by a three storey gabled range which may have been a remnant of an earlier house; in the middle was a central courtyard.  It had two storeys with attic dormers, and the garden front was articulated by four huge chimney breasts, which may have represented late 16th century additions to an earlier fabric; the parallel range seems to have been decorated with three hexagonal cupolas. The resemblance of the garden front to the slightly larger but contemporary Longford Hall is notable. Most of the house is believed to have been built for George Willoughby, who inherited in 1511 and perhaps in the 1520s married an heiress, Elizabeth Neale, which is probably how he came to have the means to undertake such a stately remodelling. In 1713 the house was simply 'a large convenient building with good gardens, especially for fruit', and the most notable feature was a 300-ft. terrace, partly moated, decorated with a banqueting house, obelisks, statues and balustrading, which was presumably part of the late 16th century changes made presumably for Sir John Willoughby. In 1593 Sir John's younger brother, Michael, built a new chapel (now the parish church) and also a secondary seat (known as Risley Lodge) on the hill to the north-east of the house. This was a six-bay block with three gables, and had two storeys with attics. On the roof was a tall domed lantern, probably added later. 

In 1670 the house was one of the largest in Derbyshire, being taxed on 33 hearths (Bolsover Castle had 36), while Risley Lodge had only four. There were some minor alterations in the late 17th century for the Greys, including the building of a new stable block and coach house in 1695. After the estate passed back to the Astons in 1723, however, it was occupied by the agent, John White, and Sir Willoughby Aston (who had tried and failed to sell it in 1743), pulled the house down in 1757, preferring instead to live at Risley Lodge on his short visits to the estate. The materials were advertised for sale in September that year.


Risley Hall: the Georgian house of c.1790, built for John Hancock and extended and altered later.

In about 1790, the earliest phase of the present house was built for John Hancock, who then proceeded to demolish the Elizabethan Risley Lodge. This survives as a pink brick range of six widely-spaced bays facing east and connected to the stable block of 1695, which was later made into a great hall. Hancock did, however, leave the terrace in place, but after the estate was sold to Ernest Terah Hooley in 1878 the grounds were landscaped again by William Barron & Sons, eliminating most of the surviving vestiges of the Willoughby House. Hooley, who was a self-made millionaire and friend of King Edward VII, contrived to greatly extend and remodel the house before he went bankrupt in 1896. He then had to let the house for a time, but he kept the freehold of the estate out of the hands of his creditors until 1927 and continued to live in the house as a tenant until his death in 1941.



Risley Hall: the late 19th century house built for Ernest Terah Hooley as an addition to the Georgian block.

Descent: Hugh Willoughby (d. 1511); to son, George Willoughby; to son, Sir John Willoughby; to son, Sir Henry Willoughby (d. 1649), 1st bt.; to daughter, Anne, widow of Sir Thomas Aston (1600-45), 1st bt. and later wife of Hon. Anchitel Grey (d. 1702); to daughter, Elizabeth Grey (d. 1723); to kinsman, Richard Aston (d. 1741); to son, Sir Willoughby Aston (1714-72), who demolished the house in 1757; to son, Sir Willoughby Aston (1749-1815), who sold the estate in 1772 to John Hancock (d. 1811); to nephew, William Hall (d. 1848); to brother, John Hall (d. 1859); to son, Rev. John Hancock Hall (d. 1859); to brother, Rev. Henry Banks Hall, who sold 1860 to J.L. Ffytche; sold to Ernest Terah Hooley (1859-1941); sold to Nottinghamshire County Council; sold 1987 for conversion as an hotel..


Wadley House, Littleworth, Faringdon, Berkshire


After the Battle of Agincourt, Sir William Porter was given a lease of the Wadley estate in recognition of his 'good and unpaid service'. By 1436 there was evidently a quadrangular house here with a prominent entrance gatehouse and probably a moat. Soon afterwards the estate was granted to Queen's College, Oxford, which still owns it, although it has been continuously leased to prominent local families. By 1514 Sir Thomas Unton of Minster Lovell Hall (Oxon) was the lessee, and either he or his son, Sir Alexander Unton, rebuilt the house in limestone rubble; a small L-shaped wing on the north side of the present house survives from this building, and has mullioned windows with uncusped arched lights of a kind common in 16th and early 17th century Oxford. The house may also have been extended in the next generation by Sir Edward Unton, who through his marriage in 1555 to the widowed Duchess of Warwick (aunt of King Edward VI) became connected to the royal family.


Wadley House: the L-shaped early 16th century service wing. Image: Historic England/P.S. Spokes. 

An inventory of 1596, taken after the death of Sir Henry Unton, the English Ambassador to France, gives a clear picture of what was then one of the great mansions of Berkshire. The house contained some 59 rooms plus outbuildings. These included a great hall, a long gallery, a parlour (furnished with a long dining table and green upholstered chairs and stools with cushions of red satin and gold lace), an armoury (with 6 muskets, 10 pistols and various pieces of armour) and two cellars (with 29 barrels of various sizes). In the study, hung with gilded leather, Sir Henry had a library of 220 books. In 1603 King James I and Anne of Denmark stayed here on their autumn progress.


Wadley House: the early 18th century main block probably built for Richard Aston, who was given the house in 1702, and remodelled by Thomas Strong for Charles Pye in 1768. Image: Historic England/P.S. Spokes. 

The lease passed from the Untons by marriage to the Knightleys and the Purefoys who both had estates elsewhere. Wadley was unoccupied and vulnerable during the two Civil War sieges of Faringdon, and it may be conjectured that it was badly damaged. The house continued to be little used by its lessees until after 1702, when Richard Aston (d. 1741), a younger son of the 2nd baronet, was given it. He probably restored it and perhaps modernised it, and it became his main seat and that of his son, Willoughby, who inherited the baronetcy as 5th baronet in 1744. Sir Willoughby Aston sold the estate in 1764 to his brother-in-law, Charles Pye of Faringdon House, who had Thomas Strong of Stanford-in-the-Vale remodel the house for him four years later, in 1768. The current, rather plain, seven bay two storied limestone rubble house, with a hipped roof partly hidden by a parapet, is the result. The house has a central Doric doorcase, with a correctly proportioned frieze and pediment. Inside, there is late 18th century woodwork and plasterwork in some rooms, and the staircase has a scrolled iron balustrade. The dining room was remodelled in the early 20th century, and has a plaster barrel ceiling and a screen of Ionic columns.

Descent: Dean & Canons of Windsor leased to Thomas Unton (d. 1534); to widow, Elizabeth Unton; to son, Alexander Unton (d. 1549); to son, Sir Edward Unton (d. 1583), kt.; to son, Col. Edward Unton (d. 1589); to brother, Sir Henry Unton (d. 1596), kt.; after a family quarrel the right of Sir Valentine Knightley (d. 1618), kt. to the lease was established; to grandson, George Purefoy (fl. 1627); to son, George Purefoy (d. 1661); to son, George Purefoy (fl. 1662); to son, Sir Henry Purefoy (1657-86), 1st bt.; to kinsman, Sir Willoughby Aston (1640-1702), 2nd bt.; to son, Richard Aston (1675-1741); to son, Sir Willoughby Aston (1714-72), 5th bt., who sold 1765 to Charles Pye...John Richard Ralli (fl. 1924)...


Aston family of Aston-by-Sutton, baronets



Aston, Sir Richard (d. 1492), kt. Eldest son of Sir Robert Aston (d. 1417) of Aston and his wife Isabel (who m2, Sir John Carington, kt. of Carington (Cheshire)), daughter and heiress of John Beeston. He was brought up under the guardianship of his mother. He married, 1422, Maud, daughter and heiress of Peter Massy of Horton (Cheshire), and had issue:
(1) Thomas Aston (d. 1484) (q.v.);
(2) John Aston (fl. 1503-04);
(3) William Aston (d. 1504-05); died without issue, 1504-05;
(4) Maud alias Ellen Aston; married to John Done of Flaxyards (Cheshire);
(5) Joan Aston (d. c.1502); married 1st, Roger Dutton (d. 1499) and 2nd, Sir Richard Strangeways; said to have been buried at the Carmelite church in York, 2 February 1501/2;
(6) Margery Aston; married, 1486-87, John Wood of Sutton.
He inherited the Aston Hall estate from his father in 1417 as a minor. At his death, it passed to his grandson, Richard Aston (d. 1529).
He died in 1492. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Aston, Thomas (d. 1484). Eldest son of Sir Richard Aston (d. 1492), kt., and his wife Maud, daughter of Peter Massy of Horton (Cheshire). He married, 1467, Margaret (b. c.1450), daughter and co-heir of Sir Thomas Dutton of Dutton, and had issue:
(1) Richard Aston (c.1470-1529) (q.v.).
He died in the lifetime of his father in 1484. His widow married 2nd, Ralph Vernon of Haslington (Cheshire); her date of death is unknown.

Aston, Richard (c.1470-1529). Only recorded son of Thomas Aston (fl. 1467) and his wife Margaret, daughter and co-heir of Sir Thomas Dutton of Dutton, born about 1470. He married Douce, daughter of Piers Warburton esq ('Wise Piers') of Wood Arley (Cheshire) and had issue:
(1) Thomas Aston (d. 1553) (q.v.);
(2) Rev. Richard Aston (d. c.1551); a priest; probably the man of this name who was rector of Ashley (Staffs); died c.1551;
(3) Robert Aston of Grange (Staffs);
(4) John Aston of Grange (Staffs);
(5) Catherine Aston; married Richard Broughton (fl. 1533) of Broughton (Staffs);
(6) Alice Aston; married, 1507-08, Randle Mainwaring, son and heir of Randle Mainwaring of Kermincham, Congleton (Cheshire);
(7) Anne Aston; married, 1518-19, William Massy, esq., of Rixton (Lancs).
He inherited the Aston Hall estate from his grandfather in 1492.
He died in 1529. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Aston, Thomas (d. 1553). Eldest son of Richard Aston (c.1470-1529) and his wife Douce, daughter of Piers Warburton of Warburton and Arley (Cheshire). High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1551. He married, 1512, Bridget, daughter of John Harewell of Shottery (Warks) and had issue:
(1) John Aston (c.1513-73) (q.v.);
(2) Richard Aston;
(3) Peter Aston, who had an illegitimate son (Thomas Aston (fl. 1547) of London);
(4) William Aston; married Anne, daughter of Thomas Ireland esq. of The Hutt (Lancs);
(5) Francis Aston.
He probably also had an illegitimate son*:
(X1) Sir Roger Aston (d. 1612), kt.; raised in Scotland; master huntsman in Scotland, by 1580; gentleman of the bedchamber to King James VI & I, 1587-1612, in which capacity he undertook various diplomatic missions to England and the continent; Master Falconer, 1603-12; Master of the Wardrobe, 1605-12; knighted, 18 April 1603; MP for Cheshire, 1604-10?; JP for Kent, 1606-12 and for Middlesex, 1608-12; appointed keeper of various royal parks, including St James' Park, London; married 1st, before 1596, Marjorie (d. 1606), daughter of Andrew Stewart, Lord Ochiltree, by whom he had several sons (who all died young) and four daughters; married 2nd, Cordelia, daughter of Sir John Stanhope of Elvaston (Derbys) and sister of the 1st Earl of Chesterfield, and had issue one son who died young; died 1612.
He inherited the Aston Hall estate from his father in 1529.
He died in 1552/3. His wife's date of death is unknown.
* Some sources state that Sir Roger was a natural son of Thomas' brother, John Aston.

Aston, John (c.1513-73). Eldest son of Thomas Aston (d. 1553) and his wife Bridget, daughter of John Harewell of Shottery (Warks), born about 1513. He married, 1546, Margaret, daughter of Thomas Ireland esq. of The Hutt (Lancs), and had issue:
(1) Sir Thomas Aston (c.1547-1613), kt. (q.v.);
(2) John Aston; a lawyer; died without issue;
(3) Edward Aston; died without issue;
(4) Bridget Aston (d. 1626); married Thomas Bunbury (d. 1601) of Stanney (Cheshire) and had issue six sons and five daughters; buried at Stoke near Chester, June 1626;
(5) Elizabeth Aston (d. 1602); married John Massey (d. 1610) of Coughow, younger brother and heir of George Massy of Podington; buried at Burton (Cheshire), 9 November 1602;
(6) Margaret Aston (d. 1631); married 1st, Timothy Egerton (fl. 1578), son of Thomas Egerton of Leek (Staffs), and 2nd, by 1584, Sir Edward Tyrrell (1551-1606), kt., of Thornton (Bucks) and had issue three sons and six daughters; buried (as Elizabeth Tyrrell) at Thornton, 26 June 1631;
(7) Mary Aston; died without issue;
(8) Eleanor Aston; married James Whitlock;
(9) Winifred Aston; married Peter Derby of Bebington (Cheshire), lived near Liverpool;
(10) Ellen Aston; married George Mainwaring esq of Ightfield (Staffs)
(11) Ursula Aston; married Geoffrey Holcroft of Hurst (Lancs).
He also had an illegitimate son:
(X1) Richard Aston (d. 1616) of Rocksavage (Cheshire).
He inherited the Aston Hall estate from his father in 1553.
He died 5 August 1573. His widow married 2nd, Hugh Beeston esq. of Tarporley (Cheshire); her date of death is unknown.


Sir Thomas Aston (c.1547-1613)
Aston, Sir Thomas (c.1547-1613), kt. Eldest son of John Aston (d. 1573) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Thomas Ireland of The Hutt (Lancs), born about 1547. High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1601. Knighted, 18 April 1603. He married 1st, 1569, Elizabeth (d. 1606), daughter of Sir Arthur Mainwaring of Ightfield (Staffs) and 2nd, Mary, daughter of William Unton esq. of Market Drayton (Shropshire), and had issue:
(1.1) John Aston (c.1571-1615) (q.v.);
(1.2) Sir Arthur Aston (c.1572-1627), kt., of Fulham (Middx); a professional solder; knighted 15 July 1604; married 1st, Christiana, daughter of John Ashton of Penrith (Cumbld), and had issue two sons (Richard Aston and Col. Sir Arthur Aston (1590-1649)*); married 2nd, Penelope, daughter of Thomas Coulby of Rose Hall, Beccles (Suffk); killed on the Ile de Rhé expedition of 1627;
(1.3) Sir Thomas Aston, kt.; possibly the person of this name educated at Grays Inn (admitted 1602/3); married Elizabeth, daughter of John Shuckburgh of Birdingbury (Warks) and widow of Humphrey Stafford, and had issue a daughter;
(1.4) Frances Aston; married 1st, John Hocknell esq. of Hockenhull and had issue a daughter; 2nd, Robert/Richard Davis of Croughton; and 3rd, Owen Longford of Burton (Derbys);
(1.5) Grace Aston; died without issue;
(1.6) Margaret Aston (d. 1615); married, 20 January 1592/3 at Church Minshull (Cheshire), as the second of his four wives, Sir Thomas Ireland (1560-1625), kt. of Bewsey Hall (Lancs), vice-chamberlain of Chester, and had issue two sons and three daughters; buried 26 November 1615;
(1.7) Elizabeth Aston; married Richard Dod of Cleverley (Shropshire);
(1.8) Mary Aston; married 1st, Richard Brown, gent. of Upton near Chester, and 2nd, Jaques Arnodio, a Frenchman;
(1.9) Anne Aston; married Richard Allen esq. of Greenhill (Cheshire);
(1.10) Catherine Aston; married Peter Leigh, gent., of Ridge.
He inherited the Aston Hall estate from his father in 1573, and reconstructed the house in 1573-77.
He died in 1613. His first wife died 9 August 1606 and was buried at Runcorn (Cheshire). His widow married 2nd, Sir Edward Payler (d. 1647) of York; her date of death is unknown.
* The younger Sir Arthur Aston was among 3,000 Royalists massacred by Cromwell's forces after the capture of Drogheda in 1649; it is said that he was beaten to death with his own wooden leg.

Aston, John (c.1571-1615). Eldest son of Sir Thomas Aston (d. 1613), kt., and his first wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Arthur Mainwaring of Ightfield (Staffs), born about 1571. Educated at Cliffords Inn and the Inner Temple (admitted 1598). Sewer to Queen Anne of Denmark, consort of King James I. He married, 1598 (licence 21 July), Maud (c.1580-1635), daughter of Robert Needham esq. of Shavington (Shropshire) and had issue:
(1) Sir Thomas Aston (1600-45), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(2) John Aston (1604-50); responsible for managing the Aston estate after the death of his brother in 1646; died unmarried, 1 April 1650 and was buried at Aston, where he is commemorated by a monument erected in 1697;
(3) Robert Aston (b. 1606); died young;
(4) Maud Aston (b. 1607); married 1st, Thomas Parsons esq. of Cubbington (Warks) and 2nd, 1666, John Shuckburgh (d. 1673) of Upton in Wirral;
(5) Anne Aston (b. 1609); died young;
(6) Elizabeth Aston (1611-28); died unmarried, 1628.
He inherited the Aston Hall estate from his father in 1613.
He died 13 May 1615. His widow was buried at Aston, 4 January 1635/6.


Portrait, believed to be Sir Thomas
Aston 1600-45 by Gerrit van Horthorst
Aston, Sir Thomas (1600-46), 1st bt. Eldest son of John Aston (c.1571-1615) and his wife Maud, daughter of Robert Needham esq. of Shavington (Shropshire), born 29 September 1600. Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1617; BA 1619) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1620). He was created a baronet by King Charles I, 25 July 1628. High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1635-36. MP for Cheshire, 1640. In the Civil War, he was a zealous supporter of the Royalist cause, and raised a troop of horse for the King. He lost an engagement with Sir William Brereton's forces near Nantwich, 28 January 1642/3, and although he escaped capture there he was taken prisoner at another skirmish and taken as a prisoner to Stafford; he died from injuries received while attempting to escape. He married 1st, 1627, Magdalene (d. 1635), daughter of Sir John Poultney, kt., of Misterton (Leics), who was co-heir of her brother, John Poultney; and 2nd, Anne (c.1614-88), daughter and sole heiress of Sir Henry Willoughby, bt. of Risley Hall (Derbys), and had issue:
(1.1) Jane Aston (b. & d. 1628), baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, London, 19 January 1627/8 and was buried there on the same day;
(1.2) Robert Aston (d. 1634); died young and was buried at St Oswald, Chester, 9 May 1634;
(1.3) Thomas Aston (c.1631-38); died young, 23 January, and was buried at Aston, 4 February 1637/8;
(1.4) Elizabeth Aston; died in infancy;
(2.1) Sir Willoughby Aston (1640-1702), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(2.2) Magdalene Aston (c.1642-94); married, 15 June 1676 at Aston-by-Sutton, as his second wife, Sir Robert Burdett (1640-1716), 3rd bt. of Foremark (Derbys), and had issue four sons and four daughters; buried at Foremark, 11 February 1694;
(2.3) Mary Aston; married, 1695, Michael Biddulph of Polesworth (Warks); died without issue.
He inherited the Aston Hall estate from his father in 1615 and came of age in 1621; he also inherited Risley Hall in right of his second wife. His estate at Aston was sequestered by Parliament but recovered by his son in 1648. After his death, Risley passed to his widow and her second husband, and then to their daughter, Elizabeth (d. 1723), after which it went to Richard Aston (d. 1741) of Wadley.
He died of a fever brought on by his wounds, at Stafford, 24 March 1645/6 and was buried at Aston, where he is commemorated by a monument erected in 1697. His first wife died 2 June 1635; administration of her goods was granted 30 June 1636. His widow married 2nd, the Hon. Anchitel Grey (d. 1702), second son of Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford and had further issue; she died 2 June 1688.


Sir Willoughby Aston, 2nd bt.
Aston, Sir Willoughby (1640-1702), 2nd bt. Only son of Sir Thomas Aston (1600-45), 1st bt., and his second wife, Anne, daughter of Sir Henry Willoughby, bt., of Risley (Derbys), born 5 July 1640. He succeeded his father as 2nd baronet, 24 March 1645/6. Educated at St. John's College, Cambridge (admitted 1656) and Middle Temple (admitted 1659). Farmer of the customs on French wines imported into Chester and North Wales, 1660-63. In 1664 he was briefly arrested and imprisoned for a misdemeanour, the nature of which was not stated in the records, but released shortly afterwards on claiming ignorance of the law. High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1680-81, 1690-91. JP for Cheshire and Warwickshire. DL for Cheshire 1672-82, when he was removed from the Lieutenancy because of his support for the Duke of Monmouth, and from about 1689-1702. His diaries for the years 1681-1702 survive. After his death, Thomas Yalden of Magdalen College, Oxford, addressed to his eldest daughter An essay on the character of Sir Willoughby Aston in verse, 1704. He married, c.1665 (licence 7 September 1664), Mary (1650-1712), daughter of John Offley esq. of Madeley Manor (Staffs) and had issue:
(1) Sir Thomas Aston (1666-1725), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(2) Capt. John Aston (c.1667-1710), born about 1667; a Captain in the Royal Navy; died without issue and was buried at Aston-by-Sutton, 12 October 1710;
(3) Willoughby Aston (c.1668-93); married, 6 October 1691 at St James, Duke's Place, London, Elizabeth Lewin, and had issue two daughters; buried at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster (Middx), 30 November 1693;
(4) Mary Aston (1669-1734), baptised at Madeley (Staffs), 28 July 1669; married 1st, 4 June 1698 at Aston, Sir John Crewe (d. 1711), kt., of Utkinton Hall (Cheshire), and 2nd, 19 November 1713 at St Andrew by the Wardrobe, London, Dr. Hugh Chamberlain of Alderton and Hinton, but had no issue; died 8 April 1734 and was buried at Tarporley (Cheshire);
(5) Robert Aston (c.1670-1721); a citizen and fishmonger in London; married, 14 February 1688, Elizabeth Whitcomb (1664-1708); buried at St Nicholas, Cole Abbey, London, 15 December 1721;
(6) Magdalen Aston (1672-1746), baptised at Aston, 14 April 1672; married, 31 December 1695 at Aston, Thomas Norris (1653-1700) of Speke (Lancs) and had issue one son and one daughter; buried at Cropthorne (Worcs), 25 November 1746;
(7) Frances Aston (1673-77), baptised at Aston, 17 April 1673; died young and was buried at Aston, 10 March 1676/7;
(8) Gilbert Aston (c.1674-76); died in infancy and was buried at Aston, 27 May 1676;
(9) Richard Aston (1675-1741) [for whom see below under Aston of Wadley House];
(10) Elizabeth Aston (1676-1756), baptised at Aston, 12 December 1676; lived in London and later at Bath (Somerset); died unmarried; will proved 22 April 1756;
(11) Christian Aston (b. 1676), baptised at Aston, 1 January 1677; died young;
(12) Charlotte Aston (1679-1751), baptised at Aston, 16 October 1679; married, 23 February 1695/6, John Pickering of Thelwall (Cheshire); buried at Thelwall chapel, Daresbury (Cheshire), 2 April 1751;
(13) Dorothy Aston (1681-1756), baptised 29 June 1681; died unmarried; will proved 22 April 1756;
(14) Anne Aston (1682-89), baptised at Aston, 29 August 1682; died young and was buried at Aston, 11 March 1688/9;
(15) Bridget Aston (1683-85), baptised at Aston, 25 November 1683; died in infancy and was buried at Aston, 22 September 1685;
(16) Catherine Aston (b. 1685), baptised at Aston, 21 March 1684/5; died unmarried;
(17) Arthur Aston; died unmarried in Constantinople;
(18) Edward Aston (1688-93), baptised at Aston, 26 June 1688; died young and was buried at Aston, 24 May 1693;
(19) Purefoy Aston (1690-1768), baptised at Aston, 30 March 1690; married, 22 November 1712 at Runcorn, Henry Wright esq. of Mobberley (Cheshire) and had issue, ancestors of the Wright family of Mottram St. Andrew; buried at Mobberley (Cheshire), 3 February 1768;
(20) Helena Aston (b. 1691), baptised at Aston, 24 May 1691; married, 26 September 1720 at St John the Baptist, Chester, Capt. Thomas Pennington (later Legh) (d. 1743) and had issue one son, ancestor of the Legh family of Norbury Booths Hall (Cheshire); died after 1752;
(21) Letitia Aston (b. 1693), baptised at Aston, 12 October 1693; married, 1716, Robert Jenks esq. of West Ham (Essex).
He inherited the Aston Hall estate from his father in 1646, which was then subject to sequestration by Parliament. His uncle John recovered and managed the estate until his death in 1650. Sir Willoughby came of age in 1661, and built a new house on the estate. He inherited his mother's estates in Berkshire (Stanford-in-the-Vale) and Warwickshire (Kingsbury) on her death.
He died 14 December 1702 and was buried at Aston, 19 December 1702, where he and his wife are commemorated by a monument with carving by Grinling Gibbons. His widow died 22 January 1711/2 and was also buried at Aston.

Aston, Sir Thomas (1666-1725), 3rd bt. Eldest son of Sir Willoughby Aston (1640-1702), 2nd bt., and his wife Mary, daughter of John Offley of Madeley Manor (Staffs), born 17 January 1665/6 and baptised at Madeley (Staffs), 24 January 1665/6. He succeeded his father as 3rd baronet, 14 December 1702. High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1723. He married, 1703, Catherine (1676-1752), daughter of William Widdrington esq. of Cheeseburn Grange (Northbld), and had issue:
(1) Sir Thomas Aston (1704-44), 4th bt. (q.v.);
(2) Catherine Aston (1705-55) (q.v.);
(3) Mary (k/a Molly) Aston (c.1706-56), baptised at St Anne, Soho, Westminster (Middx), 22 January 1706/7; a wit, beauty and Whig toast who captivated Dr. Johnson despite her political views; died unmarried and was buried at Lichfield, 24 July 1756;
(4) Elizabeth Aston (1708-85), born 25 May and baptised at St Anne, Soho, 13 June 1708; built three houses (including the surviving Stowe House and Stowe Hill) on a 9 acre plot of land at Lichfield which she purchased from her sister Magdalen in 1752 and lived in Stowe Hill herself; died unmarried, 1785;
(5) Magdalen Aston (1709-86), born 1 July and baptised at St Anne, Soho, 14 August 1709; married, 30 March 1736, Gilbert Walmisley (d. 1751), registrar of the diocese of Coventry & Lichfield; will proved 17 December 1786;
(6) Jane Aston (1710-91), born 1 February and baptised at St Anne, Soho, 18 February 1710; married, 21 May 1752, Rev. Francis Gastrell (d. 1772), vicar of Frodsham, who owned Shakespeare's New Place at Stratford-on-Avon and had it demolished; moved to Lichfield and eventually inherited both Stowe House and Stowe Hill from her sisters Elizabeth and Magdalen, but both houses were sold after her death; died at Lichfield, 30 October 1791 and was buried at Frodsham;
(7) Anne Aston (b. 1712), born 7 July and baptised at St. Anne, Soho, 3 August 1712; probably died young;
(8) Sophia Aston (b. 1713), baptised at St Anne, Soho, 7 October 1713; probably died young;
(9) Margaret Aston (b. 1714; fl. 1785), born 5 August and baptised at St James, Westminster (Middx), 15 August 1714; married [forename unknown] Collins; living in 1785.
He inherited the Aston Hall and Warwickshire estates from his father in 1702, and the manor of Southrey (Norfk) from his aunt, Elizabeth Grey.
He died 16 January 1724/5 and was buried at Aston, where he and his wife are commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 8 December 1725. His widow died 10 April, and was buried at Aston, 14 April 1752; her will was proved May 1752.

Aston, Sir Thomas (1704-44), 4th bt. Only son of Sir Thomas Aston (1666-1725), 3rd bt., and his wife Catherine, daughter of William Widdrington esq., born 21 December 1704 and baptised at St. Anne, Soho, Westminster (Middx), 8 January 1704/5. Educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (matriculated 1721/2). He succeeded his father as 4th baronet, 16 January 1724/5. MP for Liverpool, 1729-34 and St. Albans, 1734-41. He was travelling in France at the time of his death. He married, 9 March 1735/6 at Chapel Royal, Westminster (Middx), Rebecca (1717-37), daughter of John Shish esq, of Greenwich but had no issue.
He inherited the Aston Hall and Warwickshire estates from his father in 1724. At his death they passed to his sister, Catherine, wife of the Hon. & Rev. Henry Hervey (later Aston).
He died in France, 17 February 1744 and was buried at Aston, 2 April 1744; administration of his goods was granted to his mother, 11 May 1744. His wife died 16 May and was buried at Aston, 25 May 1737, where she is commemorated by a monument.

Aston, Catherine (1705-55). Eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Aston (1666-1725), 3rd bt., and his wife Catherine, daughter of William Widdrington esq., baptised at St Anne, Soho, Westminster (Middx), 10 December 1705. She married, 2 March 1730, the Hon. & Rev. Dr. Henry Hervey (who took the surname Aston by private Act of Parliament in 1743) (1700-48), rector of Shotley (Suffk), 1743-48, fifth son of John Hervey, 1st Earl of Bristol, and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Frances Hervey (later Aston) (1731-74), baptised at Sudbury (Suffk), 24 March 1731; married, 5 January 1754 at Buxhall (Suffk), John Plampin (1728-1805) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 2 October 1774;
(2) Catherine Maria Hervey (later Aston) (1733-79), baptised at Lichfield (Staffs), 14 June 1733; married, 1 May 1751 at St George's Chapel, Albemarle St., Westminster (Middx), Richard Hussey (d. by 1768), and had issue one daughter; will proved 3 February 1779;
(3) Henrietta Hervey (later Aston) (b. 1734), baptised at Elford (Staffs), 24 August 1734; married, 6 November 1762 at Aston, James Bruce (1720-83) of Killeleagh, eldest son of Rev. Patrick Bruce of Killelagh, and had issue two sons (who both became baronets) and one daughter; she was living in 1766 but her date of death is unknown;
(4) John William Hervey (b. 1737), born 27 July and baptised at St. Marylebone (Middx), 9 September 1737; died young;
(5) Henry Hervey (later Aston) (1741-85) (q.v.).
She inherited the Aston Hall and Warwickshire estates from her brother in 1744. Her will provided for the sale of various outlying properties including the Southrey (Norfk) estate.
She was buried at Lichfield, 5 October 1755; administration of her goods (with will annexed) was granted to her son, 3 February 1769, her named executors having (in one case) declined to act and (in the other case) died before doing so. Her husband died after 6 August 1748; his will was proved 25 November 1748.

Hervey (later Aston), Henry Hervey (1741-85). Only surviving son of the Hon. & Rev. Henry Hervey (later Hervey-Aston), fifth son of John Hervey, 1st Earl of Bristol, and his wife Catherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Aston (1666-1725), 3rd bt. of Aston-by-Sutton (Cheshire), born 20 March and baptised at St George's, Hanover Square, London, 24 April 1741.  His father took the name Aston for himself and his family by Act of Parliament in 1743. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1757/8). In 1765 he appears to have temporarily abandoned his wife and spent over twelve months travelling in Italy with a French lady described as his wife, whom John Wilkes drily observed was 'not the same Mrs. Aston who was at Paris'; he visited Venice, Rome, and Naples and applied for permission to export a total of fifty-five pictures to England. He also visited Florence in 1778-79, when he was described as 'a great martyr to the gout'. High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1768. Freemason. He married, 25 January 1759, Catherine (d. 1798), daughter of Edward Dicconson of Wrightington Hall (Lancs), and had issue:
(1) Catherine Lapal Aston (1760-1833), baptised at Aston, 13 October 1760; married, 22 June 1782 at St Marylebone (Middx), Sir John Legard (1758-1807), 6th bt., but had no issue; buried at Aston, 27 December 1833; will proved 14 January 1834;
(2) Col. Henry Hervey Aston (1762-98) (q.v.);
(3) Anna Sophia Aston (b. 1765), born 7 February and baptised at Aston, 10 February 1765; married, 22 June 1782 at St Marylebone (Middx) (sep., 1785; div. 1791), Anthony Hodges (d. 1799) of Bolney Court, Harpsden (Oxon); in 1783 she had an affair with George, Prince of Wales, and after her separation another with Hon. Charles Wyndham (1760-1828), whom she bore three children, leading to an unsuccessful action by Hodges against Wyndham from 'criminal conversation', the court finding that Hodges had been an accessory after the fact;
(4) Harriet Aston (1768-76), baptised at Aston, 8 August 1768; died young and was buried at Aston, 21 August 1776.
He appears also to have had four illegitimate children, for whom provision was made in his will, including:
By an unknown partner:
(X1.1) Constantine Aston (b. c.1770); a daughter educated at a convent in St. Donato, Pulverosa near Florence; but by 1784 living with her father at Spa;
By Teresa Guiseppa Ravizza:
(X2.1) Thomas Manners (fl. 1784); attending a private school at Twickenham (Middx) in 1784
(X2.2) Frederick Manners (fl. 1784);
(X2.3) Charles Manners (fl. 1784).
He inherited the Aston Hall estate from his mother.
He died at Spa (Belgium) in 1785 and was buried at Aston, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 17 September 1785. His wife died in 1798.


Henry Hervey Aston (1762-98)
Aston, Col. Henry Hervey (1762-98). Only recorded son of Henry Hervey-Aston (1741-85) and his wife, Catherine Dicconson of Lancashire, born 4 December and baptised at Aston, 5 December 1762. In 1789 he was president of the Tarporley Hunt. He was a first-class cricketer, appearing for the Hambledon Club and the MCC between 1786 and 1793 and 'a noted amateur and patron of pugilism'. An officer in the 12th Foot (Maj, 1794; Lt-Col. 1794; Col., 1796), stationed in India, 1796-98, where he was mortally wounded in a duel on the eve of an engagement with Tippoo Sultan. He was said to be 'of a fierce character' and to have been involved in duels on several occasions, both in England and India. He married, 16 September 1789 at St George's, Hanover Square, London, the Hon. Harriet Ingram-Shepheard (1765-1815), fourth daughter and co-heir of Charles Ingram, 9th Viscount Irvine, and had issue:
(1) Henry Charles Hervey Aston (1792-1821) (q.v.);
(2) Sir Arthur Ingram Aston (1796-1859), kt. (q.v.);
(3) Harriet Elizabeth Frances Aston (1791-1853); married, 18 January 1837, Lt. Col. Edmund Henry Bridgeman (1797-1841), son of Rev. George Bridgeman, rector of Wigan (Lancs), but had no issue; buried at Aston, 26 August 1853; her will was proved 17 September 1853.
He inherited the Aston Hall and Warwickshire estates from his father in 1785, and remodelled Aston Hall and laid out the grounds. After his death, his widow brought Humphry Repton back to Aston for further landscaping in 1804-10. He was co-heir in right of his wife to an estate at Linwood (Lincs) under the will of Samuel Shepheard.
He died from wounds received in a duel with Maj. Allen in India, 23 December 1798; his will was proved 2 November 1799. His widow was buried at Aston, 15 June 1815.

Aston, Henry Charles Hervey (1792-1821). Elder son of Col. Henry Hervey Aston (1761-98) and his wife, the Hon. Harriet Ingram Shepherd, fourth daughter and co-heir of Charles Ingram, 9th and last Viscount Irvine, baptised at St Marylebone (Middx), 24 December 1792. Educated at Eton (admitted 1808) and Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1810). High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1818. He married, 7 November 1814 at St James, Westminster (Middx), Margaret (alias Marquerita) Melitona, daughter of William Barron of Carrick Barron and Cadiz (Spain) and had issue:
(1) Harriet Hervey Aston (c.1815-45) (q.v.); 
(2) Arthur Wellington Hervey Aston (1816-39) (q.v.).
He inherited the Aston Hall and Warwickshire estates from his father in 1798 as a minor and came of age in 1813.
He was buried at Aston 1 June 1821, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 31 July 1821. His widow married 2nd, Le Chevalier de Poggenpohl, Russian Chargé d'Affaires in London and later in Spain; her date of death is unknown.

Aston, Arthur Wellington Hervey (1816-39). Only recorded son of Henry Charles Hervey Aston (1792-1821) and his wife Margarita, daughter of William Barron of Carrick Barron, born 21 May 1816. Educated at Eton (admitted 1829). Lieutenant in 1st Life Guards. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Aston Hall and Warwickshire estates from his father in 1820 as a minor and came of age in 1836. The Warwickshire (Nuneaton and Attleborough) lands were sold in 1843 under a Chancery decree, together with a cottage at Exning (Suffk), the proximity of which to Newmarket may imply that he had racing interests.
He died 28 August, and was buried at Aston, 3 September 1839, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 26 November 1839 and a further grant of administration was issued 14 May 1843 following the Chancery decree for the sale of part of the estates.

Aston, Sir Arthur Ingram (1796-1859), kt. Younger son of Col. Henry Hervey Aston (1760-98) and his wife, the Hon. Harriet Ingram, fourth daughter and co-heir of Charles Shepherd, 9th Viscount Irvine, born 23 December 1796 and baptised at St. Marylebone, 22 January or 5 April 1797. Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1814; honorary MA 1817). Entered diplomatic service in 1819 and was first attached to the British embassy in Vienna and then Secretary to British embassy in Brazil, 1826-33; Secretary of Embassy to France, 1833-39; and Ambassador to Spain, 1840-43; while in the latter posting he collected Spanish works of art, of which he formed an important collection, dispersed at auction in 1862. He retired in 1843 and was made a Knight Grand Cross of the order of the Bath, 10 November 1843. High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1850. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Aston Hall estate from his nephew in 1839 and bought out the reversionary interest of his great-nephew, Charles Arthur Chetwynd Talbot (1834-69) in 1857, with the intention of leaving the estates to the latter's brother, Lt-Col. Hervey Arthur Talbot (1838-84). After his death his purchase of the reversion was annulled by the courts, and the estate passed to Trustees and was let. He also had a life interest in estates in Lincolnshire.
He died at Aston Hall, 5 May, and was buried at Aston, 13 May 1859; his will was proved 24 June 1859 (effects under £35,000).

Aston, Harriet Hervey (c.1815-45). Daughter of Henry Charles Hervey-Aston and his wife Margarita, daughter of William Barron of Carrick Baron, born about 1815 but apparently not baptised until 8 February 1820. She married, 17 July 1832 at Ingestre (Staffs), Hon. & Rev. Arthur John Chetwynd Talbot (1805-84), and had issue:
(1) Harriet Cecil Talbot (1833-37), born 13 April 1833; died young, 13 June 1837;
(2) Charles Arthur Chetwynd Talbot (1834-69) (q.v.);
(3) Blanche Talbot (1837-98), born 4 January 1837; married, 15 August 1854 at St George's, Hanover Square, London (div. 1865 on grounds of cruelty and adultery), William Henry Chetwynd (1811-90) of Longdon Hall (Staffs), second son of Sir George Chetwynd, 2nd bt., and had issue one son and one daughter; died Oct-Dec 1898;
(4) Lt-Col. Hervey Arthur Talbot (1838-84), born 6 October 1838; an officer in 18th Royal Irish Regiment of Infantry (Ensign, 1858) and the South Staffordshire Regiment (Col. commanding 3rd and 4th battalions); JP for Cheshire and Staffordshire; married, 23 June 1874, Eva Julietta (d. 1888) (who m2, 27 October 1887 at St Thomas, Portman Square, London, George Capel Fenwick and had further issue one daughter), daughter of Henry Crawshay of Oaklands Park (Glos), and had issue one son and one daughter; died as a result of the delayed effect of injuries sustained while stopping a bolting horse, 11 September 1884 and was buried at Aston, 15 September 1884; will proved 11 February 1885 (effects £8,163);
(5) Frances Jessy Talbot (1844-1918); married 1st, 19 June 1867, Capt. Walter de Winton (1832-78) of Maesllwch Castle, Glasbury (Brecons.) and had issue; married 2nd, 9 December 1880, Geoffrey Richard Clegg Hill (1837-91); died 20 October 1918; will proved 3 December 1918 (estate £6,039).
Her husband and children were among the co-heirs in whose interest Trustees administered the Aston Hall estate after 1859.
She died 6 February 1845. Her husband married 2nd, 19 October 1854 in Hull (Yorks ER), Mary Elizabeth (d. 1896), daughter of John Masterman, and had issue one further son; he died 13 January 1884.

Charles Arthur Chetwynd Talbot (1834-69).
Aston Hall is in the background.
Talbot, Charles Arthur Chetwynd (1834-69). Elder son of Hon. & Rev. Arthur John Chetwynd Talbot (1805-84) and his wife Harriet, daughter of Henry Charles (alias Arthur) Hervey Aston, born at Ingestre (Staffs), 11 May 1834. An officer in the Rifle Brigade (Ensign, 1854; Lt. 1854; retired as Capt., c.1858) who served in the Crimea. He was keen on horse-racing and in 1861 was "well-known in Cheltenham as owner of the steeple-chaser 'Jerusalem' and other crack horses". He married, 24 January 1857 at St James, Westminster (Middx), Mary Matilda (1832-74), daughter of Richard John Whitman, and had issue:
(1) Harriet Cecil Talbot (1857-1937), born Oct-Dec 1857; married, 23 January 1878 at St James, Westminster, William Henry Gramshaw (1849-1926), stockbroker, and had issue two daughters; died 25 August 1937; will proved 5 October 1937 (estate £231);
(2) Algernon Charles Talbot (1859-88), born 16 January 1859; married, 19 January 1886, Edith Ellen (1861-1951), daughter of William Bunce Greenfield and had issue one daughter; died 27 July 1888;
(3) Gwendoline Mary Talbot (1861-1948), born 9 March 1861; married, 1880, Harry Wyndham Jefferson (1848-1918) and had issue one son and three daughters; died, 25 February 1948; will proved 12 August 1948 (estate £65,926);
(4) Arthur Hervey Talbot (1863-1927) (q.v.);
(5) Charles Aston Talbot (1864-1904), born 24 July 1864; hotel proprietor; married 1st, 22 March 1893, Elizabeth Mary (1861-95), daughter of Thomas Best of Didsbury (Lancs), and 2nd, Apr-Jun 1899, Elizabeth Jane Swinton, but had no issue; died at Dowros Bay Hotel (Co. Donegal), 26 November 1904; will proved 8 February 1905 (estate £1,680);
(6) Muriel Ethel Talbot (1867-90), born 21 December 1867; married, 10 July 1890 as his first wife, Luigi Angelo Gavatti Verospi (b. 1862), Duc d'Angelo; died without issue, 29 August 1890.
He was among the co-heirs in whose interest Trustees administered the Aston Hall estate after 1859, but lived in Oxford. In 1857 he sold his reversionary interest in the Aston estate to Sir Arthur Aston, but after Sir Arthur's death he succeeded in a court action to have this sale set aside as having been made without a knowledge of the real value of the rights and at an unreasonably low price.
He died in Oxford, 9 August, and was buried at Aston, 14 August 1869; his will was proved 20 August 1869 (effects under £5,000). His widow died 1 January 1874; her will was proved 14 April 1874 (effects under £1,500).

Talbot, Brig-Gen. Arthur Hervey (1863-1927). Second son of Charles Arthur Talbot (1834-69) and his wife Mary Matilda, daughter of Richard John Whitman, born 13 March and baptised at Aston-by-Sutton, 2 July 1863. As a young man he went to Canada, where he was a Lieutenant in 90th (Winnipeg) Rifles. After returning to England he became JP for Cheshire, 1892; and an officer in the volunteer battalions of the Cheshire Regiment (Major, 1900; Lt-Col. 1905; retired 1912). In the First World War he commanded the 204th (2nd Cheshire) Infantry Brigade. He married, 11 March 1882 at All Souls, Langham Place, London, Olympia Annette (1860-1938), daughter of John Jeffkins Clarke, stockbroker, and had issue:
(1) Douglas Hervey Talbot (1882-1927) (q.v.); 
(2) Gwendoline Ida Talbot (1883-1925), born Oct-Dec 1883; married, 27 June 1905 at St Peter, Eaton Square, Westminster (Middx), Arthur Lacy Compton Clarke (1877-1933), and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 28 July 1925;
(3) John Victor Chetwynd Talbot (1887-1955) of The Old Hall, Bartlow (Cambs), born 15 September 1887 at St Boniface, Manitoba (Canada); married, 28 March 1914 at St George's, Hanover Square, London, Edith Muriel (1876-1957), daughter of John Keely of Nottingham, solicitor, and formerly wife of Thomas Clifford Potter (div. 1909), but had no issue; died 27 January 1955 and was buried at Bartlow; will proved 28 May 1955 (estate £156,466);
(4) Cecil Muriel Talbot (1890-1902), born 6 November 1890; died young, 21 November 1902.
He was among the co-heirs in whose interest Trustees administered the Aston Hall estate after 1859. He lived at Dutton Lodge, Little Leigh (Cheshire) in 1891 but moved to Aston Hall c.1900. 
He died 13 March 1927; his will was proved 24 August and 21 October 1927 (estate £130,162). His widow died in Brighton, 28 March 1938; her will was proved 14 June 1938 (estate £283).

Talbot, Col. Douglas Hervey (1882-1927). Elder son of Arthur Hervey Talbot (1863-1927) and his wife Olympia Annette Clarke, born 17 June and baptised at St. Nicholas, Guildford, 5 August 1882. An officer in the 17th/21st Lancers (2nd Lt., 1901; Lt., 1904; Capt., 1909; Maj., 1918; Lt-Col. by 1923); awarded DSO 1918 and MC 1917 and made a Cavalier of the Italian Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus, 1923; Adjutant to Lancashire Hussars Yeomanry, 1911. He married, 25 July 1914 at Middlewich (Cheshire), Dorothy Helen (1890-1978), younger daughter of W. Roylance Court of Middlewich, and had issue:
(1) Bryan Hervey Talbot (1916-2008) (q.v.).
He committed suicide, 23 March 1927, shortly after his father's death, on finding his father's affairs confusedgrant of administration of goods, with will annexed, 18 August 1927 (estate £119,491). His widow lived at Rhyl (Flints) and died 23 March 1978; her will was proved 3 July 1978 (estate £138,806).

Talbot, Bryan Hervey (1916-2008). Only son of Col. Douglas Hervey Talbot (1882-1927) and his wife Dorothy Helen, younger daughter of W. Roylance Court of Middlewich (Cheshire), born 15 January 1916. Educated at Marlborough College. In 1939 he was briefly an amateur motor racing driver. He married, 3 February 1940 at Trinity Church, Llandudno (Denbighs.), Katherine Hughes (d. 1977), and had issue:
(1) Marie-Luize Talbot (b. 1942), born 16 June 1942; married 1st, Oct-Dec. 1966, John B. Haycraft and had issue three sons, and 2nd, Oct-Dec 1983, Graham J. Ollis;
(2) Andrew Hervey Talbot (b. 1946), born 15 January 1946; married 1st, Apr-Jun 1979, Danielle C. Boulay and had issue three daughters; married 2nd, Jan. 1999, Axelle Sabrina Martineau;
(3) Howard Douglas Talbot (1948-2012) of Aston Lodge, born 22 February 1948; married, Jul-Sep 1972, Christine A. Dutton and had issue one son and two daughters; died 11 November 2012; his will was proved 18 July 2013;
(4) Wendy Robina Roylance Talbot (b. 1949); married, Oct-Dec 1973, Rodger Price (b. 1947), and had issue two daughters.
He inherited the Aston estate from his father and grandfather in 1927 and came of age in 1937. He lived at Rhyl (Flints) and from c.1956 at Aston Lodge.
He died 14 June 2008, aged 92; his will was proved 6 June 2011. His wife died 2 December 1977; administration of her goods was granted 21 February 1977 (estate £2,635).



Aston of Wadley House, Littleworth, Berkshire



Aston, Richard (1675-1741). Sixth son of Sir Willoughby Aston (1640-1702), 2nd bt., and his wife Mary, daughter of John Offley of Madeley Manor (Staffs), baptised at Aston-by-Sutton (Cheshire), 10 September 1675. He was apprenticed, 5 April 1692, to Francis Brerewood of London, fishmonger. He married, 25 August 1709 at Tetsworth (Oxon), Elizabeth (1673-1745), daughter of John Warren of Wantage (Berks) and had issue:
(1) Mary Aston (c.1713-99); married, 4 November 1742 at St George's, Hanover Square, London, Ambrose Dawson MD (1706-94) of London, and later of Langcliff Hall (Yorks) and Liverpool, and had issue including four sons and one daughter; buried at Liverpool, 8 August 1799, aged 86;
(2) Sir Willoughby Aston (1714-72), 5th bt. (q.v.);
(3) Sir Richard Aston (1717-78), kt., born 16 January and baptised at Westminster, 23 January 1716/17; educated at Winchester College and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1735/6; called to bar, 1740, KC 1759); barrister-at-law; Lord Chief Justice of Common Pleas in Ireland, 1761-65; knighted, 1765; a judge of the court of King's Bench 1765-78; one of three men holding the office of Lord Chancellor in commission, 1770-71; he was said to be rather rough in manners but to have 'a kind of dry humour about him, that in company engaged attention, and in an evening frequently enlivened his friends with many pleasant anecdotes'; he married 1st, Miss Eldred, and 2nd, 25 May 1758 at St Giles, Camberwell, Susanna, daughter and coheir of Thomas Witherstone of Burghill (Herefs) and widow of Sir David Williams, 3rd bt. of Gwernyfed, but had no issue; died 1 March 1778.
He was given Wadley House, Faringdon at his father's death in 1702, and in 1723 he inherited Risley Hall on the death of his distant cousin, Elizabeth Grey.
He died 24 November and was buried at Faringdon, 28 November 1741. His widow died 10 July and was buried at Faringdon, 18 July 1745.


Sir Willoughby Aston, 5th bt.
Aston, Sir Willoughby (1714-72), 5th bt. Elder son of Richard Aston (1675-1741) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Warren of Oxfordshire, born 18 February 1714. Educated at Oriel and All Souls Colleges, Oxford (matriculated 1729/30; BA 1735; MA 1739) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1731; called to bar 1736). He succeeded his cousin as 5th baronet, 17 February 1744. Barrister at law; Tory MP for Nottingham, 1754-61. Colonel of the Berkshire Militia, 1759. He married, 14 May 1744 at St George the Martyr, Queen Square, London, Elizabeth (c.1717-1808), daughter of Henry Pye of Faringdon House (Berks) and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Aston (1745-95), baptised at Faringdon, 28 February 1745; married, 29 June 1782, Vice-Admiral Rowland Cotton (d. 1794), younger son of Sir Lynch Salusbury Cotton, 4th bt., and had issue one son and one daughter; died 1795;
(2) Purefoy Aston (1746-92), baptised at Faringdon, 12 May 1746; married, 23 April 1774, James Preston (1739-1823), son of Jenico Preston, de jure 10th Viscount Gormanston, and had issue four sons and five daughters; died 14 March 1792;
(3) Mary Aston (1748-1848), baptised at Faringdon, 28 June 1748; married, 18 September 1770 at Petersham (Surrey), Capt. Francis Grant-Gordon RN (1730-1803) (who had taken the additional name of Gordon in 1768), son of William Grant of Knockespock (Aberdeens.) and had issue three sons and several daughters; died June 1848, 'in her 100th year';
(4) Sir Willoughby Aston (1749-1815), 6th bt. (q.v.);
(5) Selina Aston (1751-64), baptised at Faringdon, 11 November 1751; died unmarried, 1764;
(6) Belinda Aston (b. 1753), baptised at Risley (Derbys), 10 December 1753; died unmarried before 1808;
(7) Sophia Aston (d. 1808); married, 2 April 1783 at Worcester, John Pritchard and had issue one son and one daughter; died at Framlingham (Suffk) about February 1808.
He inherited Wadley House, Faringdon (Berks) and Risley Hall (Derbys), from his father in 1741. He demolished Risley Hall in 1757 and sold Wadley to his brother-in-law, Charles Pye of Faringdon House, in 1764. Thereafter he lived mainly in Hanover Square, London. In 1764 he employed Joseph Pickford to rebuild his town house in Derby.
He died 24 August 1772. His widow died at Bath, 29 March 1808, aged 91.

Aston, Sir Willoughby (1749-1815), 6th bt. Only son of Sir Willoughby Aston (d. 1772), 5th bt., and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Pye of Faringdon House (Berks), baptised at Faringdon, 19 October 1749. He succeeded his father as 6th baronet, 24 August 1772. He stood unsuccessfully for parliament in Stockbridge (Hants) in 1780, and was Steward of Stockbridge Races, 1789 and joint Steward of the Hampshire Hunt, 1786 and of the Hampshire Constitutional Club, 1790. One of the founders of Boodle's Club, London. He married, 26 December 1772 at St George's Hanover Square, London, Lady Jane (d. 1823), second daughter of Robert Henley, 1st Earl of Northington, but had no issue.
He inherited the Risley (Derbys) estate from his father in 1772 but sold it the same year. He lived at Crawley House (Hants), and later at Fareham (Hants) and in London. At his widow's death, their property, then consisting of the lease of a house in London and investments in Government bonds, was divided between his sisters and their descendants and her relations.
He died 22 March and was buried at St Marylebone, London, 28 March 1815, when the baronetcy expired; he died intestate and a grant of administration was made to his widow in April 1815. His widow died in London, 24 January 1823; her will was proved 21 February 1823.


Sources


Burke's Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies, 2nd edn., 1841, pp. 24-26; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1850, vol. 1, p. 31; VCH Berkshire, vol. 4, 1924, pp. 489-99; P. de Figueiredo & J. Treuherz, Cheshire country houses, 1987, p. 214; M. Craven & M. Stanley, The Derbyshire country house, 2001, pp. 187-9; T. Mowl & M. Mako, The historic gardens of England: Cheshire, 2008, pp. 94-97; G. Tyack, S. Bradley & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Berkshire, 2010, p. 360; C. Hartwell, M. Hyde, E. Hubbard & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Cheshire, 2011, pp. 115-16; S. Banks, A polite exchange of bullets, 2010, pp. 100-01; http://www.berkshirehistory.com/castles/wadley_house.html;


Location of archives


Aston family of Aston Hall: deeds, estate and family papers, 1161-18th century [British Library, Add. MS. 36901-23 and Add. Ch. 47380-53115]; deeds and papers, 1541-1881 [Liverpool University Library, Special Collections]; Cheshire, Berkshire and Warwickshire deeds and estate papers, c.1622-20th cent. [Cheshire Archives & Local Studies, DLI, ZCR67, ZCR68, D5648 and addnl. deposit]; deeds and papers, 1616-1796 [John Rylands University Library, Manchester: Ryl. Ch. 2012-33; Eng MS.747]; Warwickshire deeds and papers, 14th cent-1789 [Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Record Office, Stratford-on-Avon ER 3/3396-3508, ER 112]; Warwickshire deeds and papers, 1591-1900 [Warwickshire Record Office CR3010]; estate survey, 1636 [Liverpool Archives 920MD171]
Aston, Sir Willoughby (1640-1702), 2nd bt.: diaries, 1681-1702 [Liverpool Record Office, 920 MD 172-175]
Aston, Col. Henry Hervey (1761-98): a detailed inventory of his possessions, 1796 [Yale University, Centre for British Art HC79.I6 H33 1796+ Oversize]; memorial of facts relating to his fatal duel, 1798 [National Army Museum, 1968-07-147]


Coat of arms


Party per chevron, sable and argent.

Can you help?
Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.
  • Does anyone know of an illustration of Aston Hall, Aston-by-Sutton between its rebuilding in 1668 and alteration in the 1790s, or have any photographs of the interior?
  • Can anyone provide information about the tenants of Wadley House after 1800?
  • In preparing this account I have not had access to the parish registers of Runcorn, where family events before 1635 were probably mostly registered. Is anyone able to provide information about Aston entries in these registers?
  • Can anyone provide more information about the lives of the four illegitimate children of Henry Hervey Aston (c.1740-85)?


Revision and acknowledgements


This post was first published 19th July 2016.