Wednesday, 27 July 2016

(222) Aston of Tixall Hall, Barons Aston of Forfar

Aston of Tixall, Barons Aston of Forfar
Thomas Fuller, in his Worthies of England, says of the Astons that "a more noble family measuring on the level of flat and inadvantaged antiquity is not to be met with; they have ever borne a good respect to the church and learned men". They can be traced back to one Randulph de Aston in the reign of King Edward I, whose son Roger obtained the manors of Heywood and Longdon in Staffordshire from the Bishop of Lichfield in 1260. In the early 15th century Sir Roger de Aston acquired property in Warwickshire and the manor of Ashtead in Surrey through his marriage to Joyce, sister and co-heir of Sir Baldwin de Freville of Tamworth Castle, so the family had been knights and landed gentry long before the 16th century. By the time of Sir Robert de Aston in the mid 15th century, they were settled at Parkhall in Great Haywood, and Sir Robert's grandson, the Sir John Aston (c.1471-1523) with whom the genealogy below begins, was of Parkhall. He married the heiress of Sir William Littleton of Frankley and Tixall, and through this marriage inherited Tixall from his father-in-law and Wanlip (Leics) from his mother-in-law. His son, Sir Edward Aston (c.1494-1568), built a new house at Tixall in 1555 and exchanged the manor of Ashtead with King Henry VIII for further estates in Staffordshire, including Mayfield, Bradnop in Leek, and the site of Hulton Abbey near Stoke-on-Trent, thus consolidating his interests in the county.

Tixall Hall and its extensive estates passed in 1568 to Sir Walter Aston (1530-89), who added the surviving great gatehouse at Tixall in the years around 1575. A little later, in 1586, he was briefly host to Mary, Queen of Scots, who was held at Tixall for seventeen days while her lodgings at Chartley were searched for evidence of treason. Through his marriage to Elizabeth Leveson, Sir Walter added Shustoke in Warwickshire to the family's property portfolio. He had a large family to provide for, and left the manor of Parkhall in Great Haywood to his second son, to whose descendants it later passed, and Milwich to a younger son, William Aston. His eldest son, Sir Edward Aston (c.1551-98) received the bulk of the estates, which were said to provide the enormous income of £10,000 a year, although this was almost certainly an inflated figure. In 1579, Sir Edward married the daughter of Sir Thomas Lucy of Charlecote (Warks) and they seem to have lived at Charlecote with their growing family until they inherited Tixall ten years later.  

When Sir Edward died in 1598 his heir was a youth of fourteen, Sir Walter Aston (1584-1639), who was made a ward of Edward Coke, the Attorney General. Although Coke's chief concern was no doubt the rich income from the Aston estates, he does seem to have exerted his influence for the boy, securing his admission to the Inner Temple in 1600, introducing him to the new royal court of King James I, and arranging for him to become a Knight of the Bath in the coronation honours. As soon as he came of age, Sir Walter married Gertrude, the daughter of Sir Thomas Sadleir of Standon (Herts), who was a noted beauty.
Gertrude, Lady Aston (fl. 1635).
Image: Philip Mould Ltd.
At Court, Sir Walter quickly became a friend of the young Prince Charles, and in 1620 he was sent to Spain as Ambassador with a mission to secure the marriage of the Prince of Wales to the Spanish Infanta. He was there for five years, and although he was unsuccessful with the marriage, he made himself useful to the British merchant community in Spain, and earned the gratitude of the Prince of Wales by rescuing the Prince and his travelling companion, the Duke of Buckingham from a potentially dangerous position when they turned up incognito and uninvited at the Spanish court to press in person 
for the marriage. Whilst in Spain, Sir Walter and his family were received into the Roman Catholic church. It is possible that this was in part a move to curry favour with the Spanish court and to encourage the desired royal marriage, but the disadvantages of recusancy in England were such that it must have been, or have become, a matter of conscience as well. Back in England, and after Charles had succeeded his father as King Charles I, Sir Walter given a general pardon for recusancy, and was elevated to the peerage as Lord Aston of Forfar. Lord Aston found 'lying abroad for the good of his country' expensive and he was also paid some £14,000 which he claimed his embassy hadleft him out of pocket. Indebtedness may explain why the Wanlip and Shustoke estates were sold in 1626 and 1631 respectively.

Sir Walter Aston, 1st Baron Aston of Forfar, died in 1639, and the Tixall estate passed to his eldest son, Sir Walter Aston (c.1609-78), 2nd Baron Aston of Forfar. The 2nd Baron, who was a fervent Catholic, was a Royalist in the Civil War and stayed with the King until the final surrender at Oxford. He was then obliged to compound for his estates, and he claimed later that this, and his direct losses during the war, had cost him £100,000. Although this figure must be inflated, he was undoubtedly hurt in his pocket, and he must have been duly grateful when in 1660 his maternal uncle died and bequeathed him the manor of Standon in Hertfordshire and the great house of Standon Lordship which stood there. Standon indeed superseded Tixall for a time as the family's main seat.

Sir Walter Aston (1633-1714), 3rd Baron Aston of Forfar, although based at Standon, was widely seen as the leader of Staffordshire's large Roman Catholic community. For this reason, he and his younger brother were among those implicated by perjured evidence from a former estate steward (who bore a grudge for his dismissal) in the supposed Catholic plot against King Charles II which was 'revealed' by Titus Oates, and both men were briefly imprisoned, although never charged. Under King James II, as a prominent Catholic peer, the 3rd Baron's star was in the ascendant, and he was made Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire. When William of Orange invaded England at the end of 1688 he moved swiftly to take control of Chester and hold it for James, and he remained loyal to the old regime even after James fled the country and the cause was effectively lost. His younger son Charles was killed fighting for King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

The 3rd Baron was succeeded in 1714 by Sir Walter Aston (1660-1748), 4th Baron Aston of Forfar, whose interests seem to have lain more with his family and estates than with national politics. The Scots Peerage records that "Owing to the severity of the penal laws against Roman Catholics, he was compelled to reside very privately at Standon", and there is no record of his implication in either the 1715 or 1745 Jacobite rebellions. After living at Standon for many years, he began, in the 1720s, to undertake improvements, repairs and partial rebuilding of the old house at Tixall. These interests were continued by his son, Sir James Aston (1723-51), 5th Baron Aston of Forfar, who in 1750 began building a completely new house at Tixall to the designs of William Baker of Audlem. Unfortunately, in 1751, the young 5th Baron died of smallpox (reputedly caught while attending the funeral of a friend in Stafford), before he could sire a male heir. This had wide repercussions, as there was no living male line descendant of the 1st Baron to inherit the title, and only a clause in the original patent allowing it to pass to the male heirs general of the 1st Baron ensured it did not die out altogether. The title was claimed and used by descendants of William Aston (c.1560-1628) of Milwich, a younger son of Sir Walter Aston (1530-89) until the mid 19th century, but it later emerged that other potentially senior claimants existed, and it is now regarded as having become dormant in 1751. 

The Tixall and Standon estates passed to the 5th Baron's two daughters, as co-heiresses, and it would seem that during the ensuing minority Tixall in particular fell into disrepair. By 1767 both daughters were married, and a family arrangement was agreed under which Standon was sold and Tixall passed to the younger daughter, Barbara Aston, and her husband, Thomas Clifford. They resumed the rebuilding of Tixall Hall and the landscaping of the grounds, but the work was still unfinished when Thomas Clifford died in 1787; it was left to their son, Sir Thomas Hugh Clifford (later Constable) (1762-1823), 1st bt. to finish it off. In 1821 he inherited the Burton Constable estate in Yorkshire, and in 1845 his son, Sir Thomas Aston Clifford-Constable, 2nd bt., sold Tixall to Charles Chetwynd-Talbot (1777-1849), 2nd Earl Talbot of Hensol, owner of the neighbouring Ingestre Hall estate, ending an association with the Astons which had lasted more than 300 years.


Tixall Hall, Staffordshire


The manor of Tixall was held for many years by the Littleton family until 1507 when the Littleton heiress married Sir John Aston. The medieval manor house was replaced by Sir Edward Aston in the mid 16th century with a new largely timber-framed building that had elaborate stone Gothic bay windows, jettied upper floors and gables. An inscription on one of the windows recorded that "William Yates made this house 1555". 


Tixall Hall and gatehouse, from Robert Plot's Natural History of Staffordshire, 1686.


If the new house was rather conservative in style, that could not have been said of the gatehouse that was added c.1575 for Sir Walter Aston, who inherited in 1568 and died in 1589. The gatehouse, described by Sampson Erdeswick in 1598 as 'one of the finest pieces of work made of late times', is a three-storey rectangular structure, the balustraded facades of which are decorated with three orders of twinned columns. There are four octagonal corner turrets topped with cupolas and weather vanes, and on the long facades, above the carriage arches, two-storey bay windows. The design is suggestively similar to that of the slightly later two-storey gatehouse at Charlecote (Warks), built for Sir Thomas Lucy, whose daughter married Sir Walter Aston's heir.

The earliest recorded work to update the Elizabethan house was undertaken for the 4th Lord Aston of Forfar (1660-1748) from 1721. The Staffordshire architect and builder, Richard Trubshaw, built a new gate lodge in that year, perhaps creating the so-called Bottle Lodge. Pevsner wondered whether this was 16th century, but Mowl and Earnshaw have long since shown that the gate lodge as a building type is no earlier than the 17th century, and the details of this little building of rendered brick with stone dressings are unconvincingly Tudor. Trubshaw also restored the Elizabethan gatehouse and in 1729 began the rebuilding of the east front of the old house. Works were still in progress in 1745 when Richard Trubshaw died, and his son, Charles Cope Trubshaw completed the contract, supplying new chimneypieces for the house.


Tixall Hall in 1775, with the ruins of the Tudor house behind. The part of the new house built in 1750-51 does not appear in this view, either through artistic licence, or because it was hidden from this viewpoint by the bulk of the gatehouse.

When the 5th Lord Aston of Forfar succeeded to Tixall in 1748, he seems immediately to have planned the complete rebuilding of the old house on a site somewhat to the east of the original building. In 1748 trees were felled in the park for use in the building, and a large and fashionable sloping lawn was cleared between the intended site of the new house and the River Sow. The architect chosen for work on the house was another local man, William Baker of Audlem. In 1750-51 Baker constructed a new block of offices and bedrooms arranged around a rectangular court, but apparently made no beginning on the all-important new south range which was to house the family rooms. Then in 1751 Lord Aston of Forfar died unexpectedly; the peerage passed to a distant cousin; and the estate was left to Lord Aston's two young daughters, Mary and Barbara, as co-heiresses.


While the two young girls grew up and found husbands, the Old Hall, which was perhaps largely abandoned, fell into decay. By 1768 when a family arrangement between the daughters and their husbands was put in place and Barbara and her husband Thomas Clifford took possession of Tixall, the upper floors of the old house were unsafe. An engraving of 1775 shows indeed that by then it had substantially collapsed or been taken down. The Cliffords moved at first into the Baker quadrangle while they drew up plans for completing the partly-built house. They commissioned designs from Thomas Atkinson of York in about 1770 and from Capability Brown in 1773, but it is not known whether either was the architect finally chosen when work began later in the 1770s; Brown is perhaps more likely as the relatively plain house is rather in his style, and as he was engaged in landscaping works at Tixall, with the assistance of William Emes, while building was in progress.  


Tixall Hall: engraving of 1830, showing the new house built in the 1770s and 1780s, and the later trelliswork veranda.

Work on the shell of the new south range was completed in 1782; it consisted of a seven bay. two-storey block with a central portico of Doric columns, set against a three-bay centrepiece, with attached Doric columns framing the windows on the first floor. To either side of the central block, the line of the walls was continued by a single-storey screen, decorated with Doric columns and pilasters, concealing the offices. Each screen was surmounted by a large pedestal, on which were placed lions couchant commissioned a few years later from the Coade manufactory. After the shell was complete, there was a change of architect for the design of the interiors, with Samuel Wyatt taking over the fitting out of the main apartments; the change is further slight evidence, perhaps, for the earlier involvement of Brown, who died in 1783. Only the first-floor rooms were complete by the death of Thomas Clifford in 1787, and the ground floor rooms were finally only finished for his son and heir, Sir Thomas Hugh Clifford (later Constable), 1st bt. One further change was made before 1817, when Sir Thomas and Arthur Clifford published A topographical and historical description of the parish of Tixall; the addition of a two-storey trelliswork veranda that incorporated the earlier Doric porch.


Tixall Hall: stables built in the 1820s, prior to residential conversion. Image: Historic England


Tixall Hall: the RC chapel created in 1823-27 from the ruins of the Tudor house and demolished in 1844.
Image: © Trustees of the William Salt Library, Stafford.  Used by kind permission.

Finally, in the 1820s, two further significant changes were made to the estate. A new semicircular single-storey stable block was built behind the house, with three taller pavilions in the middle and at either end. In conception it is neo-classical, but the details are all Tudor Gothic. The exact date of the stable block is unknown, but it was called 'newly-built' in 1833. The architect may perhaps have been Joseph Ireland, who in 1823-27 converted the surviving, single-storey ruins of the Tudor house into a Roman Catholic chapel. This stood only until 1844, when on the sale of the Tixall estate, the chapel was taken down. Much of the stonework, including the great bay window of the Tudor house, was taken to Great Haywood with the intention that it be incorporated into the new Catholic church which was built there in 1845 to replace the Tixall chapel; the medieval stained glass from the Tixall chapel, meanwhile, found its way to Burton Constable (Yorks ER), which since 1821 had been the main home of the Clifford Constable family; Burton Constable also houses a model of the Tixall chapel made in the 1840s by a member of the family. 

For some unknown reason the Tixall stonework was not incorporated into Great Haywood church, and instead the stones were acquired by a Mr. Corvesor, who used them to make an ornamental stone archway in the grounds of Wharf House in Great Haywood village. They remained there until the 1980s when the arch was demolished and the stones were moved to the Presbytery Garden of the Catholic church. 


Tixall Hall: the surviving gatehouse in its landscaped setting, 2007. Image: igb99Some rights reserved.
The Cliffords sold the Tixall estate to Earl Talbot of nearby Ingestre Hall in 1845 and thereafter the property was let out to tenants. The Hall itself was demolished in 1927, leaving only the Gatehouse and stables standing, and the estate was broken up and sold off piecemeal in 1960. In 1968 the Landmark Trust bought the Gatehouse which was immaculately restored in the 1970s and is now available for holiday lets. The stable block was converted to housing at much the same time.

Descent: Sir William Littleton (1450-1507); to daughter, Joan, wife of Sir John de Aston (c.1471-1523); to son, Sir Edward Aston (c.1494-1568), kt.; to son, Sir Walter Aston (1530-89), kt.; to son, Sir Edward Aston (c.1551-98), kt.; to son, Sir Walter Aston (1584-1639), 1st bt. and 1st Baron Aston of Forfar; to son, Sir Walter Aston (c.1609-78), 2nd Baron Aston of Forfar; to son, Sir Walter Aston (1633-1714), 3rd Baron Aston of Forfar; to son, Sir Walter Aston (1660-1748), 4th Baron Aston of Forfar; to son, Sir James Aston (1723-51), 5th Baron Aston of Forfar; to daughters as co-heiresses, of whom Barbara (1744-86), wife of Thomas Clifford (1732-87) gained sole possession; to son, Sir Thomas Hugh Clifford (later Constable) (1762-1823), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Thomas Aston Constable (1807-70), 2nd bt., who sold 1845 to Charles Chetwynd-Talbot (1777-1849), 2nd Earl Talbot of Hensol; to son, Henry John Chetwynd-Talbot (1803-68), 3rd Earl Talbot and (from 1856), 18th Earl of Shrewsbury; to son, Charles John Chetwynd-Talbot (1830-77), 19th Earl of Shrewsbury; to son, Charles Henry John Chetwynd-Talbot (1860-1921), 20th Earl of Shrewsbury; to grandson, John George Charles Henry Alton Alexander Chetwynd-Talbot (1914-80), 21st Earl of Shrewsbury, whose trustees demolished the house in 1927; he sold off the estate in 1960.


The Lordship, Standon, Hertfordshire


Standon Lordship: an engraving made by S. Drapentier for Chauncy's History of Hertfordshire, 1700.

The present house represents a much-rebuilt fragment of the early Tudor courtyard mansion of Sir Ralph Sadleir, one of the most successful of King Henry VIII's 'new men'. Sadleir is recorded as having built at Standon in 1543-46, but a plan of the house suggests strongly that his house was not all of one build, and that he added three ranges of building set around a courtyard onto the front of an older pile of buildings, which no doubt represented the medieval house that belonged to the Mortimer family and later the Dukes of York. Henry VIII gave it in dower to Catherine of Aragon and Jane Seymour successively, and it was a good enough house for Sadleir to entertain Thomas Cromwell in in 1540. 


Standon Lordship: ground plan, redrawn from a survey made before substantial demolition in the early 19th century.
Image: RCHME/Crown Copyright. Licenced under the Open Government Licence


Standon Lordship: west front, from Queen Elizabeth's Progress, vol. 2, 1788. Image: Society of Antiquaries of London.
The enlargement of 1543-46 was carried out while Sadleir was acting as ambassador to Scotland, under the direction of his steward, who is said to have built a significantly larger house than Sadleir intended, although Sadleir's growing wealth and political importance made its scale not inappropriate: at his death, Sadleir is said to have been the richest commoner in England. Whether the whole extension was built in those years also cannot be certain. The porch of the hall range was dated 1546 so it was at least begun then, but the work may have been conducted in stages over a longer period. Queen Elizabeth first came to stay in 1561 and that may represent a terminus ante quem. As a result of its complex building history, the hall was not on the opposite site of the courtyard to the gatehouse in the west range, but at right-angles to it, in the south range, with service rooms to its east and a parlour to its west. The main feature of the west front was the great gatehouse, with four corner towers containing newel staircases. The arrangement of these staircases and the appearance of the west and north ranges on a plan of the house made in the early 19th century before demolition, may imply that they contained lodging chambers of varying magnificence.


Standon Lordship: as reconstructed in 1872 for 2nd Duke of Wellington. Image: VCH/University of London

Most of the very large 16th century house was pulled down in the early 19th century, except for part of the west wing and a smaller section of the south wing. The former contained the main entrance; the latter the hall. The carriageway arch with its four-centred arch remains, and the lower parts of the flanking turrets on the inner face. The surviving fragment of the house was incorporated into a hunting lodge built in 1872 by John Thorpe for the 2nd Duke of Wellington, which was in turned largely burned down in 1925. By then the house was let, and the present house, with its elaborate brick chimneys and panelled interior, represents a further reconstruction of 1927. The house is now divided into two dwellings.


Standon Lordship: the house as it exists today (from the north). Image: 

Descent: Crown granted 1539 to Sir Ralph Sadleir (d. 1587), kt.; to son, Sir Thomas Sadleir (d. 1606), kt.; to son, Ralph Sadleir (d. 1660); to nephew, Sir Walter Aston (d. 1678), 2nd Baron Aston of Forfar; to son, Sir Walter Aston (1633-1714), 3rd Baron Aston of Forfar; to son, Sir Walter Aston (d. 1748), 4th Baron Aston of Forfar; to son, Sir James Aston (d. 1751), 5th Baron Aston of Forfar; to daughters as co-heiresses, who sold 1767 to William Plumer (d. 1767) of Blakesware; to son, William Plumer (d. 1822); to widow, Jane, later wife of Robert Ward (later Plumer), who sold 1843 to Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852), 1st Duke of Wellington; to son, Arthur Richard Wellesley (1807-84), 2nd Duke of Wellington; to son, Henry Wellesley (1846-1900), 3rd Duke of Wellington; to brother, Arthur Charles Wellesley (1849-1934), 4th Duke of Wellington, who let the house...Hugh Trenchard (b. 1951), 3rd Viscount Trenchard.



Aston family of Tixall Hall, Barons Aston of Forfar



Aston, Sir John (c.1471-1523) KB. Eldest son of Sir John de Aston (d. 1483) of Parkhall and Haywood (Staffs), and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Delves of Doddington (Cheshire), born about 1471. MP for Staffordshire, 1495, 1497, 1504, 1510, 1515 and 1523. A military knight under Kings Henry VII and Henry VIII; made a Knight of the Bath at the marriage of Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon in 1502, and knight banneret for his conduct at the Battle of the Spurs, 1513. He distinguished himself further at the subsequent successful sieges of Thérouanne and Tournai. Awarded a general pardon, 1509. High Sheriff of Leicestershire and Warwickshire, 1510-11 and of Staffordshire, 1500-01, 1508-09 and 1513-14. He married, c. 1488, Jane, daughter of Sir William Littleton, kt. of Frankley (Worcs) and Tixall (Staffs) and had issue:
(1) Sir Edward Aston (c.1494-1568), kt. (q.v.);
(2) William Aston (fl. 1536) of Milwich (Staffs) and Rufford (Notts); married Elizabeth Stapleton of Carlton (Yorks) and had issue;
(3) Anne Aston (d. by 1533); married Thomas Curzon (d. 1541) of Croxall (Staffs) (who m2, 1533, Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Lygon of Madresfield (Worcs) and had further issue) and had issue three sons and seven daughters; died before 1533 and was buried at Croxall, where Thomas and his two wives are commemorated by a monument;
(4) Helen Aston; married 1st, 1526?, Hugh Erdeswick and 2nd, John Morgan;
(5) Isabel Aston; married Thomas Blount;
(6) Elizabeth Aston.
He inherited Parkhall and Haywood (Staffs) and Ashtead (Surrey) from his father in 1483 and came of age in 1492. He inherited the manors of Wanlip (Leics) and Tixall (Staffs) in right of his wife in 1507.
He died 14 March 1523 and was buried at Leigh (Staffs), where he and his wife are commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 25 April 1523. His wife survived him, but her date of death is unknown, as it is missing from the inscription on their tomb.

Aston, Sir Edward (c.1494-1568), kt. Elder son of Sir John de Aston (c.1471-1523) and his wife Joan, daughter of Sir William Littleton, kt. of Frankley (Worcs) and Tixall (Staffs), born about 1494. He is said to have been knighted at Calais in 1532. JP for Staffordshire from 1526; High Sheriff of Staffordshire, 1528-29, 1534-35, 1540-41, 1556-57. Keeper of Cannock Chase in 1538. Awarded general pardons, 1553 and 1558/9. He married 1st, Mary (d. 1525), daughter of Sir Henry Vernon, kt., and 2nd, 1525, Jane (d. 1562), daughter of Sir Thomas Bowles of Penhow Castle (Monmouths.), one of the barons of the exchequer, and had issue:
(2.1) Giles Aston; died young;
(2.2) Sir Walter Aston (1530-89), kt. (q.v.);
(2.3) Leonard Aston (fl. 1578) of Longdon (Staffs); his father settled the manor of Milwich on him in 1541; married, c.1564, Elizabeth Barton, widow of Thomas Cresswell and had issue one son and one daughter; living in 1578;
(2.4) Anthony Aston (fl. 1589) of Parkhall; married Elizabeth, daughter of [forename unknown] Lawley and widow of Henry Brough (1531-57) of Gainsborough and Stow (Lincs) and had issue three sons and one daughter; living in 1589;
(2.5) Catherine Aston (d. 1585?); married, c.1548 (but settlement 1530), Sir William Gresley (1525-73), kt. of Drakelow (Derbys) and had issue three sons and three daughters; died before September 1585;
(2.6) Mary Aston (d. by 1563); married, c.1545, Simon Harcourt (1517-77) of Stanton Harcourt (Oxon), and had issue five sons (ancestor of the Earls of Harcourt) and four daughters; died before 1563, when her husband married again;
(2.7) Frances Aston (c.1536-1601); married*, 1555, Robert Needham (1535-1603) of Shenton (Shropshire), and had issue two sons (ancestor of the Viscounts and Earls of Kilmorey) and six daughters; buried at Adderley (Shropshire), 31 August 1601;
(2.8) Elizabeth Aston (d. by 1559); perhaps the first wife of Thomas Lawley (d. 1559) of Wenlock (Shropshire), ancestor of the Lawley baronets (later Barons Wenlock) (who m2, Beatrix Hinton (d. 1571)); died before 1559.
He inherited the Tixall, Ashtead and Wanlip estates from his father in 1523 and built a new house there in 1555. He exchanged the manor of Ashtead (Surrey) with the Crown in 1543 for a number of ex-monastic properties in Staffordshire, including Mayfield, Bradnop (in Leek) and the site of Hulton Abbey.
He died 8 September 1568 and was buried at St Mary, Stafford, where he and his second wife are commemorated by a fine monument. His first wife died in 1525 and was buried at Wanlip (Leics). His second wife died 15 September 1562.
* A marriage settlement was drawn up in 1537 for her marriage to Richard Bagot, son of Thomas Bagot of Blithfield, but the marriage seems never to have taken place.


Sir Walter Aston (1530-89)
Aston, Sir Walter (1530-89), kt. Elder surviving son of Sir Edward Aston (c.1494-1568) and his second wife, Joan, daughter of Sir Thomas Bowles of Penhow Castle (Monmouths.), born 1 October 1530. MP for Staffordshire, 1553. JP (by 1574) and DL (from 1585) for Staffordshire. High Sheriff of Staffordshire, 1570-71 and 1580-81. Knighted by the Duke of Norfolk for his service before Leith, 18 July 1560. In 1586 Mary, Queen of Scots was temporarily lodged for 17 days with Aston at Tixall while her custodian, Sir Amyas Paulet, sought evidence against her among her belongings at Chartley; his connivance in this manoeuvre earned Aston the thanks of the Privy Council. He married, 1548x1551 (contracted by 1545), Elizabeth (b. 1532?), daughter of James Leveson of Lilleshall (Shropshire), and had issue:
(1) Sir Edward Aston (c.1551-98), kt. (q.v.);
(2) Robert Aston (c.1552-1623) of Parkhall; educated at Grays Inn (admitted 1568; called to bar, 1581); barrister-at-law; married Joyce, second daughter of William Dallyson, justice of Kings Bench, and had issue four sons, to whose descendants the manor of Parkhall descended;
(3) Jane Aston (c.1554-1624); married, 1573/4, William Crompton (d. 1603) of Stone (Staffs) and had issue fourteen children; buried with her husband, December 1624, at Stone (Staffs), where they are commemorated by a monument;
(4) Richard Aston (d. 1610); married 1st, Julia, widow of N.N. Clerke, and had issue three sons and four daughters; married 2nd, Anne [surname unknown]; died 1610;
(5) Margery Aston (d. 1628); married, 1585, Thomas Astley (d. 1632) of Patshull (Staffs) and had issue seven sons and six daughters; she was excommunicated from the Church of England and was buried at Patshull by special licence, 1628;
(6) William Aston (c.1560-1628) of Milwich (Staffs); educated at University College, Oxford (matriculated 1579); married, 21 April 1590, Elizabeth, daughter of Waldive Willington of Hurley Hall near Tamworth (Warks), and had issue two sons (from the elder of whom descended the men who claimed and used the title Barons Aston of Forfar in the late 18th century) and one daughter; buried at Tixall, 6 May 1628;
(7) Eleanor Aston (d. 1637); married William Peyto (d. 1609 or 1619) of Chesterton (Warks); died 1636/7 and was buried with her husband at Chesterton where they are commemorated by a monument designed by Nicholas Stone;
(8) Mary Aston (fl. 1596); married, after 1583, Christopher Collier (d. 1609) of Yarlet; living in 1596;
(9) Hastings Aston (1564-86), baptised at Wanlip (Leics), 13 March 1564; died unmarried, 1586;
(10) Elizabeth Aston (b. c.1565); married, by 1585, Basil Feilding (c.1567-1633) MP of Newnham Paddox (Warks) and had issue three sons (from whom descend the Earls of Denbigh) and one daughter;
(11) Catherine Aston (c.1566-1646); married 1st, Stephen Slaney (d. 1597), son of Sir Stephen Slaney, Lord Mayor of London, and had issue one daughter; married 2nd, 21 June 1604 at St Mary Woolnoth, London or 18 January 1605 at Ingestre, Sir William Chetwynd (d. 1614), kt., of Ingestre (Staffs) and 3rd, 1617 at St Giles-in-the-Fields, Holborn (Middx), Sir Edward Cope (1551-1619), kt. of Canons Ashby (Northants); died 1646 and was buried at St Giles-in-the-Fields;
(12) Devereux Aston (c.1571-1635); educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1587); married 1st, Godith (fl. 1609), widow of Richard Skeffington of London, and 2nd, 1 April 1624, Margaret (fl. 1635), daughter of William Barratt of Wymeswold (Leics) and widow of [forename unknown] Botham, but died without issue, 1635.
Through his marriage he acquired the manor of Shustoke (Warks) from James Leveson. He inherited the Tixall and Wanlip estates from his father in 1568 and added a new gatehouse to the house at Tixall in about 1575. 
He died 2 April 1589; he was apparently intestate, but an inquisition post mortem was held 15 August 1589. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Aston, Sir Edward (c.1551-98), kt.. Eldest son of Sir Walter Aston (1530-89), kt. and his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Leveson of Lilleshall (Shropshire), born about 1551 (he was 38 in August 1589). Educated at Grays Inn (admitted 1568). Knighted 1588. High Sheriff of Staffordshire, 1590-91. He married 1st, 1574, Mary, daughter of Sir John Spencer of Everden, and 2nd, 27 April 1579 (settlement 1579) at Charlecote, Anne (1550-96), only daughter of Sir Thomas Lucy, kt. of Charlecote (Warks), and had issue:
(2.1) Joyce Aston (1579-1619), baptised at Charlecote, 25 July 1579; married, 25 February 1598 at Charlecote (Warks), Sir Martin Colepeper (d. 1604), kt. of Deane (Oxon) and had issue one son (who died in infancy) and three daughters (one of whom died in infancy); died 2 January 1619 and was buried the following day at Feckenham (Worcs); 
(2.2) Elizabeth Aston (b. 1582), baptised at Charlecote, 21 November 1582; in 1600 she scandalously eloped with and married*, 20 July 1600 at Broadway (Worcs), John Sambach (d. 1614) of Broadway, and had issue three daughters; she married 2nd, 1618 at Broadway, William Martin;
(2.3) Sir Walter Aston (1584-1639), 1st bt. and 1st Baron Aston of Forfar (q.v.);
(2.4) Edward Aston (1586-1626?) of Bishton in Colwich (Staffs), baptised at Charlecote, 17 July 1586; married, 1608, Anne (b. 1588), only daughter of Leigh Sadler of Temple Dinsley (Herts) and grandson of Sir Ralph Sadleir, ambassador to Scotland; will proved 1625/6;
(2.5) Thomas Aston (fl. 1596); barrister-at-law; died without issue;
(2.6) Anne Aston (d. 1660); married, 1618, Ambrose Elton (1578-1659) of The Hazle, Ledbury (Herefs), son of Anthony Elton of Ledbury, and had issue three sons and fourteen daughters (of whom eight survived into adulthood); died 5 February 1659/60;
(2.7) Jane Aston (d. c.1647); married, before 1610, Thomas Elton MD (1573-1618), son of Anthony Elton of Ledbury, and had issue two sons; said to have died in Bath about 1647;
(2.8) Catherine Aston; died unmarried before 1596.
He inherited the Tixall, Wanlip and Shustoke estates from his father in 1589 and further property in Staffordshire, Derbyshire, and Warwickshire, reputedly to the value of £10,000 a year.
He died 1 February 1597/8; his will was proved 26 June 1598. His first wife's date of death is unknown. His second wife was buried at Holy Trinity Minories, London, 23 September 1596.
*This incident is said to have furnished Shakespeare with the inspiration for the Anne Page and Fenton sub-plot of The Merry Wives of Windsor.


Sir Walter Aston,
1st Baron Aston of Forfar
Aston, Sir Walter (1584-1639), 1st bt. and 1st Baron Aston of Forfar. Eldest son of Sir Edward Aston (c.1551-98) and his wife Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Lucy of Charlecote (Warks), born 1584.  He was a minor at the time of his father's death and was made a ward of Edward Coke, the Attorney General. Educated at Inner Temple (admitted 1599/1600). He was made a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of King James I in 1603, on which occasion the poet, Michael Drayton, acted as his esquire. Aston became patron of Michael Drayton, who dedicated five works to him between 1602 and 1607. He was subsequently one of the first men to be created a baronet, 22 May 1611. Steward of the Honour of Tutbury, 1618. In 1620-25 he was ambassador to Spain where he was tasked with negotiating the proposed marriage between Charles, Prince of Wales and the Infanta of Spain. While in Spain he became a convert to Catholicism, and although he did not succeed in securing the marriage his services to Charles saw him raised to the peerage as Baron Aston of Forfar, 28 November 1627 and repaid the £14,000 he claimed his embassy had left him out of pocket. He received a general pardon for recusancy, 1625/6, and was allowed to take up an official appointment as a commissioner for Warwickshire for enforcing a fine upon gentry who failed to appear at Charles's coronation to receive a knighthood. He was again sent as ambassador to Spain in 1636-38 in connection with the succession to the Palatinate, and although this matter proved intractable he gave assistance to 27 lawsuits involving English merchants in the Spanish courts; he returned to England when his health gave way in the spring of 1638. He married, by 1605/6, Gertrude, only daughter of Sir Thomas Sadleir of Standon and grandson of Sir Ralph Sadleir, ambassador to Scotland, and had issue:
(1) Walter Aston; died in infancy;
(2) Sir Walter Aston (c.1609-78), 2nd Baron Aston of Forfar (q.v.);
(3) Hon. Herbert Aston (1614-89), baptised at Chelsea (Middx), 16 January 1614/5; accompanied his father, as secretary, on his second embassy to Spain, 1635-38; lived on a small estate at Colton (Staffs), which he called Bellamour; married, c.1638, Catherine, daughter of Richard Thimelby and sister of Sir John Thimelby of Irnham (Lincs), kt, and had issue one son; buried at Colton (Staffs), 9 January 1688/9; administration of his goods granted 21 June 1689;
(4) Hon. John Aston (fl. 1685); married and had issue;
(5) Hon. Thomas Aston; died in infancy;
(6) Hon. Gertrude Aston; died in infancy;
(7) Hon. Honoria Aston (1610-), baptised at Islington (Middx), 17 July 1610; died at Vittoria (Spain) during her father's embassy, and was buried at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London;
(8) Hon. Frances Aston (1612-), baptised at Chelsea, 16 April 1612; married, before June 1635, as his second wife, Sir William Pershall of Canwell (Staffs) and had issue; living in 1635;
(9) Hon. Gertrude Aston (d. 1668); married Henry Thimelby (d. 1655), son of Richard Thimelby and brother of Sir John Thimelby, kt.; after her husband's death she became a nun at Louvain in Flanders; died 1668;
(10) Hon. Constance Aston; married, 1629, Walter Fowler of St. Thomas' Priory, near Stafford; living in 1635.
He inherited the Tixall, Wanlip and Shustoke estates from his father in 1598, but sold Wanlip in 1626 and Shustoke in 1631.
He died 13 August 1639 and was buried at St Mary, Stafford; his will was proved 31 October 1639. His wife was living 3 June 1635, but her date of death is unknown.

Aston, Sir Walter (c.1609-78), 2nd Baron Aston of Forfar. Eldest son of Sir Walter Aston (1584-1639), 1st bt. & 1st Baron Aston of Forfar, and his wife Gertrude, daughter of Sir Thomas Sadleir of Standon (Herts), born c.1609. Steward of the Honour of Tutbury and Constable of Tutbury Castle, 1639. He was a Royalist during the Civil War, and was at the siege of Lichfield, 1646 and the surrender of Oxford, after which he had to compound for his estates and live in retirement. A Roman Catholic in religion. He claimed that his loyalty to the Stuart cause in the Civil War had cost him £100,000, but the only recompense he received was the free grant in 1668 of a weekly market and two annual fairs at Standon. He married, 1629, Lady Mary (b. 1602), second daughter of Richard Weston, 1st Earl of Portland, Lord High Treasurer of England and had issue:
(1) Sir Walter Aston (1633-1714), 3rd Baron Aston of Forfar (q.v.);
(2) Hon. Thomas Aston; married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Ogle of Dissington (Northbld), but died without issue;
(3) Hon. Charles Aston; died in infancy;
(4) Hon. William Aston (fl. 1679); like his eldest brother he was involved in the accusations by Titus Oates and was arrested 28 January 1679; died without issue;
(5) Hon. Elizabeth Aston; married, by 1673, Sir John Southcote (d. 1685), kt. of Merstham (Surrey);
(6) Hon. Frances Aston; married Sir Edward Gage (d. 1707), bt. of Hengrave (Suffk);
(7) Hon. Gertrude Aston (1637-82); a Sepulchrine nun at Liege; (entered 1658 but left 1659 and returned to England); a Carmelite nun at Lierre (professed 1671); died unmarried;
(8) Hon. Mary Aston; died unmarried;
(9) Hon. Anne Aston; married, c.1662/3, Henry Somerset, Count of the Holy Roman Empire, of Pauntley Court (Glos), son of Lord John Somerset and grandson of the 1st Marquess of Worcester, and had issue.
He inherited the Tixall estate from his father in 1639, and the Standon Lordship estate in Hertfordshire from his maternal uncle, Ralph Sadleir, in 1660, and Standon was thereafter his principal seat.
He died at Tixall, 23 April 1678 and was buried at St Mary, Stafford. His widow was living in August 1678.

Aston, Sir Walter (1633-1714), 3rd Baron Aston of Forfar. Eldest son of Sir Walter Aston (c.1609-78) and his wife Lady Mary, daughter of Richard Weston, 1st Earl of Portland, born at Tixall, 1633. A Roman Catholic in religion and the effective leader of the large Catholic community in Staffordshire. As such, he was a principal target of informers during the Popish Plot. His former steward Stephen Dugdale, whom he had dismissed for stealing money to pay his gambling debts, gave perjured evidence which sent Aston to the Tower of London in 1679 on charges of conspiracy to kill King Charles II. Dugdale was a charming, educated and plausible man, who gave sufficiently credibility to the charges that even King Charles II, "began to think there was something in it". However it proved impossible to find any corroboration of Dugdale's charges, and Aston was never brought to trial and was released from custody on bail in the summer of 1680. Under King James II he was made Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, 1687-89; JP for Staffordshire, 1687-88; he remained loyal to King James when William of Orange invaded in 1688, moving, with Lord Molyneux, to hold Chester for the King. He married, 1st, by 1656, Eleanor (d. 1674), daughter of Sir Walter Blount, 1st bt. of Sodington, and widow of Robert Knightley of Offchurch (Warks), and 2nd, after 1680, Catherine (d. 1720), daughter of Sir Thomas Gage, 2nd bt., of Firle (Sussex), and had issue:
(1.1) Hon. Edward Walter Aston (1658-78); died in the lifetime of his father at Clermont College, Paris (France), 1678;
(1.2) Hon. Francis Aston (d. 1694); died without issue, 1694 and was buried at Standon;
(1.3) Sir Walter Aston (1660-1748), 4th Baron Aston of Forfar (q.v.);
(1.4) Hon. Charles Aston (1664-90); captain of the band of pensioners of King James II; he was unmarried and without issue; killed at the Battle of the Boyne, 1 July 1690;
(1.5) Hon. William Aston; died in infancy;
(1.6) Hon. Mary Aston; died unmarried;
(1.7) Hon. Catherine Aston; died in infancy.
He inherited the Tixall and Standon estates from his father in 1678.
He died 24 November 1714 and was buried at Standon, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 10 December 1714. His first wife died 3 December 1674. His widow died 2 April 1720 and was also buried at Standon.

Aston, Sir Walter (1660-1748), 4th Baron Aston of Forfar. Third but only surviving son of Sir Walter Aston (1633-1714), 3rd Baron Aston of Forfar and his first wife, Eleanor, daughter of Sir William Blount, 1st bt. of Sodington, and widow of Robert Knightley of Offchurch (Warks), born 1660. "Owing to the severity of the penal laws against Roman Catholics, he was compelled to reside very privately at Standon". He married, about 1 October 1698, Lady Mary (d. 1723), only daughter of Lord Thomas Howard of Worksop (Notts) and sister of the 8th and 9th Dukes of Norfolk, and had issue:
(1) Mary Aston (1703-04), born 27 October 1703; died in infancy, 10 December 1704;
(2) Anne Aston (b. & d. 1705), born 4 April 1705; died in infancy, 24 July 1705 and was buried at Standon;
(3) Hon. Catherine Elizabeth Aston (1706-39), born 7 March 1706; married, 1727 (settlement 13 June), Edward Weld (1705-61) of Lulworth Castle (Dorset); died 25 October 1739;
(4) Mary Anne Aston (1709-12), born 31 May 1709; died young, 2 April 1712 and was buried at Standon;
(5) Hon. Walter Aston (1712-17), born 16 February 1711/2; died young, 19 June 1717;
(6) Hon. Edward Richard Aston (b. 1713); born 17 January 1712/3; died young;
(7) Hon. Margaret Aston (1714-69), born 28 May 1714; an Augustinian nun at Paris (professed 1733); died in Paris, 31 October 1769;
(8) Hon. Thomas William Anthony Aston (d. 1739); died between 16 June and 25 October 1739;
(9) Hon. Eleanor Aston (1717-27), born 22 May 1717; died young, 12 April 1727;
(10) Hon. Charles Joseph Aston (1720-30), born 19 March 1719/20; died young, 12 April and was buried at Standon, 15 April 1730;
(11) Sir James Aston (1723-51), 5th Baron Aston of Forfar (q.v.).
He inherited the Tixall and Standon estates from his father in 1714; after 1721 he undertook extensive repairs and improvement works at Tixall.
He died at Tixall, 4 April and was buried at Standon, 8 April 1748; his will was proved 15 August 1748. His wife died in childbirth, 23 May 1723 and was also buried at Standon.

Aston, Sir James (1723-51), 5th Baron Aston of Forfar. Youngest but only surviving son of Sir Walter Aston (1660-1748), 4th Baron Aston of Forfar, and his wife Lady Mary, only daughter of Lord Thomas Howard of Worksop (Notts) and sister of the 8th and 9th Dukes of Norfolk, born 23 May 1723. "He is said to have been remarkable for his good humour and easy temper, and for his affability and condescension to all ranks of people". He married, 30 June 1742 at Twickenham (Middx), Barbara, daughter of George Talbot and sister of George Talbot, 14th Earl of Shrewsbury, and had issue:
(1) Hon. Mary Aston (1743-1805), baptised at Standon, 14 August 1743; married, 21 September 1766 at Worksop Manor (Notts), her cousin, Sir Walter Blount (d. 1785), 6th bt., of Mawley Hall (Shropshire) and had issue three sons; accidentally burned to death when her clothes caught fire, 6 February 1805, at her son's house at Basford (Staffs); will proved 2 March 1805;
(2) Hon. Barbara Aston (1744-86) (q.v.).
He inherited the Tixall and Standon estates from his father in 1748, and planned to build a new house at Tixall, on which work was begun in 1750-51. In 1767 Standon Lordship was sold, and in 1768 under a family arrangement the Tixall estate passed to his younger daughter.
He died of smallpox (caught while attending the funeral of a friend at Stafford) at Tixall, 24 August 1751 and was buried at St Mary, Stafford; his will was proved 5 December 1751. With his death the baronetcy conferred in 1611 expired, and the Barony passed to his heirs male, general. Under this provision, the title was taken and used by Philip Aston (d. 1755) and other members of his family, although later research shows that others with a senior claim existed. The title is now regarded as dormant, as no claimant has been able to prove the extinction of all potential senior branches of the family. His widow died in Paris, 9 November 1759; administration of her goods was granted 26 July 1760 and 3 July 1766.

Aston, Hon. Barbara (1744-86). Younger daughter of Sir James Aston (1723-51), 5th Baron Aston of Forfar, and his wife Barbara, daughter of George Talbot and sister of the 14th Earl of Shrewsbury, born 4 September and baptised at Standon, 8 September 1744. She married, 2 February 1762 at St James, Westminster, the Hon. Thomas Clifford, fourth son of Hugh Clifford, 3rd Baron Clifford of Chudleigh (Devon), and had issue twelve children including:
(1) Sir Thomas Hugh Clifford (later Constable) (1762-1823), 1st bt., born 4 December 1762; topographer and botanist; educated at the English Jesuit Academy in Liege, Navarre and in Paris; a zealous Roman Catholic, he was created a baronet at the special request of King Louis XVIII of France, 22 May 1815; he lived at Tixall and in Paris until in 1821 he succeeded to the Yorkshire estates of Francis Constable of Burton Constable (Yorks ER) and took the name of Constable in lieu of Clifford; married, 17 June 1791, Mary McDonald (d. 1825), daughter of John Chichester of Arlington Court (Devon) and had issue one son and two daughters; died at Ghent, 25 February 1823 [the Cliffords and Clifford-Constables will be the subject of a future post on this blog];
(2) Mary Clifford (d. 1811); married, 13 December 1792, as his first wife, Sir Charles Wolseley (1769-1846), 7th bt.. and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 16 July 1811;
(3) Henry Clifford (1768-1813), born 2 March 1768; educated at the English Jesuit Academy at Liege and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1788; called to bar 1793); barrister-at-law; secretary and treasurer of the Cisalpine Club, 1792-95; a prominent activist in the causes of Catholic emancipation and civil liberties; married, 21 January 1813, Anne Theresa, daughter of Edward Ferrers of Baddesley Clinton (Warks) but had no issue; died at Bath, 22 April 1813;
(4) Anne Mary Aloysia Austin Clifford (1770-1844); a nun of the Sepulchrine order; died unmarried 14 January 1844 in New Hall;
(5) Lucy Bridget Clifford (d. 1815); married, 7 June 1796 at Ugbrooke (Devon), Thomas Weld (1773-1837) (who became a RC priest in 1821 and a Cardinal in 1830) of Lulworth Castle (Dorset) and had issue one daughter; died 1 June 1815;
(6) James Francis Clifford (1774-1833), born 16 August 1774; Chief Clerk in the Navy Pay Office, Chatham (Kent); married, 10 August 1809, Elizabeth, daughter of William Symonds, but had no issue; died 18 April and was buried at Gillingham (Kent), 24 April 1833; will proved 6 May 1833;
(7) Constantia Clifford (1776-1857), born 24 February 1776; married 1st, 1802, Julian Austin Montriou (d. 1827) and 2nd, 1831, Thomas Burges (d. 1844) of Clayton Woods; died 24 October 1857;
(8) twin, Arthur Clifford (1777-1830), born 5 July 1777; educated at the English College, Douai, Stonyhurst and Old Hall Green, 1786-95; an antiquarian and man of letters, who edited the state papers and letters of Sir Ralph Sadleir with help from Sir Walter Scott in 1809; and published Tixall poetry, 1813; Tixall letters, or the correspondence of the Aston family and their friends during the seventeenth century, 1815; Collectanea Cliffordiana, 1817; and (with his eldest brother), A Topographical and Historical Description of the Parish of Tixall, 1817; he lived in Paris for many years and in addition to editing a paper for the French publisher Galignani, he also wrote guides for him to Paris (n.d.), France (1822), Italy (1823), and Switzerland (1823) and acted as editor of the Antiquities and Anecdotes of the City of Paris (n.d.); on returning to England he published at Oxford several works on the teaching of languages, especially Greek and Latin; he married, 15 June 1809, Eliza Matilda (d. 1827), second daughter of Donald Macdonnell of Berwick-on-Tweed, and had issue one daughter; died at Winchester, 16 January 1830;
(9) twin, Lewis Clifford (1777-1806), born 5 July 1777; educated at the English College, Douai, 1786-92; articled to William Iveson of Hedon (Yorks ER), attorney-at-law, 1796; solicitor at Furnival's Inn; buried at St. Pancras (Middx), 4 August 1806;
(10) George Lambert Clifford (1779-1854), born 9 January 1779; educated at Liege and Stonyhurst; banker at Stafford before his marriage; married, 6 April 1812, Mary (d. 1854), daughter of Walter Hill Coyney of Weston Coyney and had issue; died 31 January 1854; will proved 7 May 1854.
Under a family arrangement in 1768 she and her husband gained possession of the Tixall Hall estate, which passed to her eldest son.
She died after a miscarriage, 2 August 1786 and was buried at St Mary, Stafford. Her husband died 16 July 1787. 


Sources


Burke's Dormant and Extinct Peerages, 1883, pp. 13-14; Sir. T. & A. Clifford, A topographical and historical description of the parish of Tixall, 1817; Sir J.B. Paul, The Scots Peerage, vol. 1, pp. 319-414; VCH Hertfordshire, vol. 3, 1912, pp. 347-66; Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Staffordshire, 1974, p. 283; D. Stroud, Capability Brown, 1975, pp. 153-54; J.T. Smith, English Houses 1200-1800: the Hertfordshire evidence, 1992, pp. 49-50; J.T. Smith, Hertfordshire Houses: selective inventory, 1993, pp. 173-74; Sir H.M. Colvin, A biographical dictionary of British architects, 4th edn., 2008, pp. 79, 91, 556-7, 1054, 1058, 1195; M. Girouard, Elizabethan architecture, 2009, pp. 97-100, 196-97; http://vidimus.org/issues/issue-90/catholic-collecting-in-nineteenth-century-england-the-stained-glass-of-the-long-gallery-burton-constable-hall/


Location of archives


Aston family of Tixall Hall: estate and household papers, 17th-19th cents [East Riding of Yorkshire Archives, DDCC]; deeds and papers, 16th-18th cents [Staffordshire County Record Office WSL 45/57; H.M. Aston; D4295; 109/41]
Aston, Sir Walter (1584-1639), 1st Baron Aston of Forfar: official correspondence as ambassador to Spain, chiefly 1621-39 [British Library, Add MSS. 36444-36452]; commonplace book, c.1635 [Staffordshire County Record Office, D988]


Coat of arms


Argent, a fesse sable; in chief, three lozenges of the last


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.
  • Is anyone able to tell me when the Dukes of Wellington sold Standon Lordship, and whether it passed directly from them to the Trenchards?
  • There are lots of omissions in the genealogy of this family, especially after they became Roman Catholics and ceased to be recorded in Anglican church records. If anyone is able to supply any of the missing information, or portraits of any further members of the family, I should be very interested to hear from them.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 27 July 2016 and updated 1 & 15 February 2017. I am grateful to Annette Bloor for corrections to this article.

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.