Sunday 15 September 2013

(73) Aldersey of Aldersey Hall

Aldersey of Aldersey
A tenacious county gentry family, who acquired a moiety of the manor of Aldersey (Cheshire) in 1281/82 and the remainder in the late 17th century.  William Aldersey (fl. mid 15th cent.) married the daughter and heir of John Stalker of Lower Spurstow (Cheshire), and for four hundred years the family owned both estates.  Lower Spurstow Hall, the usual residence of the family in the 16th and 17th centuries, was recorded in 1816 as a half-H shaped timber-framed house, of which one wing had been demolished c.1760; it was apparently rebuilt in the 19th century, but was never a country house within my definition.  The squires were seldom of particular note in the county or on a wider stage, but over several generations there was a tradition of younger sons going into trade as merchants, first in Chester and later in London, and a number of them became successful and prominent citizens.  In the 16th and 17th centuries the family was divided in its religious beliefs; Randel Aldersey (d. 1600) was fined repeatedly for Recusancy in the 1590s, while his nephew, Samuel Aldersey of London (d. 1633), was a prominent Puritan and a founder member of the Massachusetts Bay trading company.  Randle’s son, John Aldersey (c.1569-1647) was succeeded by his son Thomas (1600-75), who was a Crown escheator in Cheshire, and he was succeeded by his son Thomas (1635-1715), a barrister and godly Christian who debated points of doctrine with his son, Rev. Samuel Aldersey (1673-1742).  Samuel was rector of Wigan (Lancs), but is said to have rebuilt Aldersey Hall as a country house, presumably on inheriting the estate.  His great-grandson, Samuel (1776-1855) further enlarged and remodelled the house in about 1807-11; nothing is known of the form of its predecessor.  This Samuel was High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1816 and 1830, and his son Thomas (1830-99) held the same office in 1862.  Thomas’ elder son, Hugh Aldersey (1858-1931) sold Lower Spurstow early in the 20th century, but retained the manors of Aldersey and Handley.  His son, Ralph (1890-1976) was at the time of his inheritance agent to the Stubton Hall (Lincs) estate. He move back to Cheshire but occupied a house called 'The Crooke', formerly used as a dower house, rather than Aldersey Hall. The Hall was let and served briefly as a ladies horticultural college from 1931 until it was requisitioned for military use in 1939.  During the War, the whole of the central staircase and landings were destroyed by fire and the roof was damaged, and although the staircase was reinstated only temporary repairs were made to the roof. When these failed in 1951, the house was rapidly damaged by water penetration and in 1958 it was demolished and replaced by a group of small houses. Most of the estate was sold after the death of Ralph Aldersey except for the family memorial and some houses in the village. Ralph's surviving children by his first marriage, Michael (b. 1928), Hugh (b. 1931) and Rose (b. 1934) had emigrated to Australia in the 1950s, but their half-brother, William Ralph Aldersey (b. 1950) still lives nearby and has two sons to continue the family connection with Cheshire.  

Aldersey Hall, Cheshire

Aldersey Hall: the house in the late 19th century, photographed by Augustus Kellham.
Image: Historic England BB89/3574 & R. Dennis.

A new house is said to have been built on this site in the early 18th century for the Rev. Samuel Aldersey (1673-1741), who was rector of Wigan (Lancs), but is said to have rebuilt Aldersey Hall as a country house, presumably soon after inheriting the estate in 1715. Nothing seems to be known about the appearance of this house, but some elements of it, including the handsome timber staircase with turned balusters, survived until the house was demolished. 

Aldersey Hall: the early Georgian staircase in 1958, reinstated after wartime fire damage. Image: Historic England AA58/4251.

The Rev. Samuel's great-grandson, also Samuel Aldersey (1776-1855), further enlarged and remodelled the house in about 1807-11, creating a plain three-storey stuccoed house of five bays by six, with a Doric porch. The main early 19th century rooms across the front of the house were the entrance hall, the 'salon' (probably originally the dining room) to its left, with a screen of columns across one end, and a room of similar dimensions to the right of the hall, which was presumably the original drawing room. These rooms had simple Classical decoration.

Aldersey Hall: the early 19th century salon (probably originally the dining room) in 1958. Image: Historic England AA58/4252

When Ralph Aldersey inherited the house in 1931 he was working in Lincolnshire, and although he returned to Cheshire to manage the estate he did not occupy the hall, which was leased out as a ladies' horticultural college. The house was requisitioned in 1939 and occupied by an RASC Driver Training School until 1943, when a fire destroyed the staircase, leaving just a charred void. The staircase was reinstated and temporary repairs were made to the roof above, allowing the house to be used as a hostel for displaced persons employed on local farms. This use continued until about 1950, when the house was returned to the family and leased to a boys' boarding school. In 1951, however, the wartime roof repair failed and the house was rapidly badly damaged by water penetration. With the post-war shortage of building materials it was not possible to repair the damage sufficiently to make the house habitable, and this led to it being abandoned and eventually demolished in 1958. A small housing development now occupies the site, while the former parkland is used for grazing. 

Aldersey Hall: the house in 1958 on the eve of demolition. Image: Historic England AA58/4248.

Descent: William Aldersey (fl. 1446/7); to son, Henry Aldersey (fl. 1474-94); to son, John Aldersey (c.1494-1528/54); to son, John Aldersey (c.1520-82); to son, Randle Aldersey (c.1539-1600); to son, John Aldersey (c.1569-1648); to son, Thomas Aldersey (1600-75); to son, Thomas Aldersey (1634-1715); to son, Rev. Samuel Aldersey (1673-1741); to son, Rev. Samuel Aldersey (1714-1802); to son, Robert Aldersey (1738-1802); to brother, Samuel Aldersey (1742-1803); to son, Samuel Aldersey (1776-1855); to son, Thomas Aldersey (1830-99); to son, Hugh Aldersey (1858-1931); to son, Ralph Aldersey (1890-1976), who demolished the house in 1958.

Aldersey family of Aldersey

Aldersey, Henry (fl. 1474-94), of Aldersey Hall.  Son of William Aldersey (fl. 1446/7) and his wife Margaret, daughter and heir of John Stalker of Lower Spurstow (Cheshire).  He married Jane, daughter of John Hockenhull of Hockenhull (Cheshire), and had issue:
(1) John Aldersey (c.1494-1554?) (q.v.);
(2) Robert Aldersey (fl. early 16th cent.), alderman of Chester by 1528; married Anne Malbon of Malpas (Cheshire) and had issue; ancestor of the Alderseys of Kent and Stafford;
(3) Hugh Aldersey (fl. early 16th cent.), alderman of Chester; married Margaret, daughter of Randel Bamville of Gawsworth (Cheshire) and had issue;
(4) Richard Aldersey (fl. early 16th cent.) of Picton (Cheshire); married Margaret, daughter of James Colgrave and had issue one son and one daughter; his grandson, William Aldersey (1543-1613/4) was mayor of Chester and a celebrated antiquary;
He inherited the Aldersey and Lower Spurstow estates from his father.
His date of death is unknown.

Aldersey, John (c.1494-1554?), of Aldersey Hall. Eldest son of Henry Aldersey (fl. 1474) and his wife Jane, daughter of John Hockenhull of Hockenhull (Cheshire), born about 1494.  He married Anne, daughter and eventual heir of Thomas Bird alias Delbird of Clutton (Cheshire) and had issue:
(1) John Aldersey (d. 1582) (q.v.);
(2) Thomas Aldersey (1522-98) of London, merchant; educated at Bunbury School (Cheshire); apprenticed to Thomas Bingham of London, 1541; made free of the Haberdashers Company, 1548 and established a large-scale trade with Spain and the Low Countries; a leading Protestant in London; elected to the corporation, 1571 (auditor, 1571-72; sheriff's serjeant, 1576); MP for London, 1579-92; endowed Bunbury School and placed it under the stewardship of the Haberdashers' Company, 1575 and 1594; married Alice, daughter of Richard Calthrop of Antingham (Norfolk) but had no issue; died at Aldersey, 4 February, and buried at Berden (Essex), 18 February 1598; will proved in Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 23 February 1598;
(3) Catherine Aldersey, married Ralph Pike of Worcester;
(4) Ralph Aldersey;
(5) Hugh Aldersey.
He inherited the Aldersey and Lower Spurstow estates from his father.
He is usually said to have died in 1554, but there is evidence that he was dead by 1534 and he may in fact have died in 1528, the year in which his will was written (see the comments at the end of this article).

Aldersey, John (c.1520-82), of Aldersey Hall.  Eldest son of John Aldersey (c.1494-1554?) and his wife Anne, daughter of Thomas Bird alias Delbird of Clutton (Cheshire); born about 1520. Acted as a lawyer in London.  He married Anne (fl. 1582), daughter of Hugh Aston of Aston Green (Cheshire) and had issue:
(1) Randle Aldersey (c.1539-1600) (q.v.);
(2) John Aldersey (b. c.1541) (q.v.);
(3) Alice Aldersey, married Thomas Moulston of Hargrave;
(4) Elinor Aldersey, married William Bebington of Chorley;
(5) Anne Aldersey, married William Bickley or Brickley;
(6) Katherine Aldersey, married 5 February 1574, Edward Cotton (d. 1602) of Cotton;
(7) Elizabeth Aldersey, married John Egerton of Christelton.
He inherited the Aldersey and Lower Spurstow estates from his father in 1554.
He died and was buried at Bunbury, 17 October 1582. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Aldersey, John (c.1541-1616) of London.  Second son of John Aldersey (c.1520-82) and his wife Anne, daughter of Hugh Aston of Aston Green (Cheshire), born about 1541.  Merchant in London.  He married Anne, daughter of Simon Lowe of London and sister of Sir Thomas Lowe, and had issue:
(1) Samuel Aldersey (d. 1633) of London, haberdasher; a leading Puritan and founder member of the Massachusetts Bay Trading Co.; Treasurer of the Feoffees of Impropriations; married 1st, Mary, daughter of Philip van Oyrl of Nornberg and Antwerp and had issue seven children; obtained an Act of Parliament for the naturalisation of his children born abroad, 1627;
(2) William Aldersey;
(3) Anne Aldersey, married Thomas Thomson;
(4) Dorothy Aldersey, married 1st, Sir Thomas Hodgkyns or Hoskins, kt. and 2nd, Sir Henry Capel, kt. of Hadham;
(5) Margaret Aldersey, married Charles Hodgkyns of London;
(6) Mary Aldersey, married 1st, Thomas Westron or Westrow, alderman of London; 2nd, Sir Norton Knatchbull (d. 1636) of Kent; and 3rd, Sir Thomas Scot of Scot's Hall and Nettlestead;
(7) Elizabeth Aldersey (fl. 1610), married 1st, William Pitchford, and 2nd, 1610 as his second wife, Sir Thomas Coventry (1578-1640), kt & 1st Baron Coventry, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and had issue four sons and four daughters.
From 1593 he rented the large Christs Hospital estate at Berden and Clavering (Essex).
He died in 1616.

Aldersey, Randel (c.1539-1600) of Aldersey Hall.  Elder son of John Aldersey (c.1520-82) and his wife Anne, daughter of Hugh Aston of Aston Green (Cheshire), born about 1539. Recorded as a Recusant in 1590, 1592, 1593 and 1598.  He married Anne (d. 1590), daughter of Robert Cowper and widow of John Dod of Cholmondeley (Cheshire), and had issue:
(1) John Aldersey (c.1569-1648) (q.v.);
(2) Frances Aldersey, married William Allen (b. c1560) of Brindley;
(3) Thomas Aldersey, died without issue;
(4) Mary Aldersey (d. 1593); died unmarried and without issue; buried at Bunbury, 25 November1593.
He inherited the Aldersey and Lower Spurstow estates from his father in 1554.
He died and was buried at Bunbury (Cheshire), 25 May 1600.  His wife was buried at Bunbury, 25 September 1590.

Aldersey, John (c.1569-1648) of Aldersey Hall.  Only surviving son of Randel Aldersey (c.1539-1600) and his wife Anne, daughter of Robert Cooper, born about 1569. Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1588/9). He married Anne (d. 1646), daughter of Richard Ward of Coton (Salop) and had issue:
(1) Anne Aldersey (b. 1598), baptised 9 September 1598; married William Raven of Elworth;
(2) Thomas Aldersey (1600-75) (q.v.);
(3) Mary Aldersey (b. 1602), baptised 7 November 1602; married George Huxley of Brindley;
(4) John Aldersey (b. 1604) of London, merchant; baptised 17 February 1604; married Frances Burton of Shropshire;
(5) Grace Aldersey, (b. c.1606); married about July 1642 Richard Barrett of Eaton (Denbighs);
(6) Frances Aldersey (b. 1609); baptised 28 May 1609; married Thomas Edwards of Kilhendre (Salop);
(7) Elizabeth Aldersey (b. 1611), baptised 7 July 1611; died unmarried.
He inherited the Aldersey and Lower Spurstow estates from his father in 1600, but transferred control to his son Thomas c.1641.
He died in 1648.  His wife was buried 19 January 1646.

Aldersey, Thomas (1600-75) of Aldersey Hall.  Elder son of John Aldersey (c.1569-1648) and his wife Anne, daughter of Richard Ward of Coton (Salop), baptised 11 or 14 June 1600. Educated at Queens College, Cambridge (admitted 1619) and Grays Inn (admitted 1622); appointed Crown escheator for Cheshire, 1629.  He married, about 7 May 1632, Elizabeth (1612-92), daughter of John Robotham of Newland, St. Albans (Herts) and had issue:
(1) Thomas Aldersey (1634-1715) (q.v.);
(2) Elizabeth Aldersey (b. 1637), baptised 30 May 1637;
(3) Rebecca Aldersey, m. John Travis of Horton-cum-Peele (Cheshire);
(4) John Aldersey (b. 1638; fl. 1690), baptised 24 May 1638;
(5) Robert Aldersey (b. 1642; fl. 1705), baptised 25 September 1642; salter of London; responsible for improving Shrewsbury water supply, 1705; married and had issue;
(6) Mary Aldersey (b. 1648), baptised 10 December 1648;
(7) William Aldersey (b. 1651), baptised 4 September 1651;
(8) Martha Aldersey (b. 1653), baptised 28 February 1653;
(9) Alban Aldersey (b. 1657), baptised 29 April 1657.
He received the Aldersey and Lower Spurstow estates from his father in about 1641.
He died and was buried, 19 October 1675.

Aldersey, Thomas (1634-1715), of Aldersey Hall. Eldest son of Thomas Aldersey (1600-75) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Robotham of Newland, St. Albans (Herts), born 25 February or 1 March 1633/4.  Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1653) and Grays Inn (admitted 1654; called to bar, 1663); practiced as a barrister.  He belonged to the Puritan faction in the county and his notebooks of sermons heard, 1653-89, survive in the Bodleian Library.  He married Margaret (1635-1722), daughter of Thomas Lee of Dornhall (Cheshire) and had issue:
(1) Frances Aldersey (d. 1691); died in childhood, 25 December 1691;
(2) Robert Aldersey (1670-1730), born 22 August 1670; educated at Grays Inn (admitted 1690); DL for Cheshire; captain in Cheshire militia; married about 26 March 1698, Jane, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Webb of Middlewich (Cheshire); died without issue, 30 January 1730;
(3) Rev. Samuel Aldersey (1673-1741) (q.v.);
(4) Mary Aldersey (d. 1714), married - Edwards of Rurrington and had issue;
(5) Anne Aldersey (d. 1676), died in infancy and buried 3 May 1676;
(6) John Aldersey (1677-1730), baptised at Tarporley, 7 October 1677;
(7) Elizabeth Aldersey (d. 1683); died young; buried 5 February 1683.
He inherited the Aldersey and Lower Spurstow estates from his father in 1675.
He died and was buried at Bunbury, 20 May 1715.  His widow died in April 1722.

Aldersey, Rev. Samuel (1673-1741) of Wigan and Aldersey Hall.  Second but eldest surviving son of Thomas Aldersey (1634-1715) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Thomas Lee of Dornhall (Cheshire), born 4 December 1673.  Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1691; BA 1694; MA 1700); ordained deacon, 1696 and priest, 1700 in the diocese of Chester; curate of Bunbury (Cheshire), 1708-15; rector of Wigan (Lancs), 1714-42.  He married, 8 October 1702, Henrietta (d. 1756), daughter of Rt. Rev. Henry Bridgeman DD, Dean of Chester 1660-82 and Bishop of Sodor & Man 1671-82, and had issue: 
(1) Thomas Aldersey (b. & d. 1703); baptised 3 August 1703; died in infancy;
(2) Thomas Aldersey (1704-42), physician; baptised 5 August 1704; educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1720/1; BA 1724, MA 1729, MB 1731, MD 1733); married Mary, daughter and co-heir of Cornelius Hignett of Darland, but died without issue; buried at Bunbury, 12 July 1742;
(3) John Aldersey (b. 1705); baptised 21 November 1705; educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1720); traditionally said to have died unmarried in 1730, but this may be a confusion with the death of his uncle of the same name; possibly the John Aldersey who married, 27 August 1737 in Chester Cathedral, Jane Carr of Broreton; presumably died before his father (or he would have inherited Aldersey Hall);
(4) Anne Aldersey (b. 1706), baptised 8 November 1706; married 1st, Mr Kynaston and had issue; and 2nd, Mr Holt; 
(5) Elizabeth Aldersey (b. 1707), baptised 4 January 1707; died unmarried after 1737; 
(6) Robert Aldersey (1709-c.1735); baptised 24 May 1709; died unmarried and without issue between 1732 and 1736;
(7) Henry Aldersey (b. 1710), born April 1710; died unmarried and without issue; 
(8) Rev. Samuel Aldersey (1714-1802) (q.v.); 
(9) Orlando Arlesey (b. 1715); 
(10) Bridgeman Aldersey (b. c.1716; fl. 1749), apprenticed to Sherman Wall of London, apothecary, 1734; married Nancy, daughter of Foote Gower MD and had issue a daughter; 
(11) Jane Aldersey, m. Mr. Lancaster; 
(12) Margaret Aldersey, m. Mr. Hesketh and had issue one son; 
(13) Randal Aldersey, probably died young; 
(14) Mary Aldersey, probably died young
(15) Henrietta Arlesey, probably died young.
He inherited the Aldersey and Lower Spurstow estates from his father in 1715, and is said to have rebuilt Aldersey Hall as a country house.  At his death the estates passed briefly to his son Thomas, who died the following year, and then to his next surviving son, Samuel.
He died in Wigan, 18 April and was buried there, 20 April 1741.  There is a transcript in the family papers of a monument to his memory erected in Wigan church, which was no longer to be seen in 1891.

Aldersey, Rev. Samuel (1714-1802), of Bunbury and Aldersey Hall.  Sixth son of Rev. Samuel Aldersey (1673-1741) and his wife Henrietta, daughter of Rt. Rev. Henry Bridgeman, Bishop of Sodor & Man, born 29 November 1714.  Educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1731) and Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1734; LLB 1738); ordained deacon 1736/7 and priest 1738 in the diocese of Lincoln; domestic chaplain to the Dowager Countess of Kerry, 1740; curate of Malpas (Cheshire), 1740-47; vicar of Bunbury (Cheshire), 1760-82.  He married 1st, Margaret (d. 1783), youngest daughter and co-heir of Cornelius Hignett of Darland, and 2nd, 5 May 1785 at Walcot, Bath (Somerset), Charles Catherine (c.1748-1828), daughter of Sir Charles Erskine bt. of Alva (Clackmannan) and had issue, with other children who died in infancy
(1.1) Robert Aldersey (1738-1802); born April 1738; educated at Inner Temple (bencher); died unmarried, 19 November 1802 and was buried in Temple Church, London;
(1.2) Samuel Aldersey (1742-1803) (q.v.); 
(1.3) Catherine Aldersey (d. 1757), died unmarried; buried at Bunbury, 30 August 1757.
He inherited the Aldersey and Lower Spurstow estates from his elder brother in 1743.  At his death they passed in turn to his two surviving sons, who both died within 18 months of his own death.
He died 12 February and was buried at Bunbury, 15 February 1802.  His widow was buried at Bunbury, 13 March 1828, aged 80.

Aldersey, Samuel (1742-1803), of Aldersey Hall.  Younger surviving son of Rev. Samuel Aldersey (1714-1802) and his first wife, Margaret, daughter of Cornelius Hignett of Darland, born 4 and baptised at Malpas, 30 June 1742.  Educated at Queens College, Oxford (matriculated 1758; BA 1762; MA 1764).  Married 23 October 1772 at Coleshill (Warks), Elizabeth (d. 1841), daughter and heir of William Wotton of Haddenham (Bucks) and had issue: 
(1) Catherine Aldersey (c.1774-1835); died unmarried; buried at Coddington, 24 June 1835;
(2) Samuel Aldersey (1776-1855) (q.v.); 
(3) Thomas Aldersey (d. 1824); died unmarried, 4 January 1824; commemorated by a monument in Bunbury church;
(4) Margaret Maria Aldersey (d. 1779); died in infancy;
(5) Margaret Aldersey (d. 1818); died 8 April 1818; administration granted 16 September 1818 (estate under £4,000)
(6) Elizabeth Aldersey (1794-1836); baptised 25 May 1794; died unmarried; buried at Tarporley (Cheshire), 23 November 1836.
He inherited the Aldersey and Lower Spurstow estates from his elder brother in 1802.
He died intestate, 24 or 25 August 1803 and was buried at Bunbury, 29 August 1803.  His widow died 14th and was buried at Coddington, 19 May 1841.

Aldersey, Samuel (1776-1855) of Aldersey Hall.  Elder son of Samuel Aldersey (1742-1803) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of William Wotton of Haddenham (Bucks), born at Broomsgrove (Sussex), 17 September 1776 and christened at Tardebigge (Worcs). High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1816 and 1830. Obtained an Act of Parliament for selling part of the settled estates of the family in Aldersey, Ashton, Bunbury, Tarporley, Tiverton and Spurstow, Tarvin and Coddington, and buying alternative lands to be settled to the same uses, 1816.  He married, 9 August 1824 at Tilston (Cheshire), Lucy (1799-1868), daughter of George Baylis of Shifnal (Salop) and had issue: 
(1) Susan Mary Aldersey (1826-89), m. 1850 Augustus Kelham (d. 1897) of Manchester; 
(2) Lucy Anne Aldersey (1827-71), baptised at Coddington, 5 June 1827; married, 30 November 1854 at Coddington, Charles James Trevor-Roper (1824-93), son of Charles Blayney Trevor-Roper of Plas Teg (Flints); died 4 March 1871; administration of goods granted, 4 August 1893 (effects £23);
(3) Hugh Robert Aldersey (1828-48), born 19 November 1828; educated at Rugby and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1848); died 24 December 1848; 
(4) Thomas Aldersey (1830-99) (q.v.).
He inherited the Aldersey and Lower Spurstow estates from his father in 1803, and remodelled or rebuilt the house in 1811.
He died 17 July 1855 and was buried at Coddington (Cheshire), where he is commemorated by a memorial window.  His widow died 26 or 28 May 1868; her will was proved at Chester, 1 July 1868 (estate under £1000).

Aldersey, Thomas (1830-99) of Aldersey Hall.  Younger but only surviving son of Samuel Aldersey (1776-1855) and his wife Lucy, daughter of George Baylis of Shifnal (Salop), born 30 March 1830.  Captain in 1st Royal Cheshire Militia; High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1862. He married, 5 February 1856 at Stevenage (Herts), Rose Sidney (d. 1887), second daughter of Canon George Becher Blomfield, rector of Stevenage and canon of Chester Cathedral, and had issue: 
(1) Constance Aldersey (1856-1940), born 6 December 1856; died unmarried; 
(2) Hugh Aldersey (1858-1931) (q.v.); 
(3) Thomas Aldersey (1860-1935), born 28 January 1860; educated at Haileybury; married, 19 April 1887, Annie Augusta (d. 1931), daughter of Rev. William Bishton Garnett-Botfield of Decker Hill, Shifnal (Salop) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 11 November 1935; will proved 27 January 1936 (estate £1,672);
(4) Rose Frances Aldersey (1861-1933), born 17 November 1861; died unmarried, 13 June 1933; will proved 22 August 1933 (estate £3,272);
(5) Ida Mary Aldersey (1865-1923), born 11 April 1865; married, 28 September 1886, Rev. Charles Ramsey Garnett-Botfield MA (d. 1932), vicar of Moreton (Salop) and had issue; died 13 May 1923; will proved 2 July 1923 (estate £853).
He inherited the Aldersey and Lower Spurstow estate from his father in 1855.
He died 1 October 1899, aged 69; his will was proved 12 December 1899 (estate £3,227). His wife died 25 September 1887.

Aldersey, Hugh (1858-1931), of Aldersey Hall.  Elder son of Thomas Aldersey (1830-99) and his wife Rose Sidney, daughter of Rev. George Becher Blomfield, born 2 February 1858. Educated at Eton, Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1877; BA 1882) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1879).  JP for Cheshire; a well-known horticulturalist and winner of several RHS awards for new flowering plants.  He married, 3 April 1888, Evelyn (1863-1952), daughter of Rev. Canon Francis Coulman Royds, rector of Coddington (Cheshire) and had issue: 
(1) Capt. Hugh Aldersey (1888-1918), born 28 December 1888; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA); served WW1 as Captain in Cheshire Yeomanry; killed in action in Palestine, 10 March 1918, aged 29; will proved 20 November 1918 (estate £1,441);
(2) Ralph Aldersey (1890-1976) (q.v.); 
(3) Mark Aldersey (1897-1917), born 28 October 1897; educated at Eton and RMC Sandhurst; served in WW1 as 2nd Lt, Cheshire Regiment; killed in action at Ypres (Belgium), 1 November 1917, aged 20; will proved 6 April 1918 (estate £193).
He inherited the Aldersey and Lower Spurstow estates from his father in 1899, but sold Lower Spurstow.
He died 4 January 1931 and an obituary was published in The Times, 6 January 1931.  His will was proved 25 April 1931 and 2 January 1932 (estate £50,705).  His widow died 18 June 1952; her will was proved 15 June 1952 (estate £1,445).

Ralph Aldersey
Aldersey, Ralph (1890-1976), of Aldersey Hall.  Second but only surviving son of Hugh Aldersey (1858-1931) and his wife Evelyn, daughter of Canon Francis Coulman Royds, born 20 March 1890.  Educated at Radley and Reading University (BA in horticulture); established a nursery business at Kingsbridge (Devon).  Served in WW1 as Captain in 3rd battalion, Cheshire Regiment, and was wounded twice and mentioned in despatches; after the war he was land agent to his uncle, Sir Edmund Royds, in Lincolnshire until he inherited the Aldersey estate, when he resumed horticulture at Aldersey; Fellow of Land Agents' Society; JP for Cheshire, 1936. He married 1st, 30 April 1927 in France, (Emilia) Rachel Loftus (d. 1948), daughter of Cdr. Herbert Ponsonby Loftus Gaussen RN of Brookmans Park (Herts) and Vasey, Victoria, Australia, and 2nd, 8 January 1949, Beatrice Maude (d. 1997), eldest daughter of Charles Stonor and had issue: 
(1.1) Michael Aldersey (1928-2017), born 23 December 1928; educated at Radley; served as 2nd Lt. in Cheshire Regt.; emigrated to Australia and farmed at Kieth, South Australia (retired); served on rural development and protection organisations in South Australia; married 1st, 24 April 1954, Sybella Helen (1932-60), daughter of Craig McNeile McCormick of Knocknattin, Cultra (Down) and had issue one son, and 2nd, Dr. Alison Gazzard and had issue three daughters; died 15 October 2017;
(1.2) Primula Aldersey (1930-67), journalist, worked for Chester Chronicle and British Travel & Holidays Association; married, 1954, David P. Powell of Twickenham (Middx), son of G. Powell of Wrexham, and had issue two sons; died 8 March 1967;
(1.3) Hugh Aldersey (b. 1931) of Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia; educated at Radley and Birkenhead Technical College; served as 2nd Lt. in Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, 1953-55; emigrated to Australia, 1955; worked in heavy engineering and plastics marketing (retired); author of two historical novels, Irregular safari and Know your enemy, partly based on family diaries and experiences; married 1st, 1955, Elizabeth Ann (Judy), youngest daughter of John Walter Goss of Exeter and had issue one son and one daughter; married 2nd, 1 December 2001, J. Jocic;
(1.4) Rose Aldersey MCSP (b. 1934); chartered physiotherapist; emigrated to Australia, 1956 and established her own practice at Port Lincoln, South Australia (retired);
(2.1) William Ralph Aldersey (b. 1950), born 14 March 1950; educated at Oswestry School; lives at Bickerton (Cheshire); married, 21 February 1975, Sheila Griffiths, and has issue two sons.
He inherited the Aldersey Hall estate from his father in 1930, but let it soon afterwards. It was requisitioned during the war and fire damaged, and although repairs were effected these failed in the 1950s and the house was rapidly damaged by water penetration. It was abandoned c.1951 and demolished c.1958. He retained the estate and lived at The Crooke, Aldersey. The estate was mostly sold after his death.
He died 12 December 1976.  His first wife died 22 March 1948.  His widow died 1 January 1997; her will was proved 26 February 1997.


E. Twycross, Mansions of England & Wales, vol. 1 (1850), p. 39; J.B. Burke, Visitation of Seats & Arms, vol. 1 (1852), p. 120; J.M. Robinson, A guide to the country houses of the North-West, 1991, p. 6; Garden History, (31:1), 2003, p. 68; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry on Thomas Aldersey (1522-98);

Location of archives

Aldersey family of Aldersey: deeds, family and estate papers, 1215-1938 (Cheshire Archives & Local Studies, DAL, DWC, ZCR 469, D8178)
Aldersey, Thomas (1635-1715): notebooks on sermons heard, 1657-89 (Bodleian Library, Oxford, MSS. Don. e. 155-163); accounts, 1666-1713 (Bodleian Library, Oxford, 6720)

Coat of arms

Gules, on a bend engrailed Argent, between two cinquefoils Or, three leopards' faces Vert.

Revision & Acknowledgements

This post was first published on 15 September 2013 and was revised 24 August 2014, 19 July 2015, 5-19 April 2016, 15 June 2017, 26 January 2018, 13 December 2019, 4 January and 29 May 2020. I am grateful to Hugh and Rose Aldersey, Andrew Jones, Paul Jones and Gina Ambridge for additional information and corrections.


  1. i was from aldersey,top lodge .i left in 1984,always rember the good days playing where the hall stood,fishing in the village club pool opp the manor.regards andrew mothers side the duttond worked on the estate.

  2. Robert s C McNeile McCormick25 February 2014 at 21:51

    A correction is needed within the entry for Ralph Aldersey. (1.1) Michael Aldersey )B1928) did marry my sister Sybella Helen but they lived near Keith, South Australia, not South Africa

    1. Thank you for spotting the error. I have made the change.

  3. I'm from the Aldersey in Cumbria how or where do we fit into Cheshire

    Thanks Nik

    1. The single greatest concentration of the surname at the time of the 1881 census was in Cumbria but I have not established any connection with the Cheshire gentry family.

    2. hi iam david alfred aldersey , son of steven , grandson of alfred , we live in liverpool i believe we have connection to the bloodline of the alderseys of cheshire , can anyone help with this connection ,

  4. Elizabeth Aldersey m:1722 Rev. Ralph Markham (Tarporley) son of Abraham Markham of Dublin, son of William Markham m:1651 Jane Loftus of Dublin: Elizabeth Aldersey: Do you know where/when she was born and her parents ?. Any connection to (Robert Aldersey bp:25-09-1642; salter of London) ?. It would be nice if you joined WikiTree where others can better connect to your information etc. Thanks Bart.

    1. Dear Bart,

      Thanks for getting in touch. The marriage of Ralph Markham and Eliz Aldersey took place at Wigan (Lancs), where Rev. Samuel Aldersey was rector and he conducted the service (see parish register). She is described as of Tarporley, spinster. The marriage bond gives no more information, but the signatories to the bond are Markham and Alban Aldersey. Samuel Aldersey and Henry Aldersey are witnesses. It seems fairly clear to me from this that Elizabeth was near kin to Rev. Samuel Aldersey and it seems likely that Alban Aldersey was her father. It is an unusual forename and I can find only one record of it on FindMyPast: the baptism of Alban, son of Thomas Aldersey at Bunbury (Cheshire) on 29 April 1657. I have not been able to find a baptism for an Elizabeth, daughter of Alban, however. There are four Elizabeth Aldersey baptisms in Cheshire at about the right time, but the fathers' names are Thomas (twice), Robert and Abraham.

      I will look into Wikitree at your prompting. The easy way to contact me, however, is to use the contact form on the sidebar of my website, which sends an email to me.

      With best wishes,

      Nick Kingsley

    2. [06-02-1722/23: Bond of Ralph Markham, Rector of Tarporley to Samuel Aldersey, Rector of Wigan, concerning provision for any children of his marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Aldersey, citizen of London, deceased.]: Hello. I can't recall where I got this from, and can't find the source at the moment. I think this Robert Aldersey is bn/bp:25-09-1642 m. Jane (?). This would make Elizabeth Aldersey and the Rev. Robert Aldersey first cousins. Bart.

  5. Hugh Aldersey was an afficianado of the gypsy way of life - he travelled with wagons and bender tents and a tame Romany! His neighbour Lady Arthur Grosvenor was similarly afflicted. Are there any records, MSS, or diaries at Cheshire archives on this?

  6. [06-02-1722/23: Bond of Ralph Markham, Rector of Tarporley to Samuel Aldersey, Rector of Wigan, concerning provision for any children of his marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Aldersey, citizen of London, deceased.]: Hello. I can't recall where I got this from, and can't find the source at the moment. I think this Robert Aldersey is bn/bp:25-09-1642 m. Jane (?). This would make Elizabeth Aldersey and the Rev. Robert Aldersey first cousins. Bart.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. Nick
    I am writing a book about the Cluttons of Clutton, Cheshire, which is just south of Aldersey Hall. At the British Library they have a copy of The Book of Aldersey of Aldersey, which I assume that you are familiar with. My main interest here was John de Aldersey of Middle Aldersey, bailiff of Broxton hundred in 1398 and 1400 and died circa 1403, who married Cicely daughter of Hugh de Clutton. I noted the date of 1403 as coinciding with the rebellion of Henry Hotspur Percy and the battle of Shrewsbury, at which about 1500 rebels who had been recruited mainly from Cheshire were killed. I can see that all of this is at the very boundary of your work, but wondered if you had happened upon any further information. I am of course interested in anything you have on the Cluttons of Cheshire before 1700.

    1. Mark,
      I haven't come across the book you mention, and my researches don't usually extend back much before 1500, so I am afraid I don't think I can help. The Cluttons are on my list for future research but I haven't done anything about them yet. Sorry not to be more help!

  9. Nick
    I have come across a problem that you might be able to help with. According to Burke's Directory of the Landed Gentry of 1847 Roger Clutton married Anne dau and heiress of John Aldersey of Chorleton. Roger Clutton of Chorleton was buried at Malpas on 16/11/1590. He was living at Chorleton in 1569 when mentioned in a bastardy baptism of a child of Elizabeth Sefton and Robert Yardsley. If Roger inherited Chorleton through Anne Aldersey she must have been born before 1550. Who was John Aldersey of Chorleton the father of Anne?

    1. Chorlton Hall is in the parish of Malpas (Cheshire), a few miles south of Aldersey. The John Aldersey of Chorlton referred to may not be directly connected to the Alderseys of Aldersey: he could just be a man whose ancestors came from Aldersey village and took the village name as his surname independently of the family described above. Having said that, it seems more likely that there was a connection, but it may lie several generations further back than I have traced the genealogy. You would probably need to look for surviving manorial records or title deeds for the Chorlton estate to have any chance of figuring this out. Sorry not to be more helpful.

  10. Thanks for trying anyway Nick. I will keep looking. I have now come across a deed involving Thomas Aldersey and John Aldersey senior of Horton & Ellen his wife dated 1544 - Horton is next to Chorleton Juxta Malpas (anything on them?).

    Regarding Aldersey, I have been looking at Record Society of Lancs & Ches vol 30 which has the will of John Aldersey of Aldersey and Spurstow dated 1528 in which he leaves his estates to brothers Rob Hugh & Ric and a brother in law Bird for benefit of wife & children. There is then a 1534 memorandem of land held by John Aldersey of Spurstow in Middle Aldersey where Robert A is present tennant (Dep Keeper of Pub Rec doc). It appears from this that John A had either died or become infirm around 1528 and in 1534 it was necessary to review his holdings possibly as his son and heir came of age. How sure are you of John A's death in 1554?

    1. I would be moderately confident about the date as this comes from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on his son Thomas. His children would have been very young in 1528 or 1534 and the eldest son would not have come of age until 1541 or thereabouts. If he died before the heir came of age I would expect there to be records of the children's wardship in The National Archives, even if this was purchased by a close relative like their mother or uncle. Have you looked for anything like that?

  11. Nick, second attempt at reply
    Firstly, I think I now know how the Cluttons acquired Chorleton Hall. I noticed that John Aldersey's father in law was Thomas Bird, how did I not spot this? From the Visitation of Cheshire of 1580 and the Pedigree of Bird of Clopton, Chorleton passed down through several generations to Thomas Bird, John Aldersey's father in law. It then must have passed down to Roger Clutton through marriage to Anne daughter of John Aldersey, as described by Burke in his 1840s Directory. This could have happened through gift from the Alderseys or Birds 'for her preferment', or through purchase by Roger (who was from a wealthy family of salt producers) as part of the marriage settlement - to the benefit of all. Now that I know what I am looking for I will return to Chester and look for the proof.

    I think you are right to be only moderately confident regarding the information from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. I can only see part of the entry for Thomas Aldersey due to access restrictions, but even that hardly inspires confidence. It seems to refer to Anne Bird of Colton near Chester, the only Coltons I can find are near Leeds and Stafford. The Pedigree of Bird of Clopton in the Visitation of Chester of 1580 states that Thomas Bird was of CLOPTON and by inference so was his daughter. I do not wish to speak ill of such a fine and useful publication as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, but I have found that some modern publications occasionally use secondary sources without checking against the original - a failing that was not available to the transcribers of the 19th century.

    I suggest you look at the will of John Aldersey of Spurstow dated 1528, as transcribed from the original in the Aldersey Papers by JP Earwaker in 1896. To access it just type into the top navigation bar of your browser. This will take you to the RSLC home page. Select Publications from the menu bar, then click the link in 'A list of out of print publications....can be found here'. Scroll down through the publications to Volume 30 and select it. The will can then be found on page 66. 5 minutes well spent.

    Regarding Cheshire and the National Archives, there is a complication. Until 1547 Chester was a County Palatinate, ran its own affairs and kept its own records. These were held at Chester Castle until transferred to the Public Record Office in the mid 19th century. Helpfully, they were transcribed and published in Annual Reports by the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records. The 'Welsh' or Chester Circuit Inquisitions appear in the Thirtieth Annual Report and there is no IPM or writ for Dower to match the 1528 will, but that is to be expected. If there was a legitimate will then it is most unlikely that the Chester officials would have requested an IPM, they weren't exactly eager to create work, and the widow would have no grounds for a writ of Dower because of the holding in trust. I have checked the Court of Wards records which did seem to include Cheshire and there is nothing for the Alderseys around 1528 or 1554. I will recheck in case I have missed anything. The 'Welsh' records are viewable on line, with the easiest access possibly through the LDS Familysearch Research Wiki.

    If you want to maximise the accuracy of your blog it might be worth a quick look on line, certainly as regards the 1528 will, you may be surprised by what you find.
    All the very best

    1. Thank you for these suggestions, which I shall follow up.

    2. Having read the will and taken into account your other points I have entered a caveat on the date of death in my text above. However, I have noticed that Cheshire Archives ZCR 469/271, which I take to be the will transcribed by the RSLC, is stated in their catalogue to be endorsed "probate, 17 Nov. 1554". Wills were normally proved a few weeks after death, and although one does encounter instances where probate was delayed for years they are normally the wills of widows or young men who had little to leave. In this case, I suppose probate could have been delayed because the enfeoffment gave his brothers all the powers they needed, but I still find it surprising that probate should have been delayed for twenty or even twenty-six years. I have therefore felt it not possible to dismiss the 1554 date entirely.

  12. Nick
    In an attempt to resolve this one way or another, I have gone through the records again. The key evidence is in the PCC will of John Spurstow of Spurstow dated 14th February 1540. He left the following bequests:

    to Lytyll Aldersey a hayfer calf
    to Master Warde of Bunbury and John Aldersey the younger my stonyd horse betwyxt them and if John have not half the horse then I will that he have the Welshe geldinge
    to cousin John Aldersey the elder one of my marys whyche he will chuse

    The four executors included Henry Aldersey of Chester, John Aldersey the elder and John Aldersey the younger.

    So John Aldersey senior was alive in 1540, but....why have both the landowning neighbour and his son and heir as executors? There is a hint that one was chosen out of respect and the other out of necessity. The bequests are also unusual. John junior was in effect being challenged to step up to the plate and cooperate with Master Warde or accept a lesser horse. John senior was being offered a mare which would usually offer a much easier ride, hinting that he was not up to anything more demanding. I then found the following:-

    Sep 10 1524 John Aldersey writ of exemption from serving on juries etc.

    Such a writ of exemption was usually given to the elderly and infirm so that they could avoid tasks which were beyond their ability. John Aldersey senior was not old, so he must have been infirm for another reason. Presumably his condition was considered so severe by 1528 that he had to make a will whilst he still could. The memorandum of 1534 was exactly that, a reminder to all of the possessions that a brother held in trust. John senior was still alive in 1540, but not considered capable without the support of his son John junior, who had evidently come of age by then. John senior may well have lived on till 1554 or thereabouts. I think this explains it.

  13. Absolutely love seeing these old photos of Aldersey Hall. I am a direct descendant of the family and continue to research all that I can. I have tried to obtain copies of the photos you have uploaded by contacting Historic England, however they were unable to source these for me. Is anyone able to help me find copies of these images? Thank you. Sarah


Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.