Friday 8 November 2013

(86) Alington of Horseheath Hall and Wymondley, Barons Alington

William Alington (d. 1446), who was a figure at royal courts from the 1390s until his death, seems to have come from a Cornish family, although his own upbringing may have been in Cambridgeshire.  In 1397-8, when still a young man, he bought the manor of Horseheath and he added to it the neighbouring manor of West Wickham and land at Bottisham.  His eldest son, William (d. 1459/60) and a natural son, Robert, married the two daughters and co-heirs of John Argentein of Wymondley (Herts), who held the manor of Great Wymondley by the grand serjeanty service of presenting newly-crowned kings with the first cup at their Coronation feast, a privilege which was jealously guarded by owners of the estate down to the coronation of King George IV. 

When Robert Alington died without issue, William inherited both moieties of the manor and Wymondley remained with his descendants until the 17th century.  The house (now Manor House) at Great Wymondley was rebuilt in the 15th century, presumably for the Alingtons, and altered later, and seems to have been used by the family from time to time, although it was never a country house.  At Horseheath, on the other hand, the family developed a grander establishment.  The house in which Queen Elizabeth stayed in 1578 is perhaps likely to have been built or enlarged by Sir Giles Alington (1499/1500-86), who was Master of Ordnance to King Henry VIII and who decorated his house with a number of trophies from the Siege of Boulogne in 1544.  Even the site of this building is now uncertain, however, and nothing is known of its appearance, as it was completely rebuilt in 1663-66 by Sir Roger Pratt for William Alington, 3rd Baron Alington.  

When Lord Alington died in 1684/85 he left a young family and bequeathed his estates to his widow during the minority of his son, with the power to make leases of the properties.  The intention was no doubt that the estates could be let during the minority of his children, but unfortunately the will was incorrectly drawn and Lady Alington was left with the power to make leases of any duration.  She exercised this power in about 1687, making a 999-year lease of Horseheath to John Bromley, a Barbados sugar planter, and thus effectively disposing of the main family patrimony.  Her motivation is unclear, but she was perhaps seeking to make effective provision for her daughters, who did indeed all marry well.  In 1691 the young 4th Baron died, and the title passed to his uncle, Hildenbrand Alington (1641-1722/3), who claimed the estates.  The remaining freehold at Horseheath was worth almost nothing and he sold it to John Bromley.  His interest in Wymondley was contested and in about 1699 it was sold under a Chancery decree.  In 1704 Lord Alington succeeded in buying the estate back, but on his own death without issue in 1722/3 it passed in equal shares to the three surviving daughters of the 3rd Baron and their husbands and passed out of the family.

Horseheath Hall, Cambridgeshire

The original manor house of the Audleys is believed to have stood either more or less on the later site, or else east of the village, where there was later a field called Hall Field; it was large enough for Queen Elizabeth to stay in it in 1578.  It was no doubt taken down in 1663-66 when a new house was built facing east and west, on the highest ground in the park, to the designs of Sir Roger Pratt.  The master mason on site was at first Anthony Deane, who later built Holme Lacy in Herefordshire, but the house was finished by 'Mr Mathews of London'; the main contractors were Page, the mason and Lock, the carpenter; Pratt's detailed notes of instructions to the craftsmen survive and give a vivid impression of the way the original design evolved during the process of construction.  The hilltop position was just the sort of site which Pratt advocated for all new houses:
Let [the house] stand at least a furlong from the common way out of which you turn up to it, the ground gently rising all along and the level of it both on the one hand and on the other if not equal, yet at least not remarkably otherwise; the height of the situation will not only render it very pleasant when you come towards it, but will likewise occasion it to stand dry".    

The east-facing main front of Horseheath Hall from Vitruvius Britannicus, 1725,
where it was incorrectly attributed to John Webb.

It was a classical, eleven bay house of red brick, 140 feet long by 76 feet broad and 44 feet high to the top of the walls, with a three bay pediment, quoins, a hipped roof, balustrade and a belvedere with a octagonal cupola topped by a gilded ball brought back by the family from the siege of Boulogne in 1544.  The elevations were extremely plain, though handsomely proportioned, with the focus of decoration being a huge stone coronet and shield, six feet high, set in the pediment.  The foundation stone was laid on 13 June 1663, and although the main body of the house was finished by 1666, work continued on the outbuildings and gardens until at least 1670, when Edward Pearce was paid for carving the gatepiers, which were embellished with recessed niches, designed as seats for viewing the park. John Evelyn visited on 20 June 1670 and commented that the newly built house was 'seated in a Parke, with a Sweete Prospect and stately avenue', and had cost "I believe, little less than £20,000".

Detail of the elevation from Vitruvius Britannicus, 1725

Ground plan of Horseheath Hall from Vitruvius Britannicus, 1725.

Inside, the house had a large unheated and probably two-storey entrance hall measuring 48 by 40 feet, leading to a withdrawing room, 40 x 25 feet, in the centre of the west front; this was probably intended for family use, with the hall acting as the room of state entry to the ceremonial rooms above. To either side of this double-pile centre were triple-pile ranges, centred on the two main staircases.  The great staircase on the north side of the hall was balanced by the great back stair on the south side, although this arrangement seems to have been a change from the original plan of having two back stairs in the south-east and south-west corners of the house. In the event, there was a chapel in the south-east corner (bottom left on the plan).  The other main rooms on this floor were bedrooms for family use (the position of the beds is marked with dotted lines), ante rooms and closets; the state rooms were on the first floor and the kitchens in the basement.

In April 1700 the house and estate were sold to a Barbados sugar planter, John Bromley (d. 1707), for £42,000.  He and his son, also John (d. 1718), spent a further £30,000 on extending the house (although assuming that the house was depicted in Vitruvius Britannicus in 1725 as it then existed, these additions do not seem to have affected the main block) and adding to the gardens.  In the next generation, Henry Bromley (1st Baron Montfort from 1741), updated the house and redecorated the interior.  Amongst other changes, he inserted modern sash windows, formed a dining room out of the chapel and made a new drawing room out of the two small rooms in the south-west corner of the house. His architect was probably William Kent, who was certainly responsible for a splendid chimneypiece of white and black marble, with yellow giallo antico columns and frieze, in a dressing room; Kent also designed silver for the house.  Lord Montfort also built up a notable collection of pictures, of which Rev. William Cole made a list for Horace Walpole; it included portraits by Lely and Kneller, landscape studies by Claude Lorrain, Nicholas Poussin, Gaspard Dughet and Salvator Rosa, English landscapes by John Wootton, and views of ruins by Arthur Pond and George Knapton.  

Horseheath Hall: a rather naive view of the house after 18th century alterations. Image: Daniel Ford Gallery.

Lord Montfort was not only a patron of the arts, but entertained on a lavish scale and was an inveterate gambler; when he ran severely into debt he gave a splendid New Year's Eve party at White's Club in London at the end of 1754.  The following morning, he sent for his lawyer, made his will, and later shot himself.  His son and heir, Thomas, the 2nd Lord Montfort, shared his father's taste for extravagance and was soon in further debt.  He first sold the Catley estate at Linton to the Bishop of Ely, but in 1775 the contents of Horseheath were sold, and in c.1776-83 the estate too.  The new owner, Stanford Batson, never occupied the Hall, and in 1792 it was largely demolished; by 1940 nothing remained on the site except overgrown fishponds.  The splendid 17th century wrought iron gates were moved when the house was demolished to St. John's and Trinity Colleges in Cambridge and to the rectory at nearby Cheveley.  Bricks from the house were used in local buildings, including the construction of a much smaller house, Horseheath Lodge, for Stanlake Batson between 1816 and 1825; some interior fittings may have been reused by the Bishop of Ely in the new house he built at Catley, but this was also later demolished.  

A park of 320 acres was established in 1448, and a further 400 acres, extending into the neighbouring parishes of West Wickham and Withersfield (Suffolk), was added in1550.  The two parks were known as the Old Park and the Great Park respectively, and together covered a total of 740 acres by 1770.  There is no visual record of the 17th century park but there is an informative estate plan of 1769.  

Plan of Horseheath Park in 1769: north is to the right. Image: Cambridge University Library.

When the new house was built in the 1660s, the grounds were laid out on an intensely linear plan, elaborated by John Bromley (d. 1718) with formal gardens which were unfinished at the time of his death.  Henry Bromley, 1st Baron Montfort, turned his attention to the gardens after he became a widower, and with the help and advice of Rev. William Cole, who since boyhood had been a frequent visitor to the Hall, began the creation of a more natural landscape in the 1740s, probably with the assistance of William Kent when he was working on the house.  

William Kent's design for an octagonal pavilion on the edge of a pond at Horseheath, 1746.
Image: Courtauld Institute

Lord Montfort made new drives across the park, but cut down a mile-long elm avenue that led west from the Hall, and opened up views over the park by digging a ha-ha and planting more informal tree clumps.  His most important contribution to the landscape seems to have been to create an informal wilderness in Hare Wood, threaded with serpentine paths and enlivened by garden buildings in the Rococo manner. Kent had already created similar features at Chiswick, Esher and Shotover, and so the appearance of another at Horseheath is a further indication that he was involved in the work, as is a charming drawing by Kent of an octagonal pavilion set over a three-arched grotto, inscribed 'Ld Montfort at Horseheath 1746 WK'.  This building does not appear on the 1769 plan, but has been tentatively identified with a small mound with brick footings on the edge of the Acre Pond which lies immediately north of the site of the house.  Hare Wood also contained a menagery, apparently in the form of a building to house exotic animals and a fenced enclosure in which they could take exercise. There was part of a final phase of work on the grounds in the 1760s, when a cold bath was built in the park, an orangery on the north lawn, and the gardens were liberally decorated with statuary.  The parks were disparked after the house was demolished a few years later.

Descent: sold 1397 to William Alington (d. 1446); to son, William Alington (d. 1459); to son, John Alington (d. 1480); to son, William Alington (d. 1485); to son, Sir Giles Alington (c.1483-1521/2); to son, Sir Giles Alington (d. 1586); to great-grandson, Sir Giles Alington (1572-1638); to son, William Alington, 1st Baron Alington (1610-48); to son, Giles Alington, 2nd Baron Alington (d. 1659/60); to brother William Alington, 3rd Baron Alington and 1st Baron Alington of Wymondley (d. 1684/85); to son, Giles Alington, 4th & 2nd Baron Alington (1681-91); to uncle, Hildenbrand Alington, 5th Baron Alington (1641-1722), who sold 1700 to John Bromley MP (d. 1707) of Barbados, sugar planter; to son, John Bromley MP (d. 1718); Henry Bromley, 1st Baron Montfort (d. 1755); to son, Thomas Bromley, 2nd Baron Montfort, who sold c.1776-83 to Stanlake/Henry Batson (d. 1812), who demolished the house in 1792; to son, Stanlake Batson (d. 1857), who built Horseheath Lodge; to son. Stanlake Ricketts Batson (d. 1871); to son, Stanlake Henry Batson (d. 1921), who alienated his life interest in 1884 and whose son sold the estate in 1925.

The Alingtons of Horseheath, Barons Alington

Alington, William (d. 1446), of Bottisham Hall (Cambs).  Son of William Alington of Bottisham and perhaps formerly of Penrhyn (Cornwall), and his wife Dionisia, daughter of William Malet of Horseheath (Cambs). He went to court in the retinue of John Holand, Earl of Huntingdon, the half-brother of King Richard II, in about 1394, but quickly accommodated himself to the new regime after the accession of King Henry IV, becoming part of the household of the king's son, Thomas, Duke of Lancaster, to whom he owed his appointments in Ireland, and also being close to the Duke of Clarence; Receiver of Brest (Brittany) by 1397; Treasurer of Calais, 1398-99; Escheator of Cambridgeshire, 1400-01 and of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, 1415-16; JP for Cambridgeshire, 1401-07, 1417-20, 1423-39, and for Cambridge 1414-15, 1430-32; Treasurer of Exchequer of Ireland, 1403-04, 1406-13; Treasurer and Receiver-General of Normandy, 1419-22; Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, 1414-15, 1423, 1427-28; Privy Councillor to King Henry V, 1417-18 and King Henry VI, 1424-after 1427; MP for Cambridge and Speaker of the House of Commons, 1429.  He married, before 1409, Joan, daughter and heir of Sir William Burgh of Banningham (Suffolk), Lord Chief Justice of Kings Bench, and had issue including:
(1) William Alington (d. 1459/60) (q.v.);
(2) John Alington, married Mary, daughter and heir of John Anstis but died without issue;
(X1) (apparently illegitimate), Robert Alington of Bottisham (Cambs); married 1st, Mary, daughter of Sir Robert Bruose of Norfolk and 2nd, Joan, sister and co-heir of John Argentine.
He purchased the manor of Horseheath in 1398 and the manor of West Wickham and land at Bottisham shortly afterwards.
He died 19 October 1446 and is commemorated by a monument in Horseheath church.

Alington, William (d. 1459/60)  Eldest son of William Alington (d. 1446) of Bottisham and his wife Dionisia, daughter of William Malet of Horseheath (Cambs).  MP for Cambridge, 1433 and 1436; High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire 1437-38.  He married 1st, before 10 November 1427, Elizabeth (1411-45), sister and co-heir of John Argentein of Halesworth (Suffolk) and Great Wymondley (Herts) (d. 1420); and 2nd, Mary, widow of Henry Haward of Boxted (Essex), esq., and had issue:
(1.1) John Alington (d. 1480) (q.v.);
(1.2) Sir William Alington (d. 1479), kt.; MP for Plympton, 1467 and for Cambridgeshire, 1472 and 1477; Privy Councillor, 1478; married, 1457, Joan (d. 1493/4), daughter of John Anstie of Holme Hall, Stow-cum-Quy (Cambs), who married 2nd, [forename unknown] Huddleston; died 16 March 1478/79 and was buried in Anglesey Priory; inquisition post mortem taken at Royston, 30 October 1479;
(1.3) Mary Alington; married John Colvile of West Hannington (Essex).
He inherited the manor of Horseheath from his father in 1446 and acquired the manor of Great Wymondley (Herts) in right of his wife: Great Wymondley, which was held by the grand serjeanty of presenting the first cup at the coronation of the kings of England - a service continued until the reign of George IV - descended with Horseheath until 1691.

Alington, John (c.1428-80).  Elder son of William Alington (d. 1459/60) and his first wife, Elizabeth, sister and co-heir of John Argentein of Halesworth (Suffolk) and Great Wymondley (Herts), born about 1428.  Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, 1460-61.  He married Mary (d. 1473), daughter of Laurence Cheney of Fen Ditton (Cambs), and had issue:
(1) William Alington (d. 1485/6) (q.v.);
(2) Edward Alington (fl. 1485); married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Gillott;
(3) Mary Alington (d. 1528); married John Newport (d. 1523) of Brent Pelham (Herts), esq. and had issue; buried at Furneux Pelham (Herts);
(4) Elizabeth Alington (fl. 1490); married 1st, before 2 February 1480/1, Henry Pigott (d. 1485) of Abington (Cambs) and had issue; married 2nd, about 20 October 1490, John Smarte, gent.
He inherited property at Horseheath, Wymondley and Halesworth from his father in 1459/60.
He died 25 August 1480 and was buried at Wymondley Priory; an inquisition post mortem was taken at Royston, 27 September 1480.

Alington, William (d. 1485) of Horseheath.  Elder son of John Alington (c.1428-80) and his wife Mary, daughter of Laurence Cheney of Fen Ditton (Cambs), born about 1449.  Bearer of the First Silver Cup at the Coronation of Edward IV and Richard III; Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, 1476.  He married 1st, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard Sapcote of Elton (Hunts), kt. and 2nd, May 1479, Elizabeth (d. 1528), daughter of Henry Wentworth of Codham (Essex), and had issue:
(1) Sir Giles Alington (d. 1521), kt. (q.v.);
(2) George Alington (fl. 1527); died without issue;
(3) Margery Alington (fl. 1527); married Sir Edward Greene (d. 1555), kt. of Great Sampford (Essex), (who married 2nd, Margaret, widow of Sir Robert Curson of Ipswich (later Lord Curson)) and had issue.
He was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field, 22 August 1485; his will was proved at Lambeth, 31 May 1487 and an inquisition post mortem was held 16 January 1485/6.  His widow married 2nd, by papal dispensation, 30 June 1497, William Cheney, and 3rd, Sir Ralph Chamberlain.  She was buried at Wethersfield (Essex) and her will was proved 23 November 1528.

Alington, Sir Giles (1483-1521), kt. Elder son of William Alington (d. 1485) and his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Wentworth of Codham (Essex), born 5 April 1483. Sheriff of Cambridgeshire, 1511 and Huntingdonshire, 1519.  Appointed a Knight of the Bath at the Coronation of King Henry VIII, 1509.  He married Mary (d. 1541), daughter and heir of Sir Richard Gardiner, Lord Mayor of London in 1478, and had issue:
(1) Sir Giles Alington (d. 1586) (q.v.);
(2) George Alington (d. 1558) of Rushford (Norfolk); married Anne (d. 1557), daughter of Peter Cheeke of Pirgo (Essex), esq. and had issue;
(3) William Alington (fl. 1513);
(4) John Alington (d. 1558/9) of Westley (Cambs), esq.; received a grant of the manor of Lerlingford (Norfolk) from the Earl of Surrey, 1542/3; married before 17 February 1542/3, Margaret (d. 1559), daughter of Thomas Hall of Stoke-by-Nayland (Suffolk) and widow of [forename unknown] Lanham, and had issue; died 17 January 1558/9 and was buried at Westley; will proved 3 June 1559 and inquisition post mortem taken at Norwich, 22 May 1559;
(5) Anthony Alington (fl. 1537); born after 2 September 1513; died without issue;
(6) Robert Alington (fl. 1537); died without issue;
(7) Richard Alington (d. 1599/1600) of Westley (Cambs), gent.; married Susan (d. 1557), daughter of John Tasburgh and had issue; died 10 January 1599/1600 when he was said to be aged 73 but must have been at least 79, and was buried at Westley, where he is commemorated by a monument; will proved 23 January 1599/1600; inquisition post mortem taken at Stratford Langthorne (Essex), 19 May 1601;
(8) Audrey Alington (fl. 1513-37); married William Mannocke (d. 1558) of Stoke-by-Nayland (Suffolk) and had issue;
(9) Joan Alington (fl. 1513);
(10) Mary Alington; married [forename unknown] Wheatley.
He inherited his father's estates in 1485 and came of age in 1504.
Died 3 April 1521 and was buried at Horseheath, where he is commemorated on a wall monument erected after the death of his son.  His will was proved 9 December 1526 and an inquisition post mortem was taken at Badlingham (Cambs), 7 November 1521.

Alington, Sir Giles (1499/1500-86), kt.  Eldest son of Sir Giles Alington (1483-1521) and his wife Mary, daughter and heir of Sir Richard Gardiner, kt., Lord Mayor of London in 1478, born about June 1499 or January 1500.  High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, 1530-31, 1545-46 and 1552-53; knighted after 11 November 1530; MP for Cambridgeshire, 1529, 1539, 1553-54 and 1558 and for Liverpool, 1553; JP for Cambridgeshire, 1524-44, 1554, 1558/9-86; Master of the Ordnance to King Henry VIII; took part in the siege of Boulogne, 1544, from which he brought away a clock and the garrison alarm bell which were fixed in the stables at Horseheath, and a golden ball which was placed on the top of the cupola of the new house in 1666.  He married 1st, about 5 July 1515, Ursula (d. 1522), daughter of Sir Robert Drury of Hawstead (Suffolk), kt. , 2nd, 1524, Alice (d. 1563), daughter of John Middleton and step-daughter of St. Thomas More and widow of Thomas Elrington of Willesden (Middx), and 3rd, about 21 June 1564, Margaret (d. 1592), daughter of John Talcarne and widow of Thomas Argall, and had issue:
(1.1) Robert Alington (d. 1552) (q.v.);
(2.1) Thomas Alington (d. 1553); died unmarried; will proved 25 November 1553;
(2.2) Richard Alington (d. 1561); educated at Lincolns Inn (admitted 1546); married before Easter 1556, Jane (d. 1603/4), daughter of John Cordell of Long Melford (Suffolk) and sister and heir of Sir William Cordell, kt., Master of the Rolls and had issue; died 23 November 1561 and was buried in the Rolls Chapel in London, where he was commemorated by a monument; will proved 3 February 1561/2 and inquisition post mortem taken at Newmarket, 15 December 1562;
(2.3) William Alington (d. 1615) of Grays Inn, London; educated at Grays Inn (admitted 1551); married, 2 January 1570/1 at Ickworth (Suffolk), Mary Wolrich and had issue; ancestor of the Alington family of Burbage (Leics); died July 1615 and was buried at Westley (Cambs), 11 July 1615; inquisition post mortem taken at Cambridge, 11 November 1617;
(2.4) Philip Alington (c.1540-94/5) of Brent Pelham (Herts); married 5 June 1585 at Horseheath, Susan, daughter of Thomas Allen and widow of Thomas Andrews of Bury St. Edmunds (Suffolk), esq. and had issue; died 5 January 1594/5; will proved 4 February 1594/5; inquisition post mortem taken at Hoddesdon, 4 February 1594/5;
(2.5) Elizabeth Alington (d. c.1579); married Robert Chapman and had issue; died before 26 February 1579/80;
(2.6) Joan Alington (d. 1600/1); married about 11 January 1553/4, Thomas Brown (d. 1567) of Flamberds, Cold Norton (Essex) and had issue; died 4 January 1600/1; inquisition post mortem taken at Chelmsford, 2 April 1601;
(2.7) Anne Alington; commemorated by an inscription at Horseheath;
(2.8) Frances Alington; commemorated by an inscription at Horseheath;
(2.9) Margaret Alington; commemorated by an inscription at Horseheath.
He inherited his father's estate at Horseheath in 1521.
Died 22 August 1586 aged 86 and was buried at Horseheath, where he is commemorated by a wall monument which also commemorates his father.  His will was proved 8 October 1586 and an inquisition post mortem was taken at Hatfield, 13 October 1586.

Alington, Robert (d. 1552) of Horseheath, esq.  Only son of Sir Giles Alington (1500-86), kt. and his first wife, Ursula, daughter of Sir Robert Drury of Hawstead (Suffolk).  He married Margaret (d. 1598), daughter of William Coningsby of Kings Lynn (Norfolk) and had issue:
(1) William Alington, died in infancy;
(2) William Alington, died in infancy;
(3) Giles Alington (d. 1572) (q.v.);
(4) James Alington (d. 1626) of Bottisham (Cambs) and Mildenhall (Suffolk); died unmarried, 7 September 1626 and was buried at Mildenhall; will proved 22 November 1626; inquisition post mortem taken at Bury St. Edmunds, 12 April 1627;
(5) George Alington (d. 1584) of Trinity Hall, Cambridge; educated at Trinity Hall (LLB); buried at Bottisham, 7 October 1584; will proved 16 October 1584; 
(6) Alice Alington (c.1542-1605); married 1st, after 15 May 1552, William Sewster (d. 1568) of Steeple Morden (Cambs) esq. and had issue; married 2nd, Edward (d. 1597), son of John Talcarne and had further issue;
(7) Anne Alington (fl. 1552); married Arthur Breame of East Ham (Essex);
(8) Margaret Alington (fl. 1552);
(9) Elizabeth Alington (d. c.1618); married Thomas Soame (d. 1606) of Little Bradley (Suffolk) and had issue; died after 8 April 1618; will proved 1 February 1618/19;
(10) Frances Alington (fl. 1552); married John Cooke of Rochford (Essex);
(11) Beatrice Alington (d. before 1590); married before 26 February 1579/80 John Killingworth (d. 1617) of Pampisford (Cambs) and had issue; he married 2nd, 1590, Elizabeth, daughter of William Cheney.
He died in the lifetime of his father, 22 May 1552 and was buried at Horseheath.  His will was proved 23 August 1552.

Alington, Giles (d. 1573).  Eldest son of Robert Alington (d. 1552) and his wife Margaret, daughter of William Coningsby of Kings Lynn.  Educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge (admitted 1565).  He married, before 20 January 1570/1, Margaret (d. 1627), daughter of Sir John Spencer of Althorp (Northants) and had issue:
(1) Margaret Alington (fl. 1571-84), baptised at Horseheath, 9 October 1571;
(2) Sir Giles Alington (1572-1638) (q.v.);
(3) John Alington, baptised at Horseheath, 13 August 1573; died in infancy.
Died 25 November 1573 and was buried at Horseheath, where he is commemorated by a big standing wall monument attributed to Nicholas Johnson.  His widow married 2nd, before 26 February 1579/80, Edward Elrington and was buried at Horseheath, 4 April 1626; her will was proved 13 November 1627.

Alington, Sir Giles (1572-1638), kt.  Son of Giles Alington (d. 1573) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir John Spencer of Althorp, baptised at Horseheath, 18 September 1572.  High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, 1599; knighted at the Charterhouse, London, 11 May 1603.  He married 1st, Lady Dorothy Cecil (1577-1613), daughter of Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter and had issue, and 2nd, 2 December 1630 at West Wratting (Cambs), Dorothy (1606-c.1636), daughter of Michael Dalton and had further issue.  Dorothy being the daughter of Sir Giles' half-sister, Mary, this marriage was held to be incestuous, and they were fined £12,000 and obliged to do penance, but were allowed in 1633/34 to have a "pardon for incest, provided they shall not thereafter cohabit". His children were:
(1.1) Elizabeth Alington (fl. 1599-1618); married 1st, 21 February 1614/5, Sir Henry Palavicini (d. 1615) of Babraham (Cambs) (who had married 1st, Katharine, daughter of Sir Oliver Cromwell of Hinchingbrooke (Hunts); she married 2nd, 30 October 1617, Sir William Clopton (1592/3-1618/9), of Kentwell Hall (Suffolk) (who had married 1st, Ann, daughter of Sir Thomas Barnardiston of Clare (Suffolk)); and married 3rd, Sir John Tracy, kt., but died without issue;
(1.2) Thomas Alington (b. 1599), born 24 December 1599 and baptised 2 January 1599/1600; died in infancy;
(1.3) Giles Alington (1601-13/4), baptised 14 July 1601; buried at Horseheath, 17 February 1613/4;
(1.4) James Alington (b. 1602), baptised 6 September 1602; educated at Lincolns Inn (admitted 1624/5); living 18 August 1626;
(1.5) Dorothy Alington (1603-43), baptised 9 January 1603/4; married 1st, 29 March 1623 Sir Thomas Leventhorpe (d. 1636), 2nd bt., of Shingey Hall, Sawbridgeworth (Herts) and had issue; married 2nd, [forename unknown] Holford; buried at Sawbridgeworth, 26 September 1643;
(1.6) Susan Alington (1605-81), baptised at Horseheath, 30 September 1605; married 1st, 21 September 1624 at Horseheath, Sir Robert Crane (d. 1642/3) of Chilton (Suffolk), 1st bt. and had issue; married 2nd, Isaac Appleton of Little Waldringfield (Suffolk); buried at Chilton, 14 September 1681; will proved 7 October 1681;
(1.7) Anne Alington (1607-28), baptised 13 April 1607; married 23 September 1627 Sir Thomas Fanshawe (1600/1-65), later 1st Viscount Fanshawe and had issue; buried at Ware, 19 July 1628;
(1.8) Katherine Alington (1608-1700), baptised 5 December 1608; married Zouch Tate (d. 1650/1) of Delapre Abbey (Northants) and had issue; will proved 2 October 1700;
(1.9) William Alington (1610-48), 1st Baron Alington (q.v.);
(1.10) Mary Alington (1612-74), baptised 19 October 1612; married Sir Thomas Hatton (c.1583-1658) of Long Stanton (Cambs), kt. and bt. and had issue; buried at Long Stanton, 27 August 1674; will proved 2 September 1674;
(2.1)  John Alington alias Dalton (d. 1647) of West Wratting; buried at Horseheath, 26 August 1647.
He inherited his great-grandfather's estate at Horseheath in 1586 and came of age in 1593.
Buried at Horseheath, 23 December 1638; his will was proved 29 January 1638/9.

Alington, William (1610-48), 1st Baron Alington.  Only surviving son of Sir Giles Alington (1572-1638), kt. and his first wife Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter, baptised 14 March 1610/11 at Horseheath.  Elevated to the peerage of Ireland as 1st Baron Alington of Killard, 28 July 1642.  He married, before 1 October 1631, Elizabeth (d. 1671), daughter of Sir Lionel Tollemache, 2nd bt., of Helmingham Hall (Suffolk) and had issue five sons and three daughters:
(1) Hon. Elizabeth Alington (1635-92), baptised at Bottisham, 16 September 1635; married 1st, Charles Seymour, 2nd Baron Seymour of Trowbridge (1621-65), of Trowbridge (Wilts) (who had married first Mary, daughter and heir of Thomas Smith of Soley (Wilts)) and had issue; married 2nd, 1672, Sir John Ernle (d. 1697) of Whetham (Wilts), Chancellor of the Exchequer (who had married first Susan, daughter of Sir John Grubham Howe); buried at Horseheath, 30 October 1692;
(2) Hon. Lionel Alington (b. 1636/7), baptised at Bottisham, 26 February 1636/7; died young and was buried in the same place;
(3) Hon. Dorothy Alington (b. 1638), baptised at Bottisham, 24 May 1638; died in infancy and was buried in the same place;
(4) Giles Alington (d. 1659/60), 2nd Baron Alington (q.v.);
(5) William Alington (d. 1684/85), 3rd Baron Alington (q.v.);
(6) Hon. Diana Alington (d. 1666/7), died unmarried; buried at Horseheath 24 March 1666/7;
(7) Hon. Catherine Alington (1640-75), baptised at Horseheath, 28 May 1640; married, 26 May 1664, Sir John Jacob (d. 1674), 2nd bt. of Gamlingay (Cambs); died 11 May 1675.
(8) Hildenbrand Alington (1641-1722/23), 5th Baron Alington (q.v.)
(9) Hon. Argentine Alington (1646-70), baptised at Horseheath, 12 August 1646; Captain in his father's regiment, 1667; as captain of the Guernsey frigate, killed in a fight with Algerian pirates, 1670; will proved 28 September 1670.
He inherited the Horseheath and Wymondley estates from his father in 1638.
He died and was buried 25 October 1648 at Horseheath.  His widow married 2ndly, c.1651, the Hon. Sir William Compton (d. 1663) and was buried at Horseheath, 14 April 1671; her will was proved 17 April 1671.

Alington, Giles (d. 1659/60), 2nd Baron Alington.  Second, but eldest surviving son and heir of William Alington (1610-48), 1st Baron Alington, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Lionel Tollemache, bt. of Helmingham Hall (Suffolk).  He succeeded his father as 2nd Baron Alington in October 1648, but died a minor and unmarried, and was buried at Horseheath, 20 March 1659/60.

William, 3rd Baron Alington
Alington, Maj-Gen. William (d. 1684/5), 3rd Baron Alington and 1st Baron Alington of Wymondley.  Third son of William Alington (1610-48), 1st Baron Alington, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Lionel Tollemache, bt. of Helmingham Hall (Suffolk).  He succeeded his brother in the Irish peerage, 1659/60 and was created 1st Baron Alington of Wymondley, 5 December 1682.  He served the Holy Roman Emperor against the Turks in Hungary during the Commonwealth period, and was made Col. of a regiment of foot in 1667 (when he was described by Pepys as "a young, silly Lord") and again in 1677/8; Major-General of Land Forces, 1678; MP for Cambridge, 1664-81; Constable of the Tower of London, 1679-85; Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, 1680/1-85.  He married 1st, Catherine (d. 1662), daughter of Henry, Lord Stanhope, son of Philip, 2nd Earl of Chesterfield; 2nd, about 31 July 1664, Hon. Joanna (1646-67), daughter of Baptist Noel, 3rd Viscount Campden; and 3rd, about 16 July 1675 at Hackney (Middx), Lady Diana (d. 1701), daughter of William Russell, 1st Duke of Bedford and widow of Sir Greville Verney, and had issue:
(2.1) Hon. Juliana Alington (1665-1747), baptised at Horseheath, 30 October 1665; married, about 15 July 1698, Sir Scroope Howe (1648-1712/3), 1st Viscount Howe and had issue; died 10 September 1747 and was buried at Langar (Notts); will proved 23 December 1747;
(2.2) Hon. William Alington (b. & d. 1667), born 21 August 1667; died in infancy, 3 September 1667 and was buried at Horseheath;
(3.1) Hon. Diana Alington (c.1676-1705), married, 18 June 1700, Sir George Warburton (1675-1743), 3rd bt. of Arley (Cheshire) and had issue a daughter, Diana Warburton, who married Sir Richard Grosvenor, 4th bt.; died 17 June 1705
(3.2) Hon. Catherine Alington (1677-1724), born 27 September and baptised at Horseheath, 3 October 1677; married, 28 August 1694, Sir Nathaniel Napier (c.1668-1727/8), 3rd bt., of Middlemarsh Hall and More Crichel (Dorset) and had issue; ancestor of the Sturts of Crichel, later created Barons Alington; died 13 April 1724 and was buried at Minterne Magna (Dorset);
(3.3) Giles Alington (1680-91), 4th Baron Alington and 2nd Baron Alington of Wymondley; born 4 October and baptised 20 October 1680; educated at Eton, where he died 18 September and was buried at Horseheath, 22 September 1691, aged 10; at his death the English barony of Alington of Wymondley became extinct and the Irish peerage passed to his only surviving uncle;
(3.4) Hildenbrand Alington (b. & d. 1681), born 28 January 1680/1; died in infancy and was buried 25 March 1681;
(3.5) Argentine Alington (d. 1683/4); died in infancy and was buried at Horseheath, 20 February 1683/4.
He inherited the Horseheath and Wymondley estates from his elder brother in 1659/60 and rebuilt the house at Horseheath in 1663-70.  At his death he left his estates to his widow during the minority of his children, with power to make indefinite leases to raise portions for her children; she disposed of the Horseheath estate for 999 years to John Bromley.
He died suddenly of apoplexy at the Tower of London, 1 February 1684/5 and was buried at Horseheath, 17 February 1684/85; his will was proved 6 May 1685.  His widow died at her house in Kensington (Middx), 13 December and was buried at Horseheath, 24 December 1701; her will was proved 19 May 1702.

Hildenbrand, 5th Baron Alington
Alington, Hildenbrand (1641-1722/23), 5th Baron Alington.  Fourth son of William Alington (1610-48), 1st Baron Alington, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Lionel Tollemache, bt. of Helmingham Hall (Suffolk), baptised 3 August 1641.  Captain in Lord Alington's Foot, 1667 and 1677/8, and in Lord Huntingdon's, 1685.  Succeeded his nephew as 5th Baron Alington in 1691.  He died unmarried and without issue, and the title became extinct on his death.
He inherited the freehold of the Horseheath and Wymondley estates in 1691, but a 999 year lease of Horseheath having been granted by his sister-in-law, he sold the freehold to the lessee, John Bromley, in 1700.  He sold Wymondley under a Chancery decree c.1699 but bought it back in 1704.  At his death he left this manor to his three nieces and their descendants, of whom Sir Richard Grosvenor bought out the interests of the others and acted as cup-bearer at the coronation of Queen Anne.
He died in 11 February and was buried at Wethersfield (Essex), 25 February 1722/23; his will was proved 3 April 1723.


G.E.C., Complete Peerage, i, pp. 106-09; Sir B. Burke, Dormant and Extinct Peerages, 1883, pp. 4-5; R.T. Gunther, The architecture of Sir Roger Pratt, 1928, pp. 55, 117-31; C.E. Parsons, 'Horseheath Hall and its owners', Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, vol.41, 1948; Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Cambridgeshire, 2nd edn, 1970, pp. 410-11; VCH Cambridgeshire, vol. 6, 1978, pp. 70-80; S.N. Kemp, Archaeology within the gardens at Horseheath Hall, Cambridgeshire CC Archaeological Field Unit report A148, 1999; A. Gomme & A. Maguire, Design and plan in the country house, 2008, pp. 140, 224; T. Mowl & L. Mayer, The historic gardens of England: Cambridgeshire, 2013, pp. 105-16; S. Weber (ed.), William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain, 2013, p. 220.

Location of archives

No significant archive is known to exist.

Coat of arms

Argent a bend engrailed between six billets sable.

Revision & Acknowledgements

This account was first published 8 November 2013, and was updated 30 September 2014, 2 August, 8 September 2015 and 19 February 2019.


  1. I have a minature on ivory of lady Alington by Angelica Kauffman. but no date


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