Sunday 30 March 2014

(117) Alston of Odell Castle, baronets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odell Castle, Bedfordshire

The castle was originally a small medieval fortress on a mound on the north bank of the Ouse between Harrold and Felmersham. In the mid 16th century John Leland saw "nothing but straunge Ruins", and nothing now remains to show either the extent or disposition of the original buildings or the date of their erection. A new house was apparently built for Richard Chetwode in the early 17th century (the kitchen wing was dated 1623) which probably utilized the remains of the castle keep, as the basement walls on the south-west and north-west sides of house were enormously thick.  

Odell Castle in 1811, by Thomas Fisher, showing the house as remodelled for Lady Wolstenholme c.1705.
Image: Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service X254/88/201.

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

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

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

Odell Castle after the alterations of 1864-65. Image: Matthew Beckett

The house was in poor condition and largely unoccupied by 1927, when parts of the service accommodation were said to be being demolished and the house was described as "quite unlettable, even at a nominal rent". In 1930 R.C. Alston moved out to a bungalow in the village 'on health grounds' - which suggests something about the dire state the place was in - and the following year the house was burned down by a fire which appears to have originated in the boiler room. 

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

The estate was sold in 1934 to Lord Luke, whose son built a new house in c.1960-62 to a curious and rather unsatisfactory design that mixes elements of modernism with the sort of classical minimalism one associates with GPO telephone exchanges. The architect was Gerald Banks. The new house stands on the terrace of its predecessor and has square wings either side of a recessed centre with a veranda, and a hipped roof behind a parapet. Some of the 17th century outbuildings of the old house escaped the fire and still survive. The house was sold again in 1998.

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

Pavenham Bury, Bedfordshire

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

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

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

Harrold Hall, Bedfordshire

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alston family of Sayham Hall, Newton

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

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

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

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

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

Alston family of Odell Castle, baronets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alston, Justinian (1780-1848) of Odell Castle. Eldest surviving son of Thomas Alston (c.1755-1823) and his wife Elizabeth Raynsford of Brixworth Hall, baptised 19 October 1780. Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1798; BA 1802). JP for Bedfordshire, 1817. He married, 20 June 1816, Mary (d. 1845), daughter of Gen. John Manners Ker and had issue:
(1) Justinian Alston (1817-45), baptised 6 July 1817; educated at Eton; married, 1841 at Frankfurt (Germany), Anna Hepburne (c.1823-58), daughter of A.H. Mercer; died 2 October 1845 at Baden Baden (Germany);
(2) Isabella Jane Alston (1819-90), born 8 October and baptised 7 November 1819; married Maj. Cäsar Joseph Heusch (1814-60), son of Maj. Bernard Franz Heusch of Mannheim (Germany), and had issue two sons (who both died of wounds received in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71) and one daughter; died 12 September 1890;
(3) Mary Elizabeth Alston (b. 1821), born 24 October and baptised 20 November 1821; married, 1840, M. de Lassence.
(4) Crewe Alston (1828-1901) (q.v.);
He lived at Wootton (Beds) until he inherited the Odell Castle estate from his father in 1823.
He died at Winterbach (Germany), 11 January 1848.

Alston, Crewe (1828-1901) of Odell Castle.  Younger but only surviving son of Justinian Alston (1780-1848) and his wife Mary, daughter of Gen. John Manners Ker, born 28 July and baptised 4 August 1828. Educated at St. John's College, Cambridge (admitted, 1848); JP for Bedfordshire; High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, 1862. Treasurer of the Society for the Promoting a Cessation of Hostilities in America, which supported the Confederate cause in the American Civil War. He was bankrupted in 1885. He married 1st, 27 February 1851, Mary (d. 1856), daughter of Rev. Hugh Speke, and 2nd, 21 December 1857, Emily Dorothy Henrietta Cecil (1836-1904), daughter of Frederick Beckford Long of Hampton Lodge, Farnborough (Hants), and had issue:
(1.1) Rowland Crewe Alston (1852-1933) (q.v.);
(1.2) Vere Speke Alston (1853-1931), born 11 April and baptised 19 May 1853; educated at Harrow, Pembroke College, Cambridge (matriculated 1872; BA 1876) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1875; called to bar, 1878); practised before the High Court at Umballa (India), and afterwards at Cairo (Egypt); Judge of the Native Court of Appeal at Cairo, 1897.  In retirement lived in London and Cannes (France).  Married, 1 September 1898, Ann Sophia Penn, daughter of Samuel Chew, of Philadelphia (USA), but died without issue, 5 November 1931; will proved 29 January 1932 (estate £18,218);
(1.3) Mary Emma Isabella Alston (1855-1937); married, 28 February 1881 at British Embassy in Rome, Charles Edward Coles (d. 1926) of Ruishton Lodge (Somerset), son of Maj-Gen. Coles, and had issue one son; lived in Biarritz and later Cannes (France); died 14 March 1937; will proved 29 May 1937 (estate £640);
(2.1) Emily Isabella Alston (1858-64), born 5 September 1858; died young, 9 June 1864;
(2.2) Edith Alston (1859-1921) of Clock House, Marnhull (Dorset), born 21 December 1859 and baptised 15 April 1860; died unmarried, 10 May 1921 and was buried at Odell, 14 May 1921; will proved 20 July 1921 (estate £496);
(2.3) Diana Alston (c.1860-1940) of Clock House, Marnhull (Dorset), baptised 3 March 1861; married, 8 October 1884, George Burnand (d. 1917) of Bexhill (Sussex) and had issue; died 31 December 1940 and was buried at Marnhull, 2 January 1941, aged 80; grant of administration, 28 May 1941 (estate £364);
(2.4) Beatrice Alston (1862-1928), baptised 25 August 1862; died unmarried, 28 October 1928; will proved 3 April 1928 (estate £3,606);
(2.5) Crewe Alston (1864-65), born 23 March 1864; died in infancy, 8 February 1865 and was buried at Odell, 15 February 1865;
(2.6) Dudley Alston (1865-1948), baptised 17 December 1865; commercial clerk; married, 6 August 1892 (sep. c.1899), Annie Emma (k/a Etty) Maris (1872-1944) (who after presuming his death, m2, 3 April 1918, Kenneth Fraser Gordon (1865-1954) for whom she had acted as housekeeper) and had issue one daughter; he emigrated to Queensland, Australia in 1899; he died without property or money in Brisbane, Queensland, 8 February 1948 and was buried in a pauper's grave in Toowong Cemetery.
He inherited Odell Castle from his father in 1848; it was protected during his bankruptcy by the entail which meant he was only a life tenant, with no power to sell.
He died 11 August and was buried at Odell, 14 August 1901. His widow died 24 November 1904; her will was proved 24 January 1905 (estate £134).

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

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

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

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

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


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

Location of archives

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

Coat of arms

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

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 30 March 2014 and was updated 22 October 2016, 21 January 2018 and 3 November 2020. I am grateful to Sascha Becker and Alistair Gordon for additional information.