William ALSTON [11108]


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William ALSTON [11108]

  • Marriage: Unknown

bullet  General Notes:

Ref Harts MSS No 1390 British Museum (Vide Burke).
The family of Alston is upon record so early as the reign of Edward I (1272-1307), when "William Alston of Stisted in Essex, for want of warranty of Burkscraft in Stisted did grant or confirm to John de Carpenter of Naylinghurst, so much of the better land in Stisted except his mansion house there". In that time of Edward III, Hugh Alston bore for arms, azure ten stars or four, three, two and one, which was long before coat armour was granted by patent: Henry and Robert Alston also mentioned in the Botule (?) Hundredorum as having land at Fulbourn Cambridgeshire.

In the reign of Edward 1st, (1272-1307) William Alston of Stisted in Essex, for want of warranty of Brackscroft in Stisted aforesaid, did grant and confirm to John de Carpenter of Naylinghurst, so much of the better land in Stisted except his mansion house there.

N.B. Edward I was the first king since the conquest who treated the English race on terms of equality.

In the time of Edward III.(1312-1377) HUGH ALSTON bore the arms
Azure, ten estoiles or., four, three, two, one.
This was long before coat armour was granted by patent.


Newton or Niwetona
The author of Magna Britannia makes this Lordship to have been anciently vested in William de Butvillein ; probably Newton Hall manor, which now belongs to Earl Howe ; and Buxton's a freehold farm to which a manor was formerly attached, is the property of the Rev. Henry Thomas Causton, of Highgate, in Middlesex. Saxham (Sayham, or Siam) Hall, in this parish, was for many ages the estate and residence of the Alstons, a family upon record so early as the time of Edward I. ; when Willam Alston, of Stisted, in Essex, for want of warranty of Brockscroft, in Stisted, granted and confirmed to John de Carpenter, of Naylinghurst, in Braintree, so much of the better land in Stisted except his mansion house there. John Alston, of Newton, descended from the above mentioned William, of Stisted, and was father of William Alston, of Newton ; who by Anne his wife, daughter of Thomas Symons, had a son and heir, Edward (or Edmund) Alston, of Saxham Hall, in Newton ; who married Elizabeth, daughter of John Coleman, and had two sons : William, his heir ; and Thomas, of Edwardston. William, the elder son and heir, was born at Newton, in 1537, and married Mary, daughter and co-heir of . . . . . Holmsted, Esq., of Maplested, in Essex ; by whom he had issue several children, whose descendants became settled at Marlesford, Polstead, Lavenham, and various other places in this and adjoining counties. Thomas Alston, baptized at Newton in 1713, buried there in 1787, appears to be the last of the family who resided here. Edward, his son, married Frances, daughter and heir of Daniel Constable, of Manningtree, in Essex, and became settled there ; whose son, Edward Daniel Alston, Esq., lately deceased at Palgrave, in this county. The Rev. Edward Constable Alston, of Cransford Hall and vicar of that parish, his only son, is the present representative of this branch of the family. Siam Hall is now the estate of Thomas Layzell Tiffen, Esq., who resides there ; but the Alstons still retain property in this parish. The church, dedicated to All Saints, was formerly in the patronage of the Alston family, but now of St. Peter's College, Cambridge. A law rector, George Borlase, B.D., was Casuistical Professor, and Registrar of that University, and for many years Fellow and Tutor of the said College.He was son of the Rev William Borlase author of The Natural History of Cornwall etc; and deceased Nov 5 1809. Charles Smith, B.D. is the present incumbant.
Charities: The rent charge doles here, amounting to 1 16s 8d, the gifts of William Alston, in 1564, Edward Alston, in 1591, and others are collected once in seven years and distributed in money amongst the poor persons of the parish.
Supplement to Suffolk Traveller, Augustine Page, 1844; Pg 956

No evidence exists (2014) that William was the father of John Alston of Newton Suffolk

bullet  Research Notes:

This is a Collection of Medieval References to the Alston Family.
In no particular Order:

Email 19/08/13
Hi Edward
When you get some free time here are my notes on early the Early Alliston/Alstons for you.
In summary it appears there are links between:
Alestan and Stambourne from Domesday Book and The Law by Robin Fleming. Cambridge University Press.
ii 100b (0-33) Annexations (invasiones) against the King; Stambourne: TRE Aethelstan, a freeman, and twelve other freemen held forty acres of land in Stambourne. They still have it.
Alestan of Stambourne (1086) and Alestan of West Ham (1086) via Ranulph De Peverel.
Ranulph Peveral was granted Alestans land at West Ham by William I
The Peveral family were granted Stambourne by Henry III
Alliston of Stanfeld (1224) and Alestan of Stambourne (1086) via the place name Stanfeld and Alestan Bec Road West Ham (postcode E16) .
De Vere and Alestan of West Ham via a writ of Henry I (1129)

Gernon and West Ham via the Domesday Book , (Alestans land was split between Ralph Peveral and Robert Gernon )
Robert De Veres daughter Eleanor and Sir Ralph Gernon by marriage (about 1220).
A/Elliston and De Vere via the wills of John De Vere (13th Earl of Oxford ) and John De Vere (16th Earl of Oxford) <> <>

A/Elliston and De Vere by the records of Earls Colne (1600s)>
Hugh Austyn (Allstyn) and De Vere via the Medieval Soldiers Muster Role of 1415.

Alliston and Stanfeld via a feet of fines record in 1224 indicating that the Allistons already held land there.

Alestan and Aethelstan via the land holding at West Ham which was originally granted to an Aethelstan in 958 by King Edgar. This could be Bishop Aethelstan or Ealdorman Aethelstan. 958 was the year that King Edgar was looking for support from his foster Father Ealdorman Aethelstan of East Anglia (Half King). Name and land are consistant with inheritance.

Richard De Clare ( Lord of Stanfeld) and Aethelstan Earldorman of East Anglia via Bec Abbey and their holdings near Wallingford.

Richard De Clare and Ealdorman Aethelstan via St Neots, Cambridgeshire. Richard re-founds the priory at St Neots which was originally founded by Leofric the grandson of Aethelstan via his son Aethelweard. ,, Hart (1973) = Cyril Hart, "Athelstan 'Half King' and his family", Anglo-Saxon England 2 (1973): 115-144.

Aethelstan Ealdorman of East Anglia and Eadric his brother
Eadric and Aethelweard the historian
Aethelweard the historian and Aethelred I of Wessex

Obviously these are just links but it does pose the question is the reason the Motto of the Alstons Immotus because they were not moved after the invasion by William I ?

The stars could be a play on the stars of De Vere who was probably their chosen feudal Lord, Stistead is very close to Castle Hedingham base of De Vere

The name Hugh could derive from Hugh De Vere 4th Earl of Oxford. The Allistons may have moved from Stanfeld to Stistead to join him in 1224 switching their allegience from De Clare to De Vere.
More complex notes below:
Kind regards

Most historians think that names ending in ton are place derived names from a farmstead or Manor, in our case though it could be the ending is ston derived from Stone.

Earliest recorded use of the surname in Suffolk was the 1224 Feet of Fines when John son of Adam de Alliston sold land at Stanfeld. (See Pictures) Note the discrepancy, the image says that John son of Adam purchased the land whereas the full transcript from another document records that he sold it.
This is the final concord, made in the court of our Lord the King at Westminster in the Octave of Saint Martin in the ninth year of the reign of king Henry the son of John [11 Nov 1224].

Before Martin de Pateshill1, Thomas de Muleton, Thomas de Hardham, Robert de Lexin[g]ton [and] Geoffrey Savage, Justiciars, and other faithful subjects of our Lord the King then and there present.
Between John the son of Adam de Alliston, complainant and Robert de Ernestedel defendant, concerning thirty acres of land, with the appurtenances in Stanfeld. In respect whereof there was a plea between them in the aforesaid land, with the appurtenances, to the right of the same Robert.
To have and to hold to the same Robert and his heirs, of the aforesaid John and his heirs for ever.
Yielding annually in respect thereof six shillings, at two terms of the year, that is to say,one half at Easter and the other half at the Feast of Saint Micheal, for all service and exaction. And for this recognizance, fine and agreement, the aforesaid Robert has given to the same John twenty four shillings sterling.

And it is to be known that the aforesaid Robert and his heirs will acquit the same land against the chief lords of the fee in that place of the services which pertain to them in respect thereof.

1 Martin de Pateshill stood in for the King when Henry III was a minor (to young to rule) Henry III declared himself of age in 1227.

There was a place called Alston in Suffolk near Trimley St Martin, although originally in the Domesday Book it was called Alteinestuna, it is in the hundred of Colne. Alston Hall still exists.It consisted of an Alliston Church and Alliston street, now long gone but the cemetry was found in the 1700s. The church was consolidated to Trimley St Martin in 1362. This is about the time when English replaced French as the official language of England. Alteines is a Gallic word meaning stone of fire and is associated with sorcery.

Stansfeld had two Tenants in Chief in 1086, Richard son of Count Gilbert (De Clares) and The Abbey of Bury St Edmunds. Stansfeld and Clare (from whence Richard De Clare takes his name) are just North of Stambourne where an Anglo Saxon called Alestan had his manor in 1086.

From Domesday Book and The Law by Robin Fleming. Cambridge University Press.
ii 100b (0-33) Annexations (invasiones) against the King; Stambourne: TRE Aethelstan, a freeman, and twelve other freemen held forty acres of land in Stambourne. They still have it.
Alestan is the middle English version of Aethelstan which means noble stone.

The Stambourne parish website ( gives the hypothesis that Stambourne ( originally stanbourne) was named after Alestan, who held a manor there, it was called Stanburn in early feet of fines. Alestan was Lord in 1066 and still held tenancy in 1088. The family of Alestan seemed to have stayed in the manor until the time of Henry III
(Stambourne Website

It was at this time that the surname Alliston appears at Stansfield not far from Stambourne and if Stambourne was derived from Alestan then it seems quite plausible that Stansfield was as well. The website also mentions that this Alestan may have been the same one who held West Ham which was given to Peverel and Gernon. An Alestan is mentioned as Lord of the Manor in Ham London in 1066. If you look at the place names in Newham (which is the currrent name for that location) there is a road called Alestan Beck, beck being an old Germanic word for stream. It adjoins Stansfeld road and is not far from Sudbury road. The fact that the Peverel family also later held both Stambourne in North Essex and the Ham manor near London suggests they were part of the same Estate. The place names seem to confirm this and link it to Alestan, with Alliston also being associated with Stansfeld. Alestan Beck road was created in the 1900s but where a stream used to flow, so originally it probably did refer to the stream. A Map of Alestans Manor in Newham can be found here
From the Calendar of Royal Documents Henry I
91. Writ of H I, ordering Aubrey de Vere, sheriff of Essex, to convene the shire court concerning the dispute between the abp. of Canterbury and the abbot of Westminster concerning the land of Alestan [in West Ham]; to cause a verdict to be delivered on who has the better title, and to put him lawfully in seisin. Westminster [1129, ante Nov.]

Cal: Regesta II, no. 1539.
Date: Attested by Nigel d'Aubigny, who d. in Normandy in Nov. 1129 (Charters of the Honour of Mowbray, xviii and n. 2). Aubrey de Vere is recorded in office in 1130, and succeeded his predecessor after 1128 (Sheriffs, 43).
Note: Alestan held a manor of eight hides, thirty acres in West Ham TRE, and this was given by W I to Rannulf Peverel and Robert Gernon (DB II, ff. 64, 72b).
Westminster Abbey seem to have acquired the land by 1144. see the book Westminster Abbey and Its People, C.1050-c.1216 By Emma Mason
Robert de Vere (c. 1164 - before 25 October 1221) had a daughter Eleanor, who married Sir Ralph Gernon of Easthorpe, Essex.
In Richard I'sts time a Daughter of Alstan was recorded in Dunwich. (Feet of Fines: 20 Belesent daughter of Alstan v. Reginald son of Robert in Dunwioh )
The last firstname Alstan mentioned in the feet of Fines is in the time of King John when Geoffrey son of Alstan bought land from William Son of Alstan at Westhall, Suffolk.

A Feet of Fines in the time of Henry III;
Thomas Alleston Clerk and Others vs. John Castre of London and Margaret his wife in Cantebrigg (Cambridge).

144 - John son of Adam de Alliston v. Robert deErnestedel in Stanfeld
Another early listing in the time of Edward II:
Pg 119 25 William Alston of Ixnyng and Margaret his wife v. Henry Alston of Ixnyng in Ixnyng (Exning near Newmarket)
pg157 11 Williem son of Alan Alston and Margaret his wife and John his son v. Thomas Skeppe of Ixnyng chaplain in Ixnyng Suffolk Feet of Fines 1189 - 1485

Submitted by M Terbrack 2013.
. . . . . to whom Henry VII. (d) granted a fair house, called the Green-Gate, in Lime-street Ward, London.
It was granted to John Alston 25 january 1487 in reward for his service in the kings most victorious journeys. This grant was cancelled because Alston failed to serve in the kings great journey to france, and on 30 may 1494 as "le grene gate by ledenhall" it was granted for life to Sir William de la river.
Could the victorious journeys have something to do with the wars of the roses(york and Lancaster) which culminated at bosworth field where King Richard was killed, but rebellion carried on a few years. Henrys coronation, took place in Westminster Abbey on 30 October 1485. Almost immediately afterwards, he issued an edict that any gentleman who swore fealty to him would, notwithstanding any previous attainder, be secure in his property and person.
The Stafford and Lovell rebellion was the first armed uprising against Henry VII after he won the crown at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. The uprising was led by Francis Lovell, 1st Viscount Lovell and the Stafford brothers, Sir Humphrey Stafford of Grafton, Worcestershire, and Thomas Stafford, and occurred during Eastertime 1486.[1]
The conspirators hoped to restore the Yorkist monarchy. However, the uprising was a disaster. On 22 April 1486 Lord Lovell decided not to risk open rebellion, and escaped to Burgundy. In the meantime the Stafford brothers had risen in rebellion in Worcester, despite the fact that King Henry had mass support in that area.
During this time Henry was in York on a nationwide tour of the country. As soon as he advanced towards Worcester in order to eliminate Yorkist support, on 11 May 1486 the Stafford brothers again fled to sanctuary, this time at Culham.

The English Baronets - a genealogical and historical account of their families.
Thomas Wooton 1741 page 309
Sayham-Hall, in Newton, was anciently the seat of the Alstons for many hundred years, from whence that family hath spread itself into several counties.
It's certainly a family of great antiquity, and said to be of Saxon extraction, though the origin of them cannot be traced at this time of day. We find them mentioned so early as Edward the first's reign when William Alston, of Stisted, in Essex, for want of Warranty of Brockscroft, in Stisted, did grant and confirm to John de carpenter of Naylinghurst, so much of his better land in Stisted, except his mansion-house there.
In Edward the third's time, Hugh Alston did bear for Arms, Azure, ten Stars, , 4., 3, 2, x. which was long before coatarmour was granted by patents.
After some descents from the abovesaid William Alflon, of Stisted, the lineal descendant of this family was John Alston, of Newton, in Suffolk, to whom Henry VII. granted a fair house, called the Green-Gate, in Lime-street Ward, London. He was father of William, who by the daughter of --- Symons, had issue Edward, of Sayham-hall, in Newton, who took to wife a daughter of Mr. Colman, by whom he had two sons, I. William, of Sayham, of whom hereafter; 2. Thomas, of Edwardston, in Suffolk, who married, first, Dorothy, one of the daughters and co-heirs of Holmsted, of Maplefied, in Essex, by whom he had Edward Alston, of Edwardston, Esq; His second wife was , by whom he had Thomas Alston, of Newton, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas West, of London, and had issue, Thomas Alston, of Newton. Edward Alston, of Edwardsion, aforesaid, married Margaret, daughter of Arthur Pcnning, of Kettleborouh in Suffolk, Esq; by whom he had Sir Edward Alston, of ndon, Knt. Doctor in Physick, and President of the College of Physicians, Joseph Alston, of Chelsea, Esq; ancestor to the present Sir Evelyn Alston, Bart. of whom in the third volume, and Penning Alston, of London. Sir Edward, married Susan, daughter of Christopher Hudson, of Norwich, by whom he had two daughters, I. Mary, married to Sir James Langham,

A SURVEY OF THE CITIES OF London and Westminster
Version 1.0 (ISBN: 0-9542608-9-9) page 84
Messuage called Green Gate., Philip Malpas robbed.
Then is there a fair House, of old time called the Green Gate, by which one Michael Pistoy, Lumbard, held it, with a Tenement and nine Shops, in the Reign of Richard II. who in the 15th of his Reign, gave it to Roger Crophull and Tho. Bromeslet, Esqrs; by the Name of the Green Gate, in the Parish of St. Andrew upon Cornhill, in Limestreet Ward: Since the which time, Philip Malpas, sometime Alderman, and one of the Sheriffs, dwelled therein, and was there robbed and spoiled of his Goods, to a great Value, by Jack Cade, and other Rebels, in the Year 1449.

Mutas House spoiled., Sir Peter Mutas.
Afterwards, in the Reign of Henry VII. it was seized into the King's Hands. And then granted first unto John Alston, after that, unto William de la Rivers, and since by Henry VIII. to John Mutas, a Pickard, or Frenchman, who dwelled there, and harboured in his House many Frenchmen, that kalendred Wolsteds, and did other things, contrary to the Franchises of the Citizens. Wherefore on evil May Day, which was in the Year 1517. the Prentises and other spoiled his House, and if they could have found Mutas, they would have stricken off his Head. Sir Peter Mutas, Son to the said John Mutas, sold this House to David Woodrofe, Alderman, whose Son, Sir Nicholas Woodrofe, Alderman, sold it over to John Moore, Alderman, that next possessed it.

London Topographical Record, Illustrated,
Volume 10 Page 132
On 1 March 1408 Henry IV granted it to his servant, Thomas Walsyngham, Brounflete having taken an oath that his own Patent ... After this he again fell into trouble, but at his death, in 1478, left Green Gate to his wife, with remainder to his son Philip. Possibly, however, the house had been forfeited; for on 28 April 1486, Henry VII granted it to John Forester. ... Gate," which Roger Crophull and Thomas Brounflete held for life, was granted to John Alston in reward for his service in the kings most victorious journeys. This grant was cancelled because Alston failed to serve in the kings great journey to france, and on 30 may 1494 as "le grene gate by ledenhall" it was granted for life to Sir William de la river.

Materials for a History of the Reign of Henry VII: From Original Documents ... page 112
25 January 1487
Grant for life to John Alston, of a hospice or tenement, called the Grene Gate, in the parish of St Andrew, Cornhill, in the ward of Lymestrete, in the city of London, which Roger Crophull and Thomas Bromeflete, esquires lately held for their lives, of the gift of Richard II., and which has been seized into the kings hands pursuant to a writ directed to John Tate and John Swan, sheriffs of London and Middlesex, Given at our manor of Moore E Jan 29 P.S. No. 180 Pat. P. 1. m. 5 (23)

There is sufficient proof that the Alstons, of Bedfordshire and Suffolk share the same Coats of Arms with 7 other families. There were 8 coats granted by the General Armory. Those of Odell, Chelsea, Warwick, Dumbarton, Glasgow, Lanark, Lanark, Alston-Stewart Urrard Perth. They are all with the Azure + 10 stars of four, three two one. Also an Alstone and Alstoines.
See image of Lanarkshire Armorial Bearings
The First coat of arms of the Alstons with the Azure + 10 stars of four, three two one, was from A Hugh Alston, long before the College kept records.

The first recorded Scottish armorial dates to 1508.
Early History
Hugo de Alston is named in a charter of 1399. Another Hugo de Alston, possibly his son, died in 1425. This second Hugo is described as Dominus de Candor (Lord of Candor). Hugo's heir was his only daughter, Margaret, who married one of the Hamiltons of Cadzow. Thus the line of the Alstons of Candor died out. <>

Tradition for the Scottish branch
The Alstons are said to have been established in the lands of Thinacre Milne (= Mill), in Lanark-shire, from the fourteenth century.
According to a seventeenth-century tradition the ancestor of the Scottish Alstons fled to Scotland from England during the reign of Edward II (1302-1327), as a retainer of Hamilton, who had killed Lord Spencer in a duel. Hamilton was pursued and to escape he disguised himself as a sawyer. Alston rode on with Hamilton's clothes and horses, acting as a decoy. This incident, according to the story, is the origin of the Hamilton crest: an oak tree being cut by a frame-saw.
Hamilton supported Bruce in the Wars of Independence and was later granted the lands of Cadzow. He, in turn (in the tradition), granted Thinacre Milne to the Alstons.

Early History
By 1602 the Alstons were established at Thinacre Milne, Lanark-shire. The earliest recorded Alston of Thinacre Milne is John Alston, who was born in the mid-sixteenth century. There were six generations of Alstons here, the last being Thomas, who died unmarried in the late eighteenth century. There had been an attempt to dispossess the family in 1772. This was abandoned but the property was sold off piece by piece. The family burial place at Hamilton was destroyed when church was leveled to extent the Duke of Hamilton's parks.

Excerpts of information taken from the early history of the Alstons as was collected by Charles Alston (1685-1760), Professor of Botany and Medicine in the University of Edinburgh. He, in turn, relied on information recorded by the antiquary, George Crawfurd (d. 1785) and on information from individuals who knew something of the family history. Charles Alston's manuscript is in Edinburgh University Library (Ms Cat. La III 375).

The five families of Alston in Scotland were all using the same arms ( They each had arms Azure + 10 stars of four, three two one, etc) and connected by descent, from the Thinacre Milne Alstons. They would have had their arms granted in Scotland, and needed no proof of ancestry to the Alstons who held these arms in England. But the one who was granted arms in Warwickshire would have had to have proven descent from the Suffolk Alstons primary holders of these arms, otherwise they would not have been granted. This being so then the Scottish Alstons and the English Alstons were connected through a common ancestor and will then share some of the same DNA. Which might confuse things for people who are researching through DNA.

The Alstons of Suffolk and Bedfordshire moved in turn before and during the 17th century to Northampton, Surrey, London, Essex, Kent, Buckinghamshire, Norfolk and Hertfordshire, they will also share DNA.

After 1066, the Norman barons introduced surnames into England, and the practice gradually spread. Initially, the identifying names were changed or dropped at will, but eventually they began to stick and to get passed on. So trades, nicknames, places of origin, and fathers' names became fixed surnames .By 1400 most English families, and those from Lowland Scotland, had adopted the use of hereditary surnames.

Many used Habitational surnames and that is how we get Alstons in Devon, Yorkshire and Lancashire.
In Devon there was a village called Alston, and the Alstons in the 16th and 17th century were generally to be found in parish registers within a ten-mile radius of the Village of Alston. Mostly In Colyton and Chard.

The same for Lancashire, they were mostly to be found in Whalley and Chipping, a stones throw away from the village of Alston. Also very many in Waddington, though it was in the West Riding of Yorkshire it is now in Lancashire. it is just 5 miles from Whalley.

So in general the Lancashire, Yorkshire and West Country Alstons can be discounted from the gene pool.

Back to William Alston of Hammersmith, if the DNA matching his descendants matches with the Bedfordshire Alstons, it could also match Scotland, Northampton, Surrey, London, Essex, Kent, Buckinghamshire, Norfolk and Hertfordshire. So the William in Hammersmith could have come from any of these places, not necessarily Bedfordshire.


William spouse unknown.

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