John ALSTON of Newton Suffolk. 
- Marriage: Unknown about 1481 in Newton SFK
- Died: Bef 1514
John Alston is not proven to the many references to a John Alston during and prior to the 15th C.
Cresswell made an assumption that as he had linked him to Newton Suffolk, he was the father of William of Newton and that the family had established there from Stisted Essex.
The following indenture shows that a John Alston, then William Alston held land named Crekys, in Newton in 1514.
BURY ST. EDMUNDS AND WEST SUFFOLK RECORD OFFICE Received from Mr. L A. Sheppard, 55 Park Town, Oxford, per the East Suffolk Record Office. Ac. 869 .
Thomas Gosse, son of John Gosse, at instance of Joan Medevryn, widow or Thomas Medewyn formerly of Newton, and Robert Rowge, executors of the will of the same Thomas Medewyn to Thomas Bonham Esq., Stephen Roose and William Taylour. A messuage and three pieces of land in Newton. The aforesaid messuage with garden called Pryours lying between a tenement, once of John Fuller now of Thomas Warner, and the common pasture called Newton Hethe, with one head abutting on the way leading from the Rectory there towards the Church of Newton, the other head abutting on land once of John Wyffyn called Santerescroft now called Town Croft. The first piece of land was formerly built upon with a messuage, contains one acre and lies between land once of Peter Jurdon afterwards of Richard Mody, then of Andrew Halys and now of Thomas Hale on both sides and abuts at one head on lands pertaining to the tenement called Crekys once of Richard Croke then of JOHN ALSTON and now of WILLIAM ALSTON and at the other head on the highway leading from Sudbury to Assington. The second piece of land contains half an acre lying in the field called Outefeld viz; between land of the Rectory of Newton and land pertaining to a tenament called Colles pertaining to the chantry founded in Acton, with one head abutting on land of the same tenement called Colles, the other head abutting on land called Basely otherwise Crookes formerly of Robert Donyng now of John White. The third piece of land formerly was called a garden and contains 1 rood of land and lies between the common pasture called Newton Heath and land of the manor called Newton Hall called Yves Croftes. These premises Thomas Gosse formerly held jointly with Thomas Medewyn of Newton, Isabella his wife, John Deene, gent., Richard Smyth, jun. , and JOHN ALSTON, NOW DECEASED, of the feoffment of Richard Gosse of Newton, Grinenilde, his wife, John Gosse and Edward (or Edmund?) Waspe as appears in a certain charter then made. Having and holding to Thomas Bonham, Stephen (Roose) and William Taylour, their heirs and assigns, to the use of Thomas Bonham and his heirs 2 August, 1514. (1 parchment document, seal of Thomas Gosse missing).
Thomas Alston in his Will of 1469 mentions a tenament in Melford called in Latin "Hame Hammundes Crycbe"
THE STORY OF NEWTON
When Mrs. Warner urged me to look into the history of Newton I. didn't think there would be anything to look into and my natural slothful nature put off doing anything about it. But during the time we had no Rector, I had occasion to look into the Church Chest, where music had been stored end found a brown paper parcel at the bottom with the paper, well and truly nibbled by mice. It was a complete set of Parish Overseers' accounts, from 1685-1840.
Then Mr Arthur Vince found the tithe map behind the coach house door at the Rectory and brought it to me. So I thought I had got, something to start, on. I might mention in passing, that every Women's Institute had got their histories done years ago. This Newton History became a sort of complaint with me - an intermittent fever, as it were, and as I don't want it to get chronic, now is the time to get it out of my system. But I am no foreigner butting in. I've been here 33 years
so am just getting acclimatized. My immediate ancestry came from the Rivers Colne and Box, so with the river Box I shall begin the story.
The history of Newton does not begin with the Box, If you scratch East Anglia you uncover Rome and before Rome you would find inhabitants stretching back and back in time. But the first written reference begins beside the Box in the Great Survey of 1086, commonly called Doomsday Book. The other bit of evidence is in the Geological map of the district and the historic fact
called the Invasion of the Danes.
In your imagination do away with the roads and grow a forest from the Green to Edwardstone and from Goldings to Assington and you will have a fair idea of our village in the 8th or 9th century or perhaps earlier. If you look at the map you will see that Newton is a sort of knot of highish land between the valleys of the Stour and Box in a clay belt having a strip of heathland - light soil - dividing it into a big and little bit, sloping towards the Box from the Goldings end. The rainfall is low, the supply of water is spasmodic and hangs about on the flat land in wet weather and drains off towards the Box by a winter stream, which dries up in the summer, and is liable to be a trouble in winter. The heavy clay land will support good grain but the green soon looks parched (Mr Davey's care offsets this but by nature it soon loses its greenness) So much for Geography, though much more could be said.
Newton was a Saxon Settlement for protection from the Danish threat, as its Saxon name suggests Neutun - Newtown or Fort. When the Danes started life difficult for the Saxons some people retreated further up the valley of the Box into the higher forest land, perhaps by crossing of the ford from Edwardstone and certainly up the river in canoes from Boxford to Sayham Hall. Never mind Newton Hall and the Green at present.
Stand on Boxford Lane where I stood to take a photograph just beyond Roger's Lane and look across to Edwardstone Then turn a shade to the left and look towards Rogers, Between the Boxford Lane, and Rogers lies the Sayham Hall valley. You can see the dip beyond the sugar beet.
The map marks springs along this tributary valley so even if the was a winter flow the springs would keep running. Here is a good place to settle: high land commanding a route through the forest, and a water supply. Take away the farm from the valley and build some wooden shelters on the higher land and there you have the first Newton settlement of Saxon times.
Now stand by the gate opposite Trotts and look towards the tower of Newton Church. Mr. Taylor says the sugar beet has got the yellows but never mind, they didn't grow sugar beet there in 800 a.d. But someone pushed on up the little valley until they reached the top. The 200 ft. contour line runs up to a point near Newton Hall and the Church. And through the forest they came to scrubby land, with I suppose, rabbits galore, easy to dig and water not very far down; and the land was a good place for a lookout you could see anyone coming. That makes two settlements.
What about the ones who came across the ford? It would be worth getting up the hill on the other side. A perfect place. The Danes would wholly get it if they got past the Sayham Hall fort Rogers it is now. This may all be imagination but look at the map and consider the position in 1066 and 1086. The Great Survey gives all the details of 33 parishes and 118 manors in the Hundred of Babergh. You can see how close the manors were together if you look across the fields. They had a settled, if intricate method of government, built up after the peace with the Danes. Canute had established the Benedictines at Bury in 1020 and Edward the Confessor had endowed the Abbey in 1043 the survey notes the number of inhabitants and their status, and the state of agriculture in the manors with its valuation for tax and its measurements. Many of the manors were provided for spiritually with a church endowed with a living and clergy who combined the clerical and spiritual duties.
There are one or two points on which to comment. You can read the details yourself. After 20 years of Norman rule, Sayham Hall is rated higher than Newton Hall, (Hall means there was a manor house with the necessary land and the people to cultivate it) And there are two references to a Church in Sayham and none in Newton. Had the Saxon Church at Newton burnt down - they were all of wood and thatch - or was it a Clerical error ?
Then the man with 20 acres of free land at Sayham, maybe a sort of sub manor, half under the Lord of Sayham and half under the Abbot, but independent of both to a certain extent. was this Rogers?
The Great Survey was a thorough census made possible by this system, known as the Feudal System. We are rather scornful at times but we must not judge a thing by its worst features. At least and it was a system that worked and made law and order possible.
Roughly it worked like this. All land was the King's ultimately - it is still the Queen's if you delve into the question, because the land can only be private property up to a point, so the Crown is a safeguard. The King was responsible for the defense of the land, so he gave out regions to the great lords, the tenants in chief, who promised to stand by him. They in turn let out the land to the men who would both cultivate it and pay it back in service and food.
It was like the big and little and lesser fleas. Forty days in the army a year was the usual national service, I believe, Harold's men hadn't done their 40 days and had gone home to get in the harvest but for this there might have been no conquest, so they say. Note that the food supply the harvest is the basic consideration. We must eat and to eat we must get in the harvest.
At the time of the conquest in 1066 Newton Hall was under the Abbot. Sayham Hall was under Harold and so at his death became vacant, that is, it had no tenant in chief. It's Lord was Huthred, Newton's was Aelous. They both continued in their manors because William 1st confirmed the Abbot as tenant in chief and gave Sayham Hall to his kinsman Ralph de Limesi with 39 other manors and he kept his tenants. Sayham Hall came after a time to the Peytons, whose name is associated with Boxford, Edwardstone and Waldingfield as well as Newton and eventually after 400 years came to the Alston family.
The next part of the story during the late middle ages must be built round the Manor of Newton and its Church. If the Saxon church had disappeared another was built some time between 1086 and 1150 for there to this day stands a bit of it. There is another somewhat like it at Buckingham the doorway of a chapel that Henry III afterwards turned into a Latin School. We only know two facts about Newton between 1026 and 1250 - at least up to date I have only two.
In 1199, Jocelyn the Almoner (who wrote a Chronicle of the Abbey) witnessed a deed by which Abbot Sampson bestowed certain income for the upkeep of the hospital of St. Saviour's in Bury. This was two thirds of the demesne tithes of various of which Newton was one. The priest in charge at that time only had a third of the living.
The second fact is that in 1250 the manor reverted to the crown - in the reign of Henry III. Newton has been a Rectory since that time if not before. Henry III was succeeded by his son Edward 1st, of the first parliament fame and he, or his tenant in chief gave Newton to a John de Mose, who was there by 1285 and must have set to work at once on restoring the Church (the manor too probably needed attention) and this work went on until the early 14th century when it was ready for re-consecration. l309 is the date of the first Rectory of the new Church. We must imagine the manor as a collection of wood and thatched buildings within a wall or fence and a mound formed by digging out a moat. The church was near at hand on another mound. The church could have been completely restored in the new style and it is still there, but the old manor buildings went long ago which is not surprising, even though they took the precaution of scattering the buildings with the kitchen well away from the hall.
Fire was a constant enemy with all the wood and thatch. It is worth taking a trip to the West of England to a manor of the same period but of stone. It is singularly like our church nave on first sight. This is an ambitious fortified manor house but there was continual fighting amongst the great lords in the West and stone was there for the picking up. Stokesay Castle is unique as a survival of a fortified manor house and was occupied until recently. Notice the position of the church, and the moat with the bank.
All that is left of Newton manor is the site the suggestion of the moat in the duck pond the dip in the road and the odd ups and downs near the Church. John de Mose set about establishing his family in Newton but died before his sons were old enough to inherit. This meant they had to be in ward. Enter Peter de Campis or Peter de Hethe. The young John died early, married but with no children and his brother Thomas became the Lord of the manor. John's widow, Ada, married the son of Peter de Campis and Peter de Campis himself claimed the right of presentation to the newly consecrated Church in 1309 on account of his guardianship of John, and Ada took a third of the manor in dower as his widow. (l think this is right, I have mislaid the notes on this point)
One day the reconsecration of the Church took place with all the usual ritual and Gilbert of Wratting was inducted to the living. The old Norman doorway remained on the north side but they went in by the new south doors where the consecration cross had been made. The windows were filled with new Flemish glass and there were new wall paintings. The East window (like those in the nave) was just east of the little niches by the priest's door. That was the piscine then. The tombs were not there neither was the porch or the present font. The floor was lower so that you had to go up steps to the Chancel. You could get up to the screen by a little stairway behind the Chancel arch. There was a Holy water stoup just inside the south door you can see the trace of it still. The tower was a trouble then and still is. Most towers were.
Gilbert 'Wratting lived only a year and during the next Rector's ten years incumbency Thomas de Mose had married again and died and his daughter and heir was Margaret. She married William de Butevilleyn whose arms are in the south window by the Lady Alter. He came from Flixton and no doubt, there are records of him there. The widow of Thomas de Mose and stepmother, I think, of Margaret was Christiana Latimer and with her we come to the connection of Newton with the Carbonells and Butlers of Waldingfield. At about the same time (1285) that John de Mose took over the manor of Newton, we hear of a Robert Carbonell who held land in Newton and Waldingfield. The Butlers, de Bures, Greys and Peytons all had land in Newton and there had been a constant swapping and purchase of land and rights so as to get rid of isolated bits and consolidate estates. Just as manors were a source of income, so were heiresses. They carried their inheritance to their husbands and as widows they kept thirds of estates in dower.
Now this happened in the person of Christiana Latimer. She married, being her father's heir, three times and survived her third husband, Thomas de Mose of Newton Hall.. She was supposed to be of Newton and she must have been wealthy. John Carbonell of Waldingfield, her first husband was dead by 1302, leaving her with two sons. She married de Bosco of Assington and finally Thomas de Mose of Newton. By this time she must have been even more wealthy and who would she leave wealth to but her granddaughter Alice Carbonell of Waldingfield, daughter of her 2nd son John, who died when Alice was ten. Her elder son William had the Carbonell manor of Waldingfield and her daughter or stepdaughter de Mose held the manor of Newton Hall. But Christiana's own property could be left to this girl who, it is alleged, married one Ralph Butler. Furthermore, as an orphan, she could have lived with her Newton relations until her marriage at the age of 16. (It is possible she was married as a child but would not live with her husband until 16). She could also, and probably did, inherit from her step-aunt, Margaret Butvilleyn. The discussion as to whose tomb is the Butlers' tomb turns on the likelihood of Alice living to be an oldish women (68), unusual for that time, but not impossible. My own opinion is that the tomb itself was an Altar tomb - an Easter Sepulchre - without the figure originally - the tomb of Alice Carbonell, married to a Butler granddaughter of Christiana de Mose of Newton. This was suggested by Mr Daws, and his compromise is acceptable on these grounds:
1st. The date of the tomb could be as early as 1393, or even earlier, but the figure would appear to be a little later.
2nd. The figure appears to be rather large for the proportions of the aperture. The Sepulchre is a work of art - quite outstanding in conception, especially in its proportions and restraint in ornament If the figure were removed - the memorial would be complete - even improved.
Margaret Butler appears to have inherited in 1393 and seems to have been a widow or unmarried. Butler's went to another branch of the family in 1410. If one could find her will it might contain an instruction about the disposal of her body and such things. Between Alice and Margaret Carbonell there could have been another life, father of Margaret, but Margaret herself or her father would have been entitled to quarter the arms of Carbonell and Butler, according to Mr Almack in 1828. All the Newton Butler property and that of Waldingfield eventually came to rest in the Crane family through the marriage of the next inheritor of Butlers. The Cranes settled at Chilton Hall and held the manors of Chilton, Waldingfield and Newton Butlers. There was plenty of money and they built Chilton. Hence its presence on show in a Newton collection.
No one knows who the lady in the nave may be - but it could be Ada (1310) or Christiana de Mose (1325-30), or even Margaret de Butvilleyn (1330-40). It was found during restoration work in the 19th century, with the exception of the Buttler tomb and the porch, the Church was finished by 1320-30 - the chancel lengthened and a new East window of beautifully flowing lines .- the sedilia, and piscina all in the perfect taste of the early decorated period. What most strikes me about this almost anonymous church is the delicacy and restraint of the interior. People say it is bare, bit if we restore the colour of the 14th century, one can imagine that it looked like to Ada and Christiana and Margaret de Mose and Alice Carbonell as they worshipped in it. The windows filled with coloured glass and the pictures on the walls would give a warmth that it lacks today, Fragments of the early glass remain in the South window of the Nave.
What about the ordinary people of the time? The 14th century was fall of disturbance and change. There was also over population, famine, pestilence, war and unrest. The plough teams moved up and down the big fields behind Newton Hall, Butlers and Sayham Hall. If you want to know what they looked like go round the church and look at the window corbels. Look at the pictures from the Luttrell Psalter with the men and women working in the fields. They got in the harvest, they ploughed and sowed. At Sammas they drove down the cattle to Shafford meadows and brought them back at Martinmas to kill and salt for the winter. Their wooden houses burnt down but it didn't take long to put up another two roomed hovel. They lived in acute discomfit with a complete lack of privacy and the death rate was appalling. They were a quarrelsome and litigious lot but they had respect for the King's commissioners (Except Christiana. She was alleged to have pushed John de Whelnetham in a pit and jumped on him, and he the Kin's representative forsooth). There was an outbreak of sorts between Newton Hall and Greys Hall. There has been explanation of this. I think myself it could be connected with the famine year and the cattle coming up from the meadows, but, of course, I don't know - it could just have started as a herdsman's row.
There was a lot of land transference particularly at Sayham Hall. The second half of the 14th century is a bit obscure The Black Death of 1349-50 makes a cleavage. It brought down the population and such a sudden cataclysm disturbed the economic pattern and led to great unrest. So far as Newton was concerned the upheaval had already taken place - the de Mose-Butvulleyn era was over and de Bohm Earl of Northampton became Lord - some Butler connection here, I think. For the next 30 years there is litigation about the manor and advowson of the church, but eventually Newton Hall came to rest in another woman, Maud or Matilda Francys, daughter and heir of Sir Adam de Francys, a wealthy Londoner moving in court circles. Another heiress, another 3 marriages and a hundred years of political upheaval and Civil War.
The wars of the Roses always got me down. In the confusion of names Newton lost one Lord after the other during that 100 years. Maud's 3rd husband, the Earl of Salisbury, lost his head on behalf of Richard II, but Maud got her manor back after a time. Manors were still important. The People paid their rent in food and work although money was beginning to replace the work bargain. We have the alternative of food, work or money until quite recent times. So the people went on working on the land in spite of Peasants' revolt and the march on London and Simon of Sudbury's head being stuck up on London Bridge.
Maud brought up her son and stepson and Newton came eventually to the stepson's daughter. The title of Salisbury was revived in her husband and the Salisbury's held the manor until Henry VII seized the crown after the battle of Bosworth. They all lost their heads or were killed in battle. James Butler lost his estates in Waldingfield by being on the other side but Butlers in Newton flourished in the hands of the Cranes. Again what did the village people do? Paid their rents in capons, hens eggs weeding, or haymaking; grumbled about the weather, the state of the highway by the Cordwaynes's,, gossiped about the row between the Parson and the Master More, and of course got in the harvest and tended the cattle on Shalford meadows. They also went to church and listened to sermons and there was no doubt that there was a change of thought seeping down to the villagers from the likes of John Montague's equals in intellect While East Anglia was in the throes of the Peasants' Revolt, Julian of Norwich sat in her cell and wrote her Priceless book and recorded that she could see the Church of Christ "Shaken like a cloth in the wind". And Newton Church itself was a beautiful and new, glowing with colour with the sun coming through, falling first on the simplicity of the South Sedilia and moving around to light up the Butler tomb with its coloured shields and delicate ornament. One family worshipped there - its children were baptised in the new font and married in the new porch and communicated at its
altars But there was no pulpit.
On July 28th 1463, a Newton man sent for the parson and made his will. The clerk wrote it all down in Latin but here is a rough translation.
In the name of God Amen. Richard Moody will that I be buried in St. Gregory's cemetery in Sudbury and leave to the High Alter 6/8, and to the High Alter of Newton Church for Tythe forgotten 6/8.
To an honest and discret Priest for celebrating in the Newton Church for one whole year for my soul and the souls of my kinsfolk 9 marks for his stipend.
I leave to Margary my daughter, wife of Thomas Salmon, one pot, my saltpan, 12 plates, 10 dishes and 6 soucers and has 2 chargers. She already has these in her custody. I also leave to the same Margery, 1 mattress, 1pair of blankets and
40/- in money to Thomas Salmon as marriage portion.
I leave to Agnes, my daughter, a pot, 1 salt pan, 2 gallon vessels which she has in her possession, xx/- in money.
To my daughter Margaret 6/8.
To Richard Salmon, son of Thomas Salmon, 6/8 for handing over to him by my executors when he comes to the age of 21 years. I leave to Letitia, daughter of Thomas Salmon, a green belt with silver ornament and best wool and linen hanging and 6/8 in money when she comes to the age of 16.
To the repair of the common way lying next the cordwayners in Newton xx/-.
To Thomas Salmon my best fur lined gown.
Then he leaves money to Clare Priory, his godsons and goddaughters various young people including the baby of the Salmon family and the poor of Bury, Newton and Acton - appoints his executors and leaves them xx/- each for their work.
His will was proved on Dec. 20th 1468.
As he left no money for the purpose of providing a pulpit in the Newton Church I like to think that Margery and Agnes, Richard and Letitia, not to mention the "young son" saw to it that his memory was kept green.
For five hundred years the pulpit has invited us to "pray for the souls of Richard Moody and Letitia his wife", There would be no better symbol of the indestructibility of' faith in the long run, than that pulpit which has withstood time, intolerance, apathy and violence. It is a rebuke to those who would despise the past, sentimentalize over it or frame it with a goodness it did not have. It reminds us of the part that ordinary people have played in the history of our Parish in performing their daily duties, in work and home and church. It helps to create that atmosphere in our church of which even complete strangers become conscious, and I can't help thinking that Richard Mody was really had the last word "Pray for the souls of Richard Mody and Letitia his wife", Not a single house remains in Newton earlier than, that of the 16th century. What does remain is the land, with the tradition of work on it, the skill in cultivating it handed down, from generation to generation as men have found a better way of doing the same things times without of number. The sites of houses remain in the holdings of small tenements on which house must have succeeded house. The spiritual life has been handed down in like manner in a continuity that has withstood the passion and prejudice of passing generations,
And there stands the pulpit looking back to the past and also to the future when the church was "shaken like a cloth in the wind", but survived because there was always someone to keep the ark steady and read the signs of the times aright, as we shall see in the next part of the story. "Pray for the souls of Richard Moody and of Letitia his wife"
This booklet was given to the researcher Edward Fenn in 1999 on a visit to Newton, by Mrs Searles of Saracen Cottage Newton who is believed to be the author.
Whites Directory 1844
NEWTON-near-Sudbury, a pleasant village, scattered round a green of 40 acres, 3 miles E. of Sudbury, has in its parish 443 souls, and 2197a. 2r. 32p. of land, in the manors of Newton Hall and Bottelers. Earl Howe is lord of the former, and the Rev. T. H. Canston of the latter, but part of the soil belongs to J. Gurdon, H. Green, and E. Stedman, Esqrs., and several smaller owners. Sackers Green,1¼ mile S.W. of the village, is a small hamlet in this parish. The Church (All Saints) is an ancient fabric, with a tower and three hells, supposed to have been built by the Botteler family, who were seated here, but went to Ireland at the Reformation. The rectory, valued in K.B. at £17.13s. 8½d., is in the patronage of St. Peter's College, Cambridge, and incumbency of the Rev. Charles Smith, B.D., who has a good residence, 55a. of glebe, and a yearly modus of £597, awarded in 1840. Here is a National School, built in 1836. The poor have four rent charges amounting to £1. 16s. 8d. yearly, left by Wm. and Edw. Alston, in 1564 and 1591, and Robert and John Plampin, in 1603 and 1618, out of property now belonging to the Alston, Nicholson, and Gurdon families.
Chandler Samuel, parish clerk,
Farrow Eliz. vict. Saracen's Head
Tiffen Thos Layzell, jun. Siam Hall (owner) Farmer.
John spouse unknown about 1481 in Newton SFK.