John ALSTON of Pavenham 
- Born: Abt 1610
- Marriage (1): Dorothy TEMPLE  on 4 Jan 1634/35 in Odell BDF
- Died: 13 Aug 1687, Pavenham BDF aged about 77
- Buried: 15 Aug 1687, St Peter Pavenham BDF
John was a Barrister-at-Law of the Inner Temple and of Pavenham Bedfordshire. His birth details are uncertain but a date of about 1610 is supported by his death age, although his parents lived at Gedding Hall Polstead his siblings appear to have been mainly born or baptised at Newton.
John; 4th s. of Thomas Alston of Gedding Hall in Polstead co. Suffolk and Frances dau. of Simon Blomfield of Monks Eleigh; b. at Polstead; adm. pensioner at Caius College Cambridge 7 Jun. 1631 aged 16; matric 1631; adm. at The Inner temple 6 June 1631 as of Pavenham co. Bedford; called to the Bar 1646; mar. Dorothy dau. Sir John Temple of Stanton Barry co. Bucks, who had married as his 2nd wife John Alston's mother; buried at Pavenham 15 Aug 1687. Etoniana i 54; Harl. Soc. viii. 111; xix 74; Her. and Gen. iii. 530 et seq.
Ref: Eton School Lists. NZSOG.
John Alston - School Eaton, Matric. 1631; Adm. pens. at Caius College Camb. 7 June 1631 aged 16; Admitted to the Inner Temple 6 June 1631 (Venn I. 300; Vis. of Beds.1634)
Alston John: of Suffolk; (fourth) son of Thomas Alston Esq. Born at Polstead. School, Eton, under Mr Bust , one year. Age 16. Admitted, June 7, 1631, pensioner to the bachelors table. Tutor and surety, Mr Moore.
Admitted at the Inner Temple, June 6, 1631. Of Pavenham, Beds., Esq. Married Dorothy, daughter of Sir John Temple, of Bucks. See William, of 1624.
Ref: Gonville & Caius College Register Pg 300. Dr Venn. NZSOG.
First Name: John
Last Name: Alston
Occupation Given: gentleman
Address: Polstead Suffolk
Admission Date: 06/06/1631
Call Date: 05/11/1646
Inner Temple Admissions (2009)
Inner Temple Records 1603-1660 Vol II - NZSOG
Parliment held 5 Nov 22 Chas. AD 1646
John Alston called to the bar
Inner Temple Records 1660-1714 Vol III - NZSOG
Parliment held 25 Jun 23 Chas II AD 1671.
Stewards for Readers Dinner John Alston.
ALSTON v. ALSTON.
Bill, 21 November 1676, by William Alston of the Inner Temple of London, Esq. v. Sir Thomas Alston and Dame Elizabeth his wife, Sir Edward Alston and John Alston Esq.
In 1637 the Orator, then an infant of 6 months, had a legacy of £300 from his uncle and godfather, William Alston, then or late of the Inner Temple, Esq. whose will was made 2 March 1637, by which his mother, Dame Frances Temple was appointed executrix; she died when Orator was about 8 years old, the legacy then being unpaid.
Her will was proved in the P. C. C. 1647 by her sons Sir Edward Alston, and John Alston, Orator's father, who possessed themselves not only of her personal estate, but also of the greater part of the decd. William's estate.
Orator knew nothing about the legacy till about two years since, when he was informed thereof by a friend; he has found the will of his uncle registered, containing the bequest to himself. Sir Thomas Alston, heir at law as eldest brother of decd. William, with Dame Elizabeth his wife (with consent of the said executors) has seized to himself the mansion house and manor of Odell, co. Bedford, being to the value of £3000 and upwards; and there is ample to allow of the payment of the said legacy of £300
Sir Thomas Alston, in his answer, says he does not know of what moneys etc his brother William died possessed. All such goods of said Win. as came to Sir Thomas's hands at Odell, are contained in annexed schedule; and he can discover no further particulars nor give any better answer, it being above 33 years since he had the said goods, and he being now very aged and infirm.
Schedule of goods mentioned;
Two and twenty pictures of the several Kings of England; about the value of £5 0 0
Tapestry hangings, tables and stools in the dining room £20 0 0
Furniture in the matted chamber, the red chamber, the ball and other rooms about £44 6s 8d
Ref PRO: C8/215/5 Collins 229
John was Executor for his son Thomas's estate 2 Jul 1678.
PAVENHAM AND ITS CHURCH"
Vol 11 by C.D.Linnell, Vicar of Pavenham 1882-1919 (abridged)
Abt 1647 Edward Lord Vaux sold his Pavenham estates to John Alston, the Vauxes-except perhaps the recusant Elizabeth appear not to have resided in the village, but many Alstons lived and died here. Without any doubt the head of the Pavenham branch lived at the Bury. An inscription close to the Bury pew records that John Alston died on August 13th, 1687, aged 77, so that he must have been born in 1610. Doubtless he is the man who bought Bray's and Cheyneys in 1649. This conclusion is confirmed by two marriage licences mentioned in Beds. Notes and Queries, Vol II. They show that the father of the brides, John Alston, was living in Pavenham in 1661 and 1671.
ANOTHER STATELY HOME FOR THE HAMMER
PAVENHAM BURY TO BE SOLD TOMORROW
BEDFORD TIMES FRIDAY 18TH OCTOBER 1957.
Pavenham Bury must date back many centuries, for "bury" meant "fort" or "encampment" in Anglo Saxon times. But little is known about it till centuries later. However, by working back from the BRAYS, who apparently owned the Bury in the 16th century and whose manor house was called the Berrystead, we are convinced that at the time of the Hundred Rolls (1278) the owner was John d'Abernon, not a de Pabenham, as might have been expected. Much later this estate came to be known as Bray's, later still as Bury Manor. About 1570 the Brays sold it to the Vauxes of Harrowden, near Wellingborough, who already owned Cheneys, another Pavenham Manor.
In 1649 Edward Lord Vaux sold his Pavenham property to John Alston, the brother of Sir William Alston, who bought three other Pavenham manors and incorporated them with Stevington Manor. After about a century at the Bury the Alstons sold it to the representatives of Mrs. Winstanly (deceased) by Francis Green, a timber merchant of Bedford. Dying in 1840, he left it to his nephew, Thomas Abbott Green, the father of the late Harry Green, of Felmersham. He transformed it into an "Elizabethan" mansion and then in 1850, sold it to Mr. Harvey, a Cornish gentleman. IN 1853, the latter do it to the late Mr. Tucker. In or about 1919 Mr. Tucker's grandson sold it to Sir George Lawson Johnston, later created Lord Luke. He added several rooms, but migrated to Odell, where he had bought the estate of Mr. Crewe Alston. During the war the Bury was occupied by American officers, then let to Sir Percy Laurie, Lord Luke's brother-in-law. After Sir Percy left a few years ago it was never occupied again. Owing to rising costs all round it became impossible to 'run'. Moreover, modern maids could not be got. So the mansion remained unlet and began to disintegrate. Of the remainder of the old house the most notable part is the Court Room, which according to Professor Richardson, is 'pure Queen Anne". It is called the Court Room because Mr. Tucker, when getting old and feeble used it when his turn came to hold Petty Sessions here, instead of at Bletsoe Falcon (later Sharnbrook).
The Life story of a Village by Rachel Marchbank. Published 1993.
The Pavenham Alstons, though less flamboyant than some of their Odell kinsmen, exercised a much closer influence on the village. It is not known when John Alston, after acquiring Cheynes and Braes Manor, actually moved from Hinwick Hall to the Berrystead Manor House. He had seven children and by the time one of the girls was married in 1661 he was described in the registers as 'of Pavenham', although he did not pay hearth tax there until 1671. It seems likely that he and his wife Dorothy were living at the Berrystead in their later life as Dorothy, who died in 1687, (this should be 1668) was buried at Pavenham. John died, in 1687 at the age of 77. Certainly William, John's son and heir, lived in Pavenham, but he died, according to an inscription on a Pavenham gravestone, in 1713 when his children were all very young. His widow Elizabeth, creating one of those complicated cross references in the Alston family tree, then married the Reverend Vere John Alston of Odell, he who fell from his horse in Sharnbrook Field. He, though, acted only as a trustee until the children came of age and another William inherited his father's manors. By this time, the lordships of the manors were beginning to be considered separately from the real estate which roughly coincided with them. It was the real estate that mattered to the families concerned and the Alstons, throughout their many generations had, whenever the opportunity arose, acquired additional freehold land to add to their possessions. William came of age in 1734, but enjoyed his inheritance for only two years. His wife died soon afterwards in 1741, when the estate, a consolidated holding based on the old Cheynes and Brays Manors, with Berrystead house as its focal point, was shared by William's two sisters, Mary and Frances. (Mary's husband was the same Reverend John Lord who inherited the personal estate of the Reverend Vere John Alston of the Odell side of the family, thus further complicating the family relationships.) The two sisters, or rather their husbands, who each under the law, of the time automatically acquired his wife's property, eventually sold their two halves of the estate in 1745, at an interval of only a month, to John Franklyn, an ex-mariner and one-time master of HMS Solebay. The later generations of the Alstons had by the end of their time in Pavenham very much assumed the mantle of 'squires' of the village, a term that had come into common use during the sixteenth century. Once it had been used only to describe the young men who attended knights, but the meaning had changed. It was now applied to those well-found gentlemen who were acquiring sizeable estates and who could, although not members of the aristocracy, prove their right to heraldic arms. The village looked to the Alstons as their squires and certainly they produced one or two characters who well filled the role of the traditional hard-riding, hard-drinking squire of eighteenth century literature. In his highly personal and idiosyncratic little booklet (A New Old Time Pavenham) published in the early nineteen eighties, Mr. I. H. Poole makes mention of a Squire Alston who 'used his twelve bore on the skittles' at the George and Dragon public house. Interestingly too, he refers, not to the Bury, but to Hill Farm, once Manor Farm on the site of the original Cheynes manor house, as
the home of the Alstons'. The little kingdom over which the Alstons ruled was a pleasant enough place. The open field system still operated. The water mill served the village and there were even one or two experiments with windmills on the high ground in the north of the village. However, they tended to catch alight due to friction and did not survive. The old quarry (close to the present-day playing field) had in the eleventh century produced stone to build St Mary's Church in Bedford. It now sent stone downstream on the river to the village of Milton Ernest and provided Pavenham itself with the limestone which gives the houses their characteristic charm. Village craftsmen, such as masons, carvers and stone-cutters were, according to records for 1699, locally employed to process the rough products of the quarry. There were also a gravel pit and lime kiln near the quarry. Animals drank from several ponds, long since filled in, located here and there in the fields, and in the river there was an abundance of fish. Two pretty dovehouses (later demolished at Hill Farm and Home Farm) provided a little extra food for the pot. Yet amid this apparent plenty there was poverty, privation and ignorance.
Buried 1687 Bishops Transcripts
John Alston Esq August 15 (date difficult to read)
IOHANNI ALSTON ARMIGERICUJUSRELQUIFF
John Alston Esquire Whose Remains (reliquie)
HIC SUNT DEPOSITAE IN SPEM FELICAE
Here Are Deposited The Hope Happy
OBIJT 13 AUGUSTI 1687
Died 13 August 1687
AETATIS SUAE 77
Age His 77
Ref: P Daniel 2013
Johnn Alston Barrister-at-Law, of the Inner Temple, and of Pavenham, Bedfordshire married on the 4th January, 1634, at Odell Dorothy, daughter of Sir John Temple, Knt., of Stanton, Bucks., Bedfordshire, said to be a descendant of Leofric, Earl of Chester, and his wife, Lady Godiva.
Alstoniana Table 20. Pg. 19
John lived for a time in the 1640-50's at Hinwick Hall North of Odell.
Hinwick Hall was sold in 1638 to John, William and Thomas Alston for £3,900. In 1641 they sold a detached portion of this estate to Richard Child (Podington Manor), and in 1653 they parted with a further parcel to Richard Orlebar, Lord of Manors in Podington and Hinwick. The Alstons do not appear to have sold the whole estate to the Orlebars, for as late as 1765 they were declared to hold land in Podington but in 1671 Richard Orlebar held what is described as Hinwick Hall History of the County of Bedford
Ref: M Terbrack
Joseph Tucker Burton Alexander estate deeds (Pavenham Bury)
Pavenham Manors. There were originally three manors in Pavenham. By the 18th century, the manors owned by the Odell Asltons were known as the manor of Pavenham and a moiety of the manor of Gloucester Fee [X29/15, 17, BS1161]. The Pavenham branch of the Alstons owned the manors of Bury, Hall and Gloucester Fee [F179-80, 226, AL1-13]. The appearance of an additional manor is difficult to explain; in 1649 Edward Vaux conveyed to John Alston, then of Hinwick Hall, Podington, the manor of Pavenham als. Cheynes, Brays Manor in Pavenham, a capital mansion house or manor house called the Berrystead, 7 closes, 21 acres of meadow and 39 acres of arable occupied with the Berrystead, together with cottages and lands in Pavenham, Oakley, Milton Ernest, Stevington, Odell, Clapham, Felmersham and Radwell [GA1648]. The manor of Gloucester Fee can be identified with certainty with the manor of Brays, since a survey of the estate c.1766 (L26/657) refers to "two manors and a moiety of a manor." This must have been Gloucester Fee since the Odell Alstons claimed the other moiety of Gloucester Fee. The Bury manor, from its name, would probably have been originally part of the principal manor of Pavenham; while the Odell Alstons claimed the title "Manor of Pavenham" for their moiety of Pavenham I, the Pavenham Alstons presumably dropped the earlier name Cheynes manor in favour of Bury manor for their half, The Burystead als Pavenham Bury was probably the ancient manor house of Pavenham I. The most probable explanation of the appearance of Hall manor is that it was an offshoot of Cheynes manor. Hall Close and Little Hall Close persisted into the 19th century as field names, and before the enclosure, Hall Lane led to these fields from the main street. There may also have been some connection with the messuage called Gill Green which occupies a prominent position in 18th century conveyances. William Alston of Pavenham (see pedigree) died on 23rd April, 1736; he bequeathed his estate to his wife Ann for life, it was to be sold after her death, and the proceeds divided between Mary of the Revd. John Lord, and Frances, wife of Nehemiah Brandreth, the two sisters of William Alston. Ann Alston died in September 1741. (F 179) In 1745 both moieties were conveyed to John Franklyn, "formerly master of HMS Solebay, now St. Martin in the Field, gent." (F226). On the death of John Franklyn (1748) the estate passed to his brother Joseph, d. 1762, whose widow, Joan Franklyn, d.1767, devised it to trustees to sell (AL6). In March, 1768, the estate was conveyed to Richard Sutton. The ''Particular of Burry Estate at Pavenham'' (L26/657) was probably made prior to this sale; in 1766 it was valued at £6,500 (L26/673). Richard Sutton sold it to Thomas Clark in 1778 (AL6), and its subsequent history can be traced through the documents in this collection, and the sale cataloques of 1909 -10 (X251/4, X65/70, SH229/21) and of 1919 (X67/ 413).
Bedfordshire Record Office
THE HISTORY OF St PETER'S CHURCH PAVENHAM
A Brief History written by Peter Daniel
. . . . . Above the canopy of the sedilia are the arms of de Pabenham. In the same wall there are two other shields, the one combining the heraldic shields of Alston and Temple and the other the shields of Alston and Brooke. Sir William Alston had purchased the Pavenham Manor from John Tyringham in 1638 but died unmarried in the same year. His mother, Frances Alston, had remarried after her husband's death and inherited the estate as Dame Frances Temple. The Brooke connection with the Alston family was Thomasin Brooke who married William Alston, the son of Dorothy and John Alston. Thomasin Brooke died in 1669 when only twenty five years old.
By 1650 the Odell branch of the Alston family had acquired all the manors that had previously existed in Pavenham and unified them into a single estate, thereby, effectively becoming owners of the entire village. Members of the Alston family occupied Hinwick Hall and Odell Castle as well as Berrystead Manor House in Pavenham which was later abbreviated to The Bury. There are memorials to several members of the Alston family in the north chapel of St. Peter's. These include Dorothy, the wife of John Alston who died in 1668, John Alston who died in 1687, a William Alston who died in 1713 and another John Alston who died in 1718.
Death day very hard to read in Bishops Transcripts original Register entry missing on IGI film. Could be 15 or 16 transcription of illegible section of the leger stone in the floor of St Peters Pavenham by Peter Daniel above suggests 13
John married Dorothy TEMPLE  [MRIN: 1042], daughter of Sir John TEMPLE of Biddlesden BKM  and Dorothy LEE , on 4 Jan 1634/35 in Odell BDF. (Dorothy TEMPLE  was christened on 17 Oct 1616 in Stow BKM, died on 4 Dec 1668 in Pavenham BDF and was buried on 5 Dec 1668 in Pavenham BDF.)