The Kings Candlesticks - Family Trees
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Capt Thomas ALSTON [4036]
Elizabeth RAYNSFORD [4038]
Jeremiah MILLES of Sawbridgeworth. [4086]
Rose GARDINER [15908]
Rowland ALSTON of Pishobury HRT [4042]
Rose MILLES [4085]

Sir Francis Beilby ALSTON K.C.M.G. J.P. [4091]


Family Links

1. Lady Emily Louisa Caroline TAYLOR [4097]

Sir Francis Beilby ALSTON K.C.M.G. J.P. [4091]

  • Born: 29 Nov 1820, Marylebone London MDX
  • Baptised: 6 Dec 1820, St Marylebone Westminster LND
  • Marriage (1): Lady Emily Louisa Caroline TAYLOR [4097] in 1862
  • Died: 24 Aug 1905, St George Hanover Sq aged 84
  • Buried: 28 Aug 1906, Brompton Cemetery LND

bullet  General Notes:

Francis Beilby Alston
Record Type: Baptism
Baptism Date: 6 Dec 1820
Baptism Place: St Marylebone, Westminster, England
Father: Rowland Alston
Mother: Rose Alston
Register Type: Parish Registers.

9 Sep 1821 (Received into the Church) Sawbridgeworth HRT

Alston Francis Beilby, Foreign Office, 3rd., son late M.P. for Herts.
Ref: Eton School Lists. NZSOG.

ALSTON, K.C.M.G. Creat. 1886.
SIR FRANCIS BEILBY ALSTON, son of the late; Rowland Alston, Esq., 3rd Guards, M.P. for Herts (who was 2nd son of Thomas Alston Esq., of Odell Castle, and Harrold Hall, Beds), by Rose, eldest dau. and heiress of the late Jeremiah Milles, Esq., by Rose, dau. and sole heiress of Edward Gardiner Esq. of Pishobury, Herts. Born in London 29 Nov. 1820; mar.1862, Emily Louisa Caroline, eldest dau. of Bridges Taylor, Esq., late H.M.'s Consul for Denmark (who was son of Edward Taylor, Esq., of Bifrons Kent, M.P. for Canterbury and nephew of Lieut-Gen. Sir Herbert Taylor, G.C.B and G.C.H. private sec. to King George III., George IV. and William IV). Educated at Eton;entered the Foreign Office in 1839, and has been Chief Clerk since 1866 : Residence 69 Eccleston Square, S.W.

England Return of Owners of Land 1873. London .
Alston Francis B. Eccleston Sq SW. 139a 2r 6p gross estimated rental value. L182/10s/0.

England Return of Owners of Land 1873. Hertfordshire.
Alston F.B. Sawbridgeworth 36a 2r 38p gross estimated rental value. L110/0s/0.

Essex Record Office
Level: Category Miscellaneous
Reference Code D/DU 838/28
Dates of Creation 7 Sept 1885
Scope and Content Conveyance for L175 (i) Walter Barritt, as in 838/23; (ii) Sir William Neville Abdy of Albyns, [Romford] bart; (iii) James Crofts Ingram of Ades Chailey (co. Sussex) and Cartmell Harrison of 67 Lincolns Inn Fields (co Middx) esqs. Property as in 838/27 Recites: (a) Settlement of property (unspecified), 22 June, 1869, between (i) Sir Thomas Neville Abdy, abrt and William Nefille Abdy, esq.; (ii) said Sir Thomas Neville Abdy, (iii) James Ingram; (iv) Francis Beilby Alston and said James Ingram, to form a trust; (b) death of Sir Thomas Neville Abdy, 20 July 1877, and of Dame Hariot Abdym 8 July 1877; (c) death of Henry William Birch, 8 April 1878; (d) appointment of Cartmell Harrison as trustee in place of Henry William Birch;(e) instruction of Sir William Neville Abdy t trustees to pay capital sum of L175 Marginal plan of property

Kingston Museum and Heritage Service:
Catalogue Ref. KT
Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames
[Access Conditions]
Unless otherwise stated, the records are subject to a 30 year closure.
FILE - Abstract of title of The British Land Company Ltd to land at Norbiton - ref. KT2/12 - date: 1897
[from Scope and Content] Sept 1873 Lewis P Pugh mortgage L12,000, to Francis Beil by Alston and Hon Rbt Henry Meade both of Middx.
[from Scope and Content] 1 Sir F B Alston & Rbt Hy Meade

London University, School of Oriental and African Studies Library:
Sir Charles Stewart Addis
Catalogue Ref. PP MS 14
Addis, Sir, Charles Stewart, 1861-1945, knight
[Access Conditions]
FILE [no title] - ref. PP MS 14/381 - date: 1916, 1917
[from Scope and Content] Letters from Robert Grey of the diplomatic service in Lisbon on relations between Portugal and Germany, Japanese affairs, the appointment of Sir Francis Beilby Alston as Chargé d'Affaires in Peking, his own return to Egypt, personal matters and mutual friends
Ref A2A

K.C.M.G.(1820-1905): Senior Clerk, Russian Department, Foreign Office, 1857-1859;
Senior Clerk, Asiatic and U.S.A. Department, Foreign
Office, 1859-1866; Chief, Clerk, Foreign Office,

Sir Francis was buried at Brompton cemetery after a service at St Johns Church Wilton Rd London.

Document typeGrave purchases
Francis Beilby Alston
Purchase date25 Jan 1866
PlaceBrompton Middlesex
Burial number(s)41666, 43041
Plan number43041
Burial book number41666
Piece descriptionBrompton Cemetery Grant Receipt Book No. 3: Burial Book references 39816-59903; Burial Record references 41106-61493
Records year range1865-1871
Archive referenceWORK 97/61
The National Archives

Francis Beilby Alston
Birth Date: 29 Nov 1820
Birth Place: Marylebone, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
Death Date: 24 Aug 1905
Death Place: Greater London, England
Cemetery: Brompton Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place: West Brompton, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Greater London, England

Sir Francis Alston
Birth year 1821
Burial date 28 Aug 1906
Place Brompton
Age 85 Residence 67 Eccleston Square Pimlico County Middlesex
Document type Burials Burial number(s) 167889, 166141 Print number 166141
Burial register number 167889
Piece description Brompton Cemetery burial book no. 559, references 165994-166293
Records year range 1906-1906
Archive reference WORK 97/767
Record set Middlesex, Brompton Cemetery Records

bullet  Research Notes:

ALSTON, Sir Francis Beilby (1820-1905) [Who Was Who May 2003]
Categories: Biography
Summary: Details: ALSTON, Sir Francis Beilby, KCMG 1886; JP; born 29 November 1820; married 1862, Emily Louisa Caroline, daughter of Bridges Taylor. Education: Eton. Work: Entered Foreign Office, 1839; Senior Clerk, 1857; Chief Clerk, 1866-1890; retired, 1890. Address: 69 Eccleston Square, London SW. Clubs: Travellers'. Died: 24 August 1905

Nottinghamshire Archives: Savile of Rufford:
Savile of Rufford: Deeds and Estate Papers
Catalogue Ref. 157 DD/SR
Savile family of Rufford, Nottinghamshire
[Access Conditions]
Accessible to all holders of a reader's ticket.

FILE [no title] - ref. DD/SR/226/15 - date: 1847 - 1880
item: [no title] - ref. DD/SR/226/15/141 - date: 1876
[from Scope and Content] Letter, FW Alston?, London, to JSL

FILE [no title] - ref. DD/SR/226/16 - date: 1852 - 1883
item: [no title] - ref. DD/SR/226/16/22 - date: 1856
[from Scope and Content] FB Alston, London, letter, to JSL
item: [no title] - ref. DD/SR/226/16/23 - date: 1856
[from Scope and Content] Letter, FB Alston, London, letter, to JSL

FILE [no title] - ref. DD/SR/226/22 - date: 1855 - 1888
item: [no title] - ref. DD/SR/226/22/35 - date: 1887
[from Scope and Content] Letter, Alston, to JSL

FILE [no title] - ref. DD/SR/226/23 - date: 1818 - 1887
item: [no title] - ref. DD/SR/226/23/41 - date: 1884
[from Scope and Content] Draft letter, JSL, Rome to Alston

FILE [no title] - ref. DD/SR/226/24/141-183 [n.d.]
item: [no title] - ref. DD/SR/226/172 - date: 1868
[from Scope and Content] Letter, Alston, Foreign Office, to JSL
Ref A2A

The British Library hold an extensive archive of Sir Francis's correspondance

Diplomatic corresp of Sir BF Alston (1868-1929)
Repository The National Archives Record Reference FO 800/244-48 Scope 1894-1896:

Image courtesy of G Reed 2005.


bullet  Other Records

1. Census: England, 30 Mar 1851, 45 Harley St St Marylebone MDX. Francis is described as a so unmarried aged 50* clerk in the foreign office born Marylebone MDX
* Francis's aged has been incorrectly entered by the enumerator it should be 30

2. Census: England, 2 Apr 1871, Eccleston Sq St George Hanover Sq LND. Francis is recorded as head of house married aged 50 Chief Clerk Foreign Office born Marylebone MDX

3. Census: England, 3 Apr 1881, 69 Eccleston Sq MDX. Francis is recorded as head of house married aged 60 chief clerk Foreign Office born Marylebone

4. Census: England, 5 Apr 1891, 69 Eccleston Sq St George Hanover Sq LND. Francis is recorded as head of house married aged 70 retired Government official KCMG JP born Marylebone MDX. Also in the house were 5 servants

5. Francis Beilby Alston KCMG JP: Various Images.

6. Francis Beilby Alston KCMG JP: His retirement after 50yrs at the Foreign Office (Clippings), 1890.
Alston Sir Francis Beilby K.C.M.G.
was a Supernumerary Clerk in the Foreign. Office, from December 15, 1839, till January 5, 18??, when he was appointed to a Clerkship. Was some time in the Hertfordshire Militia. Succeeded to a Senior Clerkship, April 1, 1857. Was promoted to be Chief Clerk in the Foreign Office, December 1, 1866. Received a compensation allowance, December 1, 1870, on the abolition of Foreign Office Agencies. Was made a K.C.M.G., August 6, 1886. Retired on a pension, December 1, 1890. Is a Justice of the Peace for Middlesex.

Tuesday January 7th 1890.
It was the distinction of Sir Francis Beilby Alston K.C.M.G. of the Foreign Office, to complete on Sunday his fiftieth year in the public service, and in honour of the event Sir Philip Currie K.C.B., permanent head of the department, gave a dinner at his private residence. Sir Francis Alston, the guest of the evening, actually entered the Foreign Office on Dec 15th 1839, but it was only as a supernumerary; whereas on Jan 5th 1840, he was appointed to a clerkship. He succeeded to a senior clerkship in 1857, and was promoted to be chief clerk on Dec 1st 1866. Sir Philip Currie's guests included Sir Percy Anderson, K.C.M.G., Sir Spencer Ponsonby Fane, K.C.B., the Hon Eric Barrington, C.B. Mr Freeman Mitford, C.B., the Hon Francis L Bertie, Mr Cockerell, Mr Newman, the Hon Francis H Villiers, Mr H S Clark Jervoise, Mr H A W Hervey, Mr Newman, of the Chief Clerks Department, and many others. Unfortunately several members of the Foreign Office were unable to be present in consequence of their being incapacitated by the prevailing epidemic1.
1. The World was at this time in the grip of a influenza pandemic which killed more than 1 million citizens,
it was called the Russian Flu. See
As the researcher writes this in Aug 2020 the World is again racked by a pandemic, Covid-19 Flu which at this point has killed at least 848,000 persons.

21 Nov 1890
By the retirement of Sir Francis Alston from the Chief Clerkship of the Foreign Office that Dept loses the last but one of the old school of officials who were brought up in the traditions of Canning and Castlereagh and who actually served under Palmerston in his prime, under the Duke of Wellington and under "the traveled Thane, Athenian Aberdeen"
Sir Francis Alston was in the Foreign Office when Lord Granville then Viscount Leveson made his first essay in official life as Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs and he was there in 1886 when Lord Granville in effect made way for Lord Rosebery. He was a tolerably mature official when Lord Stanley of Bickerstaffe began his connection with Foreign Affairs in 1862.
He has been Chief Clerk of the Department since 1866 a period which in itself qualifies most men for a pension and when he got that appointment he was the senior Clerk in the office and had about 26 years service. He has served in the Foreign Office overall for over 50 years and is said to have seen 20 changes in the office of Secretary of State. . . . .
The post is one of those dignified, if somewhat obscure ones (that is obscure to the general public) of which there are not a few still in the Public Service. The holder exercises great power and influence in fact although his name may never be known outside narrow official circles. The salary is L1250 per annum with all but absolute independence. The Chief Clerk is the head of a Department which stands alone in the Office. He has under him a considerable staff of clerks who do not hold quite the same position as the ordinary Foreign Office clerks, but like those in the Treaty Department and Library are promoted amongst themselves. He has charge of what may be called the business arrangements of the office and of the Diplomatic and Consular Services, checks all the accounts, looks after the estimates, makes out commissions and formal appointments in the services, grants exequaturs to Foreign Consuls, issues passports, pays salaries, settles questions of pensions, and has charge of the arrangements - most complicated they are too - connected with the issue of keys of the despatch boxes to Cabinet Ministers and high Parliamentary officials. Cabinet Ministers keys by the way are called No1 and open all boxes; the others are No 2 and will open only certain boxes but not the Cabinet boxes. I believe he is the only Official in the Foreign Office who is allowed to correspond directly with diplomats and consular officials abroad, and as he holds the purse and checks the accounts he can make things very unpleasant, especially for the diplomatist ho is in the habit of traveling en grand seigneur. The young aspirant after official fame about to go abroad was always advised to see the chief clerk after the interview with the Under Secretary was over, and very kind and encouraging Sir Francis always was.
In an other way Sir Francis Alston was the last (again excepting Sir Edward Herslett) of the old school. He has been in the enjoyment of a compensation allowance of nearly L800 per annum since 1870 in consequence of the peremptory abolition by Lord Clarendon of the Foreign Office agency system. This had existed probably for 150 years. The salaries of all diplomatic and consular officials were and with a few exceptions still are paid in London and under this system clerks in the Foreign Office became agents for their colleagues abroad, receiving their salaries, making and sending out purchases from this country, and accounting periodically to their principals and receiving in return a commission. Every man who served the Foreign Office abroad whether as Ambassador in Paris or Vice Consul in Fernando Po, had his agent in the Office, who attended to his private business for reward, and did the work which Messrs Cox & Co. and other army agents do for officers in the army. As in the Diplomatic Service there have always been numbers of men with large private means, the money left in the hands of the Foreign Clerks was sometimes enormous and the business gradually assumed a gigantic scale as the services grew with the growth of British political and commercial interests.
Its friends say the system created a pleasant entente cordiale between the Foreign Office at home and its servants abroad; its enemies declare it was attended with frightful abuse and injustice. Nominally every man was free to appoint any agent he pleased; in fact it is said, if he did not appoint a Foreign Office clerk, or he did not leave a substantial balance in the that clerk's hand, he was made to feel it in a thousand ways.
In the days when the agency flourished a Queens Foreign Service messenger went from capital to capital laden like the van of a cooperative store. To the Ambassador he carried suits of clothes from Bond St (Lord Cowley when at Paris it was said received a suit of tweed and one of broad cloth every month), to his lad bonnets and dresses, and so on down to the attach who perhaps got a pair of boots or the last new novel, all sent out by the "agents" in the Office, and conveyed at public expense by a gentleman who was supposed to carry nothing but the official dispatches. All passed the foreign customs . . . . . and so it happened that hams went to Teheran, dogs to Constantinople . . . . . as her Gracious Majesty's correspondence.
But the good old days are gone - the days of Sir Francis Alston's youth and prime . . . . .

Francis is reported to have retired on a pension of £800 yearly, his salary at his retirement was reported as £1250 pa.


Francis married Lady Emily Louisa Caroline TAYLOR [4097] [MRIN: 1413], daughter of Bridges TAYLOR Esq [4098] and Baroness Emily Alice HALKETT [6783], in 1862. (Lady Emily Louisa Caroline TAYLOR [4097] was born on 12 Jul 1842, died on 25 Nov 1907 and was buried on 28 Nov 1907 in Brompton Cemetery LND.)

bullet  Marriage Notes:

A marriage date of 24 Dec 1895 given by ? is incorrect

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