John Alston
(Cir 1430-)
William Alston
(Cir 1485-1563/1564)


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William Alston

  • Born: Cir 1485, Newton, County Suffolk, England
  • Marriage (1): Unknown
  • Died: 1563-1564, Newton, County Suffolk, England about age 78

  General Notes:

William Alston, also of Newton, who was a prosperous landowner, resident upon and cultivating his own estate which was of respectable dimensions.

There is some doubt as to the number of times William was married. In the pedigree registered by one of his great great grandsons, William Alston of Odell at the Heralds Visitation of Bedfordshire in 1634 his wife is said to have been (Ann), the daughter of (Thomas) Simonds, and her arms are given as "Azure a chevron inter 3 trefoiles slipped d'or") The inclusion of the Christian names within brackets indicates some uncertainty about them, and that about the name Ann is strengthened by the patriarchs mention in his will of his "wyfe Elizabethe" without any reference to a previous marriage. It is not unusual for a trifling vagueness to exist about great great grandparents surnames, to say nothing of their Christian names, and it may not have occured to the Odell family to verify their pedigree by reference to their ancestor's will, even if facilities for doing so were then allowed. On consideration I have decided to regard Ann as a misnomer, and William to have had only one wife-Elizabeth Simonds. This view is supported by Elizabeth's will, to which her son Edward was executor.

William Alston died in the winter of 1563-4, his burial being recorded in the Newton registers as having taken place on the 30th January. Husband and wife were not long divided by death, for although no entry of her burial has been found, her will in which she describes herself as widow is dated 14th May, 1564-5, and was proved on the 30th of the following month (June), in the Archdeaconry of Sudbury. William Alston's will is dated 18th October, 1563, being made probably at the beginning of the illness which terminated fatally.

It was proved on the 23rd October, 1567, in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, and is notable as being the earliest Alston will among the testamentary archives of that Court now in the safe keeping of Somerset House.

The will begins with the usual pious formulary of the commendation of the testators soul to God and his "bodye to therthe" accompanied by the bequest of certain benefactions to be bestowed "amongeste the poore" at his funeral. Then follow the various dispositions of his estate among his wife and children. He had issue three sons and two daughters, of whom at least two sons and the daughters were living at his decease.

Source: Cresswell, Lionel (1905) Stemmata Alstoniana, Table 1.

William married.

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