Harrold History - Anne Alston

Anne Alston

When Richard Mead married his second wife, Anne Alston, he widened his connections with some of the most important aristocratic families of the period.

His wife, Anne, was the daughter of Sir Rowland Alston of Odell and Temperance Crew of Stean Park in Northamptonshire. She was baptised on 28th December 1689 in Odell and was one of eleven children (click here to see the direct ancestors of Anne ). No doubt Richard Mead met her when attending her parents, either socially or professionally. Anne and Richard were married on 14th August 1724 in Odell.

Sir Rowland’s family had owned Odell Castle and Manor for many years. His father, Thomas Alston, was created a baronet in 1642 and was the brother of Edward, a knight; William, the Keeper of the Briefs of Kings and John of Pavenham. Sir Rowland’s mother, Elizabeth St. John, was the daughter of Rowland St. John of Bletsoe Castle.

Temperance Crew, Anne’s mother, was the daughter of Thomas Crew and Mary Townshend, who came from Norfolk. Temperance had a sister, Anne, who married James Joliffe of Staffordshire. (click here to see the family tree showing these connections)

After Sir Rowland Alston died in1698, Temperance Crew married Sir John Wolstenholme of Forty Hall, Enfield. He had thirteen children from a previous marriage and, in order to accommodate her huge family of twenty four children ( eleven of hers and his thirteen),Temperance built Odell Castle on the site of the keep of the ancient castle. As Lady Wolstenholme, Temperance gave plate and a crimson altar cloth to Harrold Church.

Thomas Crew, Temperance’s father, married a second time after the death of his first wife, and had a daughter, Jemima, who married the Duke of Kent in 1697 and they lived at Wrest Park.

With the help of the family tree and this information it is possible to see clearly the relationship between Anne Joliffe and Anne Mead. In 1714 William Farrar “alienated a messuage and land “ in Harrold to Mrs. Anne Joliffe and when she died in 1732 her estates passed to her niece, Anne Mead. Included in the estate was Harrold Hall, which was visited often by Richard Mead and his wife when they were not in London. After Richard’s death in 1753, Anne continued to live at the Hall until her death in1763. She was buried within St Peter’s Church in1763 (entered in the parish records as a “relict” of Dr. Mead ).

There are two known portraits of her, one by Allan Ramsay and the other by Sir Godfrey Kneller. The present whereabouts of these portraits is unknown (if anyone does know where these may be in either public galleries or in private collections we should be delighted to hear from you).

See also:
Anne Alston pedigree
Pages relating to Richard Mead and Harrold Hall