ALSTON, Thomas (?1724-74), of Odell, Beds.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1747 - 1761

Family and Education

b. ?1724, 1st s. of Sir Rowland Alston, 4th Bt.. educ. Westminster Jan. 1736, aged 11; Queens’, Camb. 1740. m. 30 Aug. 1750 (with £40,000), Catherine Davies, da. and h. of Rev. Thomas Davies Bovey of Longstowe, Cambs., from whom he separated soon after marriage, s.p. legit. suc. fa. as 5th Bt. 2 Jan. 1759.

Offices Held

Ensign 1 Ft. Gds. 1741, lt. and capt. 1743-5.


After serving in the army Thomas Alston was returned unopposed as a Whig for the county in 1747 as a government supporter. The 2nd Lord Egmont’s electoral survey c. 1749-50 notes on Bedfordshire: ‘Thomas Alston to continue — not an improper man’. He appears to have suffered from fits of insanity. In August 1752 he was confined in Duffield’s madhouse upon ‘very strong affidavits of absurdities he had been guilty of’. He himself insisted that ‘he had been greatly heated of late by drinking, and ... that any extravagancies he might have been guilty of, were owing to that, and to that only’, summoning ‘everybody he knew in town to come and declare his being in his right senses’. He was released on expressing willingness to undergo treatment;1 but on 15 Nov. 1753 Richard Rigby reported to the Duke of Bedford: ‘I hear among friends he has been in a bad way again lately’.2 He died 18 July 1774.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: R. S. Lea


  • 1. R. Rigby and R. N. Aldworth to Bedford, 22 Aug. 1752, Bedford mss.
  • 2. Bedford Corresp. ii. 138.