Aston, name of several English Catholics of prominence.—SIR ARTHUR, member of an ancient and knightly family, an able military officer in the army of Charles I, governor of Oxford for the king, and made governor of Drogheda (Ireland) in 1649. He was killed September 10, 1649, at the siege of that town by the forces of Oliver Cromwell; his brains were dashed out with his wooden leg during the massacre that followed the capture (D. Murphy, Cromwell in Ireland, Dublin, 1897, p. 99).—HERBERT, an English poet, b. at Chelsea, 1614, third son of Walter, first Lord Aston of Forfar, whom he accompanied to Madrid on his second embassy in 1635, author of “Tixall Poetry, Collected by the Hon. Herbert Aston, 1658” (ed. with notes and illustrations by Arthur Clifford, Esq., Edinburgh, 1813, 4to).—WALTER, father of the preceding and son of Sir Edward Aston, of Tixall in Staffordshire, educated under the direction of Sir Edward Coke, sent as one of the two ambassadors to Spain (1619) to negotiate a marriage treaty between Charles (I), Prince of Wales, and the Infanta, daughter of Philip III. He became a convert to the Catholic Faith on this occasion, and on his return to England was made Lord of Forfar (Scotland). He had a decided taste for literature, and was the patron of Drayton, who dedicated to him (1598) his “Black Prince”, and in his “Polyolbion” praises the Aston’s “ancient seat” of Tixall.—WILLIAM, b. April 22, 1735, educated at St.-Omer, entered the Society of Jesus in 1751, and taught for several years in the Society’s colleges of St.-Omer, Watten, and Bruges, until the suppression in 1773; d. at Liege, March 15, 1800, as canon of the cathedral. Among his writings are “Lettres Ultramontaines” and “Le Cosmopolite”.
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