Edward Anstee (ED 10)

See ‘Anstey: A Complete History From the Norman Invasion to World War One‘ for much more on the Edlesborough Anstees. In addition to biographies of various Anstey individuals who make up this sub-branch, the book contains a plethora of Anstey research and statistics, including an analysis of how the Edlesborough Anstees fit into the pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anesti, the 12th century originator of the ‘Anstey’ surname.

ED 10. Edward Anstee: He was born in 1812 in Edlesborough to father Mathew Anstee (ED 6). He married Mary Cuthbert in 1850 in Marylebone, London (they had no children) and he was a butcher at Titchfield Street, Marylebone in the 1851 Census. In February 1866 “Samuel Carter labourer was charged with having on the 18th of November stolen a carpenter’s plane of the value of 25s, the property of Mr. Edward Anstee. Mr. Edward Anstee: I live at Marshalls Wick Farm. The plane now produced is my property. The prisoner had been in my service. He left the 18th…Mr Anstee recommended the prisoner to mercy on account of his family“. He was still living at Marshalls Wick Farm, Sandridge near St Albans in the 1871 Census.

On 22 August 1880 he was murdered at his home, the ‘Belfast Telegraph‘ reporting that “SHOCKING MURDER IN ENGLAND: About two o clock yesterday morning, Mr Edward Anstee of Marshallswick Farm near St Albans, was shot dead by a man who knocked at the door and on his opening the bedroom window deliberately fired and blew out his brains. A Mrs Lindsay who was staying in the house locked herself in her room and the murderer ransacked the house, escaping with some booty, but how much is yet unknown. On the arrival of the cowman in the morning, traces of blood were found outside. Mrs Anstee was away from home on a visit. Three men have been arrested on suspicion, all members of a family named Wheeler. The shirt and trousers of one of them was stained with what is supposed to be blood. The property stolen has been discovered hidden in a field near the house. Some property stolen from the house of Mr Reynolds, a neighbouring farmer, was found at the house of the prisoners. The murderers it appears entered the house by the bedroom window and covered the body with the bedclothes“).

Other reports add that “Anstee, Edward (68): Farmer of Marshalswick Farm, Sandridge: Murdered on the morning of 22nd August, 1880. He had farmed at Marshalswick, a farm of nearly 300 acres, for 20 years, and had previously been a butcher in London. In his younger days he had played cricket at Lord’s Ground, and had taken a interest in the game, and had been planning to watch a game on Bernards Heath” and “Anstee, Mary (64): Wife of Edward Anstee, the murder victim: She was staying with friends when the murder occurred: She identified a syringe stolen from the farm by the murderer.

Yet another report states “The three early-morning visitors at Marshall’s Wick Farm, Sandridge, just outside St. Albans, struck terror into the owners. As the farmer, Edward Anstee, 58, opened an upstairs window to see who was calling, he recognised the trio – all members of the notorious Wheeler family. Mr. Anstee didn’t have long to reflect on what to do. One of the men, Thomas Wheeler, 46, raised his shotgun and blasted the farmer to death. The terrified housekeeper locked herself in her bedroom as the three marauders ransacked the farm for anything of value they could find. When they had gone and the police investigated, the Wheeler family were obvious suspects. But only Thomas Wheeler stood trial at Chelmsford Assizes in November, 1880, and he was hanged on Monday, November 29th, 1880, at St. Albans Prison.

Anybody who can add anything to this account, or finds any mistakes on this page, please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

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