The Toddington Anstees

by Gary. M. Ansteychief researcher of the Anstey story project.

Toddington Anstees Overview

The Toddington Anstees of Bedfordshire are a sub-branch of the Houghton Regis Anstees, who themselves are a sub-branch of the Swanbourne Ansteys. The patriarch of the Toddington Anstees is John Anstee Junior (b 1798 in Houghton Regis).

John Anstee Junior (b 1798 Houghton Regis)

John Anstee (Junior) was baptised in February 1798 in Houghton Regis to parents John Anstee (b 1766) and Mary (see the Houghton Regis Anstee page). He married Charlotte Foll (b c1810 in Gaddington, Bedfordshire) in 1828 in Toddington and they had two children, namely:

  • William Anstee (b 1828 in Old Park Farm, Toddington- see below);
  • Mary Constance Anstee (b 1832 in Toddington – she was baptised as an adult in 1862 in Dunstable, then in 1867 she married Benjamin Bennett of Cheverells Park, Dunstable, esquire in Marylebone, London)

We know that “John Anstee Junr” was a farmer at Chalton in 1830 (see ‘The Publications of the Bedfordshire Historical Record Society‘ Volume IV page 214), presumably this was at ‘Old Park Farm’ in Chalton, Toddington where we know his son William Anstee was born. As such it is surely John Anstee Jnr who is being referred to in the ‘Northampton Mercury‘ on 15 October 1825 when a William Peat, “servant to Mr Anstee farmer [at Chalton] died suddenly in his master’s house

In the ‘Northampton Mercury‘ 02 July 1831 edition “Thomas Evans, charged with breaking into the barn of John Anstee Jun at Toddington and stealing therefrom two bushels of wheat, was acquitted

In the 1851 Census, we find John Anstee (Junior)farmer of 865 acres employing 45 men” at Lewsey, Luton, together with his wife Charlotte and daughter Mary Anstee aged 19, as well as a nephew George Eames (born 1827 in USA), nephew Thomas Foll and niece Charlotte Foll.

John Anstee (Junior) made a will in April 1869, by then of Lewsey Farm, Luton “devising all hereditaments vested in him by way of mortgage etc. to his son William Anstee of The Tithe Farm, Chalton, farmer, Benjamin Bennett of Cheverells Park, Dunstable, esquire and John Kinder of Church House, Harlington [Middlesex], esquire“. John Anstee (Junior) died on 14 August 1870 – his will was proved on 21 January 1871.

His widow Charlotte Anstee died in 1903 – the ‘Luton Times and Advertiser‘ on 6 February 1903 reporting “KENSWORTH: The Late Mrs Anstee – The Funeral: The internment of the mortal remains of the late Mrs Anstee of Kensworth House, whose death at the advanced age of 96 years we recorded last week, took place on Wednesday afternoon in the parish churchyard, a vault having been built for the purpose close to church on the south side. The chief mourners were Mr B. Bennett (son-in-law); Mr W. Anstee (The Tythe – son);…Mr W. Anstee (Bedford – grandson); Mr J. Anstee (Lewsey – grandson); Mr Arthur Anstee (The Tythe – grandson); Mr G. F. Anstee (Coedavon – grandson)…Wreath From Mr and Mrs Anstee (The Tythe) ‘Mother: In Loving Remembrance from William and Priscilla...

William Anstee (b 1828 Old Park Farm, Toddington)

We are greatly aided in the construction of the pedigree of William Anstee, the only son of John Anstee (Junior), by a 1906 obituary in the ‘Luton Times and Advertiser‘ (30 November 1906 edition), which states:

Death of Mr W. Anstee J.P. It is with much regret that we have to record the death of Mr William Anstee of the Tythe [Farm] near Leagrave…he died on Tuesday evening in the house in which he had lived for the past 40 years. Mr Anstee was 78 years of age …He was well known in Luton and the owner of considerable property in the town and neighbourhood and he will be much missed. He rather shrank from public life but was a Magistrate for the borough since its incorporation in 1876, and was for some time Alderman of the County Council. The Deceased gentleman, who was born at Old Park [Farm], Toddington, was the only son of Mr John Anstee. His only sister married Mr Benjamin Bennett of Kensworth House. Mr Wm Anstee was a considerable landowner and farmed in his early days at Lewsey and since at The Tythe, Leagrave and at Chalton. He was married three times and is survived by his widow (sister of the late Mr Richard Foll of Chalgrave Manor) and eight children, all of whom were present at the last. There are five sons: Mr J. H. Anstee (St Albans); Mr W. H. Anstee (Bedford); Mr G. F. Anstee (Bristol); Mr A. E. Anstee and Mr H. E. Anstee (solicitor). The three daughters are Mrs R. A. Bennett (Bexhill), Miss Anstee and Miss B. Anstee. The funeral takes place at Sundon Church on Monday afternoon

From this solid start, we can fill in the gaps. So William Anstee was born in 1828 at Old Park Farm, Toddington to parents John Anstee Junior and Charlotte Foll. In the 1841 Census, he was living in Chalton with his grandmother Mary Anstee (b 1776) and his aunt Susan Anstee (sister of John Anstee Junior)

In June 1856 William Anstee married Mary Elizabeth Stopp, however she died in September 1857, aged 26, by which time William Anstee was already living at Tythe Farm, Chalton. He then remarried Elizabeth Martha Howton in 1860 in Marylebone, London (this was just before William Anstee was baptised as an adult in 1861 in Sundon, Bedford), and they had children:

  • John Howton Anstee (b 1861 – see below);
  • Alice Mary Anstee (b 1863, baptised in Sundon, Bedford, married Rev R. A. Bennett, Rector of Winfield Sussex in June 1884 at Biscot in Luton, living in Bexhill in 1906)
  • William Henry Anstee (b 1865, baptised in Sundon, Bedford in 1866, married Florence Charlotte Elliot in July 1890 in Houghton Regis. They had a son Geoffrey Arthur Anstee (b 1895 Woburn, administrator to his uncle Harold Edward Anstee‘s will in 1939 – he was also an Anstey Hero). They lived on a farm in Chalton in 1894 (see Further Details #3). William Anstee attended his grandmother’s funeral in 1903; he was living in Bedford. The family lived in Bedford in 1906, and they had moved to 1 Langdale Road Hove, Sussex by the 1911 Census where William was living off independent means with two servants. He attended his brother Arthur‘s funeral in Putney in 1918. William Henry Anstee died in 1928)
  • George Frederick Anstee (b 30 December 1865, baptised in Sundon, Bedford, attended Bedford Grammar School in 1883. In 1891 he was “of Eaton Socon in Bedford” when he was executor to the will of George William Howton together with his brother John Howton Anstee – see below. He married Agnes M. Glover on 16 April 1889 at Southsea St Jude and they had two children in Eaton Socon Gladys Mary Anstee (b 1891, living with her parents in the 1911 Census) and Frederick William Arthur Anstee (b 1895, known as Arthur, living with his parents in the 1911 Census). In 1891 he was a Brewer malster spirit merchant in Eaton Socon. In 1901 he was a brewery manager at Coed Avon House, Blaenavon, Abergavenny. In 1903 he attended the funeral of his grandmother – he was living at Coedavon. In 1907 he was living at 48 St John’s Road Clifton Bristol when he received his father’s ‘Great Western Railway’ shares. In the 1911 Census George was a “company director” living with his family at Eaton House Eaton Road Sutton, Carshalton. In 1918 he attended his brother Arthur‘s funeral in Putney in 1918)

His second wife died in April 1867 so William Anstee then married Priscilla Bridget Foll (surely related to his mother Charlotte Foll) in July 1868 in Woburn, Bedfordshire and they had children:

  • Arthur Edward Anstee (b 1870, baptised in Sundon, Bedford, lived at Tythe Farm in 1894 and in the 1901 Census (a farmer’s son) and still there in 1906. In 1903 the ‘Luton Times and Advertiser’ reported “Leagrave – ACCIDENT TO MR. ANSTEE.—On Saturday evening last, Mr. Arthur Anstee, The Tythe, was walking from Leagrave station, owing the slippery state of the roads he fell, and unfortunately fractured one of his legs…” In 1907 he was living at The Tythe when he received his father’s ‘Great Western Railway’ shares and he was still living there in the 1911 Census. He married Everilda Agnes Richardson Dundas in May 1914 in Brighton – the ‘Luton Times and Advertiser‘ on 15 May 1914 reported “MARRIAGES. May 11th, at Brighton, Arthur Edward Anstee, of ‘Hazeldean’ Oakhill Road, Putney, S.W., fourth son of the late William Anstee, Esq., J.P., of The Tythe, Luton and Mrs Anstee of The Beeches Dunstable, to Everilda Agnes Richardson, second daughter of Dr and Mrs Mordaunt Dundas, Chesham Mansions Kemp Town Brighton“. They had a single child Alice B. J. Anstee (b 1915 Wandsworth). Arthur died in 1918 – the ‘Bedfordshire Times and Independent‘ on 22 February 1918 reported “TODDINGTON: It is with regret we announce the death of Mr Arthur E. Anstee on the 11th inst. the son of the late Mr William Anstee J. P. he resided at The Tythe until a few years ago when he removed to Putney being largely interested in the firm Messrs Anstee and Co Ltd corn and forage merchants of Wandsworth. He was 48 years of age and leaves a widow and daughter 2 years old. The funeral took place on Feb 5th at Putney Vale Cemetery, the mourners being Mrs Arthur Anstee (widow), Messrs H. E.; G. F.; W. H.; and J. H. Anstee (brothers); Mr S. Sangster (brother in law); Mr and Mrs E. H. Foll (cousins)…“);
  • Louisa Charlotte Susannah Anstee (b 1872, baptised in Sundon, Bedford. We cannot locate her in the 1911 Census but in 1912 she married Stanley William Bennet – the ‘London Gazette‘ on 30 July 1912 reporting “”);
  • Percy Charles Anstee (b 1873, baptised in Sundon, Bedford, died an infant);
  • Beatrice Maud Anstee (b 1875 Chalton, married Stephen Walter Sangster in 1907 in Eastbourne – the ‘Luton Reporter‘ on 7 June 1907 reporting “A good deal of local interest was taken in the marriage of Mr. Stephen Sangster and Miss Beatrice M. Anstee, which was celebrated under quiet circumstances (owing to recent death the bride’s father) at Christ Church, Eastbourne on Saturday last. The bridegroom is well known in Eastbourne where indeed the name of his lamented father (the late Dr Sangster) is still a household word and the bride, who has resided here for some time, is the daughter of the late William Anstee J.P. of the Tythe Luton …“); and
  • Harold Edward Anstee (b 1877, baptised in Sundon, Bedford, living at Tithe Farm with his parents in the 1901 Census where he was an ‘articled clerk’. He was a solicitor by the 1911 Census, still living at The Tythe. In 1918 he attended his brother Arthur‘s funeral in Putney in 1918. He married Evelyn Marjory Jones in Hampstead, London in 1929, where he died on 11 January 1939. They did not appear to have children)

In 1889 William Anstee was described as a “gentleman“. In January 1896 William Anstee was a ‘County Alderman’ of Bedfordshire County Council – he retired from this position in March 1898. In the 1901 Census the family was still living at Tithe Farm; bizarrely their surname is spelt ‘Anstie’, though this is certainly an anomaly. In 1903 William Anstee and his wife Priscilla of ‘The Tythe’ attended his mother’s funeral.

As part of the probate in 1907, William Anstee‘s shareholding in ‘Great Western Railways’ was transferred to Thomas Foll, as well as his sons John Howton Anstee, George Frederick Anstee and Arthur Edward Anstee. In the 1911 Census Priscilla Anstee (widow) was living with her sons at The Tythe.

John Howton Anstee (b 1861 Toddington)

John Howton Anstee was born in 1861 in Toddington, baptised 11 August 1861 in Sundun, to parents William Anstee and Elizabeth Martha Howton. In the 1881 Census John Howton Anstee was a “farmer’s son” living at Lewsey Farm House, Luton with his cousin Charlotte Foll. He married Annie Louisa Glover (known as Louise) in October 1883 in Sulgrave, Northamptonshire and they had children in Luton:

  • Agnes Charlotte Irene Anstee (b 3 September 1884, the ‘Bucks Herald‘ on 13 September 1884 noted “At Lewsey, Luton, on the 3rd inst., the wife of Mr. John H. Anstee, a daughter“. Known as Charlotte, she was staying with her uncle George Frederick Anstee in 1891. She was unmarried and living with the family in the 1911 Census, then later in 1911 in St Giles London she married James W. Chubb and moved to Goldsmid Sussex);
  • Gertrude Victoria Anstee (b 1888, unmarried and living with the family in the 1911 Census. She was still a spinster in 1919 when her father died. She married Charles J. Patten in 1924 in Steyning);
  • Doris Mary Anstee (b 1890, baptised 1 June 1890 in Biscot. She was unmarried and living with the family in the 1911 Census, then in 1915 in Steyning she married Victor T. Hackett);
  • Margaret Elizabeth Anstee (b 1892, baptised in Biscot on 10 April 1892 as Margery Elizabeth. She was unmarried and living with the family in the 1911 Census); and
  • John William Anstee (b 1897 – an Anstey Hero)

In the ‘Bedfordshire Mercury‘ on 26 December 1891 appears “…March 1891 by John Howton Anstee of Lewsey Farm Luton and George Frederick Anstee of Eaton Socon in Bedford…” and “John Howton Anstee and George Frederick Anstee will proceed distribute the assets of the said George William Howton amongst the parties entitled thereto having regard the claims which the said John Howton Anstee and George Frederick Anstee have then had notice…

In the 1891 and 1901 censuses they were living at Lewsey Farm, Leagrave, Luton together with a Governess and two servants.

In the ‘Luton Times and Advertiser‘ 01 February 1895 appears a letter from John Howton AnsteeBedfordshire County Council Election… Ladies and Gentlemen, The time to elect a member to represent you is near at hand. Mr J. Cumberland does not intend to seek re-election. I beg to offer myself as a Candidate and should you do me the honour of electing me I shall conscientiously endeavour to discharge the duties which will devolve on me. As a member of the Leagrave Parish Council I should be able to put before the County Council any matter affecting my own parish…as a member of the Rural Sanitary District I could support any proposal for the benefit of the District…Closely connected with Agriculture I would support anything for its advantage, which would not prejudice anything in the community at large… I respectfully ask for your Votes and Interest. I have the honour to be, Ladies and Gentlemen, Your obedient Servant, John H. Anstee, Lewsey Jan 26th 1895

In January 1896 John Howton Anstee succeeded in becoming a ‘County Councillor’ of Bedfordshire County Council – he retired from this position in March 1898. In 1903 he attended his grandmother’s funeral – he was living at Lewsey.

In June 1904 in ‘The Gazette’ appears “Notice is hereby given that the Partnership heretofore between the undersigned John Henry Sims and John Howton Anstee at 6 Whitcher Place, Rochester Road, Camden Town in the county of London under the style or firm of ANSTEE and SIMS…was on the 31st day of May 1904 dissolved by mutual consent…the said John Howton Anstee for the future will carry on the business on his own account.

In 1907 John Howton Anstee was living at Lyndhurst, Clarence Road, St Albans when he was dealing with his father William Anstee‘s will. By the 1911 Census the family were living at Green Place, the Green, Southwick, Sussex where John was a “retired farmer” – they were still there in 1916. John Howton Anstee attended his brother Arthur‘s funeral in Putney in 1918.

From 1910 onwards John Howton Anstee appeared to be on numerous Electoral Registers due to his ownership of freehold properties in various locations, particularly Green Place, Southwick, Sussex.

John Howton Anstee was living at 21 West Drive, Queens Park Brighton when he died on 16 March 1919 at 21 Wimpole Street, Middlesex – probate was to his widow Annie Louisa Anstee and his daughter Gertrude Victoria Anstee.

Further Details on the Toddington Anstees

#1. It is highly likely that Anstee Road near Leagrave, Toddington is named after John Anstee (Junior) or his son William Anstee, though we seek formal confirmation of that.

#2. The first ‘Anstey’ entry we find in the Toddington parish registers is when Hannah Ansty married William Webb in June 1800. Hannah is possibly daughter of Benjamin Anstee (b 1717) – see the Houghton Regis Anstee page. Other early Anstee marriages in Toddington are John Anstee Junior‘s sisters Elizabeth Anstee, who married William Foll in 1829, and Susan Anstee, who married William Medcraft in 1845 (see Further Details #4 of the Houghton Regis Anstee page)

#3. In the ‘Luton Times and Advertiser‘ on 11 May 1894 appears an article mentioning many of this sub-branch. “The Unionist candidate visited Chalton on Tuesday and addressed the villagers in the large barn on Mr W. H. Anstee‘s farm, the building being well filled with an attentive audience. Mr W. H. Anstee of Chalton presided and was supported by Colonel O. T. Duke, Mr W. Anstee (The Tythe), Mr John Anstee (Lewsey), Mr Arthur Anstee (the Tythe); Mrs W. H. Anstee; Miss Anstee…

#4. Surely of the sub-branch is Henry Edwin Anstee (b 1847 Luton to mother ‘Terrey‘). In the 1851 Census he was living with his Terrey grandparents at New Street, Luton. By 1871 he was lodging at Harpur Street, St Peter, Bedford; in 1881 he was an unmarried bankers clerk visiting the Foll family at Wood End Farm, Harlington, Woburn; in 1891 he was a bank manager living with the Foll family at Manor House, Lords Hill, Chalgrave. He died on 28 July 1893 in Haverhill – executor was T. Foll.

We are actively on the lookout for Toddington Anstee experts alive today who are willing to add their findings and knowledge to this project. We are particularly interested in research regarding Toddington Anstees who fought in World War One, preferably with personal souvenirs such as letters sent by the soldiers or military photos etc. Anybody who has such expertise and inclination, please contact us at

We have already uploaded bits of information and documentation about the Toddington Anstees, and continue to upload more all the time (see Project Updates), however it is spread over various segments of the website.

The best way to find said information is to enter ‘Toddington’ in the search box at the bottom of this page and a list of relevant pages will appear.

Anybody who finds any mistakes on this page, please contact us at and we will correct it.

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