Open main menu


ASTON, WILLIAM (1735–1800), a Jesuit, whom Dr. Oliver believed to be the son of Edward Aston, by Ann Bayley his wife, was born in London 22 April, 1735. He made his early studies in the college at St. Omer, and at the age of sixteen he joined the Society of Jesus at Watten (7 Sept., 1751). In 1761 he was professor of poetry at St. Omer. He was admitted to his solemn profession in his order 2 Feb. 1769. His commanding talents and accomplished manners recommended him for the presidency of the Little College at Bruges. On its violent suppression by the Belgic-Austrian privy council of Brussels, he was detained a close prisoner for eight months; hut he and his companions were ultimately released, owing to the exertions of Henry, the eighth Lord Arundell of Wardour, who interceded with Prince Staremberg, the Austrian prime minister, on their behalf. A few years later Father Aston established an academy at Liège, and he obtained a canonry in the collegiate church of St. John in that city. He died 15 March, 1800. Besides writing for reviews and journals, Father Aston published D'Azais' 'Compte-rendu,' 'Lettres Ultramontaines,' and 'Le Cosmopolite.'

[Oliver's Collectanea S. J.; Foley's Records of the English Province of the Society of Jesus, vols. v. and vii.]

T. C.