Ambrose Isted

???? - 1780


Ambrose Isted of Ecton, Northants was show as the owner of Mickleton Plantation (and the enslaved people on it) 1761-1765. The estate had been registered to Mrs [sic] Anne Isted (q.v., under Anne Isted) 1741-1761.

  1. The transmission of the estate has not been fully traced. Mickleton was bequeathed by Fulke Rose (q.v.) in 1694 to his second daughter Anne (q.v., under Anne Isted nee Rose) who was the mother of Ambrose Isted. However, it seems that the Anne Isted in the Accounts Produce was the spinster aunt of Ambrose Isted, who left an unnamed estate in Jamaica to her nephew in 1763. In the will of Ambrose Isted of Ecton proved 12/06/1781 he rehearsed the annuities left to family members by his aunt Anne Insted (his father's sister) but made no reference to Jamaica property. Anne Isted, the daughter and co-heiress of Fulk[e] Rose of Jamaica, wife of Thomas Isted of Ecton and mother of Ambrose Isted, had died c. 1722 [some sources give 1733]: no will has yet been found for her. In the will of Thomas Isted, Ambrose's father, he also bequeathed his interest in an [unnamed] estate in Jamaica to trustees for his son, with the instruction that they be 'mindful to supply my plantation in Jamaica with negroes, servants, cattle and all other things necessary and proper for the support of the same.'

  2. There is an extended tribute to Ambrose Isted in Richard Cumberland's Memoirs (1806): "Through every scene of my life, from my child-hood to the lamented event of his death, which happened whilst I was in Spain, he was invariably kind, indulgent, and affectionate to me. I conceive there is not upon record one, who more perfectly fulfilled the true character of a country-gentleman in all its most respectable duties and departments than did this exemplary person; nor will his name be forgotton in Northamptonshire, so long as the memory or tradition of good deeds shall circulate, or gratitude be considered as a tribute due to the benevolent. He was the pattern and very model of hospitality most worthy to be copied : for his family and affairs were administered and conducted with such measured liberality, such correct and wise economy, that the friend, who found nothing wanting which could constitute his comforts, found nothing wastefully superfluous to occasion his regret. Though Mr. Isted's estate was not large, yet by the process of enclosure, and above all by his prudent and well-ordered management, it was augmented without extortion and left in excellent condition to his son and heir. The benefits he conferred upon his poorer neighbours were of a nature far superior to the common acts of almsgiving (though these were not omitted) : for in all their difficulties and embarrassments he was their counsellor and adviser, not merely in his capacity of acting justice of the peace, but also from his legal knowledge and experience, which were very considerable and fully competent to all their uses ; by which numbers, who might else have fallen into the talons of country-attorneys, were saved from pillage and beggary. With this gentleman my father acted as justice, and was united in friendship and party; and to him he resorted upon all occasions, were the opinion and advice of a judicious friend were wanted. Our families corresponded in the utmost harmony, and our interchange of visits was frequent and delightful. The house of Ecton was to me a second home, and the hospitable master of it a second father ; his gaiety of heart, his suavity of temper, the interest he took in giving pleasure to his guests, and the fund of information he possessed in the stores of a well-furnished memory and lively animated genius, are ever fresh in my recollection, and I look back upon the days. I have passed with him as some of the happiest in my life. For many years before his death, I saw this excellent man by intervals excruciated with a tormenting and incurable disease, which laid too deep and undiscoverable in his vitals to admit of any other relief than laudanum in large doses could at times administer: nothing but a soul serene and piously resigned as his was, could have borne itself up against a visitation at once so agonizing and so hopeless; a spirit, however, fortified by faith, and a conscience clear of reproach can effect great things, and my heroic friend through all his trials smiled in the midst of his sufferings, and submitted unrepining to his fate. One of the last letters he lived to write I received in Spain : I saw it was the effort of an exhausted frame, a generous zeal to send one parting testimony of his affection to me, and being at that time myself extremely ill, I was hardly in a capacity to dictate a reply."

  3. A lithograph by Richard James Lane, after Alfred, Count D'Orsay, of Ambrose Isted (1797-1881) 'landowner', the grandson of Ambrose Isted of this entry, is in the National Portrait Gallery.


  1. Will of Ambrose Isted proved 12/06/1781, PROB 11/1079/98; will of Fulke Rose of St Catharine Jamaica proved 24/03/1694, PROB 11/420/6; will of Thomas Isted of Ecton Northants proved 01/02/1732 PROB 11/650/10.

  2. Memoirs of Richard Cumberland written by himself (London, 1806) pp. 122-123.

  3. NPG D45966.

Further Information


Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1763 [EA] - 1766 [EY] → Owner

Legacies Summary

Physical (1)

Country house
Ecton Hall 
description →
Country house at Ecton in Northants, remodelled in 1756 by Ambrose Isted with the addition of a new ironstone front. The estate had been bought in 1712 by Ambrose's father Thomas Isted (d. 1731), who...

Relationships (3)

Nephew → Aunt
Son → Mother
Grandson → Grandfather

Addresses (1)

Ecton, Northamptonshire, Central England, England