Englefield History

Milburg Alpress

 

Another monument with seemingly no connection to Englefield is that of Milburg (more usually given as Milborough) Alpress on the east wall of the Englefield Chapel, although in this case there is an explanation.

 

Milburg was the daughter of Samuel Alpress, a successful planter in Jamaica. Samuel was admitted at the Inner Temple in 1755 and went up to Jesus College, Cambridge the following year. While there he apparently ran up debts and was not an able student. He was also said to have started a riot in Ely. It appears that he was sent down without graduating and he returned to Jamaica where he married Margaret Eleanor Aikenhead in 1761. Later he became the Assembly Member for Vere and a member of the Royal Council of the island.

 

Milburg was born at Kingston, Jamaica in 1765 and in 1780 married Maj Gen Richard Crewe of Crewe Hall in Cheshire, brother of John, 1st Baron Crewe. They had four children: Emma, Richard (1786), Col John Frederick (1788) and the Reverend Willoughby (1792).

 

The Englefield connection is explained by the fact that Milburg became the mistress of Sir Henry Englefield. Sir Henry, 7th baronet, then lived at 5 Tilney Street, Mayfair having moved from the family home at White Knights, Sonning, supposedly because of the anti-Catholic prejudices of the neighbouring gentry. The relationship began in about 1794 and in 1800 the Consistory Court of London granted a legal separation to Gen Crewe. He also sued Sir Henry for trespass, assault and criminal conversation with Milburg and Sir Henry had to pay £3,000 damages. The following year Gen Crewe petitioned the House of Lords for a dissolution of the marriage to enable him to marry again, Milburg’s adultery with Sir Henry being cited. A son, Henry, was born illegitimately within a year of the divorce and Milburg died shortly afterwards in 1803. She was buried at Englefield and Sir Henry erected this monument showing a kneeling and somewhat distraught lady and, in the words of Pevsner, “…a sturdy little boy”, perhaps intended to represent Milburg and the young Henry. Sir Henry died in 1822 and was also buried at Englefield with his ancestors and his mistress. Although he was the chief beneficiary of Sir Henry’s will and inherited the family trust, the illegitimate son of Sir Henry and Milburg could not succeed to the title and it became extinct.

© 2020 Richard J Smith

Englefield History

Englefield History
Englefield History
Englefield History