Henry was born in early 1865 to Henry Edward and Jane Elizabeth Astley. The 1901 Census records him as living in Bridge Villa, Hungerford with his wife Catherine and their children, Edward Dugdale D’Oyley (4) and Barbara Katherine (1).
Edward did not have the opportunity to follow his father and grandfather into Freemasonry as he was killed at just 21, whilst on active service (Captain, 1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment) at La Herliere, in the Arras region of France, on 1st June 1918.
Henry, in his role as Hungerford Town Clerk, had the joyous responsibility of presenting King George V with a Lancastrian red rose, emblematic of the fact that Hungerford formerly formed part of the Duchy of Lancaster, when the King visited in October 1912.
He died on 3rd August 1940 at the Dunedin Nursing Home, Bath Road, Reading. He left £65,921 and 10s to his daughter Barbara Katherine Hope and her dentist husband William Kenneth Talbot Hope. This sum would be the equivalent of £3.5 million today.
He was a lawyer by profession and from 1889 – 1935 served as Hungerford Town Clerk, succeeding his father. Like him, he was Clerk of the Justices and Clerk of the Ramsbury Board of Guardians (for 32 years) Clerk to the Hungerford District and filled nearly all
of the principal offices of the town. He was described as an outstanding authority on the Hungerford matter including guidance to the Hocktide Jury.
People said of him “He would go out of his way to help anyone … he was a friend as well as a professional man”
Henry Astley senior, was the first candidate initiated into our Mother Lodge, the Loyal Berkshire Lodge of Hope no 574 (known as Hope Lodge). Like his father, Henry was initiated into Hope Lodge on 5th November, 1886 and became Worshipful Master in 1897.
He was the founding Secretary of the Hungerford Lodge No. 4748 on 30th September, 1925 by which time he held the rank of Past Provincial Assistant Grand Secretary.