Sauerlach, December 2012
Welcome. This website has long been sitting idle, but in December 2012 has at last acquired a form suitable for presenting many files containing my genealogical and historical research of the past dozen years or so. This is thanks to the professional skills of Eberhard Strabel and Christian Pistorius, fellow residents of Sauerlach near Munich, Bavaria.
To introduce myself with a brief CV, I was born and christened Jennifer Helen Ward in Bombay in 1944, and grew up in Darwen, Lancashire, my mother Marion née Whewell’s home, with father Joseph Ward from Preston. I attended Hollins Grove Primary School and Darwen Grammar School, 1955 entry; Bedford College, University of London 1963-66 (BA in German main, French subsidiary, Spanish ancillary); UN Volunteer in Peru 1966-67, where I embarked on my life-long career in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language); taught at International House, London 1967-73, at the same time acquiring a PGCE (Post-graduate Certificate of Education) at the Institute of Education, University of London (1969-70) and MA in Applied Linguistics, University of Essex (1972-73). Then with husband Alan Moorwood (married 1967) to the Netherlands 1973-78, he to ESTEC/ ESA (European Space Agency) in Noordwijk aan Zee and me to the new Lerarenopleiding (Teacher Training Institute) d’Witte Leli in Amsterdam. We lived in Leiden, convenient to get to both places of work. Alan then (1978) joined ESO (European Southern Observatory) for two years in Geneva in a temporary home on the CERN site before moving to Garching bei München in 1980 to the new permanent European HQ of ESO (telescopes in Chile). We bought a house in Sauerlach, a village just south of Munich, and have lived here ever since. Our two daughters Katja (born 1977 in Holland) and Christy (born 1981 in Munich) attended kindergarten in Sauerlach, with all their primary and secondary education at the European School Munich, where I taught for twenty years, retiring several years ago.
The results of my research are that, with a large degree of confidence, I have established the following (in the order of discovery):
- The story of the early Duxburys of Duxbury (rather different in places from the 19th century story)
- The story of the Standishes of Duxbury c.1300-1662 (very different in places from the 19th century story)
- The ancestry of Pilgrim Father Myles Standish of Duxbury (solidly from Lancashire and not the Isle of Man, as proposed for the past century)
- The ancestry of John Shakespeare, William’s father, in the Shakeshaftes of Lancashire (very different from the conclusions of Shakespeare researchers of the 18th & 19th centuries, which produced the ‘conventional version’ in all Shakespeare biographies ever since). He was NOT a descendant of the Shakespeares of the Midlands. Several in his family were glovers at Preston Guild.
- Mary Arden, Shakespeare’s ‘conventional mother’ since the 18th century, was NOT an Arden of Park Hall, Warwickshire. She was actually Mary Arderne, descended from the Cheshire Ardernes (just over the border from Lancashire), and she married John Shakespeare in c.1575 as her second husband and his (?second or) third wife. She thus became William’s stepmother when he was about eleven.
- The Stanleys, Earls of Derby, played a much more seminal role in William Shakespeare’s early life and career than hitherto recognised, which supports 100% the ‘Lancastrian Shakespeare’ theory.
- The ‘Shakespeare Epitaphs’ on the Stanley tomb in Tong, Shropshire were 99.99% certain written by Shakespeare for his friend Sir Edward Stanley, grandson of the 3rd, nephew of the 4th and first cousin of the 5th and 6th Earls of Derby. This story is told in my forthcoming book Shakespeare’s Stanley Epitaphs in Tong, Shropshire.
The words in blue above provide the names of six sections of this website. The only exception is the Duxburys of Duxbury. This is because there is an excellent website for this family, A DUXBURY Family Website at www.duxbury.plus.com, created by Peter Duxbury in 2000 and, after his sad death in 2005, continued since 2007/8 by a Duxbury cousin Ronald Taylor. Anything from me directly concerning this family will appear on the Duxbury website, if not there already.
In addition to the six sections mentioned above, the section Personal includes items unrelated to my research, beginning with a tribute to my dear husband Alan Moorwood, who died in 2011. Also Publications includes articles previously published, which might otherwise have appeared under several of the sections, but are here grouped together.
I predict that it will take many months, if not years to revive and knock into shape many files, but be patient. They will all come! The plan at the moment is as follows:
Personal I begin with my tribute to my dear husband Alan (1945-2011). In future I hope to include details from research into various branches of my families, particularly the Darwen families in my mother’s ancestry (Marion Ward née Whewell, 1905-1995, mother Alice née Duxbury), the Wards of Mellor near Blackburn in my father’s ancestry (Joseph Ward, 1900-1975, born and grew up in Preston, his father born 1854 in Blackburn, grew up in Whittle-le-Woods) and the Moorwoods, originally of Moorwood in the foothills of the Peak District above Sheffield, my husband’s family. I also intend to type out my mother’s memoirs - I think that her memories of her childhood and later years in Darwen will be of interest to many of my fellow-Darreners.
Publications This speaks for itself. The first batch of printed articles revolves around Myles Standish, Shakespeare and the Stanleys. Other printed or online ‘publications’ will gradually be referred to, transferred to and updated on this website, in their appropriate place.
Myles Standish This also speaks for itself. Already whilst writing the articles in 1999-2000 I planned a book, but the amount of material became so enormous that the ‘book’ stayed as hundreds if not thousands of pages on my computer. Central to all this was the ongoing dispute of the last century between ‘Manx Myles’ and ‘Lancs Myles’. This led to an unbelievable amount of acrimony on the part of some who still believe in a ‘Manx Myles’; some of these written insults will appear on my website in due course, but many will remain discreetly on my computer. Meanwhile, for those interested in Myles, since 2006/7 Tony Christopher of Duxbury near Chorley has been the founder/webmaster of mylesstandish.info, a site devoted to the interests of all who wish to establish once and for all the ‘truth’ of Myles Standish’s ancestry, which common sense, apart from contemporary reports, dictates was in Lancashire. ‘Manx Myles’ proves to have been a red herring in the Irish Sea, now a large smoked Manx kipper. The Isle of Man in Myles’s will was a tiddler of an inland island (before canalisation and drainage in the 18th & 19th centuries) straddling the boundary between Croston and Bretherton, on the old course of the River Yarrow on its journey through Duxbury to join the River Douglas.
Standish of Duxbury This family was my stepping-stone between the Duxburys of Duxbury and the Stanleys and Shakeshaftes/Shakespeares. It proved such a fascinating stepping-stone that I have constantly returned to them. The main reason was that I turned out to be the first person to examine in close detail many of the earlier Standish of Duxbury Muniments, DP (Deeds Purchased) 397 at the Lancashire Record Office. These had disappeared (no one knows where to) for a couple of centuries and then turned up in the Portobello Bookshop in London in 1965, mercifully bought and catalogued by the LRO. I am still unravelling some mysteries. The main reason for several of these mysteries was, of course, that all the magnificent antiquarians and historians of the 19th century never had access to these family papers. The ‘conventional story’ from the 19th century was thus inevitably just plain wrong in several instances. Several previous puzzles have now been solved. Gradually, the stories behind these ‘new’ stories will be placed on this website, starting with rather detailed Family Trees and an updated and annotated chronological presentation of the Standish of Duxbury Muniments.
Stanley, Earls of Derby One might think that this family had been researched so thoroughly by previous historians that there was nothing left to be discovered. Far from it! The main research in the past has been on the Earls themselves, but many of their younger brothers who founded side-branches have been neglected. These included Sir Thomas (c.1534-1576), younger brother of Henry, 4th Earl, whose son Sir Edward Jr (1562-1632) was a friend of William Shakespeare, who wrote two Verse Epitaphs for him. His first cousin William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby has been hovering in the wings of the Shakespeare Authorship Controversy for nearly a century, but has now come closer to centre stage in Shakespearean matters. Not as Shakespeare, of course (that is just rubbish – they just happened to share the same forename and initials), but certainly as deserving a more central place. My first big step in this direction is my book Shakespeare’s Stanley Epitaphs in Tong, Shropshire. This will be followed by other books, I hope, but also by placing many of the details on this website. I’m afraid many of these will be the boring bits, but the ones necessary to present as the justification for various deductions. First will come relevant Family Trees.
Lancastrian Shakespeare This ‘theory’ is based largely on two oral family traditions passed down over the centuries in the Hoghton family (“young Shakespeare was with us for a couple of years”) and the Hesketh family of Rufford (“young Shakespeare was with us for a short time”). Also John Aubrey’s statement in c.1681 in his Brief Lives that “though as Ben Jonson says of him that he had but little Latin and less Greek, he understood Latin pretty well, for he had been in his younger years a schoolmaster in the country”. It received a great boost at the end of the 20th century from the first academic study by Professor E. A. J. Honigmann, Shakespeare: the ‘lost years’, 1985, 2nd edition 1998, and a conference in July 1999 at Lancaster University. One concomitant aspect was that Shakespeare’s father must have been Catholic, and the ‘revolutionary’ notion of a ‘Catholic Shakespeare’ hit on much doubt and resistance in much of the Shakespeare academic world. My research, however, indicates that this was indeed the case and that the explanation for many of the previous puzzles in Shakespeare’s ‘lost years’ have now been solved – the details found in Lancashire rather than Stratford and area. I fully realize that this will be controversial and am more than prepared for scorn and doubt to come raining down. However, I will stick to my guns and present asap, although inevitably gradually, all the relevant ‘stories’ that have emerged. Amongst the first files will be the first ever publication of ten letters written by Father Thomas Conlan SJ to Father Peter Milward SJ, Professor of Renaissance Studies at Sofia University, Tokyo and Founder of the Renaissance Institute there. Carol Curt Enos (an American researcher in the same area, whose name appears via Google on many sites) and I had the privilege several years ago of transcribing these, but, not quite knowing what to do with them, they have just been sitting on our computers ever since. Other relevant files will follow, all as background to my book Shakespeare’s Lancashire Links, which has been stumbling to completion for many years now.
Preston Guild This deserves a section on its own, as the Preston Guild Rolls (transcribed by W. A. Abram and published by the Lancashire and Cheshire Record Society in 1884) proved to be a treasure trove of information relevant to Lancastrian Shakespeare, Stanley Earls of Derby and Standish of Duxbury – with related implications for Myles Standish. The first files to appear from this research will be relevant details that led to my conclusion and thesis that “John Shakeshafte Junior, glover, Jur’ ”, registered at Preston Guild in 1562 and 1582, was one and the same as John Shakespeare, glover of Stratford. This year sees Preston Guild taking place again, of course, in its normal 20-year cycle, with the main celebrations in August/September. Whether or not I find time to present all my research on this website before September 2012 remains to be seen. (I didn't! February 2013, HM)
Arderne This Cheshire family has long been known to have the same roots as the Ardens of the Midlands, with the Cheshire branch established in c.1220 when Randle de Blundeville, Earl of Chester, granted the fee of Aldford, Cheshire to Sir John de Arderne. Although an interesting family in its own right, it has now stepped into the field of Lancastrian Shakespeare, not least because one of its direct descendants was Mary Arderne, who became John Shakespeare’s (second? or) third wife in c.1575 and was therefore young William Shakespeare’s step mother. It seems that John Shakespeare’s newly acquired upper gentry in-laws in the North West might well have been instrumental in his sending his gifted young son to the Hoghton household. My main puzzlement throughout has been why so much that was so obvious and sitting there in so many documents, albeit sometimes obscured, had escaped the attention of so many Shakespearean scholars. First to appear on this website will be detailed Arderne Family Trees.
Bibliography This speaks for itself. Before the ‘bumper bibliography’ appears I must amalgamate those from many articles and books (in the making).