6.1. Alexander Standish[10A1]

6.1. (29) AS 1600-1601: Another Busy Year

Helen Moorwood 2013

N.B. By clicking on the coloured title you can return to the original articles written in early 2004 and placed by Peter Duxbury on A Duxbury Family Website in March 2004, where it still is, under:

Helen's Story: from Duxbury to Shakespeare. The story of William Shakespeare's Lancashire Ancestry, by Helen Moorwood

10. The Biography of Alexander Standish

N.B. Most of this still stands, but where appropriate the 2004 version is now updated below by interspersed commentary in square brackets and italics. Some reformatting was necessary, and the occasional typo – whether by Peter or myself - has been silently corrected. Asap a shorter narrative version of his biography will appear, based, of course, on all details and documents in this file. Meanwhile, this is part (29) of (1) to (45) AS. [2013 HM]


(29) 1600-1: another busy year

1600.This is the generally accepted earliest date for young Myles Standish’s departure to the Netherlands as a drummer boy. No records have been found in Lancashire or the Netherlands about any precise date or any participation by Myles in any military event, and we are thus largely dependent on later reports from New England of his early life, gleanings from documents in the Netherlands and other histories of various campaigns in Europe at the time, in which he might or might not have participated. He must have participated in some of them to rise to the rank of Captain and be chosen as Military Governor of Plymouth. All New England documents concerning Myles appear on Caleb Johnson’s Mayflower web site, with links to other highly relevant sites; details from records in the Netherlands, particularly those of the Separatist English community in Leiden / Leyden, are on the web site of the city of Leiden. Given this date, and all the intense local military activity in Lancashire preceding this, one might venture to guess that he was inspired by this to make his own career in the army. One might also venture to guess that AS knew about this and followed his progress.

1600, 18 April. AS baptised his son Richard at Bolton Parish Church. The very least that this proves is that AS and Alice were prepared to ride over to Bolton to baptise one child. Added to the fact that they had baptised daughter Joan at Whalley, we can only conclude that they made every effort to keep in touch with Alice’s Asshetons at family events.

1600, 29 September. Stepfather Thomas(2)’s will was proved. The basic details and references are given by Farrer:

[Thomas] died in 1599, leaving a son and heir Alexander, twenty-nine years of age. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvii, no. 54; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 43, m. 35. The will of Thomas Standish, made in 1593 and proved in 1600, is in Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.) ix, 295.

(Farrer, VCH, vol. 6, p. 210.)

1600. The Catalogue for DP397/21/13 gives “Quitclaim: for £20 annuity from manor of Heapey - estates in Dukesburie, Heapey and Anglezarke. 1600.” The MS text reveals the date of 10 November 42 Elizabeth (1600) and that AS was here making provision for an annual income for younger brother Leonard, according to the provisions of Thomas(2)’s will. The following is an extract:

Alexander Standishe of Ducksburie Esquire and Leonard S of D and younger brother to aforesaid Alex: . . . by a deed bearing the date of fifth day of October . . . Thomas Standishe of D. Esq. late father of the said Leonarde . . . pastures, woods, waters, meers, etc. Witnesses Phillip Manwarynge, Leonard Hoghton, Roger Leyland. (DP397/21/13.)

The quitclaim indicates the agreement that Leonard Standish would have no further claim on the family estates; the sum granted was the one mentioned in Thomas’s will; the deed of 10 November proves that they acted soon after probate in September; and the witnesses almost become old friends, with the interesting appearance of uncle Leonard Hoghton of Grimsargh in person (thus Leonard Standish’s almost certain godfather).

The only puzzle comes from brother Leonard himself. He was now nearly 27 (baptised on 28 November 1573) and one can only wonder what he had been doing with himself, and why he had not received this annuity from the age of 21, as specified in Thomas’s will in 1593. Had he not been “obedient to the said wife”, as enjoined in the will? One must continue to wonder, because after this he is never mentioned again in the family papers, nor is there a burial record in Chorley. Perhaps he departed elsewhere and died soon afterwards? He does not appear in AS’s will of 1622.

1601, 4 March. For whatever reason, AS decided to sell lands in Preston.

Bargain and sale, - Great Avenham, the Waterwyllows, Causey meadows, the Cliffe, the great Cliffe, the Woodhoolme, Albenhey. 4 Mar. 1600/1. (Catalogue: DP397/18/1.)

The MS text makes it clear that he sold them, the main other party involved being “Willm Garstange of Preston yeoman” and the sum involved was “three score and ten pounds”. Anyone who knows Preston will recognise many of these names as prime sites today, including AvenhamPark and the Cliffs, site of the Lancashire County Council Offices. He seems to have inherited this property from his stepfather (Preston was mentioned in the 1577 document). Why he decided to sell in this year remains a mystery, but sell them he did. At least it confirms an interest in Preston property until this time and many of the local gentry (and the Earl of Derby) had a town house there. The sale might be related to the following purchase.

1602 or later, AS bought Anglezarke Manor indirectly from William, 6th Earl of Derby. Coward, The Stanleys gives the details of the purchase on 30 November 1600 by Frances Mosley of London and Edward Mosley of Gray’s Inn (Appendix A, including sales of many other estates). Mosley is a Manchester name, and one might assume that they were lawyers acting on behalf of someone else, as their name never appears in Lancashire in connection with Anglezarke. (One of the ‘new’ batch of MSS in 1602 gives very detailed provisions for tenancies in Anglezarke, naming William, Earl of Derby and George, Earl of Cumberland – his uncle. This almost certainly places AS’s purchase later.) In any case AS’s ownership of Anglezarke is proved in his will of 1622 and Inquisition post mortem. The Standishes already owned property there (DP397/11/9-16: Anglezarke) but until now the Lord of the Manor had been the Earl of Derby.

These transactions occurred during the long wrangle between William Stanley and his sister-in-law Countess Alice, which dragged on for over a dozen years after Ferdinando’s death in 1594 and forced William to sell about half of his lands to provide payments to Alice and her three daughters. She was helped in her demands by her new husband (since 1600), Sir Thomas Egerton of Cheshire, Elizabeth’s Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal and later James’s Lord Chancellor. He also bought one of William Stanley’s estates, Ellesmere in Shropshire, a name he adopted as Baron Ellesmere. [He had also bought Tatton Park, which was the beginning of centuries-long ownership by the Egertons. The Old Hall at Tatton had been built by Sir William Stanley, ‘The Traitor’ beheaded in 1496.] Sir Francis Bacon and several more in Elizabeth and James’s council were also involved in these long drawn out disputes. Coward, The Stanleys, gives the most detailed account of these, concentrating on court cases and which estates and sums were involved. Edwards, Plots and Plotters, portrays Alice as a poor victim manipulated by the Cecils into her marriage with Egerton; (for me) any manipulation seems to have been more via Alice’s hand. She was a feisty lady, a winner rather than a victim.

c.1600. AS might have started to build Duxbury ‘New’ Hall in the centre of Duxbury around this time, unless it had already been built by his step-father Thomas before this, or still remained to be built by his son Thomas after his marriage in c.1614 to a rich heiress. Details are given in AS’s will of son Thomas setting up on his own in Bradley, a hall and estate near Standish, already in the possession of the Standishes of Duxbury for several centuries. This implies that father AS was very much in charge in Duxbury until after Thomas’s marriage and until his own death in 1622. The only solid evidence for the construction of Duxbury (New) Hall is the lintel with the Standish-Wingfield arms and the date 1623 (reported by Farrer c.1906, when the Hall was still standing and inhabited), but this might have been added later to a construction pre-1623. The previous decades had seen much building of new halls: amongst many others, the Hoghtons had built Hoghton Tower in the late 1560s and Edward Standish a brand new Tudor hall in Standish in 1574. Building a hall in the centre of Duxbury was certainly a logical move. Until now AS had lived at The Pele in the north, and presumably rented Duxbury (Old) Hall in the south to a tenant - by the following century, on the first detailed estate map of 1757, it had acquired the name Farnworth House and there was certainly a Farnworth family there in the middle of the 17th century, with one of them acting as steward for the family. The date of construction of the Cruck Barn near the new hall (and still there today), is similarly uncertain, but would have served as the barn for the home farm behind the new hall.


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