6.1. Alexander Standish[10A1]

6.1. (37) AS 1615-22: Grandchildren

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 (37) of (1) to (45) AS. [2013 HM]


(37) 1615-22: grandchildren

c.1614. His eldest son Thomas[11A1] (born 1593) married, and two of his three daughters were also married before his will of 1622. No records of the dates of these marriages have survived. His son and heir Thomas (the later MP) provides a few records during this period, although none that indicate whether they rode over to Hoghton Tower in 1617 to help to entertain King James or had been involved at all the recent local witch trials. The most famous ones had been those of the Pendle Witches and the Samlesbury Witches in 1612. Rev. William Leigh was certainly involved in the latter, as he examined and was appointed guardian for one the girls involved. David Brazendale, Lancashire’s Historic Halls, Carnegie, 1994, tells the latter story in Chapter 4 ‘Samlesbury Hall and Witchcraft’ and the former has been told at greatest length in two novels based on an eye witness account of the trial: William Harrison Ainsworth, The Lancashire Witches and Robert Neill, Mist over Pendle.

1619, 30 March. On this day Thomas was awarded fifteen hundred pounds when his wife Anne née Wingfield turned 21, after the death of her father Sir Thomas Wingfield.

Thomas Standish of Duxbury heir apparent of Alexander Standish, of Duxbury, esq. and Anne, his wife, eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Wingfeld, kt., late of Letheringham, co. Suffolk, dec’d, to Thomas Wingfeld of Nettlestead, co. Suffolk, gent., executor of will of Sir Thomas Wingfield - sum due to Anne at 21 years by Will of Sir Thomas Wingfield. (Catalogue: DP397/1/6.)

This allows us to place Anne’s birth in c.1597, so four years younger than Thomas. Most importantly, her mother was Radcliffe née Gerard, fourth daughter of Sir Gilbert Gerard, Master of the Rolls towards the end of Elizabeth’s reign, whose son Sir Thomas Gerard (1564-1617) was Knight Marshal to Elizabeth and James I and created Baron Gerard by James. (He had also received a dedication and epigram from poet John Weever from Preston in 1599.) Although dead by the time of this award, Baron Gerard had still been alive at the marriage of Thomas Standish, already a blood relative via the Radcliffes of Winmarleigh, and Anne Wingfield was his first cousin. This marriage presumably took place near the bride’s home in Suffolk, or in London, and if in London, it does not take too great a leap of imagination to see this as one occasion for a family reunion of various Gerards, Standishes, Radcliffes, etc.. Wherever it took place, one might assume that AS travelled to attend the wedding of his son and heir. Could this injection of money into the Standish coffers have provided the spur to build a new Duxbury Hall with the Standish-Wingfield arms carved on a lintel?

Thomas and Anne baptised four children before AS’s death: Margaret some time before 1616 (no baptismal record, perhaps lost in the gap in Chorley Parish Records until this year), Thomas[12A1] on 15 August 1617, Alexander[12A2] on 8 November 1618 and Richard[12A3] on October 21 1621, the last three at Chorley. AS’s will reveals that they had taken up residence at Bradley Hall, a family estate a few miles south of Duxbury, where the townships of Standish, Langtree and Worthington meet. Their biographies will be given under the next two generations.

1620, September to December. Myles sailed to America on The Mayflower. No trace of this news at the time - nor any other trace of Myles’s name - has ever been located in Lancashire, but there is one clue that he might well have paid a return visit before his departure from Holland to England on the Speedwell. There were others from Lancashire on the Mayflower, most notably a young Lathom boy. Everything known about him and the Allingtons appears on Caleb Johnson’s Mayflower website, and they belong to Myles’s story, not AS’s. The important point is that Myles did sail and stayed there. It was only at the end of his life that he claimed various estates back in Lancashire, and all the evidence points towards his becoming the rightful heir to these because of the turmoils of the Civil War, by which time everyone in his own family and almost everyone at Duxbury Hall had died. When he departed, he could have had no idea that he might one day be able to claim Duxbury Hall and dependent estates. AS was still very much alive, with four sons, and the eldest already with two sons. The male line must have seemed very secure in 1620. If he visited Lancashire on his one return trip to England in 1625, he would have found that AS was dead and Thomas (already MP for Liverpool in this year, along with James, Lord Strange, son and heir of William, 6th Earl of Derby) installed in the new hall, with a third son from his first marriage, and presumably set to have more from his second marriage.


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