6.1. Alexander Standish[10A1]

6.1. (15) AS A Few Relevant Radcliffes of Ordsall

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


(15) A few relevant Radcliffes of Ordsall

As noted above, Edward Standish of Standish was married to Ellen, daughter of Sir William Radcliffe of Ordsall. Because the Radcliffe of Ordsall family will appear rather significantly later, it is perhaps worth noting Ellen’s parents, brothers and sisters, as just one example of marriages in neighbouring (and distant) counties that bound the Catholic gentry together during Elizabeth’s reign. Many of those named here also became AS’s relatives or were near neighbours, and some of the names below appear in the Standish of Duxbury MSS.

Sir William was thrice married. After the death of Margaret Trafford, who bore him three sons and two daughters, he married Ann, the daughter of Ralph Catterall, the widow of Sir John Towneley of Towneley, High Sheriff of Lancashire from 1531 to his death in 1540. This marriage, of which there was no issue, took place about 1542, and Lady Anne died in 1551. Some time after this Sir William married a third wife in Lady Katherine Bellingham, youngest daughter and co-heiress of Sir Robert Bellingham of Burneside, in the county of Westmorland, the widow of Sir Richard Assheton of Middleton. Sir William was buried in Manchester Church, and on his monumental brass was inscribed

“Sandbach cor retinet, servat Mancestria corpus,

Caelestem mentem regna superna tenent.”

His issue was as follows:

ALEXANDER, eldest son, a young man of striking presence and splendid courage, who was knighted during the Scottish expedition in 1560. He married Frances, the daughter and heiress of Christopher Wymbush, Esquire, of Nocton in Lincolnshire, and widow of Sir Richard Towneley of Towneley. Alexander’s marriage took place in 1555, but had no issue. By her first marriage, Frances had an only daughter, Mary, who married her cousin John Towneley, in which family her mother’s inheritance descended.

JOHN, who succeeded his father at Ordsall.

RICHARD, on whom was settled the manor of Newcroft. His first wife was Bridget, daughter of Thomas Caryll of Warnam in Sussex. He married, secondly, Margaret, daughter and heiress of John Radclyffe of Foxdenton.

ALICE, married to Francis Tunstall of Thurland Castle, a descendant of Sir Brian Tunstall, the “stainless knight of Flodden Field.”

ELLEN, married to Edward Standish of Standish, who rebuilt Standish Hall in 1574, and by whom she was the mother of four sons.

JOHN RADCLYFFE, second son of his father, succeeded to Ordsall on his father’s death in 1568. He was born in 1536, and came to his inheritance in his thirty-third year. To the wide domains and fair possessions of his patrimony were now united the extensive lands which his marriage to the Asshawe heiress had brought him. His wife was Anne, the only daughter and heiress of Thomas Asshawe, of Elston. Anne was the great-granddaughter of Isabel Radclyffe and Sir James Harrington of Wolfege, whose younger daughter and co-heiress, Margaret, was married to Christopher Hulton. They had an only daughter and heiress, who was married to Roger Asshawe of Hall-on-the-Hill in Higher Charnock. Thomas Asshawe, son and heir of Jane Hulton and Roger, married Mary, daughter of James Anderton of Euxton, and Anne Asshawe was the only child of this marriage.

(Hampson, The Book of the Radclyffes,1940, pp. 150-1.)

1577 also saw the departure of John and Mary Shakespeare from Stratford for long periods. It has been suggested elsewhere that they had married about two years earlier, and that their departure was most plausibly connected to their Catholicism and ancestries. For the moment, this remains merely as a conclusion presented in my 2. Interview via FAQson the Duxbury web site. A presentation of all the evidence and proof for their ancestries, late marriage and subsequent absences from Stratford will be in my Shakespeare book. For the moment, any reader might believe this or not. Here, I am merely seeking a plausible explanation for AS’s very obvious later involvement with so many in Shakespeare circles. If John and Mary Shakespeare were to have spent time in the North West, this would have provided the first occasion when young William might also have appeared here, and would partially explain why he later turned up in the Hoghton household - according to local tradition. This would also provide the first plausible occasion on which AS might have met him. John Shakespeare, as Chamberlain in Stratford, had paid William Allen as an ‘usher’, i.e. junior schoolmaster, in 1564, the year of William Shakespeare’s birth. (Enos, 2000, was the first in Shakespeare biography to point this out as potentially relevant to the Shakespeares’ Catholicism. Correspondence with her and Peter Milward, following up all references, has established beyond all doubt that the William Allen in Stratford was indeed the one who founded the school in Douai and was later Cardinal in Rome. All references are [will be] in my Shakespeare book. Allen’s basic biography is in the DNB.)


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