STANDISH OF DUXBURY

6. BIOGRAPHIES

6.1. AS Alexander Standish[10A1]

6.1. (2) AS Almost STOP PRESS

Helen Moorwood 2013

N.B. By clicking on the coloured title you can return to the original article 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 (2) of (1) to (45) AS. [2013 HM]

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 (2) Almost STOP PRESS

I had a long chat in November 2003 to Dr Jonathan Sheard of Norwich, who two weeks earlier had bought a collection of original MSS at a sale in Chichester , including several mentioning Standish of Duxbury, about which he was kind enough to contact me. From his immediate information it seemed that these MSS might provide some icing on the AS cake, but not change the story below. The most interesting part of the news (for me) was that more Standish of Duxbury MSS had popped up and that people like Jonathan are buying them and interested enough to know more about AS & Co.

In brief, six of the MSS contain the following information, which will be incorporated in due course.

1. 1572/3 a tripartite document with a quitclaim.

2. A copy of this.

3. 1579 Oct 20 - marriage settlement between Thomas Standish and Margaret Hoghton. (This will be an interesting follow up to the 1577 marriage settlement.)

4. & 5. June 1581. Two copies of a tripartite agreement: Thomas Standish of Duxbury, Edward Standish of Standish and Richard Shuttleworth of Gawthorpe, with Thomas Hoghton and Alexander Rigby appearing.

6. 1603 May 14. AS sold half of the manor of Whittle-le-Woods to Sir Richard Hoghton. (It seems that this is probably a precursor of DP397/24/7 “Receipt: for £200: for moiety of manor of Whittle-le-Woods, 1605.”)

Let us hope these all end up in the L.R.O. in Preston to join the main collection. (Really STOP PRESS. I received copies from Jonathan in January 2004, have perused them all and extracted many fascinating details, some of which appear below.)

[One follow-up to this was that the newly founded St Laurence’s Historical Society (2004) had transcriptions made of these. As predicted, they added only those details already incorporated below. HM 2013]

I find that every time I have (re)read a book about any aspect in the 16th and 17th centuries, many sentences leapt off the page to allow more connections between AS and others. For example, two terse sentences in brackets in Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down: radical ideas during the English Revolution, Penguin, 1975 (pp. 46-7): “Hostility to the clergy had been a striking element in the Robin Hood ballads. Pendle and Knaresborough forests harboured witches.” In this book Hill (who died on 24 February, 2003 aged 91, obituary in The Guardian Weekly March 6-12 2003, p. 22) presented a new interpretation of events leading up to and during the Civil War, from a worm’s eye point of view. AS was in the middle gentry part of this story, rather than a down-trodden worm, so the picture presented by Hill was more the world of some of his tenants rather than those of his sons and grandsons. This also seemed relevant, as he had so many of them and seems to have had a spot of bother with some of them on occasion. Robin Hood does not enter the story below (although he easily could, because there is at least one Robin Hood’s Well in the vicinity); the Pendle Witch story appears briefly below; and Knaresborough appears below in the person of Sir William Ingleby of Knaresborough (Yorkshire), who was in court with AS in London around the time of the witch trials, while sorting out a few problems in the aftermath of the ‘affray at Lea’ in 1589, the ‘Hesketh Plot’ in 1593 and the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. Several in Sir William’s family were certainly closely involved in the last.

The latest STOP PRESS news came with the announcement by the Revd Dr John Cree, Rector of St Laurence’s Chorley for the past two years, of a series of celebrations planned for 2005 commemorating the 350th anniversary of Myles Standish signing his will in March 1655/6. This has been widely reported in the local press (Lancashire Evening Telegraph, Preston Evening Post, Chorley Guardian) and all details will appear on the St Laurence’s web site (in the making), with relevant links. We have been in contact and I am delighted by his initiative, which involves, among other intriguing matters, DNA tests among Myles Standish’s descendants funded by the Mayflower Descendants Society in New England. I did point out in one phone call that in our modern calendar (switch between Julian and Gregorian in 1753) Myles actually signed his will in March 1656, and died later that year, so 2005 would be the 349th rather than 350th anniversary, but this hardly seems to matter. (It certainly doesn’t matter to Myles, who died in 1656.)

2005 is going to be full of publications concerning the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, which involved so many in Lancashire, including many of Myles’s and AS’s relatives and friends. The main experts today are still arguing amongst themselves.

[These Gunpowder Plot anniversary celebrations came and went, with all reported on various relevant websites. Nothing relevant for AS emerged. The Myles Standish Festival was a great success. Sadly, since then, the St Laurence’s Historical Society has folded, not least with the sad death in 2012 of Ed Fisher, its very active Chairman. A tribute was placed on the mylesstandish.infowebsite. HM 2013]

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