6.4. Alexander Standish of Duxbury[11A4] (1604-1662>1664)

Helen Moorwood 2013

6.4. (8) A4 1662: Two Glimpses

One of the last two glimpses we have of Alexander[11A4] is in early 1662. In March 1661/2 (1662 in the modern Calendar) he appeared in the Codicil of Colonel Richard’s Will. The latter had already written his Last Will and Testament in 1657, mainly as a result of the Court Cases of 1655 and 1657. In March 1662 he now needed to revise this, not least because of the death of his wife Elizabeth, who had previously been named his sole executrix. This Codicil made intricate new provisions in the light of his wife’s death and towards the end he mentioned his “true and loving friend Alexander Standish, gent. of Leverpoole”. Colonel Richard himself died almost immediately afterwards. The complete texts and discussion of the Will and Codicil appear in Colonel Richard’s Biography 6.3. Colonel Richard[11B1] under the appropriate dates.

The dates in 1662 are:

January: A child born and died, buried before baptism.

March 6: Richard’s wife Elizabeth buried at Chorley.

March 10: Richard wrote his Codicil.

March 14: Richard buried at Chorley.

The sentence in which A4 appears in the Codicil is:

AndI do desire my true and loving friend Alexander Standish of “Leverpoole” in the said County of Lancaster Gent, and the said Lawrence Parsons and Thomas Braithwaite, to be overseers of this my last will and testament.

The other two men were the husbands of deceased wife Elizabeth’s sisters, Lawrence Parsons “of Newton Hall in the County of York” married to Frances and Thomas Braithwaite “of Ambleside in the County of Westmorland” married to Margaret.

From this Codicil we learn where Alexander[11A4] was living in early 1662 - Liverpool. If we take the “true and loving friend” at face value, it seems that the two of them had been in regular and harmonious contact between 1655 and 1662. One might also presume that A4 had to pay several visits to Duxbury after this to complete any work required by his position of overseer of Colonel Richard’s Will. The Will was proved on 13 July 1663 at the Prerogative Court in York. Whether A4 was required to attend there is not known. If he did, he would presumably have visited the Parsons family at Newton; and if he visited the Braithwaites in Ambleside, he might well have visited his sister Joan Bannaster in Catterall near Garstang on the way.

The other glimpse comes at the end of August 1662, when he was registered as an Out Burgess at Preston Guild as “Alex. Standish, gent”. The most noteworthy aspect of this is that he was the one and only Standish of Duxbury registered in this year. (See PRESTON GUILD.)A brief look around reveals the reason why. Colonel Richard had died earlier that year and his eldest son and heir Richard was only eleven, far too young to be presented as the head of a family. It is notable, however, that Alexander[11A4] did not take young Richard along to register him. We have no idea who was ‘holding the fort’ at Duxbury Hall, but it was presumably some among the many brothers, sisters, trustees, executors and overseers of Colonel Richard’s Will & Codicil. When A4 travelled to Preston Guild, presumably from Liverpool, it seems reasonable to presume that he called in en route at Duxbury Hall. He presumably continued to take an interest in Colonel Richard’s children, although we might assume that he did not live long enough to see any of them reach maturity. However, he presumably lived on in the memories of some of them.

Richard[12B1], the son and heir, was later to serve as an MP and was created a Baronet after the Restoration, dying in 1693. He was followed by his son and heir Sir Thomas Bt[13B1] (1675-1746), who in turn was followed by his son and heir Sir Thomas Bt[14B1] (1703-56). Their stories are told briefly and the continuing story in depth by W. Walker, Duxbury in Decline 1756-1932: A story of the decline of a Lancashire Estate and the families associated with it, Palatine Books, 1995.


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