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

Helen Moorwood 2013

6.4. (9) 1664: Visitation & A4 post mortem

The relevance of this date is that it was the year when Norroy (Sir) William Dugdale made his first Visitation of Lancashire, calling unto his presence all the local gentry to verify their claims to bear their coat of arms and at the same time provide a Pedigree of their family back for several generations, and including all the latest children, who would thus be entitled to bear the same arms with his seal of approval.

In the case of Standish of Duxbury, it is obvious that this was not his aim here. He only repeats previous VPs of 1567 and 1613, the latter in any case being only a repetition of the former, without being brought down to the current incumbent. Dugdale’s reasons for examining this family are revealed in the top line concerning (Sir) Christopher[4A1], who he claimed (without any authority) was “second son of . . . Standish of Standish”. As one can see from FT 1. Standish of Duxbury Family A 1300-1500 and 4. VP3. 1613 Family A (which Dugdale – I presume - had in his bags) his father was Hugh[3A1] Standish of Duxbury and Christopher was his son and heir, with no older brother ever having been recorded. However his mother was Alice, daughter of Henry de Standish, Lord of the manor of Standish, so Christopher certainly had the blood of both families running in his veins. All this implies that Dugdale was on a detective hunt for one specific ancestor, a “younger brother of Standish of Standish”, of Captain Myles Standish of Duxbury, who had died in Duxbury, Massachusetts in 1656. The date indicates that this was in support of Myles’s son Alexander’s pursuit in the 1660s of his lands lost during the turmoils of the recent Civil Wars. Dugdale’s version of the Standish of Duxbury VP is given in 4. VP4. Family A 1664. All details and a full discussion (will) appear in the folder MYLES STANDISH.

The one male Standish of Duxbury, if still living in 1664, who would presumably have known the relevant facts in his own ancestry from before and since (Sir) Christopher, was Alexander[11A4]. He was not consulted. Nor was he consulted on Dugdale’s return Visitation of Lancashire in 1665. (Dugdale’s Diary allows us to confirm this.) From this one can draw the reasonable conclusion that A4 had recently died. For this reason his date of death on the Family Trees and elsewhere is given as 1662>1664, indicating after 1662 and before 1664.

RIP Alexander A4, aged about sixty. We have no idea where he died or was buried. However, his name and very existence and survival beyond the deaths of all other known males in Family A has earned him, post mortem, an important place in the history of his family. He presumably knew that his name Alexander came from his own father Alexander[10A1], and he would have heard in his childhood that he had received his name from his maternal grandfather Sir Alexander Hoghton of Hoghton Tower, with both families staying in close contact ever since. One might presume, and A4 would certainly have known whether his nephew Colonel Alexander[12A2] had fought in the first Civil War alongside ‘cousin’ Royalist Sir Gilbert Hoghton, whose own story is well recorded and appears on numerous websites. He had served as an MP in 1640 alongside Thomas Standish the MP and died in 1648 (or 1646 – both dates are reported, confusingly), his lands sequestered. His Parliamentarian son Sir Richard had served as an MP in 1656 alongside Colonel Richard Standish of Duxbury and by the 1660s had recovered all the family estates.

It was obviously also well-known in Standish family tradition that A4’s father Alexander’s own 3x gt-grandfather Sir Christopher[6A1] Standish of Duxbury had fought with his kinsman Sir Alexander Standish of Standish at the end of the Wars of the Roses, and that through the third marriage of Sir Christopher to Alice, eldest daughter of Sir Alexander Standish of Standish, the name had entered another junior branch of Family A, resulting in the name being passed down from father to (grand)son to a contemporary distant cousin Alexander Standish in America. But this is no longer A4’s story. The late 17th century is covered under this American ‘cousin’ Alexander’s attempts to recover his family lands in MYLES STANDISH.


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