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

Helen Moorwood 2013

6.4. (4) A4 University

Alexander Jr was 14 in 1618, which makes it almost certain that he was the Alexander Standish of Duxbury who attended Queens’ College, Cambridge. The balance of probabilities certainly makes him the strongest (indeed only?) candidate at Cambridge, not least because his father Alexander and eldest brother Thomas were at Queens’, and there really is no doubt about their identity. Venn’s entry for him is:

STANDISH, ALEXANDER Matric. Pens. from Queens’, Lent, 1620-1. Of Lancashire. Doubtless 4th s. of Alexander (above), of Duxbury, Lancs.,  B.A. 1624. Probably brother of Thomas (1607) (Foster, Lancs. Pedigrees.)

(Venn, Alumni Cantagabrigensis, Vol. 4, p. 144.)

Venn is very fond of the word “doubtless” when there is, in fact, some doubt, but he was almost certainly correct here, which means that Alexander Jr was at Cambridge 1620-24, aged 16-20, following on from brother Thomas, whose entry can have “probably” from Foster eliminated. Why he matriculated aged 16 rather than 14 can only be surmised. His position as fourth son might well have played some role. There was no expectation at all that he would ever inherit the main family properties and he would be expected to make his own way in the world, although no doubt with more than a little help from family funds. Maybe various apprenticeships were considered? There are recorded examples of Standish of Standish boys being sent to serve apprenticeships in London, but alas no hint in the family papers of whether or not Alexander Jr might have followed this path. Maybe he stayed on longer at Rivington Grammar School, as an assistant? Whatever the reason, he departed for Cambridge aged 16, following in his father’s and brothers’ footsteps. Queens’ was the choice of many other Lancastrian students.

In the middle of his studies at Cambridge his father Alexander Sr died. He wrote his will on 31 March 1622 and was buried in St Laurence’s, Chorley on 29 June 1622. His Inquisition post mortem was conducted on 11 September 1623, and these two documents together give a complete picture of the family’s holdings and the surviving family members at this time. (The texts of these are given in Alexander Sr’s biography 6.1.) On their father’s death, the oldest son and heir Thomas[11A1] inherited all the family manors and moved from Bradley Hall in the south of the Parish of Standish to the family home in Duxbury. It was almost certainly he who then built the splendid Duxbury (New) Hall in the centre of Duxbury, the main evidence being a stone with the date 1623 and the Standish arms. (This story was covered in his brother Thomas’s biography 6.2.)

Father Alexander left to “Richard Standishe, Rauffe Standishe the younger and Alexander Standish the younger my younger sonnes each and equally each yearly rent charge of £33, 6s 8d at Pentecost.” So Alexander Jr had a sizeable annual income from now on, which would have been adequate to support him, whatever career he was to choose. In any case he stayed on in Cambridge for a further two years to complete his studies.


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