6.3. Colonel Richard [11B1] (c.1597-1662)

Helen Moorwood 2013

6.3. (12) CR 1657 Six Worrisome Months

Although Colonel Richard’s Last Will & Testament is, of course, the most important document in 1657, the very date 29 September 1637 means we need to look at some other matters first, which produced such a worrying first half of this year. The first question we must ask is WHY he wrote his Will in this year, when he seemed to be at the height of his intellectual powers and virility. Most Wills in the 16th and 17th centuries were written at the very end of one’s life, very often even on the deathbed. This was certainly not the case with Colonel Richard in 1657. In 1656 he had been elected again as MP for Lancashire, and this and the next year saw the birth of two more sons, Raphe baptised on 8 January 1656 and John on 4 August 1657.

However, in early 1657 certain other matters arose. The most dramatic of these was another case at Lancaster Assize Court in the Spring of 1657. Appearing there was Edward May again, but now with Gilbert[12A4] as “plaintiffs”, who took Richard and Elizabeth to court as “deforciants” along with Robert Charnock and Mary his wife. This was revealed in a footnote almost ‘hidden’ in a footnote in Farrer’s account of Heath Charnock in Volume 6 of the Victoria County History, 1911, pp. 213-217 (since recently online courtesy of British History Online).

12. In a fine in 1657 the moiety of the manor, with lands, &c., in Heath Charnock, Knowley and Chorley, the deforciants were Richard Standish, Elizabeth his wife, Robert Charnock and Mary his wife, while the plaintiffs were Edward May and Gilbert Standish, probably trustees for the first named; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 160, m. 155.

Farrer also noted Richard’s Will of 1657 and the “fine” two years earlier in 1655:

His [Richard’s] will, made in 1657 (codicil 1662) and proved at York, recites the settlement of Duxbury and his other manors in favour of his eldest son Richard, &c. The fine of 1655 probably relates to this settlement; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 155, m. 165.

(Farrer, VCH, vol. 6, p. 210, note 9.)

(N.B. This is in the VCH section on DUXBURY.)

This seems a reasonable conclusion, and I concur, but as Farrer wrote about the 1655 case under Duxbury and the 1657 case under Heath Charnock, he seems not to have connected the two. It took nearly another century before someone spotted that these might be connected. The dates alone make it certain beyond all reasonable doubt that the Gilbert Standish/ Heath Charnock case in the Spring of 1657 (following on just two years after the Alexander Standish/ Duxbury claim in 1655) led fairly directly to Colonel Richard organising a “deed of feoffment” in June and writing his Will in September. These will all be dealt with in turn, but it might be useful first to take a fell-walk to Heath Charnock, a neighbouring township to Duxbury up the closest moor.


Spring 1657: (pre)amble to Heath Charnock

The history of the Standish interest in Heath Charnock is given succinctly by Farrer. Some interesting names are highlighted in bold by HM. All of these are interesting for their roles in the history of the Standishes of Duxbury – some names will have to wait for future writings. All quotes are from the Heath Charnock pages in the VCH, Vol. 6, pp. 213-217.

The whole of HEATH CHARNOCK lay within the fee of Penwortham, and was included in the five plough-lands given by Warine Bussell to Randle son of Roger de Marsey, (fn. 4) and afterwards held by the Ferrers family, and then by ‘the lords of Leylandshire,’ or Lord Ferrers. Before 1288 two subordinate manors had been created, a third part being then held of William de Ferrers by Thomas Banastre by a rent of 1s. 9d., and the remainder by William son of Hugh Gogard, by a rent of 3s. 9d. (fn. 5)

Of these manors the former was acquired by marriage by John de Harrington of Farleton, who at his death in 1359 was seised of certain lands and tenements in Heath Charnock held of Sir Richard de Shireburne and John de Arderne by a rent of 2s. yearly and by knight’s service. (fn. 6) With other Harrington estates it was obtained by the first Lord Mounteagle, (fn. 7) and descended in his family during the 16th century, being sold in 1574 by William Lord Mounteagle to Thomas Walmesley the younger and Robert Charnock. (fn. 8) Three years later Walmesley sold his moiety to Thomas Standish of Duxbury, (fn. 9) and in subsequent inquisitions the ‘manor of Heath Charnock’ was considered to be held by Standish of Duxbury and Charnock of Charnock Richard in moieties. (fn. 10) The former descended with Duxbury, and occurs as the ‘manor’ as late as 1768 in a settlement of Sir Frank Standish’s lands (fn. 11) ; the Charnock moiety seems to have been acquired by the Standish family. (fn. 12)

7. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 64; xi, no. 1. Heath Charnock, Shevington, &c., were reckoned as parcels of the castle and manor of Hornby forfeited by Sir James Harrington for high treason in 1486.

     Heath Charnock occurs in a list of the Harrington of Farleton manors in 1572; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 34, m. 76, 80.

8. Ibid. bdle. 36, m. 131. The sale included the manor of Heath Charnock, three water-mills, three dovecotes, twenty messuages, &c., 300 acres of land, with meadow, pasture, wood, furze and heath, moor and turbary.

9. Ibid. bdle. 39, m. 65.

10. For Standish settlements see ibid. bdle. 104, no. 10; 155, m. 165; and for Charnock, ibid. bdle. 76, no. 22; 121, no. 46. See also Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 38 (Robert Charnock holding half the manor of the king by the twentieth part of a knight’s fee); iii, 397 (Alexander Standish holding the manor of the king by services unknown). It may be noticed that the Standishes of Duxbury had an interest in Heath Charnock from an early time, for William son of Hugh de Standish appears as plaintiff in 1333; De Banco R. 294, m. 156. The claim was prosecuted later, as appears by a foregoing note.

11. See Pal. of 1 anc. Feet of F. bdles. 244, m. 50 (1700); 306, m. 77 (1730); Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 608, m. 7 (1768).

12. In a fine in 1657 the moiety of the manor, with lands, &c., in Heath Charnock, Knowley and Chorley, the deforciants were Richard Standish, Elizabeth his wife, Robert Charnock and Mary his wife, while the plaintiffs were Edward May and Gilbert Standish, probably trustees for the first named; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 160, m. 155.

As far as I am aware, no historian of the Standishes of Duxbury has pursued all of Farrer’s references to refine their precise interest in Heath Charnock. Their name appears along with notables with interests in Heath Charnock such as Lord Mounteagle - the 1st was Sir Edward Stanley, a younger son of the 1st Earl of Derby, a comrade in arms of Sir Christopher Standish of Duxbury[6A1] and inheritor of Hornby Castle by a Harrington marriage; his grandson William, 3rd Lord Mounteagle, was married secondly to Anne Spencer, whose youngest sister Alice was also to live in Lancashire, first as the wife of Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby, Shakespeare’s patron in Strange’s Men, and later as a guest in nearby Anglezarke of Alexander Standish of Duxbury[10A1].

By partitions and by sale this manor quickly came to nothing, with the exception of that portion known as the HILL, long held by the Asshaw family and commonly described as a manor.

There are enough other intriguing references by Farrer that hint that there may still be a small buried treasure of Standish of Duxbury information and stones in Heath Charnock, e.g. in footnotes about Hall o’ th’ Hill.

24. It has been conjectured locally that the house was constructed with stones taken from the old hall of Duxbury.

25. Except one to a passage which appears to be a later insertion.

26. There are no traces above ground. Excavations on the site would probably expose the old foundations.

This is despite the much venerated Editor of the Chorley Guardian, George Birtill (died 2000) having written a whole book based on the name, The Hall that Climbed the Hill. This was the manor house in the southern half/ moiety of Heath Charnock.

It is not known whether any Standishes actually lived in Heath Charnock for any length of time, although they regularly pop up in the VCH account, suggesting that they might have been more involved with the northern half, with Healeycliff possibly being identifiable with today’s Bretter’s, a moated site:

Another ancient estate was that of Street, which gave a name to the owners. (fn. 29) During the 16th century there was a great amount of disputing—legal and otherwise—as to the possession. (fn. 30) In 1623 Alexander Waddington held it of Thomas Standish and Thomas Charnock by a rent of 12½d.; his son and heir was also named Alexander. (fn. 31)

35. Richard Pilkington in 1524 acquired lands called Healeycliff and Whitecarr, held by John Croston and others of the inheritances respectively of James Standish of Duxbury and Lord Mounteagle; Towneley MS. GG, no. 1685.

      Robert Pilkington in 1610 held his land in Heath Charnock of Robert Charnock and Alexander Standish; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 151. It was sold with the Rivington estate in 1611 to Robert Lever and Thomas Breres; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 79, m. 7. Robert Lever in 1620 was found to have held lands there as before; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc.), ii, 257.

The Charnocks certainly had a joint interest there with the Standishes, as seen in the various quotes above.  This is illuminating because of the appearance of Robert Charnock and his wife Mary as joint “deforciants” in the 1657 Assize Court Case.


Spring 1657: Lancaster Assize Court again, with Gilbert Standish

I confess that I have still not examined the 1657 Feet of Fines bundle, but have received enough helpful information by email correspondence from Lancashire Archives and the National Archives to locate the only surviving copy at Kew. The following explanations might be of interest to the curious:

The explanation for the Feet of Fines is:

The National Archives’ Guide Legal Records Information 7 says

6. Private conveyances: the final concord

The most common device was the final concord, an agreement between purchaser and vendor

sanctioned by the court which was drawn up as three copies, one of which, known as the ‘foot’ of

the fine, was kept by the court. Feet of fines are in CP 25/1 and CP 25/2 and cover the period

1182-1833. Those for the Palatinate of Chester are enrolled in CHES 32; those for the Palatinate

of Durham are in DURH 11 and those for the Palatinate of Lancaster are in PL 18.

So in theory there should be three feet for every fine, one of which was presumably intended for the main individual concerned. We are lucky that in the case of the 1655 ‘fine’ one foot did indeed stay with Colonel Richard, to be catalogued in 1965 by the Lancashire Record Office in the Standish of Duxbury Muniments as DP397/21/17. This was not the case with the 1657 ‘fine’. Only one foot has survived, and this one is in the National Archives at Kew.

The full document reference you require is: PL 17/160covers the date you need.

The complete reference emerged as: PL 17/160 Palatinate of Lancaster Feet of Fines bundle 160, membrane 155. The online Catalogue indicates that the bundle is for Spring 1657.

Its appearance in the Catalogue in the bundle covering Spring 1657 is, however, sufficient information for the moment. The most important aspect is that Gilbert Standish was claiming his rights to property only in Heath Charnock, Knowley and Chorley. There is no mention of the manors of Duxbury, Heapey, Whittle-le-Woods or Anglezarke, as in the 1655 claim by Alexander Standish. Let us remind ourselves of the VCH reference (given above).

12. In a fine in 1657 the moiety of the manor, with lands, &c., in Heath Charnock, Knowley and Chorley, the deforciants were Richard Standish, Elizabeth his wife, Robert Charnock and Mary his wife, while the plaintiffs were Edward May and Gilbert Standish, probably trustees for the first named; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 160, m. 155.

Although it would be interesting to know more about Robert and Mary Charnock, in the current context it is sufficient to know that they held the joint Lordship of a moiety of the Manor of Heath Charnock with Standish of Duxbury. We know that in 1623 this was Thomas Standish the MP[11A1], who had just inherited all from his father Alexander[10A1], who had died the year before.

In 1623 Alexander Waddington held it of Thomas Standish and Thomas Charnock (op. cit.)

Thomas Standish MP was the father of Gilbert[12A4]. Thomas had died in 1642 and his estates had passed in 1647 to Colonel Richard. At that time Gilbert (baptised 8 July 1631) was only sixteen. Now in the Spring of 1657 he was in his twenty-sixth year and presumably trying to reclaim at least one small part of his ‘rightful inheritance’. One might presume that Thomas Charnock in 1623 was the father of Robert Charnock in 1657, who had inherited his interest in Heath Charnock from his father and about which and whom Richard stated in his Will:

And also one other piece of land lying in Heath Charnock being the half of the township of Charnocke, which I purchased of Robert Charnock Esquire.

Heath Charnock . . . (Except such lands as I have purchased of Mr Robert Charnock)

Whether or not he shared the same interest in Knowley with Colonel Richard MP is not known, but might be assumed, because the Standishes and Charnocks were joint Lords of the Manor of Chorley. Knowley was (still is) a village immediately to the north-east of Chorley and north of Heath Charnock.

Of great significance is that Edward May was there with Gilbert. He had been with Gilbert’s Uncle Alexander[11A4] in the similar case two years earlier, when he had won his claim against Richard and Elizabeth Standish for the main estates based on Duxbury Hall. Now he was helping young Gilbert to claim his right to a few peripheral Standish holdings. Even without the complete text of the ‘fine’, one might presume that the outcome was similar. In one sense it does not matter for the continuing story of Standish of Duxbury, because after this Gilbert never appeared in any record. He may or may not have outlived his Uncle Alexander[11A4], but all the implications are covered in the latter’s biography 6.4. Alexander[11A4].

It would also be interesting to know more about Edward May. Research has established that this was not a Lancashire name, and that two of the rare local appearances of this surname are Thomas May, who was MP for Liverpool 1620-21 (five years before Thomas Standish was also MP for Liverpool). Thomas May also attended Preston Guild in 1622 (this is covered in more detail in the folder PRESTON GUILD.) We will see when we finally reach Colonel Richard’s Codicil in 1661/2, that by this time, at least, Alexander Standish was of Liverpool. One might assume that this was no random coincidence.

The other was his brother Sir Humphrey May, who has a brief biography on Wikipedia and a longer one in the Dictionary of National Biography (Old and New). He was elected MP for Lancaster in 1621, 1624 and 1625 and served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. They were both registered in Preston Guild Rolls in 1622 as:

Humfr’us May miles Cancell’ ducatus Lancestriae

         Thomas May frater eius

Maybe Edward May was a close relative of the next generation? My assumption has always been that he was a lawyer, and I see no reason to change this. He might also have been a relative, but no records have turned up mentioning him anywhere other than in the two Assize Court Cases. Although it would be interesting to know more about him, it does not have any great significance for the continuing Standish of Duxbury story. What he did achieve in doing, however, was to make Colonel Richard extremely worried about whether or not he was going to be able to pass on all his newly acquired estates to his own sons. Shortly after this he took the first step to ensure that this would be possible, calling on several of his eminent local relatives, friends and colleagues.


24 June 1657: Deed of feoffment part 1

Unfortunately no copy of this deed has survived, but it is mentioned in some detail in his Last Will and Testament written three months later (full text in next section (13)).

And first as concerning my lands.

Whereasby one deed of feoffment bearing date the twenty fourth day of June last past before the date hereof, I have conveyed my Manors and Lordships of Duxbury, Heapey, Whittle in le Woods, Heathcharnock, Anlezarch and Chorley,

And all that my Capital Messuage and tenement called Bradley Hall lying in Standish Langtree and Worthington, unto Richard Legh of Lyme in the County of Cheshire Esquire, Roger Bradshaig of the Haigh, Lawrance Rostorne of the new hall, and Henry Porter of Lancaster in the County of Lancashire Esquires, and their heirs,

To the use and behoofe of such person and persons and for such estate and estates

And to such uses limitations and purposes as I should limit and appoint either by deed or by my last will and testament.

This is clear enough – he was calling up support for his wishes for the main estates based on Duxbury Hall to stay with his own family, making any future attempts in a court by any challengers virtually impossible, with all these on his side. It is significant that he lists all his manors, even though not specifying the precise details, as he had in the 1655 ‘fine’. These were indeed all the core Standish of Duxbury lands. Who were these feoffees (trustees)?

Richard Legh of Lyme(1634-1687) was his wife Elizabeth’s first cousin, current Lord of the Manor of Lyme, just over the border in Cheshire. He was MP for Cheshire at this time. Perhaps significantly, he had escaped many of the tribulations of the recent Civil Wars by being too young. His family can be seen clearly on Family Tree 3. FT 6. Colonel Richard’s in-laws: LEGH of Lyme.

Roger Bradshagh/Bradshaw of Haigh, current head of an eminent County family, was still establishing himself at this time, with a promising future. He later (1660) became a Knight of the Shire and in 1679 a Baronet, when he also served as High Sheriff of Lancashire.

Sir Roger Bradshaigh, 1st Baronet (14 January 1628 - 31 March 1684) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1679. (Wikipedia)

Lawrence Rostorn/Rawsthornalso later served as High Sheriff of Lancashire.

Henry Porter of Lancasterreceives a brief biography on Wikipedia. His political career ran in parallel to Colonel Richard’s.

Henry Porter(born ca. 1613) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commonsin 1654 and 1656.

Porter was the eldest son of James Porter of Lancaster.[1]He was a major in the service of the commonwealth. In 1654, he was elected Member of Parliamentfor Lancasterin the First Protectorate Parliament. He was re-elected MP for Lancaster in 1656 to the Second Protectorate Parliament[2]

Porter was given as aged 52 in 1665.[1]

Porter had a son Henrywho was also MP for Lancaster.[1]

With influential friends like these, any enemies should beware!


24 June 1657: Deed part 2

Perhaps/ presumably this was part of the same deed. It was certainly drawn up on the same day and similarly referred to in his Last Will & Testament in September. But in this case Richard was concerned about his wife Elizabeth and that she would be well provided for during her lifetime, come what may.

And my will and mind further is, that according to a deed bearing date the twenty fourth day of June in the year 1657 in which deed there is settled for my dear and loving wife Elizabeth Standish two hundred and fifty pounds a year for her jointure for her life, issuing and Arising out of

Duxburie and Heapey, that the same may be fully performed and paid according to the times and days as therein set down.

Interestingly, he restricted the source of her income to the two original Standish of Duxbury Manors of Duxbury and Heapey, which had belonged to Richard’s own direct ancestor Hugh[1A1] before his own Family B split off as a junior branch. One might even assume that his own family had always lived in these two manors uninterruptedly until his own father had moved to Manchester.

We now need to scrutinise the whole of his 1657 Last Will and Testament.


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