STANDISH OF DUXBURY

6. BIOGRAPHIES

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

Helen Moorwood 2013

N.B. By clicking on the coloured title you can return to the original articles written in early 2004 and placed by Peter Duxbury on A Duxbury Family Website in March 2004, where this one still is, under:

Helen's Story: from Duxbury to Shakespeare. The story of William Shakespeare's Lancashire Ancestry, by Helen Moorwood

12. Colonel Richard Standish of Duxbury (c. 1597-1662)

Civil War Part 1 and the takeover of Duxbury Part 1

N.B. Most of this still stands. Meanwhile, this is part (6) of (1) to (16) CR. [2013 HM]

6.3. (6) CR Civil War Part 1

& the Takeover of Duxbury

Meanwhile the country had gone to war. In the spring of 1642 he was still in Manchester, where he swore the Protestation Oath, ostensibly swearing faith to King Charles, but in reality to Parliament. Manchester was a Parliamentary stronghold, which was the main reason why James Stanley, Lord Strange besieged it with an army of 2000 or so, as his first military act in support of the King at the end of September. Richard must have been very much aware of the death of his kinsman Captain Thomas during the siege, and that of his father Thomas the MP soon afterwards.  

Colonel Alexander[12A2] of Duxbury Hall (younger brother of Captain Thomas) died in early 1647, the last Lord of the Manor from Family A in this position after a continuous line since 1381. Whatever the background story to his widow Margaret granting away all her estates, Richard was now the legal owner of all the estates based on Duxbury Hall.  

Between Margaret Standish widdower late wife of Alexander Standish late of Duxbury Esquire and Richard Standish of Duxbury Esquire that the said Margaret for the good of affection she beareth unto the said Richard Standish, Anne Standish, Dorothy Standish, Margaret Standish, Katherine Standish, Henry Standish, younger brothers and sisters of the said Richard and for a better enabling of the said Richard Standish for the settling of our debts to Thomas Standish Esquire, his late father, or of the said Alexander Standish . . . All her dower right to Duxbury, Heapey, Anglezarke, Whittle, Charnock, Standish, Langtree, Worthington, Heapey and Chorley . . . all demesne lands. 15 June, 23 Charles (1647).                                                                                           (L.R.O. Catalogue, DP397/21/16.)  

This document finally made it clear, at one fell swoop, how Colonel Richard acquired the estates based on Duxbury Hall. He did not ‘steal’ or buy them cheaply in the turmoils and sequestrations of the Civil War, but was given them lock, stock and barrel by Margaret, widow of Colonel Alexander, a few months after her husband’s death. We have no idea who Margaret was;*

[*Happily, since 2004, a record was noted that her identity had been established in a 19th century report asthe widow of Colonel Clifton, although we still do not know her maiden name. He was Colonel Cuthbert Clifton, who had been head of the Royalist garrison of Liverpool from the time when Prince Rupert was there until its final fall in late 1644, after which he was taken to Manchester, where he died during his incarceration (Bull, ‘Civil Wars in Lancashire’, 2009, pp. 234, 265). This left his widow Margaret, who was obligingly married (presumably in early-mid 1645) by Colonel Alexander Standish of Duxbury. It is interesting to note that neither he nor any other Standish apart from Captain Thomas finds his way into any account of the Civil Wars in Lancashire, including the most complete to date by Stephen Bull, ‘The Civil Wars in Lancashire 1640-1660’. This was published in 2009, after many more years of research since his first offering, ‘The Civil War in Lancashire’, 1991, and can thus probably be accepted as fairly definitive on all the campaigns. HM 2013]

Alexander was buried at Chorley on 15 March 1647 as “Alexrus Coll: Standish de Duxbury”. They might have had a daughter but certainly no son and heir; Margaret disappeared at this point from family records. The “debts” she refers to echo Thomas the MP’s will of October 1642, in which he was desperately trying to call in various debts to him, leaving the distinct impression that he was rather short of money at that time. If Colonel Richard had helped him out before the Civil War, as widow Margaret stated, the implication is that he had considerable money of his own, with the implication in turn that he might have been a successful businessman.  

This document also shows that Richard had acquired a new younger ‘sister’ Anne (named as the eldest), who must have been his cousin, or an ‘adopted’ sister from the Duxbury Hall family. Experience with documents of the period indicates that once someone had joined the family no distinction was made between sister, half-sister, step-sister, sister-in-law or cousin. She must have been the Anne who left such a useful and comprehensive will in 1651, naming everyone in the family. Richard was certainly supporting a large family at this time, as brother Henry was also still living at home. They must have provided some consolation during the years when he kept burying his children. The last one was buried in 1650 at Chorley.

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