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 2 and the takeover of Duxbury Part 2

N.B. Most of this still stands. Meanwhile, this is part (7) of (1) to (16) CR. [2013 HM]

6.3. (7) CR Civil War Part 2

On 16 August 1648 a Scottish army under the Duke of Hamilton in support of King Charles reached Preston at the same time as Cromwell’s New Model army arrived from the east, supplemented by local regiments. The battle was fierce and Cromwell’s victory ultimately sealed the fate of Charles I.  

In September 1648 his uncle Alexander died [or was it his younger brother Alexander[11B3]?] and Richard had now inherited all the estates of his own family (Family B), in Duxbury and elsewhere. For the first time since before 1400 all the Standish of Duxbury estates were united under one person. Alexander’s Admon just a couple of weeks after the Battle of Preston leads one to suspect that he was killed there or died of wounds soon afterwards. He was almost certainly the Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Standish fighting for Parliament. He had previously been lumped together with two other Alexander Standishes of Duxbury, but both of these were on the Royalist side (Colonel Alexander[12A2], whom we met above, and his uncle Alexander[11A4]). Richard’s uncle Alexander was the only one of this name in Family B at this time existing. [Correction: it is possible that his younger brother Alexander[11B3] was alive until now.] It seems certain that Richard also fought at the Battle of Preston.  

In 1648 the officers and men of Major General Ashton’s Lancashire brigade, all veterans of Cromwell’s forces, were due to receive some arrears of pay following their decisive defeat of the Scots at Preston. Local tradition maintains that the brigade had been quartered in Chorley; consequently in gratitude for hospitality afforded to them they agreed to a request from Richard Standish and Edward Robinson to make over their pay to the parish for the use of the grammar school. The arrears came to £86 3s 3d, a high sum of money by modern standards and giving this was a remarkable act of generosity.

(Jim Heyes, A History of Chorley, p. 39.)  

Richard was promoted to Colonel in 1650, before the next Scottish army descended on Lancashire.  

Commission: “Councell of State appointed by Authoritie of Parliament” to Col. Richard Standish - colonel of Regiment of Foot in Lancashire. Signed by John Bradshawe, president. 16 August 1650 (L.R.O. Catalogue DP397/16/7).  

John Bradshaw’s biography is in the DNB and the first sentence in the EB (1984) is:

Bradshaw, John (b. 1602, Stockport, Cheshire, Eng. - d. Oct. 31, 1659, London), president of the court Bradshaw, John (b. 1602, Stockport, Cheshire, Eng. - d. Oct. 31, 1659. London), president of the court that condemned King Charles I of England to death.

Bradshaw is very much a Lancashire name, from Bradshaw near Bolton, producing later the Bradshaws of Haigh near Wigan, with many members from this family appearing in the Duxbury to Shakespeare story. This John Bradshaw was born in Stockport when the Rev. Richard Gerard was Rector there, married to Ursula Arderne, the closest female relative of Mary Arderne, Shakespeare’s stepmother. He must have grown up knowing many families in Arderne circles and a lot about Shakespeare.  

The main encounter was on 25 August 1651 in Wigan and known today as the Battle of Wigan Lane. The main monument commemorating this battle, still there in Wigan, is to Royalist Sir Thomas Tyldesley, who was killed during the battle. It was erected by a Rigby of Burgh in Duxbury, and the chiselled inscription gives all relevant details of Sir Thomas’s military career. The Rigbys of Burgh in Duxbury were Catholic, and closely connected with the Catholic Standishes (of Standish) of Burgh in Duxbury, both families neighbours of Colonel Richard. Sir Thomas Tyldesley, incidentally, was married to a Standish of Standish and has been adopted as the name of one the societies that re-enact events of the Civil War.   

Although the Scottish Royalist army in 1651 (reinforced by English troops under the Earl of Derby) was routed, some (including the Earl of Derby) escaped and joined the main Royalist force at Worcester, where they were finally defeated, after which Charles II hid in a tree, and Derby’s head shared the same fate in Bolton in 1651 as King Charles’s in London in 1649.

[I know that I should resist inserting a personal anecdote here, but nevertheless include the identity of the only person willing to perform the unsavoury task of beheading the Earl of Derby, who retained many local sympathisers in spite of his fighting in the Royalist army. The axeman was George Whowell, of Whewell’s Farm in the moors above Bolton, whose daughters had been raped by some of Stanley’s soldiers. He was the cousin of my Grandpa Whewell’s ancestor. Some day, when I have time, I intend put all my Whewell research on this website under PERSONAL. HM 2013]

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