6.2. Thomas the MP[11A1] (1593-1642)

Helen Moorwood 2013

6. 2. (11) TMP 1640-42: MP again

It might be useful at this point to give Farrer’s version of Thomas’s later biography and immediate family, which has barely been expanded on since it was published in Volume 6 of the Victoria County Historyof Lancashire (1911) and certainly not been seriously queried until now by myself. This account takes us down to Colonel Richard’s son and heir Sir Richard[12B1]. All that Farrer reports is indeed true, apart from his assumption that the Richard who ‘eventually succeeded’ Thomas was Colonel Alexander’s younger brother Richard[12A3]. He wasn’t. He was Colonel Richard[11B1].

He [Alexander[10A1]] died in 1622, leaving a son Thomas, twenty-nine years of age.1 The family had become Protestant, and Thomas Standish was a zealous Parliamentarian, representing Preston from 1640 till his death in October 1642.2  His eldest son, however, espoused the king’s side and was killed in September 1642 while taking part in the attack on Manchester.3  The elder son Thomas was eventually succeeded by a younger son Richard,4 whose son and heir Richard Standish was created a baronet in 1677.

 1 Lancs.Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 397. His will was proved in 1622 [sic, 1623]; to his ‘grandchild little Thomas Standish’ he left ‘two of the best pieces of plate, viz. a crystal cup and his best salt.’ The will of Captain Ralph Standish, younger son of Alexander, is printed in Piccope’s Wills (Chet. Soc.), ii, 141.

 2 Pink and Beaven, Parl. Repre. of Lancs. 151, 152. He was buried at Chorley 29 Oct. 1642.

A settlement of the manors of Duxbury, Heapey, &c., was made by Thomas Standish in 1623; Pal. Of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 104, no. 10.

3‘Captain Standish, a captain of the trained band of Leyland Hundred, eldest son to Mr. Standish of Duxbury (who was then a burgess in the Parliament for the town of Preston), quartered in a house upon the north side of Salford, well up towards the chapel, washing his hands in the morning at the door, was by a bullet shot from the top of Manchester steeple slain’; War in Lancs. (Chet. Soc.), 7; Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc.), 46, 55.

4The details in the text are taken mainly from a pedigree in the Piccope MS. Ped. (Chet. Lib.), I, 167; see also Burke’s Commoners, iv, 642.

He was buried at Chorley 30 Sept. Administration of his estate was in 1642 granted to his brother Alexander and Edward Farnworth.

Alexander Standish succeeded his father Thomas, and died in or before 1648, when administration was granted.

What a master of succinctness! As mentioned above, he was correct, as far as it went, down to Thomas the MP’s death, with accurate and valuable references in footnotes 1-3. After this he presents a muddle, although this was rather the muddle presented by Piccope’s MS Pedigree of the family, repeated in Burke’s Commoners, which Farrer had no reason to doubt, but which we must now very much doubt and correct in the light of the Standish of Duxbury Muniments.

What Thomas did with his life between 1632 and 1640 (when he was MP again, this time for Preston) we do not know, but there were already ominous clouds on the horizon that were to shatter his life completely. His younger brother Captain Ralph had died in early 1638 while in the ‘trained band’ under Lord Strange, expressing hostility towards Thomas in his will. His son and heir Thomas also joined the ‘band’, and by 1642 was also a Captain. Lord Strange never made any secret of his devoted loyalty to the King and one can imagine earnest conversations between Thomas father and Thomas son as to the possibility of them being on opposing sides if it came to war. Brother Alexander[11A4] (who received Captain Ralph’s sword) was also, one suspects, a Royalist, although there is no record of him ever fighting. Thomas Sr, however, appears not to have swerved in his allegiance to Parliament and in 1640 became MP for Preston in the Long Parliament, earning the epithet of being a “zealous Parliamentarian” and still serving in August 1642 when war broke out. His fellow MP for Preston was in-law Richard Shuttleworth – his son Nicholas was married to Thomas’s daughter Margaret. A list of MPs for Lancashire elected in 1640 includes several people already well known to Thomas (list from Wikipedia), including fairly close relatives Sir Gilbert Hoghton and Sir Ralph Assheton. Alexander Rigby was also from Duxbury (Burgh).






Sir Gilbert Hoghton, 2nd Baronet
William Farrington



Richard Shuttleworth
Thomas Standish



Roger Kirkby
John Harrison



Sir Richard Wynn, 2nd Baronet
William Sherman

Wynnsat for Andover


Orlando Bridgeman
Alexander Rigby



Sir Ralph Assheton
Richard Shuttleworth



James Lord Cranfield
John Holcroft


In September Lord Strange undertook the first major military action in Lancashire when he marched with about two thousand men to secure Manchester for the Royalist cause. He failed, and one of the first casualties was Captain Thomas, who was shot by a sniper while washing his hands. This was on 26 September 1642 and he was buried at St Laurence’s, Chorley four days later.

Thomas Jr had probably married the previous year. A preliminary settlement had been reached in 1641 for his marriage to Elizabeth Vaux. The granting of estates based on Bradley Hall to his son and heir were an echo of his own receipt of these as son and heir on his first marriage.

DP397/21/14.                                                                              1641

Grant of jointure:   out of manors (sic) of Duxbury, Heapey, Whittle-in-le-Woods, Heath Charnock, Anlezarch, Bradley Hall in Worthington , and estates in Standish, Langtree, Worthington, Chorley.                                                 1640/41.

21/15.                                                                            1641

Marriage settlement, by lease and release:   premises as 21/14.  (Release missing)                                                                                                             1640/41. 

Sadly, however, his marriage has little bearing on the later history of the Manor of Duxbury. If it actually took place, there were no children from this marriage and Captain Thomas’s heir on his death immediately became his younger brother Alexander[12A2]. This marriage is covered again in the next section.


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