2. The Standish of Duxbury Muniments DP397

Deeds Purchased (1965) by the Lancashire Record Office (now Lancashire Archives)

2C. Introduction to the List of Abstracts of Documents in DP397 (2004)

Helen Moorwood 2013

[Introduction from 2004, with Add. in 2010 and again in 2013.] 

The following list differs from the Catalogue in the L.R.O. in that all documents are listed below in chronological order (rather than by thematic section as given in B), with a cut off date of 1693 (the death of Sir Richard Standish of Duxbury, Bart.). The logic behind this date is that after his lifetime nothing else of relevance for Captain Myles Standish or his son Alexander of Duxbury, Massachusetts happened in the family papers. Bill Walker had in any case examined all later documents whilst researching and writing Duxbury in Decline 1756-1932: A story of the decline of a Lancashire landed estate and the families associated with it (1995), and his story of Duxbury, Lancashire and the various Lords of the Manor of Duxbury from 1756 onwards can be accepted as pretty definitive, also for several years before this.

My first cut off date was 1524, when Thomas Duxbury sold off the last of his possessions in Duxbury to Ralph Standish of Standish.

My second cut off date was 1656, when Captain Myles Standish died in Duxbury, Massachusetts and left behind his intriguing will, claiming various lands in Lancashire.

My third cut off date was the death of Colonel Richard in 1662, after it had become obvious that Myles’s son and heir Alexander was sending lawyers to Lancashire to try to reclaim various estates (mentioned in his Will in 1702).

[Add. 2010.As will be read elsewhere, most particularly in Colonel Richard’s biography 6.3. (11) CR 1655 Compensation, I long ago rescinded on my claim that Alexander in the 1655 Document was Myles’s son. I now believe, along with Bill Walker, historian of Duxbury, that the Alexander in question was most likely/almost certainly Alexander[11A4], Col. Richard’s “dear friend Alexander Standish of Liverpool” in the Codicil to his Will. Bill and I agree that this 1655 document was, however, extremely important in this dispute of rightful ownership of the lands based on Duxbury Hall. My claim in 2004 that Myles’s son Alexander sent over lawyers/representatives at the latest in the early 1660s with queries still stands, however, with proof in the 1664 Visitation Pedigree and Alexander’s Will of 1702, q.v. in the relevant section in the folder MYLES STANDISH.

Add. 2013. Further relevant details about Sir William Dugdale and “Alexander Standish, Gent” have come to light, which will be added to the appropriate sections. The first-ever biography of the latter is in 6.4. Alexander[11A4] (1604-1662>1664). ]

My fourth cut off date was the death of Sir Richard, Bart. in 1693.

[Add. 2013. By the time of this death there really was no hope of Myles’s son Alexander or later descendants ever putting in a valid claim to the SMALL ESTATE in Lancashire or the LARGE ESTATES based on Duxbury Hall. The descendants in America, however, persisted in believing that they had a rightful claim. This whole story is/will be told in the relevant section in the folder MYLES STANDISH.]

A reminder that for Duxbury ‘cousins’ I have placed an asterisk* after the document number and underlined all mentions of Duxburys of Duxbury. These are unfortunately few and far between, because these are the Standish of Duxbury papers. The Duxburys of Duxbury presumably took theirs with them when they departed from Duxbury (Old) Hall in 1524 and they have since disappeared. There are several in the Standish of Standish papers in Wigan Archives, mainly concerning the sale of all the lands in Duxbury.

We should be grateful to the anonymous archivist at the Lancashire Record Office who produced this catalogue post-1965; I have copied this version as faithfully as possible, and included the odd correction by another anonymous reader who obviously took a look at a few documents and added his/her version of the deciphering of names. Pretty well all documents until the middle of the 15th century were in mediaeval abbreviated Latin, when they then started to appear in English, but you need to be a dab hand to decipher some of the words and names, whether in Latin or English. All documents referenced below can be viewed at or ordered from the L.R.O., by giving the DP397 number of the document and paying up for copies. I hope that some one else might follow up documents in my footsteps, but in case no one does, my version of the story of the Duxburys of Duxbury and the Standishes of Duxbury remains as pretty solid, based mainly on the originals of documents abstracted below and those abstracted by the usual litany of antiquarians in Lancashire and North Cheshire: Dodsworth, Towneley, Dugdale and Kuerden in the 17th century, Ormerod, Baines, Piccope, Croston, Abram, Earwaker  and Farrer in the 19th century, and Rev. Porteus for all the local Standish details in the first half of the 20th century. I salute them all, but none more than the producer of the abstracts below. Any comments by me are in brackets and italics.


Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.