Coat of Arms 2:

Standish of Duxbury impaling Legh of Adlington

Helen Moorwood


Col. Richard's arms


This coat of arms appears in a window in St Laurence’s, Chorley above a depiction of St Laurence. The left hand side is Standish of Duxbury, exactly the same as described in 8.1. Coat of Arms 1. The right is Legh of Lyme (see below). It has long been assumed that this is the shield of Colonel Richard, whose second wife was Elizabeth Legh, granddaughter of Sir Piers Legh of Lyme. Both sides present problems, however.

The laws of heraldry until the 17th century were very strict, which means that Colonel Richard, from Family B, was not entitled to the full display on the Standish shield. As we read in the last section, the Butler, Ashton and Washington arms all came into this shield together when James[8A1] married heiress Elizabeth Butler in 1526. But Colonel Richard was not descended from this James. The distinct and different lines of descent of Family A and Family B can be seen on the Family Trees. In principle, therefore, the conclusions to be drawn are that:

Either a) these are not the arms of Colonel Richard; in which case – whose are they?

Or b) one of his ancestors had also married a Butler heiress; but there is no record of this.


Standish & Legh


One answer to a) might be that it was a later descendant of Colonel Richard who commissioned this version for the stained glass window. This could have been any of his direct line down to Sir Frank Standish (1745-1812), who inherited the Manor and the Baronetcy as a young boy in 1756, and was the last of direct line when he died without leaving a son and heir. The Manor then went to Frank Hall, who took the Standish name and arms by royal licence in December 1814 (Walker, Duxbury in Decline, p. 29, where the complete story of the later line of succession is given). He was Lord of the Manor 1812-1840.  By this time the laws of entitlement to bear arms, and which arms, had become much more lax.

It might even have been Frank Hall Standish’s successor William Carr of Cocken Hall, County Durham, who “became William Standish Standish, not without undue emphasis, in May 1840” (Walker, p. 43). He was then Lord of the Manor 1841-1856. In fact, he becomes the most likely candidate for having installed the arms and the stained glass windows, because his own Standish-Carr arms are in the next window (see at the end). In this case, he would have given the instructions for the Standish arms to be copied from the Standish Pew, and from somewhere undetermined obtained a Legh coat of arms. We will remember that by this time the Standish of Duxbury Muniments had long since disappeared from Duxbury Hall, and William Carr alias William Standish Standish might have been rather hazy about the lines of descent of his predecessors. He was presumably most anxious to emphasise that he was there and in control. This would have been particularly relevant in the light of all the claimants turning up during this century.

Whatever the true story, we are still confronted with the Standish and Legh arms, which can be described accurately.


Legh of Lyme


Ormerod, The History of Cheshire, gives the complete descent of the Legh family with various branches in North Cheshire, which would allow the tracing of the entry of various heiresses’ arms into those of the Leghs. The most striking point is how many Legh arms are included, a sure sign that families stuck together when choosing spouses, particularly heiresses. As Colonel Richard’s mother was a Legh of Lyme, we can only assume that this was one reason for his finding his second wife in a cadet branch of this family. Many of them appear on the Family Tree 3. FT6. Col. Richard’s in-laws: Legh.

Three other names in the list above are of immediate interest: Baggelegh (Bagueley, etc.) was a place that saw another Legh family of Baguely in the 16th century, into which family the Ardernes, contemporaries of Mary (Shakespeare’s stepmother), married (Ormerod, Earwaker, Rylands); Haydock is a name that crops up regularly in Standish documents and the ‘Shakespeare in Lancashire’ story; and Ashton, originally from Ashton-under-Lyne, but by Colonel Richard’s time mainly represented by the Asshetons of Middleton and the Asshetons of Gt Lever and Whalley, who provided Alexander Standish[10A1] (1567-1622)’s wife. Another name of early interest is Boydell, as a widow of this family was the second wife of Hugh Standish de Duxbury[1A1] early in the 14th century.

[The heraldic notes above were, as with the Standish arms, compiled in the 1980s by Jock Smith of the Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society. The images in the church were grabbed from, where there is also some discussion. HM 2013]


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