5.2. 1593 Will, Thomas[9D2]

Helen Moorwood 2013

Very brief biography

Very little is known of this Thomas apart from his two marriages and the information given in his Will. He is named by Sir William Dugdale on the Visitation Pedigree of 1664 as “Thomas Standish of Duxbury” married to “Margaret, dau. and coheir of Thomas Houghton of Pendleton”. He was NOT Thomas[9A1] son & heir of James[8A1], Lord of the Manor of Duxbury, but his half-cousin Thomas[9D1], son of James[8C2/8D1]. These confusions are covered in other relevant places, particularly in 2. DP397 The Standish of Duxbury Muniments, 2I. 1550-1577: the Period of Muddles; 2 Thomases, 2 Christophers, 2 Margaret Hoghtons. This Margaret Ho(u)ghton of Pendleton was his first wife, who had died before 1577, when he married 2) another Margaret née Hoghton, this one a daughter of Sir Richard Hoghton of Hoghton Tower. He had no children by his first wife and all the children mentioned in his Will were his stepchildren, from his second wife’s first marriage. One daughter Margaret of this second marriage is mentioned elsewhere, but she had presumably died before 1593, as she is not mentioned in this Will.

Joseph Gillow, in his commentary on Lord Burghley’s Map of Lancashire in 1590 (1907), described him as follows:

Standish, Edward (an error for Thomas), of Duxbury Hall, in the parish of Standish, was the representative of the junior branch of the family, which parted from the senior line in the reign of Edw. I, but had been re-allied through the marriage of Thos. Standish’s grandfather and namesake with Cath. d. of Sir Alex. Standish, of Standish, in 1497. He was the son of James Standish, of Duxbury, by his second wife Eliz., d. & coh. of John Butler, of Rawcliffe Hall, the first wife, Eliz., d. of Evan Haydock, having  died s,p, Thomas Standish mar. Margt., d. of Thos. Hoghton, of Pendleton Hall, by whom he had two sons. He was a temporizer, and died in 1599. His son and successor, Alexander, mar. Margt., [sic, Alice]  d. of Sir [not knighted; his namesake son was] Ralph Assheton, of Whalley Abbey, Bart., which seems to  have been the first Protestant alliance of the family.

(Joseph Gillow, Burgley’s Map, The Catholic Record Society, 1907, p. 30.)

Burghley in 1590 got Thomas’s name wrong, presumably confusing him with Edward Standish of Standish (although the latter received a ‘Catholic’ cross, whereas the former didn’t), but Gillow in 1907 unfortunately got pretty well everything else wrong. All that he wrote was about his half-cousin Thomas[9A1], who had died in 1577. However, he did provide the information of Pendleton Hall, and gave the following on the owner thereof in 1590, presumably Thomas’s brother-in-law:

Hoghton, Alexander, of Pendleton Hall in the parish of Whalley, son of John Hoghton, of the same, by Cath., d. of Ralph Catterall, of Catterall and Little Mitton, and relict of Henry Shuttleworth, of Hacking Hall, mar. Maud, d. of John Aspinall, of Standen Hall, in Pendleton. He was a recusant like all the Hoghtons of this period.

(Gillow, op. cit., p. 23.)

This leaves no doubt that this Pendleton was the one on the slopes of Pendle above Clitheroe, and not the Pendleton near Manchester.


Will of Thomas Standish, 18 June 1593, (died 1599), will proved 29 September 1600 (Piccope MSS, Chetham’s Library, ix, 295; reference in Farrer, VCH Lancashire, vol. 6, p. 210, n. 3).

Farrer’s other reference (VCH, Vol. 6, 1911)

Note 27.

Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvii, no. 54; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 43, m. 35. The will of Thomas Standish, made in 1593 and proved in 1600, is in Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), ix, 295.


Piccope’s MS transcription of original, transcribed by HM

Piccope, p. 295

(Left hand side of photocopy sometimes illegible. All spellings sic.)

N.B. A typed transcription of this same Will is on the website, in the section on the Standish family of Ireland. This has been checked against my transcription from Piccope’s MSS. Both agree apart from very minor differences. Where my photocopy was illegible in the margins, the other transcription has been accepted as valid. The division of lines below is as in Piccope’s handwritten MS. HM

Will of Thomas Standishe of Duckesbury Esq.

… to the xviijth daye of June in the yere of our Lorde god one thousand fyve

hundrethe nyntye & three And in the xxxvth yere of the Reigne of or Sovereigne Ladye

Elizabethe by the grace [of God] I Thomas Standishe of duckesburye in the Coutie of Lancs

Esqier  sycke in bodye but of good & pfecte mynde & Remembrance laude & prayse

bee unto almyghtie god, doe ordayne & make my Testamente Contayninge herein my

laste Will in maner & form as hereafter dothe appeare, That is to wyte fyrste asyn(?):

principallie I gyve & bequeathe my soule to almightie god my onlye maker and Redeemer

trustinge in his great mercy & by the meryte of Christs Passion & Resurrection whereby

I faithfullye do belyve, that I shalbe one of the nomber of those that shalbe saved

And my bodye to bee buryed wthin the pishe Churche of Chorley And for the disposynge

of my worldlye goods I gyve & beqethe in manr & forme followinge, ffyrste & pryn:

cipallie for all my howseholde goods belonginge to mee, wch are for the furnisshinge

of my howse, & for all my Implements of howseholde, of what sorte or Kynde as can

ever they bee of, whether of playte, pewter, copp, brasse, Iron or woodde, or of any other sorte

or kynde whatsoever. Ande also all manr of furniture & necessaries belonginge unto

husbundrye beinge of hempe Iron or woodde, my will & my mynde is that all the

p’misses be devyded into three Equall pts whereof one thyrde pte I doe gyve unto

Margaret my welbeloved wiffe to her own use, And the other two thirde pts my will

& mynde ys & I doe gyve the same unto my sonne Allexander Standish to his owen

use. And for the Reste of my goods Cattell & debts what so ever quicke or deade

after my debts & funrall dischardged my will &  mynde is to have theym eqallye

devided into three equall pts whereof the fyrste pte I doo gyvete unto Margaret

my said welbeloved wiffe to have & enioye to her owen prop use. And one

other thirde pte my will & mynde ys that my daughter Ellyn shall have to &

for the prferment of her mariage, soe as shee be cotented to be Ruled & doe

not marrye wthoute the proyritie Consente or lykinge of Margaret my said

wiffe, or my sonne Allexander, wch said thyrdde pte is to bee payed

unto her by my Executors at such tyme as shee shalbe marryed.

And in the mean tyme to bee used to her moste benefytte & profytt att the dispo

sition & discrecion of Margaret my said wiffe & my said sonne Allexander

S & for the laste thirde pte of the said goods my will & mynde is, that yt

shalbe to & for the payment of my legacy & bequethes wch hereafter follow,

ffyrste I gyve to unto evrye one of my chyldrens chyldern wch I am

grandfather unto iiili vjs viijd a peece Itm I gyvete of the said thirde

(p. 296. Here the right hand edge is illegible)

pte unto my sonne Leonard S. xlli soe as the said leonard bee Contented

& pleased to bee obedyente & Ruled by my said Wiffe until such tyme as he shall

accomplishe the age of xxi yeares & then to doe suche acte or actes as my said Wiffe

shall in reason required of hym to bee downe for the uniting & knyttinge of hym

in an assured & loving frendsip & any tie with hys brother Allexander wich I pray

to god maye soe bee as it may bee for the greate comforte of all those that dothe

love thym bothe. Also I gyvete unto every one of my three daughters Elizabeth

Jayne & Alice vjli xiijs iiijd a peece also I give unto everye one of my yomen

suche as are my howseholde svants over & bsyde their waigs xxs a

peece. Itm I gyvete every one of my woorkes svants & beside their wages

xs apeece. And unto every one of my maide svants ovr and beside their wages

xs apiece. Itm I gyvete unto my brother Ctofers xls & to evry one of (his)

chyldren xs apeece. Itm I gyvete unto my sister Clemens xls & for the resi

due of the said last third pte if there bee anye remaninge I gyve the same

unto my sonne Allexander S. Itm yt is my mynde & will & I gyve & assign by

these prnts unto John Wygan & his assignes all that messuage & tente [tenement?] lying &

beeinge in Heapy wt all howses & lande thereunto belonging nowe in the

occupacôn of the said John Wygan except that pcelle of lande lyinge &

beeinge upon Copthurste neare unto John Johnsons howse. To have

& to holde the said messuage howses & lande thereunto belonging excepte before

excepted to the said John Wygan & his assignes for terme of lx yeares yf the

said JohnWygan doe fortune to lyve so longe by the yerely rents and svyce

thereof due & accustomed Itm yt is my will & mynde & I gyve & assigne by these

prsnts unto Roger leylonde and his assignes for his svice downe all that messuage and

tente lyinge and beinge in Whytel in the Woodde wt all howses and lands there unto

belonging nowe in the tenure holdinge or occupacon of the said Roger or of his

asssignes To have and to holde the said messuage howses & lande there unto belong

inge unto the said Roger Leylande & his assignes for terme of lx yeres if

the said Roger leylonde & Alice nowe is Wiffe or oyther of them so

longe doe fortune to lyve by the yerely rents and svice thereof due & accus

tomed, & of this my laste will or testamente I doe constitute Margaret

my welbeloved Wiffe and my loving sonne Allexander as true and

lawfull executors & for supvisors of the same I require to be my loving

sonne in lawes & friends Xpofer Longworth, Ricr Houghton of Houghton

esquier & Phillippe Manwaringe & my loving brother in lawe [not named in Piccope MS, perhaps because turning the page?] Rauffe Assheton

(p. 297)

gyvinge unto eche of them for a token of Remembrance xs a peece. Also I doe

by this my will Revoke & adnihillate all former Wills what soever they be

whether by worde or wrytinge

Thomas Standishe

Proved Sep. 29 1600


Postcript 1. Immediately after the transcript of this Will on the information is given:

His Inquisition post mortem, which was taken at Leigh on October 9th 1599 states that he died at Duxbury April 13 1599, and that Alexander Standish, his son and heir, was then 29 years of age.

Leigh might have been Leigh near Wigan but was more likely Lea Hall, one of the main residences, along with Hoghton Tower, of the Hoghtons. It is a likely setting because so many Hoghtons were involved as relatives and Richard Hoghton was one of the supervisors. His widow Margaret(1) was a Hoghton of Hoghton.

As commented on in the biography of son AS in 6.1. Alexander[10A1] /1567-1622), this statement of his age in this year has caused much confusion. He is almost certainly the Alexander baptised at St Laurence’s, Chorley on 8 November 1567, “son to Thomas of Dukesburie Esquire”, which would make him aged 31 in April 1599. So either the baptism was recorded in the wrong year (unlikely), or someone recorded his age wrongly in 1599. Or maybe a later transcriber made a mistake? This is of minimal importance, however, in the whole sweep of the story.

Postcript 2. Immediately before the quote on the Ipm given immediately above, the following identification of Thomas is given, the one whose Will is given here. I am afraid that this identification is wrong.

The testator was the eldest, son and heir of James Standish of Duxbury, Esq., by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Butler, Esq.

He married Margaret, daughter of Sir Richard Hoghton of Hoghton, knight, by whom he had issue.

There were two contemporary Thomas Standishes married to two different Margaret Hoghtons. The one mentioned in the quote above had died in 1577 and his widow married the testator from a junior branch of Standish of Duxbury. To repeat, this confusing situation is explained in the file 2I. 1550-1577: the Period of Muddles; 2 Thomases, 2 Christophers, 2 Margaret Hoghtons

Postcript 3. In Piccope’s handwritten MSS this Will is followed immediately by the Will of Elizabeth Standish of Standish widow on the 29 September 1637. Son and heir Rauffe the main beneficiary.

They both appear on the Standish of Standish VP 1664. He was Ralph Standish, “sheriff of the county 10 Car. I. He ob. 1656.” married to “Bridget, dau. of Sir Richard Molyneux of Sephton, bart.” His mother was “Elizabeth, dau. and heir of Adam Haywarden of Wolstan, gent.”

This is mentioned here, in this section on WILLS & IPMS, only to point out that there are still several Standish Wills not yet published, any one of which MIGHT provide a further clue to some Myles Standish Mysteries.


Summary/Extracts from the Will of Thomas Standish of Duckesbury, 1593

The most important parts are the following extracted points, identifying all immediate members of the family.

3 parts

1st part - my well-beloved wife Margaret to her own use

2nd part - son & heir Alexander to his own use

3rd part in 3 parts

1 - Margaret my said well-beloved wife to her own proper use

2 - daughter Ellyn for her marriage, to be approved by wife Margaret & son Alexander

3 - legacies & bequests as follow

- each one of my children’s children who I am grandfather unto

            iiili vjs viiid £3 6s 8d apiece

- my son Leonard £20 if obedient to my said wife until accomplished age 21

- each of my three daughters Elizabeth, Jane & Alice £6 13s 4d apiece

- each one of my household servants over & beyond their wage 10s apiece

- every one of my workers 10s apiece

- every one of my maids 10s apiece

- my brother Christopher 40s

- to every one of his children 10s apiece

- my sister Clemens 40s

If there be any remaining, to my son Alexander

Two tenants are singled out in respect of rents for 40 years:

- John Wigan in Heapey, with land in Copthurst near John Johnson’s;        

- Roger Leyland in Whittle-le-Woods.

Appoints as supervisors – “Son in laws & friends”:

Christopher Longworth, Richard Houghton of Houghton, Philip Mainwaring & my loving brother in law Rauffe Ashton Unto each a token of remembrance 10s apiece.


Identification of persons named in the Will

“Margaret my well-beloved wife” was Margaret née Ho(u)ghton. This marriage produced some of the greatest Standish muddles in the second half of the 16th century, which could only be sorted out by a close examination of the Standish of Duxbury Muniments, which had disappeared for two centuries until turning up in 1965. All mysteries were finally solved when it was realized that there were two Thomas Standishes and two Margaret Hoghtons. This has been explained at length elsewhere, but here again, in brief: Thomas[9A1] (1532-1577), also called Thomas(1) when appropriate, married in about 1557 Margaret, one of several younger daughters of Sir Richard Hoghton of Hoghton, the senior branch at Hoghton Tower. They had a large family of seven daughters and four (or five) sons, with sadly two of the daughters and three (or four) of the two sons dying very young. When Thomas died in 1577, widow Margaret was left with two sons and four daughters, all of whom we will meet below. Their home had always been at The Pele in Duxbury, the home of Family A since the early 1300s.

Meanwhile, there had been another marriage of ‘cousin’ Thomas[9D1] (c.1535-1599), called Thomas(2) when appropriate, who had also married a Margaret Hoghton(2). According to some Hoghton pedigree charts and repeated by Sir William Dugdale in his Visitation Pedigree of 1664, she was a daughter and heiress of Thomas Hoghton of Pendleton, a junior branch. Thomas(2) and Margaret(2) either had no children, or maybe one daughter, but in any case no surviving sons. The only hint as to where they lived is when this Thomas is called of “Duxbury Hall” in 1571 (DP397/4/22), which can only have referred to Duxbury (Old) Hall, and one can only presume that he had bought it or rented it from Standish of Standish, who had bought this in 1524 from the last Duxbury of Duxbury.

Then Margaret(2) died (from surrounding dates, about 1577), leaving Thomas(2) as a widower. By 22 October, 19th Elizabeth (1578, DP397/21/12 & 12a) widower Thomas(2) had married widow Margaret(1), moved into The Pele, and ‘adopted’ all his stepchildren as his own.  It is easy to see this as a ‘marriage of convenience’, which it certainly was, but his Will in 1593 indicates genuine fondness for his ‘new’ family.

Son and heire Alexander”was AS, Alexander[10A1], the older of the two surviving sons. He was given this PIN number because it was uncertain whether there had been one or two baby Thomases before him, both of whom had died, along with brothers James and Richard, all them having died in the early to mid-1560s. There was no doubt that Alexander was the oldest surviving son and heir, not only of his own father Thomas[9A1], but also of his stepfather Thomas[9D1].

Daughter Ellyn”was the daughter of either of the two Thomases. On the Family Tree, I have placed her in Family A to join all the other daughters, but it hardly matters. She appears to have been singled out here as the only surviving unmarried daughter, with provision being made here for her potential future marriage. A daughter Margaret for this Thomas and this Margaret was also proposed somewhere (unknown reference), but she did not appear in this Will.

my childrens children who I am grandfather unto”.The only children who had produced children by 1593 were AS (his first son Thomas[11A1] had just been born, after his marriage in 1592) and his three older sisters, all of whom are named below.

“my son Leonard” was Leonard[10A2], presumably named after one of his Hoghton uncles.

my three daughters Elizabeth, Jayne & Alice”had all appeared in the Visitation Pedigree of 1567, along with a daughter Ann, who had presumably since died. Meanwhile all three had married and had families: Elizabeth to John Ogle, Jane to Philip Mainwaring and Alice to Christopher Longworth of Longworth. Alice left a Will in 1612 (L.R.O. WCW 1612 Alice Longworth) (These marriages appear on the 1613 Visitation Pedigrees of their husbands’ families.)

my brother Christopher”is presumed to be Christopher[9D2], Thomas[9D1]’s own brother of Heath Charnock, who had a family. There had been another Christopher[9A3] of Chorley, almost certainly of Family A and not married. By 1593 he had disappeared from family records.

to every one of his children”. From this one might assume that Christopher had several children. The only surviving sons whose names are known are James[10D1], born 1559, who appears on the list of pupils at Rivington Grammar School in 1575, along with Alexander[10A1]; and William[10D2]. On the Family Tree 3. FT2 this James (or William?) has been postulated as the possible ancestor of the Standishes of Ireland. Much work on this family has appeared on Other sons baptised at St Laurence’s, Chorley were Thomas (bap. 1561, buried 1565) and John (bap. 1562, buried 1564); and daughters Alice (bap. 1560) and Joan (bap. 1566). This family played no obvious further role in the papers of Family A.

my sister Clemens” is presumed to be the Clemence married to John Yates and presumed to be a sister of Thomas[9A1]. The very fact that another sister Anne, who had married Randolph Eaton, does not appear in this Will, may be taken as a hint that she had already died. Whether or not identified accurately, they and their descendants played no further obvious role in Duxbury.

“Supervisors: Son in laws & friends”:

Christopher Longworth, as seen above, was married to daughter Alice. He was Lord of the Manor of Longworth near Bolton.

Richard Houghton of Houghton, the current Lord of the Manor of Houghton, was one of the largest local landowners in neighbouring townships and a close relative of all the Standishes of Duxbury because of the two Standish-Ho(u)ghton marriages. The current Lord of the Manor was the brother of Thomas’s second and current wife Margaret.

Phillippe Mainwaring, as seen above, was married to daughter Jane.

my loving brother in law Rauffe Ashton. This was the current Lord of the Manor at Whalley, the father of Alice Assheton, who had married stepson AS the year before.


Why a Will in 1593 when he was to live until 1599?

Thomas opens with the usual preamble of ‘sick in body but sound in mind’, with the strong implication that he was not very well. However, we know that he lived on until 1599, with his Will proved in 1600. Another plausible reason for prompting him to write his Will at this time is that son & heir Alexander had married Alice Assheton in 1592 and in 1593 they had produced their first son Thomas[11A1]. It must have seemed sensible all round to make the legal situation absolutely clear, given the rather complex family situation produced by the two Thomas Standishes and two Margaret Hoghtons, and the simplest way was by writing a Will and Settlement. There may or may not have been a little pressure exerted by Alice’s father Ralph Assheton of Gt Lever and Whalley, another large landowner and County figure. The following year he was to serve as Sheriff of Lancashire.


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