STANDISH OF DUXBURY

5. WILLS & IPMS

5.3. 1637 Will, Ralph[llA3]

Helen Moorwood 2013

1637, Will, Captain Ralph Standish(Lancashire and Cheshire Wills and Inventories from the Ecclesiastical Court, Chester, (Ed.) Rev. G. J. Piccope, Chetham Society Old Series, Vol. 51, 1860, pp. 141-2).

The Will of Captain Ralph Standish. (Proved February 11th, 1637 [1638])

[The continuous text of Piccope’s transcription is separated into lines for the sake of clarity. HM]

In the name &c. 21 December 1637 I Captaine Raphe Standish younger sonne of Alexander Standish late of Duxburie in the countie of Lancaster Esqrdeceased &c. And my bodie I comitt to the earth from whence it came to bee buried in Christian buriall

And for my goods and psonall estate I bequeath the same as herein is declared that is to say

To my brother Thomas Standish xxs and to every one of his children except Ratcliffe xxs

My sister Joan and every one of her children xxs

My sister Alice xxs

her daughter Anne Asshton vli

her three children had by her second adventure to every one of them vli

My brother Gelibrand xs

Hamblett Ashton xs

My brother Banaster xs

My brother Alexander xxs

Alexander his wife xs

His daughter Joan xxs

My ant Elline vli

Sr Raphe Asheton xxs

My uncle Ratcliffe Ashton xxs

The poore of Anlesaugh Heapey Whitle Chorley and Duxbury vizt to every township xxs

My nursmam Jane Croston desireing her to wynd mee xls

My cosin Henry Ogell xxs

My cozen Thomas Sergeant th’elder xxs

My cosin Katherin Sergeant xs

To William Leigh batchlor of divitie xls

My cosen Thomas Longworth xxs

My cosen Margrett Crosse xxs

My cosen Jane Asheton xs

John Jameson xs

I bequeath after my debts &c. are paied all the residue of my said goods &c. unto Ratcliffe Standish daughter unto Thomas Standish to bee putt forth for her use by my executors until shee come unto yeares of discretion

And I desire that my brother Standish shall have nothing to doe with it

And I doe hereby constitute &c. my brother Alexander S. and Edward ffarneworthe of Duxbury bestoweing of them tenn pounds apece for their paines executors of this my last will not doubting but they will trulie execute the same according to my desire and trust in them reposed

And now to God bee praise for ever and ever amen

 

Memorand that theis goods hereafter menƈoned were given by Captaine Raphe Standish in his lyffe tyme by word of mouth vizt

To my Lord Strange one case of pistolls and a dragoone

To his sister Banaster one beaver hatt one fur’d coate one cadowe and a seller of bottles

To his nephew Richard Clayton one case of pistolls three muskets a target a leading staffe powder bagg and two other little peeces

To his brother Alexander his sword

To Edward ffarneworth a little ffilde bed

To Tho. Crompton his boy in money vli and some of his cloathes at the discretion of his executors

To Wm Nickson one demicastor hatt and some other old cloathes at my execrs discretion

One old Testamt to his sister Banaster and the rest of his books to any of his frends that desired one at ye discretion of his execrs

Sealed &c. in presence of Richard Haydocke Edward Wyke &c.

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Identification of persons named

my brother Thomas Standish” is his eldest brother Thomas the MP[11A1] (1593-1642), described elsewhere and later as a “zealous Parliamentarian”. Might this explain his apparent disapproval later of him? It is interesting that he does not mention Thomas’s wife, at this time his second wife (first wife Anne née Wingfield of Suffolk having died in 1623). One 19th century researcher confused Thomas the MP with a Thomas Standish[9B1] from Family B, whose second wife was Anne née Whittingham of Suffolk, whom he then awarded to the wrong Thomas, presumably muddling up two Annes from Suffolk, but married to different Thomas Standishes of Duxbury. In fact, we do not know whose Thomas the MP’s second wife was. One might well conclude that she had died by this time. He certainly did not mention her in his will of 1642.

“and to every one of his children except Ratcliffe xxs”: in 1637 these children were (later Captain) Thomas[12A1], (later Colonel) Alexander[12A2] and Kathleen/ Katherine from the first marriage; and Elinor (born 1627) and Gilbert (born 1631) from the second marriage. We learn later why Ratcliffe was an exception – she was to inherit much more. It would be so good to know why there was obviously a special relationship between Uncle Ralph and niece Ratcliffe, but alas we never will.

My sister Joan and every one of her children xxs”: Joan (born 1594) had married 1) John Clayton, who must have died fairly early, because she seems to have already married 2) Christopher Ban(n)aster before 1622, mentioned in father Alexander[10A1]’s Will. Certainly by 1637 they were living in Garstang (perhaps Catterall near Garstang, where she was living in 1657) with “every one of her children”. He appears on the 1664 Visitation Pedigree of Banaster of the Banke as the third son, Vice-Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and his mother was “Christian, dau. of Raphe Ashton of Leaver, co. Lancashire, esq.”, who was the sister of Joan and Captain Ralph’s mother Alice As(s)h(e)ton. This would make them first cousins, which in theory was illegal, or at least only with special dispensation. However, it could be that all her children were from her first marriage, and that this marriage of cousins was more a marriage of convenience. They are apparently commemorated in Garstang Church, but I have not pursued this to produce a more accurate picture. Christopher lived until 1649 and Joan until 1669.

My sister Alice xxs”: she was the youngest sister (birthdate unknown). Most of what we know about her is pieced together from this Will, with a few hints from 19th century historians. Before 1622 she was married to John Asshton, with “her daughter Anne Asshton” (below) presumably from this marriage. There is a report that after this she was married to William Charnock (or was this a different Alice Standish?). However, it is clear from the following few names that by this time she had been married again, and had “three children had by her second adventure” (below). It also seems clear that in 1637 she was married to Thomas Gillibrand, who is “my brother Gelibrand” (below), i.e. Captain Ralph’s brother-in-law. Alas no further record of her or either/any of her husbands or children appears in later documents in the Standish of Duxbury Muniments, so this is our only real glimpse of her and her family.

“her daughter Anne Asshton vli”: see “sister Alice” above. Captain Ralph seems to have had special affection for two of his nieces – this Anne and Ratcliffe.

“her three children had by her second adventure to every one of them vli”: see “sister Alice” above.

My brother Gelibrand xs”: see “sister Alice” above.

Hamblett Ashton xs”: perhaps/probably a relative in sister Alice’s or mother Alice’s As(s)h(e)ton family. His name is interesting as one of many Lancashire Hamlets in the 16th and 17th centuries, nothing to do with Shakespeare’s Prince of Denmark, but a fairly common local name.

My brother Banaster xs”: see “sister Joan” above.

My brother Alexander xxs”: this was the youngest brother Alexander[11A4], whose own biography appears in 6.4. Alexander[11A4] (1604-1662>1664). His main distinction warranting his own biography is that he was the longest living by far of the four brothers. He emerges from this Will as the ‘favourite’ brother of Captain Ralph, probably sharing his loyalties, as well as his military excursions (see the sword below).

“Alexander his wifexs”: this is the only reference to his wife, whose name, alas, remains unknown. She never appears in any later records.

His daughter Joan xxs”: this is also the only reference to this daughter, whose destiny also remains unknown.

My ant Elline vli”: sister of his father Alexander[10A1]. It is surmised in brother Alexander’s biography that Aunt Ellen was instrumental in bringing up the small children after their mother had died in 1604, and their father had not remarried. It is interesting that she received £5 (along with a couple of others), in contrast with all the other bequests of £1 or 10s.

Sr Raphe Asheton xxs”: he was a first cousin, son & heir of Ralph, Esq., and brother of mother Alice. Both Sir Ralph and Captain Ralph were, of course, named after their grandfather.

My uncle Ratcliffe Ashton xxs”: he is of most interest because of his name Ratcliffe. This was used for sons and daughters by so many local gentry, one assumes because so many members of the Ratcliffe family were rather eminent. The family originated in Ratcliffe, the main branch established itself at Ordsall in Salford, and one of these had become Earl of Sussex.  

“The poore of Anlesaugh Heapey Whitle Chorley and Duxbury vizt to every township xxs”: apart from demonstrating Captain Ralph’s remembrance of the poor, this is useful as another list of the core Standish of Duxbury lands. It is not a complete list, as one can read in later documents concerning transactions.

My nursmam Jane Croston desireing her to wynd mee xls”: presumably she was vital in the children’s early days after their mother had died in 1604.

“My cosin Henry Ogellxxs”: presumably the son of his aunt Elizabeth (born 1558) married to John Ogle.

My cozen Thomas Sergeant th’elder xxs”: presumably the son of his aunt Jane (born 1559), who married 2) Thomas Sergeant. There were presumably at this time at least two of this name, probably father and son.

My cosin Katherin Sergeant xs”: another child of the same family.

“To William Leigh batchlor of divitie xls”: this was the Revd William Leigh, Vicar of Standish, a national figure, who in 1637 was nearing the end of his life after a long career in the service of the church, at Court (as chaplain to Prince Henry, James I’s son) and the Earls of Derby (he was chaplain to them for many years); and also as a local ‘magistrate’, e.g. he had been on the jury at the trial of the Pendle Witches in 1612. He has also emerged on several occasions as a friend of the Protestant Standishes of Duxbury, whereas he was regularly in conflict with the Catholic Standishes of Standish. His biography is in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, but could well do with augmentation to include many local Lancashire details. More details are given at the end of AS’s biography in 6.2. (45) AS Friend Rev. William Leigh.

My cosen Thomas Longworth xxs”: presumably a son of Aunt Alice (born 1562), who married Christopher Longworth of Longworth.

“My cosen Margrett Crosse xxs”: a ‘stray’, as no record has been found of a marriage of any of his aunts or cousins to a Cross.

My cosen Jane Asheton xs”: presumably the daughter of one of his Assheton cousins via his mother, or a daughter of sister Alice from her first marriage to John Ashton.

“John Jamesonxs”: connection not known.

“I bequeath after my debts &c. are paied all the residue of my said goods &c. unto Ratcliffe Standish daughter unto Thomas Standish to bee putt forth for her use by my executors until shee come unto yeares of discretion”: here we find out why his niece Ratcliffe had been excluded from the list above – she was to be the main beneficiary after all other bequests had been fulfilled. No records tell us why she was singled out above all other nieces, but the implication is that she was the only one not married, which in turn implies that older sister Elinor had died by this time. Her very name provides the strongest possible hint that her mother, the second wife of brother Thomas the MP, was from this family.

“And I desire that my brother Standish shall have nothing to doe with it”: this is the strongest possible hint that Captain Ralph did not get on very well with his brother Thomas the MP.

“And I doe hereby constitute &c. my brother Alexander S. and Edward ffarneworthe of Duxbury bestoweing of them tenn pounds apece for their paines executors of this my last will not doubting but they will trulie execute the same according to my desire and trust in them reposed”: brother Alexander emerges again as the favoured brother. It might be assumed that Edward Farnworth was a trusted tenant of Standish of Duxbury, most likely living in the tenement in Duxbury still called Farnworth House today. Another Farnworth appears in Thomas the MP’s Will in 1642.

“Memorand that theis goods hereafter menƈoned were given by Captaine Raphe Standish in his lyffe tyme by word of mouth vizt

To my Lord Strange one case of pistolls and a dragoone”: this fits into the picture of several Standishes of Duxbury serving in the ‘trained band’ under James, Lord Strange. Before 1637 Captain Ralph had obviously joined, and at the outbreak of war his nephew Thomas[12A1] was a Captain in it during the Siege of Manchester. One must suspect that it was in this ‘trained band’ that his younger brother Alexander[12A2] earned his first stripes before later rising to Colonel. In 1637 they had, of course, still no idea of the disastrous course events would take five years later.

 

“To his sister Banaster one beaver hatt one fur’d coate one cadowe and a seller of bottles”: see “sister Joan” above.

 

“To his nephew Richard Clayton one case of pistolls three muskets a target a leading staffe powder bagg and two other little peeces”: see “sister Joan” above, for her first husband, presumably father of this nephew. It would be interesting if one could find what his destiny was during the following few years.

 

“To his brother Alexander his sword”: see “brother Alexander” above. This is the origin of my dubbing him for many years as “Alexander with the sword”. His first-ever biography is in 6.4. Alexander[11A4] (1604-1662>1664).

 

“To Edward ffarneworth a little ffilde bed”: virtual proof that they had been on some military exercises together.

 

To Tho. Crompton his boy in money vli and some of his cloathes at the discretion of his executors: one can only assume that he was Edward Farnworth’s ‘boy’, a young assistant.

 

“To Wm Nickson one demicastor hatt and some other old cloathes at my execrs discretion”: no idea who he was.

 

“One old Testamt to his sister Banaster and the rest of his books to any of his frends that desired one at ye discretion of his execrs”: see “sister Joan” above.

 

“Sealed &c. in presence of Richard Haydocke Edward Wyke &c.”: presumably local trusted tenants or servants.

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General comments

The combination of Captain Ralph’s position as Captain, the number of weapons mentioned, and the recipients of these, combine to give a rather good picture of the allegiances of many in the family in the lead up to the Civil War. Captain Ralph was obviously a devoted member of the group surrounding James, Lord Strange, who was Protestant, although not extreme, but at the same time firmly Royalist. This group seems to have diverged from the position of Thomas the MP, later called a “zealous Parliamentarian”.  He did not serve as an MP during the 1630s, returning only in 1640 as MP for Preston. It has long been known that his son & heir Captain Thomas[12A1] was in the Royalist army under Lord Strange, and one of the first casualties at the Siege of Manchester in September 1642. In most accounts of the Civil War in Lancashire it has been assumed that Captain Thomas was the anomaly, as the only Royalist in an otherwise firmly Parliamentarian family. This turns out not to have been the case. Family A, one can now state with some confidence, was entirely Royalist, with the exception of Thomas the MP. The other Parliamentarians came from Family B, mainly in the person of Colonel Richard[11B1]. No records remain of the Standish of Duxbury family between Captain Ralph’s Will in 1637 and his brother Thomas’s parliamentary career from 1640 until his death in 1642.

Weapons had been given by Captain Ralph to his co-Executor brother Alexander (along with a field-bed to Edward Farnworth, obviously another trusted friend and named as the other co-Executor)and a set of pistols to “My Lord Strange”. He was James Stanley, son & heir of William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby. James was by this time the Earl of Derby in all but name, because his father had handed over all his responsibilities ten years before, retiring to Chester with an annual income of £1000, but leaving all the family estates and responsibilities in the hands of James. His Royalist story to a great extent is echoed in the story of the Standishes of Duxbury until 1647, when Parliamentarian Colonel Richard’s story takes over.

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