STANDISH OF DUXBURY
5. WILLS & IPMS
Helen Moorwood 2013
All named below are given their relationship to Alexander Standish of Duxbury[10A1] (1567-1622), who emerged as the most important Standish of Duxbury contemporary of Captain Myles and Shakespeare. He is named AS (formerly A.S. but I eliminated the full stops), mainly to distinguish him from all the other Alexander Standishes of Duxbury who appear in the story. All Wills, admons, Inquisitions post mortem, etc. are valuable in providing details of their families and some are more valuable than others in providing crucial information in sorting out various previous muddles. In this list, these pieces of crucial information are mentioned. Those Wills, etc. which are given in full elsewhere are asterisked.
Sir Christopher[6A1] 1493, 1496
1493 Will/Settlement , Sir Cristofor Standish, kt. (L.R.O., DP397/21/3).
1496, Inquisition post mortem, Sir Christopher Standish, 20 October, 12 Henry VII (1496), (L.R.O. DP397/11/1; also in Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 107, ref. Farrer, VCHLancs, Vol. 6, p. 209, n. 12.)
Sir Christopher[6A1] was the 2x great-grandfather of AS and (I presume) of Myles. Three Stanleys, relatives of the 1st Earl of Derby were supervisors of his Will/Settlement. The text of the Ipm, combined with pedigrees of Standish of Duxbury produced by the family itself and also by Standish of Standish, makes it very clear that Sir Christopher’s widow Alice at his death in 1495 was not his second wife Alice née Poole of Poole, but his third wife Alice née Standish, eldest daughter of Sir Alexander Standish of Standish, the mother of his second family in the early 1490s, which included Alexander[7A5], the (presumed) great-grandfather “from the house of Standish of Standish” mentioned in Myles’s Will. Widow Alice was the eldest daughter of Sir Alexander – hero at Bosworth with the 1st Earl of Derby - and it was this marriage between two Standishes, one of each place, which caused all the confusion for the Revd Porteus, who never saw this document. He might have pursued Farrer’s reference to the Ipm, but the only surviving copy of the Will/Settlement of 1493 is in the Standish of Duxbury Muniments. To add to the confusion, Sir Alexander’s youngest daughter Katherine married Sir Christopher’s son and heir Thomas[7A1], which made the latter Alice’s stepson and brother-in-law at the same time. Sir Christopher’s first wife (died childless) was Elizabeth Bradshaw/ Bradshagh of Haigh, near Wigan. His second wife was Alice Poole of Poole in the Wirral, whose family were near neighbours of the Stanleys of Hooton, very much at the centre of Mary Arderne’s set of Cheshire families.
The abstracts of both his 1496 Ipm (L.R.O. DP397/11/1) and his 1493 Will/Settlement (L.R.O., DP397/21/3) are given in The Standish of Duxbury Muniments 2G. DP397, 1466-1513. The main really intriguing sentence in either is the following in 1493:
trustees for use of Alice, wife of Sir Cristofor Standish, till son and heir Thomas is 21; Alice to have for life mess. and lands called Bradley in Worthyngton and Longtre and mess. with lands called Healey Clyffe in Hethechernok, her jointure, and also 1/3 of residue lands of all the properties abovementioned; then all to Thomas in tail remainder to James, Hugh, Alexandre, Rowland, sons of Sir Cristofor Standish.
This lists unequivocally all of Sir Christopher’s sons living in 1493. From the known date of his marriage to his third wife Alice Standish of Standish in 1490 and the approximate dates of birth to the children from his second marriage, then it is a reasonable assumption that Alexander[7A5] was Alice’s first child, named after her father Sir Alexander Standish of Standish. This name had only appeared once before, several generations earlier, in the Standishes of Duxbury, but had been passed down regularly in the Standish of Standish family. Here, with Alexander[7A5], we have the best possible candidate for Myles’s great-grandfather. The complete story is (will be) told in the folder MYLES STANDISH.
Interestingly, this document or a copy must have been known to John Burke when he wrote his Commoners (first published 1826), because he mentioned these same sons of Sir Christopher. At the same time he divided Sir Christopher into two different people and got him/both of them very mixed up with grandfather (Sir) Christopher[4A1], thus creating more muddles than clarity. He was, of course, working without the benefit of the Standish of Duxbury Muniments, and in any case was covering thousands of other families.
1566 Will (settlement), James Standish20 April 1566 (L.R.O.DP397/ 21/9).
James[8A1] (1501-1566/7) was the grandfather of AS, although the former did not live long enough to know the latter. He was also the grandson of Sir Christopher[6A1]. The main value of his Will was in providing his own dates. The abstracts and notes given in 2I. DP397, 1550-1577 are adequate for current purposes.
*1593, Will/Settlement, Thomas Standish, 18 June 1593, (died 1599), Will proved 29 September 1600 (Piccope MSS, Chetham’s Library, ix, 295; Farrer VCH vol. 6, p. 210, n. 3).
This Thomas was the stepfather, not the natural father, of AS. Proof of this relationship is given in AS’s biography. This Will provides many interesting genealogical details, and so is given its own file in this folder: 5.2. 1593 Will, Thomas[9D1].
*Alexander[10A1] AS 1622, 1623
*1622, Will, Alexander Standish, 31 March 1622 (L.R.O. WCW).
*1623, Inquisition post mortem, Alexander Standish(L.C.R.S. Vol. 17, pp. 397-400).
AS, with extracts from the 1622 Will and the full text of the 1623 Ipm appearing in his biography: 6.1. Alexander[10A1] (1567-1622).
*Captain Ralph[11A3] 1637
*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, 1860, pp. 141-2).
Captain Ralph[11A3] (1602-1638) was the third surviving son of AS. Although this contains no real ‘dynamite’, it is so detailed that it provides a complete breakdown of his family and closest friends, and is therefore reproduced in full in this folder: 5.3. 1637 Will, Captain Ralph[11A3].
Thomas the MP[11A1] & Captain Thomas[12A1] 1642
1642, Will, Thomas Standish, MP, 4 October 1642; inventory 11 November 1642 (L.R.O. WCW).
1642, Inventory of Thomas the MP and Captain Thomas Standish, 11 November 1642 (L.R.O. WCW).
Thomas the MP[11A1] (1593-1642) was the eldest son and heir of AS.
Captain Thomas[12A1] (1617-1642) was the son and heir of Thomas the MP and eldest grandson of AS. He was shot during the siege of Manchester on 26 September 1642, just one month before his father died. An inventory of both was therefore taken on the same day. A commentary is included in Thomas the MP’s biography, in 6.2. (12) 1642: The End.
1648, Obligation, Alexander Standish, 5 September 1648. (L.R.O. WCW)
This was issued by the escheator to Alexander’s “nephew and heir”, Colonel Richard, meanwhile ‘adopted’ as his ‘natural son’ (which at the time meant ‘legal son’), obliging him to conduct the inventory, which was duly performed and recorded on 24 March following, the last day of the year 1648/9. The main significance of this is that the Alexander and Richard concerned have been identified until now as two sons of Thomas the MP, but family papers make it very clear that they were not. It is interesting that this ‘obligation’ was issued within three weeks after Cromwell won the Battle of Preston (16 August), supported by a large Lancashire contingent including, one assumes, Colonel Richard (although he was not recorded as a Colonel until 1650). The suspicion is that the Alexander who had left this ‘Obligation’ was the Lieutenant-Colonel on the Parliamentary side, and had been killed at the battle. There is no record of a burial of Alexander Standish around this time other than Royalist Colonel Alexander[12A2] in 1647 in Chorley.
There is thus great doubt as to exactly who this Alexander was, not least because there were three (Lieutenant)-Colonel Alexander Standishes fighting in the Civil Wars: the one mentioned above, killed at the Battle of Preston, and the following two:
1) Colonel Alexander[12A2] Standish of Duxbury, AS’s grandson, younger brother of the son and heir Captain Thomas[12A1], who had been killed at the Siege of Manchester in 1642 at the very beginning of the Civil War, shortly before their father died, with brother Alexander immediately becoming the heir to Duxbury (New) Hall and all dependent estates. Captain Thomas had been in the Parliamentary army defending Manchester from the Royalist forces under James, Lord Strange, soon to become 7th Earl of Derby, which makes it difficult to know which side his brother Alexander fought on. In any case this Alexander died in 1647, buried as Colonel Alexander in 1647 at Chorley, and all his lands and possessions were then handed over in the same year by his widow Margaret to ‘cousin’ Colonel Richard[11B1] from a junior branch of Standish of Duxbury. Might the ‘Obligation’ of 1648 be a left-over from this transaction? It seems unlikely.
2) Colonel Alexander Standish of Standish, younger brother of Edward, Lord of the Manor of Standish (on the family’s VP 1664 as “Colonel of horse for king Ch. I”), who had apparently survived the Civil War and was still living in 1664, so for this reason alone he cannot be the one of the ‘Obligation’ in 1648.
So we are left with Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Standish killed at the Battle of Preston, who named his heir Colonel Richard as his ‘nephew’ and ‘adopted son’. Who was he? The only other locatable Alexander of the generation before Colonel Richard is his Uncle Alexander[10B2]. The only record we have of him is on the 1613 VP presented by Colonel Richard’s father Richard[10B3]. Here he appears as the second brother “Alex: of Duksbury = . . dau. of Sir Tho: Ireland of the Hutt, co. Lancaster, the relict of Clifton”, with no children attributed. A rough estimate of his date of birth would be around or shortly before 1570, which would make him about 78 in 1648, not a very likely age for a soldier in battle.
The only other locatable Alexander of Colonel Richard’s generation is his younger brother Alexander[11B3], of whom the only record is his appearance on the Visitation Pedigree in 1613. He must have been born around 1600, so would be of an ideal age for a Colonel in battle, and yet he was Colonel Richard’s brother. Why would he name him “nephew” and “adopted”?
So we are left with a puzzle. It would be good to solve this, but although regrettable, his story does not have a great impact on the lives of any of those who survived.
*Anne daughter of Thomas [Family A? Family B?] 1651
*1651, Will, Anne Standish, 28 January 1651 (L.R.O. WCW).
Anne daughter of Thomas was an unspecified spinster relative in one of the families in Duxbury. There were so many of this name around that it is impossible to identify which one was her father. Whichever Thomas she was born to, she seems to have been the Anne in Thomas the MP’s will, living at Duxbury Hall in 1642 along with Ellen, a spinster aunt, the only surviving and unmarried sister of AS. Anne then seems to have been ‘adopted’ by Colonel Richard as ‘sister’ after all the males of her family had died out and Ellen had died in 1649. She cannot have been born as his sister, as Colonel Richard’s father was Richard, not Thomas. The main importance of her Will is that she named dozens of people, thus providing a mini-census of family and local friends who survived the Civil War. She was buried at St Laurence’s, Chorley on 14 February 1651. Her Will will be given in full asap in: 5.4. 1651 Will, Anne daughter of Thomas.
Captain Myles[10M1] 1656
1656, Will, Myles Standish of Duxbury, Massachusetts, 7 March 1656 (Will and inventory copied by a clerk of the court on 4 May 1657, Plymouth Colony Wills and Inventories, Vol. II, Part I, pp. 37-40, reprinted in The Mayflower Descendant 1901, Vol. 3, pp. 153-6.)
This is reproduced in full in several places online, so not repeated here, apart from the final key clause 9, which sparked off so much speculation about his ancestry:
9 I give unto my son & heire aparent Allexander Standish all my lands as heire apparent by lawfull Decent in Ormistick Borsconge Wrightington Maudsley Newburrow Crawston and the Ile of man and given to me as right heire by lawful Decent but Surruptuously Detained from mee my great G(ran)dfather being a 2cond or younger brother from the house of Standish of Standish.
*Colonel Richard[11B1] 1657, 1661, 1663
*1657, Will, Richard Standish of Duxbury, esq., 29 September 1657 (DP397/19/2)
*1661, Codicil, attached to above.
*1663 Probate copy of will of Richard Standish, proved at York, 13 July 1663 (DP327/19/2a).
This was Colonel Richard, although the only proof of this rank comes from his commission as ‘Colonell of Regiment of ffoote’ on 6 August 1650 by John Bradshaw, President of the Parliamentary Committee (DP397/16/7). He was from Family B and a distant cousin of Colonel Alexander[12A2], AS’s grandson. When the latter died in 1647 his widow Margaret handed over Duxbury (New) Hall and all dependent estates to Colonel Richard. His Will, Codicil and Probate appear in the appropriate years towards the end of his biography 6.3. Colonel Richard[10B1] (c.1597-1662).
1702 Will, Alexander Standish of Duxbury, Massachusetts, 21 February 1702, proved 10 August 1702 (Porteus, 1920: The Mayflower Descendant vol. XII, pp. 101-2).
This has also been reproduced so often. The only clause of relevance to his relatives in Old England is included in the following abstract, showing that he still had hopes of recovering his father’s lands in Lancashire.
His will was dated July 5 1702 and proved August 10 1702. He bequeathed to his eldest son Myles his dwelling house and homestead at Duxbury, mentions also children Thomas Ichabod and Desire Standish, Lorah Sampson, Mercy Sampson, Elizabeth Delano, Sarah Soule, Ebenezer. The estate in England to which his father referred to in his will he devised also stating that he had committed it into ye hands of Robert Orchard to recover in England by letters of Attorney from under my hand and seal and John Rogers of Boston in New England by a letter of Attorney from under my hand & seal.
This story will be covered in the appropriate file in the folder MYLES STANDISH.