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Myles Standish

Ornate Manuscript Document Signed "Thomas Standishe," one page, 14" x 11", on vellum, Lancashire, no date. Dampstains obscure some text, usual folds. The document is a sixty-year lease granted by Standish to James Anescough and Alice, his wife. A fascinating document worthy of further research.

Thomas Standish (1593 - 1642) English politician and staunch Parliamentarian during the English Civl War, sat for Preston during the Short Parliament of 1640 and in the Long Parliament until 1642. Standish, who lived at Duxbury Manor in Lancashire, was very possibly a relative of Myles Standish, one of the founders of Plymouth Colony in 1620.

Much is known and has been written concerning the life of Myles Standish (c. 1584 - 1656) after he became associated with the English Separatists (i.e. Pilgrims) who founded the colony of Plymouth in 1620. However, very little is known about Standish's early life including his place of birth, and for nearly two centuries, this question has been been the subject of scholarly debate. The little we know about Standish's origins come from his will, drafted in 1656, in which he granted to his "son & heire apparent Alexander Standish all my lands as heire apparent by lawfull decent in Ormskirke Borscouge Wrightington Maudsley Newburrow Crowston and in the Isle of man and given to mee as Right heire by lawfull decent but Surruptuously detained from mee My great Grandfather being a 2cond or younger brother from the house of Standish of Standish."(Charles H. Simmons, Jr., Plymouth Colony Records, Volume 1, Wills and Inventories 1633-1669 ,Camden, ME: Picton Press, 1996, 312-314) Of all the places named, one is on the Isle of Man while the remaining are places in Lancashire where a branch of the Standish family resided, centered at Duxbury Hall. A short passage written by Plymouth Colony's secretary, Nathaniel Morton notes a similar origin for Standish, noting he "...was a gentleman, born in Lancashire, and was heir apparent unto a great estate of lands and livings, surreptitiously detained from him; his great grandfather being a second or younger brother from the house of Standish…" (Nathaniel Morton, New England's Memorial, Boston: Congregational Board of Publication, 1855, 6th ed., 170). Unfortunately, that is all that is known about his origins. However, the fact that Standish founded the town of Duxbury in Plymouth Colony would suggest that his origins were indeed from Lancashire and not the Isle of Man. It is not known whether Alexander Standish (1626 - 1702) ever pursued these claims.

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Last Found On: 2017-11-16           Check availability:      Biblio    


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