Ralph de Standish, Lord of the Manor 1396-1418 9

Henry de Standish was succeeded by his son, Ralph, who inherited the manor of Standish and the advowson of the Church, holding them of the Lords of Leyland. He also inherited a quarter part of the manor of Shevington, which he held of Sir Nicholas Harrington. The tenure of the manors of Standish and Langtree was said at this time to be worth one third of a knight’s fee each. Two years after he succeeded to the manor he received a general pardon from Richard II, which seems to have covered a multitude of sins, including complicity with others in the death of Roger de Hulton in 1382, when they had been ordered by John of Gaunt to pay the widow 100 marks at Wigan Church. Other misdemeanours were neglected to do homage and non-payment of fines.

In the year 1398 Ralph’s son Lawrence married Lora, daughter of Sir Roger de Pilkington, so Ralph and his wife Cecilia settled on them an eighth part of the manor of Shevington together with a messuage and twelve acres of land in the same vill. Besides Lawrence there were four other sons, Alexander, John, Gilbert and, possibly, Dakyn, who is styled as a son of Ralph, but it is not clear which Ralph. There were also three daughter, Elizabeth (or Isobel), Clemence and Eleanor. Alexander was very soon nominated clerk to the Rectory and Church of Standish by his father. He then went to Oxford for one year, was ordained sub-deacon during the following year and then returned to his Standish Rectory where he held the living from 1398 to 1415. Elizabeth, or Isabel, (for she is called Isabel in one deed and Elizabeth in another, and both names appear to belong to the same person) married Richard de Langtree by Papal Dispensation. This was necessary because Richard had had a liaison with Elizabeth de Chisenhall who was related to Isabel. The Rector, Alexander, made a deed granting to his sister, Isabel, for life, a parcel of land, with appurtanences, in the vills of Standish and Langtree, which he had by grant from her father-in-law, Gilbert de Langtree. This land was called Standish Wood, and in a list of boundaries, Bryleclogh, Uittle Hey, Uittle hous and Bromelehey are mentioned. These would be the modern Barley Clough, Whitley and Whitley House and Brimelow, all on the northern boundaries of Wigan. Ralph’s daughter, Clemence, married John de Tarboc, and Eleanor married John, son of Henry de Birkheud. There was a Henry de Birkheud who was Town Clerk of Wigan early in the fifteenth century.

Ralph de Standish added to his estates considerably by purchases of land in Wigan, Standish, Shevington and Winstanley. He also agreed to pay Elizabeth, widow of Sir Ralph Standish (of the Wat Tyler incident), five marks and eight shillings as an annuity. On seals relating to these deeds, the owl appears, apparently for the first time. Ralph was appointed to the office of Escheator, in Ireland in 1410. The purpose of this office, which was for life, was to watch over land to which there are no immediate heir.

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