Ralph Standish, Lord of the Manor 1445-1468

At about this time it appears to have become general practice for the β€˜de’ to be dropped from the names of landed families and from now on we do not find it used by the Standishes.

Ralph Standish married Margery, daughter and co-heir of Richard Radcliffe of Chadderton. His wife brought him land in Chadderton, Witton and Glodyth. This was no doubt an advantageous marriage. Landed families deliberately sought to enlarge their estates by the marriage of the heir with an heiress, and land was still the main form of property. Marriages were frequently arranged while the parties were still children. Ralph himself, later, when his son and heir, Alexander, was still very young, arranged for the boy to be betrothed to Sybilla, the daughter of Henry Bold, an equally young girl. He also instituted a trust to safeguard the settlements to be made on the marriage of Alexander. This he did, in about 1452, by conveying certain estates in Lancashire, Cheshire, Warwickshire and Essex to trustees – Roger Standish, Rector of Standish Church, John Kirk, Parson at Burnhill (Brindle), John Eccleston and Henry Berkheud. A further indenture exists among the Standish papers whereby these trustees granted the lands they held from Ralph Standish to Sybil, wife of Alexander Standish, showing that they carried out and completed the trust.

Ralph seems to have had about eight brothers, and one sister, Joan, who married into the Bradshaigh family of Haigh, near Wigan. A further item of information about him is that in 1452 he obtained a general pardon from Henry VI, possibly on account of taking part in the Wars of the Roses. He died in 1468 and Alexander, who was about sixteen, succeeded him.

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