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30 June
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Soon after he obtained possession of the manor John exchanged some land which he held in Shevington for another plot nearer the manor. The rent on this piece of land was a pig. The agreement was made between him and Henry, son of Annabilla of Shevynglegh and it was affirmed that the exchange was irrevocable and, after completion, John renounced all claim to the exchanged land both for him and his heirs. The land assigned was bounded by the land of John de Burlegh – called the Cockscroft, Standish Moor and Kirkbrok (later known as Almond Brook) and another plot called Urchinsnape in Shevington, near to Quiteloutthorn (probably known as White Hill now). These two were exchanged for Shevynglegh which lay to the west of the manor.

The eldest son of John de Standish was named William and when he married Margaret, daughter of Adam de Holcroft, his father granted him and his heirs an eighth part of the land in Shevington and four farms in Standish. If William died without an heir then the land was to descent in fee-tail (entailed estate which in default of an heir was to revert to the donor) to his brothers, Henry, Edmund and Ralph.

John de StandishJohn contributed to a subsidy for a defence against the Scots. A John de Standyshe is mentioned at the Battle of Durham, or as it may be better known, the Battle of Neville’s Cross, in 1346, where he took prisoner Sir William Lydell, a Scots Knight. The Standish arms at this time were a saltire between four crosses patonce. This armorial seal is found on an indenture with the legend ‘S Johannis de S(tand)issh’.

John was concerned in future transfers of land, though in a deed of 1335 he was witness only for a conveyance of land in Duxbury by Richard, son of Hugh de Standish. In the following year, however, John seemed to be following his policy of consolidating his Standish estate by making exchanges of outlying plots to obtain pieces adjoining the manor.

Thus he exchanged land in Shevington, called Urchinclough (near Paradise Farm), with one Henry Coppinge for a piece of land in Ryleyclough, from a Richard Sayselling. This stretch is described as “beginning at the Lumm (a deep pool) and bounded in part by the Pales or Park (which was the land of the manor)” In another deed of about this date John de Standish came to an agreement with his neighbour, Thomas de Langtree about the waste lands in the district. In 1343 John granted all his land in Shevington, except that within his park, to his son, Henry, upon the latter’s marriage to Joan, daughter of Henry de Worsley. In 1348 Richard de Langtree gave John license to make a mill on the banks of the river Douglas, between the mills at Worthington and those at Haigh, in return for two and a half acres of land. This would appear to be the original Jolly Mill, not far from Boar’s Head.

A deed which has a particular interest to the Wigan area is one which was witnessed by John de Standish in 1351, for in it occurs a mention of coal. This is the first time that there is any documentary reference to such deposits in the area as were, in later years, to make the region famous. By this deed Margaret de Shotlesworth granted to Robert, son of Edmund de Standish, some land in Shevington, with the proviso that any “fyrston and secole” that may be found was reserved. As we might say, she retained the mineral rights.

By this time, in the mid fourteenth century, there were several branches of the Standish family. In addition to the main family at Standish Manor, others mentioned are the Standishes of Burgh, those of Duxbury, of Shevington, of Gatehurst, and of Erlay. As Christian names tended to be repeated in all these families it is often difficult to distinguish between them.

John de Standish died about 1353. His eldest son William had predeceased him, so the manor descended to the next son, Henry. Other sons of John were Robert, Ralph, Edmund and Gilbert. One story tells that Ralph usurped the manor, but there is no confirmation.


31 January
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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.


29 December
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William and his wife Alianore had at least two children. There may have been others but no record remains. It was a feature of the times that many children did not survive to maturity and their short lives were not recorded.

In 1304 William claimed the advowson of the church at Wigan alleging that an ancestor of his had held it. Arguments about this advowson crop up from time to time like those about the Standish living. In Wigan, however, the right of presentation seems to have been firmly held by the Langeton family for they administered it for about seven hundred years. Five years later, in 1309, William again claimed the Wigan advowson and prepared a pedigree to support his claim. He stated that an ancestor, Ralph, had presented a clerk to Wigan Church in the time of Richard I (1189/1190). It does not seem that he made any headway against the holders of the advowson. In the year 1309 there was a small land transaction. Alice de Ince, William’s sister, ceded some land to him in Shevington, which had been given to her by her father, Jordan de Standish. Also William de Wigan, so of Neel de Wigan and his wife, Matilda, granted some land in Wigan to William de Standish, the deed bearing the date 3 Edward II. In return William Standish granted to William de Wigan all the lands which had been conveyed to him by Richard de Ince and his wife Alice, the description being “a plot of land 6ft wide and as long as the house in which he lived.” Some further information on the family connections is provided by a charter, also dated 1309, which was preserved by Kuerden, the historian. Drawn up for Henry de Burgh, it shows that he was married to Joan, daughter of William de Standish, and is a settlement on his estates in Chorley and Duxbury, the remainder being made to his son William and his other children by his wife, Joan.

There was an ancient custom whereby two shillings was due annually from the two manors of Standish and Langtree to the Baron of Penwortham and the Lords of these manors were bound to do suit at Penwortham Court, which was held every three weeks. Here they must attend to help dispense justice. William de Standish was juror at the trial of Robert de Cliderhou (Clitheroe), Rector of Wigan Church, who was arraigned for treason, accused of aiding Thomas, Duke of Lancaster, against King Edward the Second. Part of the indictment was that he appealed in church for men-at-arms to go to the help of the Duke. William de Standish was also custodian of the peace for the hundred of Leyland. He was said to hold land to the value of £15 or more and so was summoned also to the Great Council of Westminster.

William’s signature appears on a number of Documents. When his son, John, married Margaret, William and Alianore settled on the young couple an eighth part of the manor of Shevington. William died about 1325/1326, and was succeeded by John de Standish.


13 January
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by Eleanor Johnson
See also: Ralph Standish, Lord of the Manor 1507-1538 (1507)

In 1535 Ralph Standish made a will, the text of which follows:

“In Dei nomine Amen the XVIIth day of the moneth of September in the yere of our lord god MCCCCCXXXV, I, Rauf Standissh squier beying in perfite and gud mynde and remembrance make my Testament in maner and form as folowith. That is to wete First and principally I betake my soul to all myghty god oure blessed lady saynt Mary and to all the blessed cumpany of angells and saynts. And I will that my body shall be buried in Standissh Church yorde in such place as I shall appoint hereafter. And I give and bewheth to the new makyng of the said Church XLli () Also I giff and bewheth to Isabell Standish, doghter of Alexander my sone XXli () And to Alice Asshton, doghter of Thomas Asshton squier decessed XXli () And to Alice Holcroft doghter of my sone-in-law John Holcroft other XXli () And to the residue of all my godes and catells after my deets paied and my funerall expenses I giff and bewheth to Alice my wiff to administer and dispose all the same residue as shall deme best to be done by her descrecion to the plesure of god and for the weele of my soule. In witness whereof to this my present Testament I have set my seale the day and yere above said.

Rauff Standyssh”

Three years later, in 1538, another deed names Ralph Standish , esq: as lately deceased. Alexander, his son, mentioned in the will succeeded him in another deed of the same year is referred to as “sqer” (Squire).

An ‘Inquisition Post Mortem’ was taken at Wigan nearly a year later to confirm and record, as was usual, all the possessions of the deceased at his death. The list of Ralph Standish’s land holdings makes an impressive total and shows the standing of the family at this date. The inquisition confirmed that Ralph was seized in fee of the manor of Standish with appurtanences, and also of the advowson of the Church of Standish and three chantries there. Then listing his land holdings in their various localities there are:

Standish 22 messuages, 3 mills, 200 acres land, 100 acres meadow, 200 acres pasture, 10 acres wood, 100 acres heath and moor, with appurtenances.
Wigan 1 messuage and 2 acres.
Shevington 2 messuages, 40 acres land, 10 acres meadow, 30 acres pasture, 10 acres wood.
Coppull and Worthington 7 messuages, 40 acres land, 10 acres meadow, 40 acres pasture, 22 acres wood, 20 acres heath and moor.
Duxbury 1 messuage, 20 acres land, 6 acres meadow, 20 acres pasture, service and a free rent of 8d annually.
Chorley Moiety of 1 messuage, 6 acres land, 2 acres meadow, 5 acres pasture.
Blackrod 1 messuage, 20 acres land, 6 acres meadow, 20 acres pasture.
Heath Charnock 4 acres.
Wrightington 4 acres land, 2 acres meadow, 3 acres pasture.
Ormskirk 1 cottage.
Charnock Richard 1 barn, 1 toft.
Wigan 1 messuage, 3 acres land, 1 acre meadow, 20d. annual rent from land of William Gerard of Wigan.

As to tenures jurors said that the manor of Standish and the advowson of the Church were held of Edward, Earl of Derby, Sir Thomas Stanley, Kt; Lord Monteagle and Richard Shyrburn esq: by fealty and a rent of 6s 8d. annually, and worth net annually . Then follows a list of people to whom rent was payable for these lands and the document ends with these words – “Ralph Standish, being so seized, died 27th August last part (1538). Alexander Standysshe, esq: is his son and heir, and was then aged 36 years and more”.


7 November
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by T. C. Porteus and Eleanor Johnson
Ralph Standish, a notable native, was the fourth son of John Standish. Ralph had a general pardon from the King in 1353; no one was to reproach him for what he had done on April 10th of the previous year. Soon afterwards he acquired Gathurst in Shevington and Bromilegh (Brimelow) on the boundary of Standish. Later (1366) he served the King as a member of the retinue of the Black Prince of Acquitaine; at this time he had acquired Scholes in Eccleston, parish of Prescot. With others, including his nephew and namesake, the Lord of Standish, he was accused in 1372 of the death of Roger de Hulton of Shevington. John of Gaunt, as arbitrator, ordered them to pay the widow 120 marks at Wigan Church. For the same offence and any subsequent outlawry, Ralph was pardoned by the King two years later; he was then in the King’s suite. (ref.9>)

In recognition of his services in the field the Black Prince granted Ralph de Standish an annuity of  from tenements in Sutton in the Hundred of Macclesfield, the Prince’s own property. When the Black Prince died, however, it was found that Sutton was part of the dower of his widow, Joan of Kent, and reverted to her. The young king, Richard II, made up the loss to Ralph by decreeing that the annuity should be paid from the royal estate at Shotwick in County Chester, from the date of his fathers death. An indenture of 1367 made by “Rauf de Stanedich of Stanedich Manor” gives the conditions of a trust for the benefit of his family in the following terms “to the use of John my son and his heirs – on condition that they arrange the marriage of my daughter Jonette, to a substantial man of  annually in land or money. In default of issue, the reversion to my brother Robert and his heirs – in default a reversion to my brother, John.” This was signed at Counake (Cognac) in Guyenne. (ref.1>)

See also Ralph Standish and the Death of Wat Tyler (1381)See also: Ralph Standish and the Death of Wat Tyler (1381)>

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• Henry de Standish, Lord of the Manor 1353-1396
by Eleanor Johnson
Henry’s brothers had followed the traditional occupations of the younger sons of those days, either military service or the church. Robert and Ralph had been knighted, Robert having been appointed Sheriff of Lancaster, while Ralph was an esquire to the Black Prince, whom he served in Acquitaine. Gilbert and Edward entered the church, Gilbert being Rector of Standish an Edmund most likely the one known as Brother Edmund de Standish, who was one of the Black Friars of Chester.

Henry de StandishHenry made an agreement with his neighbour Richard de Langtree, as their respective fathers had done before them, about the division of the wastes of Standish and Langtree, which they and their ancestors had enclosed. Friends of both acted as arbitrators to ensure that an equal value was put on the wastes and enclosures they each claimed. These wastes amounted to three hundred acres and the wood at Standish stretched from the manor park to the boundaries of Wigan at that time. The pastures lay to the north-west of the township, the Pepper Lane and Almond Brook area of today, stretching from the church to the borders of Wrightington. Henry de Standish’s seal on the agreement was a saltire within an engrailed bordure.

About the same time the two Lords of the adjacent manors of Standish and Langtree acquired some pasture rights within the townships which had been held by Thomas de Eccleston and Robert de Standish, son of Edmund. This they did by grant of land. It is interesting to note that in many of these land deals no money is involved. They seem to be carried out by land exchange. Henry de Fairclough exchanged land in Foxholes for land in Gathurst Hey with Robert de Standish, and witness to this deed were Henry de Standish, Hugh de Standish and Richard de Langtree. This may refer to Fairhurst Hall in Shevington. During the same period, William de Waleys of Arley granted to Robert, son of Edmund de Standish, all his land in Blackrod and Worthington and the dower of his mother there.

In 1364 Henry granted six acres of land in Standish to Hugh de Ince and Robert de Hulton, son of Agnes. He also granted Hugh de Standish a plot of land, called Bolton Field. This was just South-east of the Boar’s Head Inn, on the metes or Wigan boundary, on the east side of the main road between “Wygan and Standyssh as far as the flow of the waters of the Dogles (Douglas)”, and would also extend as far as Sicklefield. It was on that land that a workman digging a trench, in 1926, came upon a hoard of Roman coins. In return for this Henry was granted a moiety of fifteen acres of waste in Standish and Langtree.


13 April
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At about this time it appears to have become general practice for the ‘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.


9 March
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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.