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.