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.