The Will of Ralph Standish

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:

Standish22 messuages, 3 mills, 200 acres land, 100 acres meadow, 200 acres pasture, 10 acres wood, 100 acres heath and moor, with appurtenances.
Wigan1 messuage and 2 acres.
Shevington2 messuages, 40 acres land, 10 acres meadow, 30 acres pasture, 10 acres wood.
Coppull and Worthington7 messuages, 40 acres land, 10 acres meadow, 40 acres pasture, 22 acres wood, 20 acres heath and moor.
Duxbury1 messuage, 20 acres land, 6 acres meadow, 20 acres pasture, service and a free rent of 8d annually.
ChorleyMoiety of 1 messuage, 6 acres land, 2 acres meadow, 5 acres pasture.
Blackrod1 messuage, 20 acres land, 6 acres meadow, 20 acres pasture.
Heath Charnock4 acres.
Wrightington4 acres land, 2 acres meadow, 3 acres pasture.
Ormskirk1 cottage.
Charnock Richard1 barn, 1 toft.
Wigan1 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”.

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