Re: Myles Standish

On Oct 20, 11:13 am, JBrand <starbuc...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On A2A:

"HESKETH of RUFFORD" Collection


   FILE  [no title] - ref.  DDHE 28/1  - date: (3 Feb. 1436/7.)
      hit[from Scope and Content] Deed of Entail: Thomas Crofft of
Ormeskirk and William of Becansaw, chaplain, to John son of T.C. --
all the burgages and properties had from Matilda widow of Henry the
Cokesson in the town and filds of Ormeskirk -- remainder to Nicholas
brother of John, then to Benedict brother of Nicholas, then to Hugh
brother of Benedict, then to Joan sister of Hugh, then to John son of
Thomas Olyver, then to Robert brother of John, then to Elizabeth
sister of Robert, then to the heirs of Matilda. Witn: Henry of
Scaresbrek, Nicholas of Hurdelton, James of Hulme, Huan of Standish,
Robert Snakelady. Given at Ormeskirk, Sun. after Purification B.V.M.,
15 Hen. VI. Seal.


   FILE  [no title] - ref.  DDHE 60/41  - date: 7 Jul. 1540
      hit[from Scope and Content] Entail: Thomas Standisshe of
Ormeskirke, gent. to Brian Morecroft, rector of Aghton, William
Laithewaite and Ector Laithewaite of Ormeskirke, and William
Morecrofte of Altegrannge -- properties in Ormeskirke, Burscogh,
Wrightynton, Newburgh, and Croston -- to T.S. for life, then to Anne
his Daughter for 5 years, then to John brother of T.S. if he pays to
A.S. £20. Witn: James Asmoll, Gilbert Gerrard, William Kyrby, Robert
Gerrard, Huan Prescot. Seal.

Thank you

the document i was referring to is available online is available at

"DP397/21/17: a 1655 document
re Myles's ancestry and his Duxbury inheritance
This particular document was written on Saturday 24 March 1654 (1655
in the modern calendar) and on the outside of the folded document, in
an early hand but not the same as the document itself, appears
'Chirograph of fine by Rich: Standish Esq: and Eliz: his wife of all
his Estates'. It was the judgement in a court case at the March
Assizes in Lancaster and contained the following illuminating details,
which I transcribed in 1999 as follows (sic apart from numbers not
written out in full and the addition of a few commas):
Betweene Edward May and Alexander Standish gent plaintifes and Richard
Standish esq and Elizabeth his wife deforciants of the manors of
Duxbury, Heapey, Whittle-le-Woods, Heath Charnock and Anglezarke with
the apppurtenances and 120 messuages, 4 mills, 120 gardens, 50
orchards, 1000 acres of land, 200 acres of meadow, 400 acres of
pasture, 50 acres of woods, 600 acres of moss, 200 acres of marsh, 400
acres of furze and heath . . . Whereupon a covenant . . . between
them . . . that is to say that the said Richard and Elizabeth have
acknowledged the said manors and tenements . . . to be the right of
the said Edward and Alexander. . . six hundred pounds. (L.R.O.
DP397/21/17) (The full text follows later.)
Here, it seemed, was the proof in a single document that Myles (via
his son Alexander) not only inherited Duxbury Hall by right of
descent, but that this was upheld in court (although granted to his
son and heir Alexander via a lawyer); and although Richard continued
to own it and the dependent lands, he had to pay a hefty 'fine' in
compensation. (Six hundred pounds initially seemed paltry in
comparison to the actual value, and the full text reveals a strange
anomaly. Both will be dealt with later.) In turn this indicated that
Myles and Alexander were able to prove their descent to the
satisfaction of all, and the only possible descent that would allow a
claim on Duxbury Hall was as the last remaining great-grandson of Sir
Christopher (this was shown on a family tree in my articles). It was
logical that son Alexander should make the claim, as it must have
taken some time to collect the papers in New and Old England, and
organise a lawyer from the other side of the Atlantic to appear in
Lancaster. By this time (early 1655) Myles was already 78 and so would
not have expected to live long enough to benefit (he died the
following year); his son and heir, however, presumably would (and did
- Alexander lived until 1702)."


"This is the finall agreement made in the Court at Lancaster on
Saturday the four and twentieth day of March in the year of our Lord
one thousand hundred fifty four Before Richard Newdygate one of the
Justices of the Upper Bench And Robert Hatton sergeant at Law Justices
at Lancaster And others then come there and sent Betweene Edward May
gent and Alexander Standish gent plaintifes And Richard Standish
esquire and Elizabeth his wife deforciants of the mannors of Duxbury
Heapey Whittle-le-Woods Heath Charnock and Anglezarke with the
apppurtenances and one hundred and twenty messuages four water corne
mills one hundred and twenty gardens fifty orchards one thousand acres
of land two hundred acres of meadow four hundred acres of pasture
fifty acres of wood six hundred acres of moss two hundred acres of
marsh four hundred acres of furze and heath fifty shillings rent and
comon of pasture with the appurtenances in Duxbury Heapey Whittle in
the Woods Heath Charnock Anlezarkh Standish Langtree and Chorley
Whereupon a plea of covenant was sinnoned [signed?] betweene them in
the same court, that is to say that the said Richard and Elizabeth
have acknowledged the said manors tenements rent and comon of pasture
with the appurtenances to be the right of the said Edward As those
with the said Edward and Alexander have of the gifte of the said
Richard and Elizabeth And those they have remised and quite claymed
from them and their heires unto the said Edward & Alexander and the
heires of the said Edward foriver And moreover the said Richard and
Elizabeth have granted for themselves and the heires of the said
Richard that they will warrant the aforesaid mannors tenements rent
and comon of pasture with the appurtenances unto the said Edward and
Alexander and the heires of the said Edward against them the said
Richard and Elizabeth and their heires for ever And for this
acknowledgment remission quite clayme warranty fyne and agreement the
said Edward and Alexander have given to the said Richard and Elizabeth
six hundred pounds sterling (L.R.O) DP397/21/17)"


Ms Moorwood's comments from the same web page:

"Edward and Alexander gave six hundred pounds to Richard and
Elizabeth? How could this be? If Alexander was entitled to the estates
by right of inheritance, why should he pay for them? This would be
adding insult to injury. In any case the rest of the text makes it
very clear that the case went against Richard and Elizabeth and it
could only have been because of their paying up that Gilbert would
have followed suit. One potential clue is the very date on which this
settlement was copied, i.e. 24 March, the very last day of the year
1654-55 (the new year started on 25 March, Lady Day, until the
calendar reform of 1753). This date appears so often in documents that
one suspects it was the day when copies of many documents concerning
court cases during the preceding Assizes were drawn up from notes made
during the hearings. In this case, it would indeed have been a copy
'after the event', with all the potential for inaccuracies that
copying involves. Another clue is that there are no signatures on the
document, which seems to confirm that it was a copy made by the clerk
of the court some time after the case itself. It will presumably
always remain a mystery why, if the award was presented the wrong way
round and all concerned knew this, Colonel Richard made no effort to
have it corrected. Or perhaps he did? This document needs to be
compared with the one discovered by Farrer in the Feet of Fines.
Although I have the greatest of faith in the integrity, intentions and
skills of clerks of the time (unlike others, who have called them
'nincompoops' and similar when confronted with apparent inaccuracies
in copying) mistakes did happen. It seems that the only logical
interim explanation here is that this particular clerk misread his own
(or someone else’s? shorthand?) notes and produced the 17th century
equivalent of a typo by awarding the fine the wrong way round. The
fact that it is a “Final Concord” and that a previous “covenant” was
involved implies that the case lasted a considerable time.
Among other additional and interesting pieces of information emerging
from the complete text is that obviously several people were called as
witnesses or to provide further information in writing: “others then
come there and sent”. We can only guess (although this is the only
plausible conjecture) that these were local friends of the family
whose memories stretched back to include a knowledge of Myles's
ancestry and his departure on the Mayflower. Edward May seems to have
fulfilled his commission from 'Alexander Standish gent' admirably by
conducting his legal and genealogical investigations thoroughly, not
only by locating relevant witnesses, whose testimony was obviously
convincing enough to the two judges concerned, which resulted in his
winning the case, but also by accepting future responsibility via
himself and his heirs to guarantee the final satisfactory conclusion
of the agreement. Perhaps this is a clue that Edward May and his heirs
were still living in Old England?
It is also interesting that Richard was accompanied six times in this
document by his wife Elizabeth, at a time when wives’ interests and
property were totally subordinate to their husbands’. This document is
unique (in my experience of 16th and 17th century settlements) in
placing the wife on an equal footing with the husband. Elizabeth must
have played some rather important role in this story, which we will
probably never be able to unravel, but at least we know exactly who
she was: a younger daughter of Peter Legh of Adlington in Cheshire,
son of Sir Piers Legh of Lyme. (Ormerod gives complete pedigrees of
branches of this family in The History of Cheshire, including where
Colonel Richard fits in, and Elizabeth’s sisters and husbands also
appear in Colonel Richard’s will of 1657. Her ancestry is also
displayed in her coat of arms, quartered into husband Richard's in a
stained glass window in St Laurence's, Chorley. A full description
appears in his biography.)"


For a critical review of the evidence of Myles Standish's ancestry see
Mayflower Quarterly 72: 133-159.

Dr Jeremy Bangs refutes Ms Moorwood's interpretation in great detail
in that article.

Doug Smith