STANDISH, Sir Richard, 1st Bt. (1651-93), of Duxbury, Lancs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1690 - 5 Dec. 1693

Family and Education

bap. 21 Jan 1651[?–2], 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Richard Standish† of Duxbury by Elizabeth, da. of Piers Legh of Lyme, Cheshire.  educ. St. Catharine’s, Camb. 1669.  m. bef. 1679, Margaret, da. of Thomas Holcroft of Holcroft, Lancs., 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da.  suc. fa. 1662. cr. Bt. 8 Feb. 1677.1

Offices Held

Burgess, Wigan by 1684, mayor 1692–3.2


The Standishes of Duxbury were a junior branch of the Catholic Standishes of Standish, though by the 17th century the Duxbury line had become Protestant. Standish’s Presbyterian father served in Parliament’s forces in both Civil Wars, but by 1657 was reckoned a moderate Royalist and was returned as such for Preston to the Convention of 1660. Little is known of Standish’s early life, in particular the reasons for his being granted a baronetcy in 1677, until in 1685 when he appears as foreman of the Lancashire grand jury which unsuccessfully presented the supporters of the Whig Lord Brandon (Charles Gerard*) for riotous behaviour during the Lancaster election of that year. During the Revolution three years later he served as lieutenant-colonel in the Lancashire militia, being ordered by the lord lieutenant, the Earl of Derby, to raise and quarter his company at Wigan. Though Standish continued to serve in the militia following Derby’s replacement as lord lieutenant by Brandon in May 1689, he in fact retained a strong animosity towards Brandon. In late 1689 he alleged that the lord lieutenant had used his authority to gather enough arms and supplies to ‘arm ten or twelve thousand men’, and that he had ‘given protections to many of the great papists and other Jacobites’ in Lancashire. Standish’s concern for the security of the county led him to sign an order in January 1690 instructing the corporation of Wigan to search Catholic houses for arms.3

In 1690 Standish was returned for Wigan, in alliance with the Tory Peter Shakerley, without a contest. He was initially labelled a Whig by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†), though this appears to have been a mistake as at the end of the year the lord president, anticipating an attack in the Commons on his ministerial position, listed Standish as a probable supporter. In April 1691 Robert Harley* classed him as a Country supporter. Although he made little impact at Westminster, Standish was an active figure during the early 1690s in local politics. In October 1690 he had been granted the estate of Leyland Hall, formerly settled in Catholic hands, in trust to provide for the vicar of Leyland. This indication of strong Anglicanism is reinforced by reports in 1692 that Standish was attempting to enforce in Lancashire a strict reading of the Toleration Act, and at the end of the year he was among the Lancashire Members consulted upon a proposed bill to ‘explain’ the terms of this measure. On 25 Nov. 1693 Standish’s assistance was sought by Roger Kenyon* and his allies in their contest with Hon. Fitton Gerard*, Lord Brandon’s brother, at the Clitheroe by-election. Standish died, however, on 5 Dec. His passing was mourned by a friend of Kenyon as a tragic loss, the more so as it seemed likely that Standish would be succeeded at Wigan by one hostile to ‘Christianity or monarchy’. In 1694 Standish’s widow aided the collection of evidence to undermine the claims of the Lancashire Plot, in which two of the Standishes of Standish had been implicated. The following year she married Sir Thomas Stanley, 4th Bt.*4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Richard Harrison


  • 1. IGI, Lancs.
  • 2. NLS, Crawford mss 47/3/78, list of Wigan burgesses, Dec. 1684; Wigan RO, Wigan bor. recs. AB/CL/69.
  • 3. Newcombe Diary (Chetham Soc. ser. 1, xviii), 67; CSP Dom. 1685, pp. 119–20; HMC Kenyon, 198–202, 234–6.
  • 4. Lancs. RO, Kenyon mss DDKe/HMC/800, Shakerley to Roger Kenyon, 31 Dec. 1692; HMC Kenyon, 278–9, 292, 305; Northern Hist. vii. 50; Prescott Diary (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. cxxxiii), 879; CJ, xiii. 193; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 881; HMC Lords, n.s. i. 573; R. Cunliffe Shaw, Recs. Lancs. Family, 135–8.