A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Dukesbiri, 1227; Dokysbiri, Dockesbyry, 1292.
This township has an area of 1,012 acres. (fn. 1) It is crossed by the River Yarrow, flowing to the southwest; turning sharply to the north-west the river then forms part of the township boundary. The portion within the bend of the river contains the district of Burgh. The southern boundary of the main portion of the township is the Ellerbeck, flowing west to the Yarrow and dividing Duxbury from Adlington and Coppull. From the Yarrow the surface. rises somewhat steeply, attaining a height of 325 ft. There is no village or hamlet in the township, about a third of the area being occupied by the parks of Duxbury Hall and Ellerbeck. The population in 1901 was 282.
The road from Wigan to Chorley goes north, passing along the eastern side of Duxbury Park and joining the road from Bolton to Chorley, which crosses the north-eastern end of the township. A mineral railway line, serving the collieries, runs eastward to join the Preston and Bolton line.
There were fifty-five hearths to contribute to the tax in 1666, the only large houses being the Hall, with nineteen hearths, and the Burgh with nine. (fn. 2)
The manor of DUXBURY was a member of the fee of Penwortham and the whole or a part of it was included in the five plough-lands granted by Warine Bussell to Randle son of Roger de Marsey about 1150, (fn. 3) and in 1288 was held in thirds by Adam de Duxbury, Roger de Bolton and Ellis de Tonge, each paying William de Ferrers a rent of 14d. (fn. 4) In 1227 Roger de Bolton, acting in concert with Ellis de Tonge, had granted to Siward de Duxbury one plough-land there at a yearly rent of 6s. 4d., out of which Roger agreed to pay 3s. 4d. due to the chief lords. (fn. 5) Siward was probably lord of the other third of the manor, so that he thereby acquired the whole.
Adam de Duxbury in 1246 joined in the demand of the lords of Standish, Duxbury and Adlington that William de Ferrers, who had inherited the Marsey estates, should acquit them of the services claimed by the guardians of the Earl of Lincoln's lands. (fn. 6) Perhaps it was another Adam, who, as above stated, was in possession in 1288, and who was succeeded by a son Henry. (fn. 7) Henry son of Henry de Duxbury was lord of the place about 1300, (fn. 8) but seems to have parted with his rights to Hugh de Standish, of the household of Robert de Holand, one of the Earl of Lancaster's principal officials. Henry de Duxbury had taken part in Adam Banastre's rising in 1315 and suffered imprisonment in consequence, becoming indebted to Standish under stress of these circumstances. (fn. 9)
In this way—though the story is not clear—the manor appears to have been acquired by the Standish family, (fn. 10) whose descendants continued to hold it until about twenty years ago. Jordan, lord of the adjacent Standish, is said to have had a brother Hugh, who must have died about 1280, (fn. 11) and the Hugh de Standish of Duxbury seems to have been the son of Robert de Haydock, rector of Standish in the last decade of the 13th century. (fn. 12) In 1300 Hugh acquired a share of the manor of Heapey, (fn. 13) and various other manors and lands increased the family's estates from time to time. Hugh de Standish (fn. 14) was succeeded by a son William, (fn. 15) whose brother Richard followed (fn. 16); and Hugh, the son of Richard, was in possession of the manor in the time of Edward III and Richard II. (fn. 17) He is, perhaps, the Hugh de Standish whose will of 1421 is preserved by Kuerden, his son Christopher being a supervisor. (fn. 18) In 1396 a feoffment was made to Christopher son of Hugh de Standish and Margaret his wife, daughter of Sir Thomas Fleming. (fn. 19)
Christopher seems to have been succeeded by a son James, living in 1437, (fn. 20) whose son or grandson was probably the Sir Christopher Standish (fn. 21) who died in September 1495, leaving a son and heir Thomas, only fifteen years of age. The Duxbury estate is not mentioned in the inquisition after his death. (fn. 22) Thomas Standish died in 1517 holding the manors of Duxbury, Bradley and Heapey, and various lands. The manor of Duxbury was held of the fee of Penwortham in socage. James, the son and heir, was sixteen years of age. (fn. 23) James Standish recorded a pedigree in 1533, his son Thomas being named, (fn. 24) and in 1564 he made a settlement of his manor of Duxbury and various lands. He died within a few years, (fn. 25) for in 1570 Thomas Standish was in possession. The manor-house at that time seems to have been known as the Peel. (fn. 26) He also made a settlement of the manor, &c., in 1581 and died in 1599, leaving a son and heir Alexander, twenty-nine years of age. (fn. 27) The manor was stated to be held of the queen, as of the late priory of St. John of Jerusalem, in socage by a rent of 12d. (fn. 28)
Alexander Standish appears to have had the family manors granted to him as early as 1583. (fn. 29) He died in 1622, leaving a son Thomas, twenty-nine years of age. (fn. 30) The family had become Protestant, and Thomas Standish was a zealous Parliamentarian, representing Preston from 1640 till his death in October 1642. (fn. 31) His eldest son, however, espoused the king's side and was killed in September 1642 while taking part in the attack on Manchester. (fn. 32) The elder Thomas was eventually succeeded by a younger son Richard, (fn. 33) whose son and heir Richard Standish was created a baronet in 1677. (fn. 34) Sir Richard was followed by his son, grandson and great-grandson—Thomas, (fn. 35) Thomas (fn. 36) and Frank—but on the death of the lastnamed in 1812 without issue (fn. 37) the manor and other estates went to a distant cousin, Frank Hall, who assumed the name of Standish and died in 1840 without issue. (fn. 38) He was succeeded by a second cousin, William Standish Carr, who assumed Standish (fn. 39) as a surname, and dying in 1856 was followed by his son William. On the latter's death in 1878 the inheritance passed to his three sisters, and in 1891–8 the manor of Duxbury and the estates were sold by the trustees. (fn. 40) Mr. Perceval Sumner Mayhew is the present owner of the hall and estate and lord of the manor, and resides there. (fn. 41)
DUXBURY HALL stands in a well-wooded park about the middle of the township, 1½ miles to the south of Chorley, and externally is a plain modernlooking house of two stories faced with hard mill stone grit ashlar in large blocks, and having a Doric portico on its east or entrance front. The building, however, dates back to the 17th century, and in the cellars the work of that period is still to be seen, some of the doorways, mullioned windows and fourcentred arched fireplace openings still remaining below the present ground level. So much alteration has taken place, however, in modern times, and also apparently in the 18th century, that the plan of the 17th-century house cannot be well determined, but the evidence of the work still existing in the basement seems to indicate a brick building with stone dressings erected probably on three sides of a courtyard which was open on the west. The site is close to the River Yarrow, here a small stream flowing past the house in a southerly direction on the west side in a wooded ravine, but is probably not that of the mediaeval house, no vestige of which remains. (fn. 42) The building preserves to some extent what was probably its original disposition round a centre courtyard, having an east front 80 ft. in length and north and south wings extending westward 90 ft. and 97 ft. 6 in. respectively. There appears, however, to have been a remodelling of the house, if not more than one, before the exterior was faced with ashlar about 1828, (fn. 43) though it is possible that the handsome circular cantilever stone staircase, which is 23 ft. 6 in. in diameter, may date from the same period. It has the appearance, however, of being 18th-century work, and probably occupies the greater part of the original courtyard. The external walls of the house are 3 ft. thick, the gritstone facing probably hiding a good deal of 17th-century brickwork. The windows are all modern sashes, and the roofs, which are low pitched behind stone parapets, are covered with green slates. The south front faces on to a flower garden and from the east there are fine views of the Anglezarke moors. The kitchen and offices are in the north-west wing. A stone panel preserved in the entrance hall bears the Standish arms and the date 1623. The north wing was partly destroyed by fire and the rest of the building much damaged on 2 March 1859, but was rebuilt in 1861. To the west of the house is a fine barn about 100 ft. long by 28 ft. wide externally, built round six pairs of crooks, resting on stone bases. The walls are of brick except on the east side, which is faced in stone, and the roof is covered with stone slates.
Captain Miles Standish, one of the early Puritan settlers in New England, is supposed to have been of the family of Standish of Duxbury. (fn. 44)
Though the principal Duxbury family lost its holding to the Standishes, another family (fn. 45) using the local surname, perhaps a branch of the former, continued to hold an estate in the township (fn. 46) until the 16th century, when it was sold to the Standishes of Standish. (fn. 47)
The estate is probably that now known as Ellerbeck. This was owned a century ago by John Hodson of North Hall, Worthington, who represented Wigan as a Tory from 1802 to 1820, his son, James Alexander Hodson, being member from 1820 to 1831. (fn. 48) Ellerbeck went to the representative of the father's sister, Jane, who had married Richard Cardwell of Blackburn. (fn. 49) Her younger son Edward, principal of St. Alban Hall, Oxford, was a Church historian (fn. 50); a grandson, Edward, son of John Cardwell, attained a distinguished position in the State, having among other offices held that of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 1861 to 1864, and being raised to the peerage in 1874 as Viscount Cardwell of Ellerbeck. (fn. 51) He died in 1886, and his trustees are the owners of this estate and of others in the surrounding townships.
BURGH was the seat of a family of that name, of whom there are many notices in the records. (fn. 52) In 1423, after the death of Robert Burgh, a partition was made between his three daughters—Ellen, who married Ralph Molyneux, Margaret wife of James Standish of Arley, and another, who had married Richard Ashton. (fn. 53) The descent of these fragments cannot be traced clearly. (fn. 54) The Standish of Arley holding appears to have been sold in part to the Standishes of Standish, (fn. 55) and in part to have been acquired by a branch of the Rigby family. (fn. 56) Edward Rigby of Burgh was a freeholder and a justice of the peace in 1600, (fn. 57) and Alexander Rigby of the same was one of the principal landowners in Duxbury in 1628. (fn. 58) This family took the king's side in the Civil War, and Alexander Rigby's estate was sequestered by the Parliament. (fn. 59) Afterwards the chief residence of the family was at Layton, near Blackpool. His eldest son, Edward, is thought to have been killed in a Royalist attack on Bolton in 1643, (fn. 60) and Edward's son Alexander was a cornet under Sir Thomas Tyldesley in 1651. (fn. 61) His son, another Alexander, acquired a considerable fortune by marriage and trade, and was high sheriff in 1690–1. (fn. 62) He was made a knight in 1696. (fn. 63) One of his ships trading from Leghorn in 1696 attacked a French vessel and captured it, and the Grand Duke of Tuscany appears to have regarded this as an act of piracy—though England and France were at war— and put the captain in prison, only releasing him for a heavy fine. This seems to have brought about the ruin of the Rigby family, and Sir Alexander was a prisoner in the Fleet in 1713. (fn. 64) Two years later an Act of Parliament was passed authorizing the sale of the estates. (fn. 65)
The family of Standish of Burgh recorded a pedigree in 1613. (fn. 66) They were probably descendants of the Standishes of Shevington and were recusants. (fn. 67)
Burgh about 1720 came into the possession of the Craggs and Chadwicks (fn. 68) and was in 1824 sold to James Anderton. (fn. 69) John Thom of Birkacre in Coppull purchased Burgh Hall from Mr. Anderton, and on his death in 1891 was succeeded by his son Colonel William J. Thom, the present owner.
The landowners of Duxbury with Adlington who contributed to the subsidy of 1564 were James Standish, John Adlington, Lawrence Worthington, John Aughton and Reynold Gibson. (fn. 70) Among the local families occurring in the charters and other records are those of Anglezarke, (fn. 71) Brandwood (fn. 72) and Lowe. (fn. 73) The chief landowners in 1788 were Sir Frank Standish and Edward Chadwick. (fn. 74)