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Standish
Standish
474
    at the time of his Death,’ London, 1540, 8vo; answered by Coverdale.
  1. ‘Treatise of the Union of the Church,’ London, 1556.
  2. ‘A Discourse wherin is debated whether it be expedient that the Scripture should be in English for al men to read,’ London, 1554, 4to; 2nd edit. 1555.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 235; Chetham Soc. Publ. lxxxii; Reg. Univ. of Oxford, i. 150, and Fowler's Hist. of Corpus Christi College (both Oxford Hist. Soc.); Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Le Neve's Fasti, ed. Hardy; Newcourt's Rep. Eccl. Lond.; Strype's Memorials, I. i. 570, II. ii. 260.]

W. A. J. A.

STANDISH, MYLES (1584?–1656), colonist, was born in Lancashire about 1584. In his will he states that his great-grandfather was ‘a second or younger brother from the house of Standish of Standish.’ As he named his estate in New England Duxbury, he was probably descended from the Duxbury branch of the family. It has been surmised that steps were taken to destroy the record of his descent to deprive him of a share in the family inheritance. The principal facts supporting this conjecture are that the page containing the births for 1584 and 1585 of the parish register of Chorley in Lancashire, where he was probably born, has been defaced, and that in his will he bequeaths to his son Alexander certain estates in the same county and in the Isle of Man, which he describes as ‘surreptitiously detained from’ him. But the claim put forward by some of his descendants that he was rightful heir to all the Standish property appears unwarrantable. Before 1603 Standish obtained a lieutenant's commission in the English force serving under the Veres in the Netherlands, and took an active part in the war against the Spaniards. After the conclusion of the truce of 1609 he joined the puritan colony settled at Leyden under the ministry of John Robinson (1576?–1625) [q. v.], and, on account of his experience, became their military adviser.

On 6 Sept. 1620 Standish, with the other pilgrim fathers, embarked on the Mayflower, with the intention of settling in America within the territories of the Virginia Company. Being driven from their course, they cast anchor on 11 Nov. in the bay of Cape Cod. To Standish was entrusted the command of the parties sent out to explore the country. They incurred considerable risks, and on one occasion in December were nearly cut off by the Indians, who took them by surprise. On 19 Dec. the colonists selected for their settlement a site on which they conferred the name of New Plymouth [see Carver, John]. During the first winter they suffered heavily from sickness, and Standish, who lost his wife, was especially distinguished for his humanity to the sick. In February 1621 he was unanimously chosen military captain of the colony. The force at his disposal was small (in November 1621 there were only thirty-two men in the settlement), and the scantiness of its numbers increased the responsibility of command. Standish showed himself equal to the requirements of his office. In August, with only fourteen men, he surprised by night an encampment of hostile Indians, and rescued a friendly native named Squanto, who served as interpreter to the settlement. In the following month, with ten Englishmen and three native guides, he explored Massachusetts Bay, and established friendly relations with the powerful tribes inhabiting its coasts. The arrival of the ship Fortune on 11 Nov. increased his meagre force by twenty-seven men. It was a timely reinforcement, for serious trouble soon arose.

In 1622 an independent settlement was founded at Wessagussett, now Weymouth, to the north of Plymouth, by a band of adventurers commanded by Thomas Weston (1575?–1625?) [q. v.] They were a shiftless set, and soon earned the hatred and contempt of the Indians by their inability to provide for themselves and by their treacherous and profligate conduct towards the natives. The Massachusetts tribe, formerly friendly, resolved to exterminate Weston and his companions, and, so as to remove the chances of retribution, prepared to assail the Plymouth settlers afterwards. The neighbourhood of Wessagussett became the centre of a great Indian conspiracy, involving most of the native peoples of New England. Learning how matters stood, Standish marched to Weston's settlement, taking with him only eight men to avoid alarming the natives. On his arrival he was insulted by the hostile chiefs, Pecksuot and Wituwamat. Dissembling his resentment, he invited them, with a few followers, to a conference, allured them into a room, closed the door, and killed them all. An engagement followed, in which the Indians were defeated, and the settlers at Wessagussett enabled to retire in safety. This prompt action broke up the hostile league, and greatly enhanced the reputation of the English colony.

In the early years of the settlement the colonists found themselves much prejudiced by disputes with the merchant adventurers of London, who had furnished money for the enterprise. In consequence, in the summer of 1625 Standish journeyed to London to seek the intervention of the council of New