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Civil War, Some bits & pieces for Lancashire.

Civil war broke out in England & Scotland on the 22nd August 1642, when King Charles 1 raised is standard at Nottingham.


At Standish, local sympathy lay mostly with the King, for instance= Ralph Standish of Standish had two sons who fought on the Royalist side, whilst Edward, the eldest son of Thomas Standish of Duxbury, was killed fighting with the Royalist forces of Lord Derby at Manchester in 1642.


Parliamentary forces also had their local adherents, Richard the third son of Thomas Standish of Duxbury, inherited the estate on the death of his father in 1642. He subsequently became the leading parliamentarian in the Wigan and Chorley districts, and was a Colonel in their army.

King Charles 1, was publicly executed outside Whitehall Palace, London on the 30th January 1649.


The last battle of the civil war in Lancashire took place in Wigan lane, between Wigan and Standish during 1651.


Royalist sympathisers were severely punished following the civil war, The Hornby family, The Norrises of Adlington, Edward Prescott of Standish, John Houghton of Park Hall, Hugh Pilkington and James Rigby of Coppull, William Anderton of Anderton and Thomas Langtree of Langtree, all forfeited their lands,.............You notice, not one mention of the Worthington's of Worthington I believe, they where for the parliamentarians and  therefore did not forfeit any lands, but when Charles 11 was restored to the throne on the 23rd April 1661, he made certain that all the notable families who supported parliment, where slowly deprived of there incomes and public standing, and eventually they had to sell there homes and lands.

As Thomas Cruddace Porteus states in his book "History of Standish", The Worthington family appears to have been in residence until 1668, if not later.


Reginald Bretland purchased the Hall and lands  13 march 1683/84, having sold onto Thomas Clayton in 1690.


So from Charles 11 being restored to the throne in 1661, to 1668 or even 1683 it did not take long to ruin the Worthington's of Worthington.


I have to mention about a certain book "Epic of the American Frontier",  which claims that a Nicholas Worthington from Standish, Lancashire, England lost his hall and all of his lands fighting Cromwell, and consequencly had to flee to America, there are no records of births etc for this Nicholas or of him having the Hall or lands it is pure speculation and the family that had it printed, should have had the records checked out, instead of believing the word of some barrister, that no one seems to have heard of, and the article about Leicestershire is pure fairytale.

The reason I have mentioned this, is for anyone starting out on there family history and coming across this book would be totally misguided, it will certainly not be in my list of research material as there are far to many discrepancies in it. (if they had checked there facts more deeply, they would have found that Nicholas probaly comes from the Worthington's of Manchester).


Battle of Wigan lane, 1651


The parish of Worthington stands close to the site of one of the major battlegrounds during the

English Civil Wars, the conflict locally known as the battle of Wigan lane.


Wigan lane runs straight past Worthington hall, ancestral home of the Worthington family since

the 16th century.     It is possible that some member of the family fought at Wigan lane as either

a Cavalier or on the Parliamentarian side under Colonel Robert Lilburne.


The battle of Wigan lane was part of the Worcester campaign that ended in the flight of Charles II

and the famous incident at Boscobel house in Shropshire, where the fugitive king with a large price

on his head, was secreted in a hiding hole by the Pendrell family, and by Captain Carless in the

'Royal Oak' in the grounds of the house.


Earlier on that day Colonel Lilburne had routed a party of Royalists at Brindle, between Chorley and

Blackburn, and then made his way south probably following the present A6 and Wigan lane itself to

reach the outskirts of Wigan, passing through Worthington.       He posted men on the banks of the

river Douglas in the neighbourhood, awaiting the Earl of Derby and Thomas Tyldesley's regiments.


It was James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby who was entrusted with the safety of Charles II and who is

known to have had to seek refuge himself after the battle in the old dog inn, in marketplace, Wigan.

Where the king actually was throughout the battle is uncertain, but it is believed he was present at

Wigan lane, as he is supposed to have passed the night at the Gerard's, at Bryn hall.


The main brunt of the fight was in Standishgate, around the Royal Oak pub area and especialy the

crossroads with Powell street.    Worthington may have been the site of some minor skirmishing

and the effects of the battle would certainly have been felt not only in the direct area but in Lanca-

shire as a whole.     On his return north from Worcester, the Earl of Derby was captured and sent

to Chester castle for trial and executed in the market place Bolton, the charge apparently being

that he had killed a captain Bootle in cold blood during the storming of Bolton in 1644, and not a

reference to his safeguarding the life of England's monarch.    


Colonel Thomas Tyldesley was shot as he was supposed to have been taking refuge into a nearby

hedge in the lane, the spot now occupied by the 'Tyldesley monument' on the A49 Wigan road. A

large number of officers of quality are listed as being either killed or taken prisoner, including the

Earl, whose 'Star and Garter' are mentioned on the original list of spoils and whose beaver hat was

recovered from the lane also, as Colonels Widdrington, Boynton and Robinson are also included.


After the defeat at Worcester, England slid into the darkness of the Commonwealth under Oliver

Cromwell.   The rule of the major generals, confiscations of Royalist estates and nine years of

chaos and corruption ensued to be overshadowed by the Restoration of the king who Derby had

taken the trouble to protect and pass safely into the hands of the Pendrells and for which, had he

survived, would have surely recieved much better recognition in spite of the degree of mistrust that

is supposed to have existed between the monarch and the Stanleys.

Below is a better description of "The Battle of Wigan Lane"  sent to me by Robert.