Plymouth County Biographies

Part of the Massachusetts Biographies Project

Capt. Myles Standish

Capt. Myles Standish, who came in the "Mayflower" in 1620, with his wife Rose, was born in England about 1586. He settled first in Plymouth, but removed soon among the early settlers of Duxbury across the bay from Plymouth and the hill rising abruptly from the waters of Plymouth Bay, upon which he built his house and lived the remainder of his life, has been called Capitan's Hill to this day.

He signed the compact and became one of the leading men of the colony. In February, 1621, at a general meeting to establish military arrangements he was chosen captain and vested with the command. He conducted all the early expeditions against the indians, and continued in the military service of the colony his whole life. He commanded the Plymouth troops which marched against the Narragansetts in 1645, and when hostilities with the Dutch were apprehended in 1653 he was one of the council of war of Plymouth and was appointed to command the troops which the council determined to raise. He was also prominent in the civil affairs of the colony; was for many years assistant, that is one of the governor's council, and when in 1626 it became necessary to send a representative to England to represent the colonists in the business arrangements with the merchant adventurers, he was selected. He was a commissioner of the United colonies and a partner in the trading company.

He married (first) Rose -, who came with him and died January 29, 1621-21. He married (second) Barbara -, before 1627, when she and his children, Alexander, Charles, and John, had shares of cattle with him. His will dated March 7, 1655, was proved May, 1657. He desired to be buried near his deceased daughter Lora and daughter-in-law Mary. He bequeathed to his wife Barbara: eldest son Alexander: sons Myles, Charles and Josias: "to Marrye Robenson wooe I tenderly love fr her Grandfather's sake;" to servant John Swift Jr.; so son and heir-apparent (under the English law) Alexander lands in Ormsticke, Borsconge, Wrightington, Maralsley, Wooburow, Crawston and the Isle of Man, which were detained from him; his great-grandfather being a younger brother from the house of Standish. He died Oct 3, 1656. An imposing monument has been erected on Capitan's Hill, Duxbury. Captain Standish is one of the Pilgrims known to every generation since and to the whole world, partly because of his military prominence, the first in New England, and partly, especially in the present generation, from teh poem of Longfellow "The Courtship of Myles Standish." Children: 1. Alexander, mentioned below. 2. Charles, living in 1627, 3. John, living in 1627, 4 Myles, settled in Boston; died April 5, 1653; married Sarah Winslow, daughter of John, July 19,1660; widow married Tobias Paine and later Richard Middlecott; died 1726. 5. Lora 6. Charles.

Cutter, William Richard. Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the families of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Vol IV. Lewis Historical Publishing company, 1908. pg. 1741