Myles Standish: 400th anniversary year looms marking the military officer's journey to The New World

An historical group is gearing up to celebrate the 400th anniversary of one of Chorley’s most famous sons setting sail for The New World.

By Tom Earnshaw, Reporter
Thursday, 19th September 2019, 3:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th September 2019, 4:39 pm
A replica of the Mayflower, top; an illustration of the Mayflower's voyage to America, bottom; and Myles Standish, right
A replica of the Mayflower, top; an illustration of the Mayflower's voyage to America, bottom; and Myles Standish, right

2020 will mark the 400th year since the Mayflower’s voyage to America in 1620, an English ship that transported the first English Pilgrims to the Plymouth Colony in what is now the United States of America.

One of the Pilgrim Fathers was passenger was military officer Myles Standish.

Many historical accounts say the military adviser was born and raised in Chorley’s own Duxbury Hall – and the reason behind why the seaside town of Duxbury in Massachusetts is named just this.

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A replica of the Mayflower

Now, 399 years later, the Chorley Heritage Centre Support Group (CHCG) has formed the Mayflower 400 Working Group to organise a variety of events to take place between November 2019 and November 2020.

Barry Lowe from CHCG said: “The event is likely to attract much local attention, and needless to say, from the Plymouth area, and other associated areas in the UK.

“And in particular, the Plymouth and Duxbury areas in America, who will want to visit among others, St Lawrence Church to see the Standish pew in their former place of worship.”

Among the various projects is a Myles Standish video presentation with an introduction by Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP. The video is currently in production ahead of being featured on televised news programmes and in public venues around Chorley.

An illustration of the Mayflower's voyage to America (Getty)

Barry said to “watch this space” for more announcements.

Who was Myles Standish?

Myles Standish was the military advisor in the critical founding years of the Plymouth Colony settlement in The New World.

Historical accounts state that he was a Standish of Duxbury, as indicated by him choosing Duxbury as the name of his settlement in New England.

In the United States of America, Standish is a popular figure and well recognised.

“He is honoured by the second highest monument commemorating an individual in the United States,” writes the Friends of St Laurence’s Church.

His statue stands on an obelisk of at least 110 feet atop Captain’s Hill at Duxbury, Massachusetts.