(born circa 1584, Lancashire, Eng.—died Oct. 3, 1656, Duxbury, Mass.) British-American colonist. He fought in the Netherlands, where he met the Pilgrims, with whom he later sailed to North America on the Mayflower (1620). As the Plymouth colony's military leader, he led several expeditions against hostile Indian tribes. He served as the colony's assistant governor and treasurer (1644–49). There is no historical evidence for the story that he asked John Alden to propose marriage for him to Priscilla Mullins, as mythologized in Henry W. Longfellow's poem The Courtship of Miles Standish (1858).
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Captain Myles Standish (c. 1584 – October 3, 1656), (sometimes spelled Miles Standish) was an English born military officer hired by the Pilgrims as military advisor for Plymouth colony. Arriving on the Mayflower, he worked on colonial defense. On February 17, 1622, he was appointed the first commander of Plymouth colony. Later, he served as Plymouth's representative in England, and served as assistant governor and as the colony's treasurer. He was also one of the founders of the town of Duxbury, Massachusetts (named after his ancestral seat at Duxbury Woods, Chorley) in 1632. In January 2008 in Chorley a new road was opened called the Myles Standish Way and sometime this year or next year a Myles Standish visitor centre will be opened in Chorley.
Standish is often remembered for his bravery in battle and his reputation as the military captain of the Pilgrims, as well as a character in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's fictitious poem The Courtship of Miles Standish.
Through all the continued sickness, Standish was one of the seven that did not get sick; William Bradford quoted:
Standish was quick to make friends with the natives, including one named Hobomok.
In the second year at Plymouth, Standish led a force to Wessagusett to save the settlement from native attack. Responding to reports of a military threat to the colony, Myles Standish organized a militia to defend Wessagussett. However, while he found that there had been no attack, he did find evidence that one was planned. He therefore decided on a preemptive strike. Unfortunately, while Standish returned to Plymouth a hero after the raid, the impact of his attack had larger implications.
Edward Winslow quoted in Good News From New England about this incident:
Word quickly spread among the Native American tribes of Standish's attack; many Native Americans abandoned their villages and fled the area. Edward Winslow, in his 1624 memoirs Good News from New England, reports that "they forsook their houses, running to and fro like men distracted, living in swamps and other desert places, and so brought manifold diseases amongst themselves, whereof very many are dead". Now lacking the trade in furs provided by the local tribes, the Pilgrims lost their main source of income for paying off their debts to the Merchant Adventurers. Rather than strengthening their position, Standish's raid had disastrous consequences for the colony, a fact noted by William Bradford, who in a letter to the Merchant Adventurers noted "[W]e had much damaged our trade, for there where we had [the] most skins the Indians are run away from their habitations..." However, one positive effect of Standish's raid was the increased power of the Massasoit-led Wampanoag, the Pilgrims' closest ally in the region.
Standish’s last will and testimony states even though leaving his family in England that he had land in various parts of England. His will states: “9 I give unto my son & heir apparent Allexander Standish all my land as heire apparent by lawful Decent in Ormistick [Ormskirk], Borsconge [Burscough], Wrightington, Maudsley [Mawdesley], Newburrow [Newborough], Crawston [Croston] and the Ile of man [Isle of Man ] and given to me as right heire by lawful Decent but Surruptuously Detained from my great Grandfather being a second or younger brother from the house of Standosh [Standish] of Standish. March the 7th 1655 by me Standish.” These lands now make up the Lancashire towns of Chorley and Ormskirk.
Myles Standish was the deputy governor.
Jawna Standish, International Fashion Designer known to be linked to The Mayflower and direct descendant to Myles Standish,