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 Myles “Miles” Standish

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Myles “Miles” Standish

  • Birth 1584 Lancashire, England
  • Death 3 Oct 1656 Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Cenotaph Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Memorial ID 36890746

American Colonist. He accompanied the Pilgrims as the commander of their militia, but was not a Pilgrim in the religious sense of the group. He is the subject of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic "The Courtship of Miles Standish;" but the story is entirely fictitious. Born in Lancashire, England in 1584, he fought as a young man against the Spanish in the Netherlands, learning his military trade and developing his leadership. The Pilgrims, realizing that none of them really had any military skill, asked him to command and train the militia in their settlement in the new world, and he sailed with the original colonists. Short, stocky, with bright red hair and a florid complexion that would turn beet red when he was angry, he was "a little chimney too soon fired" as one of his detractors once stated. However, no one questioned his bravery, and his watchfulness over the colony probably saved it from destruction by Indians in its early years. Once, he went with a handful of men to the village of a threatening Indian chief, Wituwamat, and although outnumbered by the braves, Standish suddenly turned on the chief and killed him, and brought his head back to Plymouth as a warning to other Indians to behave. In 1625, the Plymouth colonists sent him back to England to get more favorable agreements with the merchants who were financing the colony. As the plague was then ravishing London, he was unable to obtain any support, so he and some other leaders assumed the colony's debts. From 1624 to 1633 he served as the colony's assistant governor, and as its Treasurer from 1652 to 1655. In 1632, he moved a few miles north of Plymouth to Duxbury, Massachusetts, and helped found the town there. He died in Duxbury, Massachusetts in 1656. He is recorded on the monument at Cole's Hill, but buried in South Duxbury.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Mary Harrell-Sesniak
  • Added: 9 May 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 36890746
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Myles “Miles” Standish (1584–3 Oct 1656), Find A Grave Memorial no. 36890746, citing Coles Hill Burial Ground, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .