Tackley Local History Group

Stories From Our Past

The Standard Memorial

Sue Ashton, November 2022

Robin pointed out a very sad memorial in St Nicholas’ Church in Tackley, just inside the chancel on the wall by the organ. The inscription, which is in Latin, translates as:

Here lies a little child, daughter of John Standardgen of the manor house of Whitehill and Brigitt his wife from the illustrious family of Lenthallorum, 1615.
Latin inscription in stone

I was rather intrigued, so decided to find out more about this little girl and the parents who obviously loved her very much.

The Standard family had acquired Whitehill Manor in the early 1500s by marriage. The direct male line died out, and the manor was sold but then bought back by Robert Standard in 1560. He left it to his son Edward, but as he had a lease on the rectory in Kidlington, it appears that his son John Standard became the lord of the manor.

In 1613 John relinquished his post of fellow at Exeter College, Oxford, and married Bridget Lenthall, the daughter of Sir John Lenthall of Cutteslowe and sister of the Speaker in the House of Commons.

John was a Doctor of Divinity and became the rector of St Nicholas’ Church in Tackley the same year. It appears that he left most of his duties to a curate, but remained rector until 1648.

In 1614 their first child, Elizabeth, was baptised in Tackley but died seventeen months later in 1615. She is buried in the chancel with the memorial plaque and coat of arms (vert an arrow in pale point facing downwards argent). They had another daughter in 1616 and again called her Elizabeth, before going on to have a further fourteen children — six boys and ten girls altogether.

1629 was again a tragic year for the Standard family. They had by that time had five girls, six boys, and then another girl. On 7 September their two-year-old son Thomas died, and on 20 October their daughter Bridget died aged ten. Five days later their eldest son died, eight-year-old Edward.

We know that John and several of the children are buried in Tackley’s churchyard. Edward, the eight-year-old son and heir, was buried in the chancel of Kidlington Church with his grandmother, later joined by his grandfather Edward and his second wife. Edwards’s epitaph reads:

“Under the neighbouring ground rest together
Inhabitants of heaven, Eliza, grandmother, and
Edward Standard, grandson,
An eight year old son and heir
Of (Dr) John Standard of Whitehill
And Lord of that Manor, Esquire,
Whom there bore to him Bridget
By her descent from the Lenthalls
Ennobled, who (fleeing from)?
Suffering unseasonably
Too early found his fate.
Thou art gone without me beloved, nor
Any more shall we walk together.
Sad and afflicted.”

Edward had also had a large family, and another of his sons had married and settled in Nethercott. The St Nicholas’ Church records show many Standards from all three branches of the family being baptised and buried over the next fifty years.

John died in 1647, and his wife Bridget remarried four years later. Their son Robert inherited the manor at Whitehill, but when he died in 1685, the estate was divided between his two daughters; and as the other children seem to have left the area, so the Standard name disappears from our records.

They seemed a very close and loving family.