Myles (sometimes spelled "Miles") Standish was an English colonist in America. Born in Lancashire around 1584, by 1603 he was a lieutenant in the English force serving in the Netherlands. Following the truce of 1609, he joined the Separatist colony in Leyden although he never officially entered their communion. He sailed to America on the Mayflower and, due to his military experience, was put in charge of the defense of the colony of New Plymouth in 1621. Although he had no experience in the tactics of warfare practiced by the Indians, he was able with a small armed force to defend the colonists and eventually gained considerable prestige among them. The last actual conflict in which he took part was the attempt in 1635 to retake from the French a trading post that the colonists had established on the Penobscot River. In addition to his military service, he was the colony's treasurer from 1644 to 1649. He died at Duxbury on October 3, 1656.