Thomas Stanley, 2nd Earl of Derby

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Thomas Stanley, 2nd Earl of Derby
Thomas Stanley, 2nd Earl of Derby
Bornbefore 1485
Died23 May 1521
Spouse(s)Anne Hastings
Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby
Margaret Stanley
John Stanley
Father George Stanley, 9th Baron Strange
MotherJoan Strange

Thomas Stanley, 2nd Earl of Derby (before 1485 – 23 May 1521) was an English nobleman, politician, and peer.



Thomas Stanley was the eldest son of George Stanley, 9th Baron Strange and Joan Strange, daughter and heiress of John Strange, Lord Strange of Knockin, by his first wife, Jacquette Woodville, daughter of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers. He was the grandson of Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby, and Eleanor Neville, fourth daughter of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, by Alice Montagu, the daughter and heiress of Thomas Montagu, 4th Earl of Salisbury. After the death of his first wife, Eleanor Neville, Thomas Stanley's grandfather married Margaret Beaufort, widow of Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, and mother of King Henry VII. [1]

George Stanley, 9th Baron Strange, of Knockin, KG, KB (1460–1503) was an English nobleman and heir apparent of Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby. He was also a notable soldier in his own right and held a number of senior offices of state.

Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers 15th-century English noble

Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers was an English nobleman, best remembered as the father of Queen consort Elizabeth Woodville and the maternal grandfather of Edward V and the maternal great-grandfather of Henry VIII.

Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby English nobleman, titular King of Mann and stepfather to King Henry VII of England

Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby, KG was an English nobleman and politician. He was a titular King of Mann, and stepfather to King Henry VII of England. He was the eldest son of Thomas Stanley, 1st Baron Stanley and Joan Goushill.

Stanley had four brothers, Anthony, John, Sir James and George, and five sisters, Elizabeth, wife of Sir Edward Stanley, Eleanor, Katherine, Joan, who married Sir Robert Sheffield, and Margaret, wife of John Osbaldeston, esquire. [2]


As a result of his marriage to Joan Strange, Thomas Stanley's father, George, had been summoned to Parliament by writs directed to Georgio Stanley de la Strange, by which he became Lord Strange. George Stanley died at Derby House, London, on 4 or 5 December 1503, predeceasing his father. He was said to have been poisoned at a banquet. [3]

Parliament of England historic legislature of the Kingdom of England

The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England, existing from the early 13th century until 1707, when it united with the Parliament of Scotland to become the Parliament of Great Britain after the political union of England and Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain.

A year later Thomas Stanley's grandfather, the 1st Earl, died at Lathom in Lancashire on 9 November 1504, and Thomas succeeded to the earldom of Derby and the barony of Stanley. [4] When his mother died at Colham Green, Middlesex, on 20 March 1514, Derby inherited the baronies of Strange and Mohun.

Lathom village and civil parish in Lancashire, England

Lathom is a village and civil parish in Lancashire, England, about 3 miles (5 km) northeast of Ormskirk. It is in the district of West Lancashire, and with the parish of Newburgh forms part of Newburgh ward. The population of the civil parish at the 2011 census was 914. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal passes through Lathom.

Lancashire County of England

Lancashire is a ceremonial county in North West England. The administrative centre is Preston. The county has a population of 1,449,300 and an area of 1,189 square miles (3,080 km2). People from Lancashire are known as Lancastrians.

Derby was at the Battle of the Spurs in 1513. Both he and his wife were in attendance at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in June 1520, and Derby attended the King at his meeting with the Emperor Charles V at Dover later that year. In the same year, Derby became a member of Gray's Inn.

Battle of the Spurs battle

The Battle of the Spurs or Battle of Guinegate took place on 16 August 1513. It formed a part of the War of the League of Cambrai, during the ongoing Italian Wars. Henry VIII and Maximilian I were besieging the town of Thérouanne in Artois. Henry's camp was at Guinegate, now called Enguinegatte. A large body of French heavy cavalry under Jacques de La Palice was covering an attempt by light cavalry to bring supplies to the besieged garrison. English and Imperial troops surprised and routed this force. The battle was characterised by the precipitate flight and extensive pursuit of the French. The name of the battle is commonly believed to be derived from the French spurring their horses to effect their escape but is actually from the nearby village of Spours. During the pursuit a number of notable French leaders and knights were captured. After the fall of Thérouanne, Henry VIII besieged and took Tournai.

Field of the Cloth of Gold Summit meeting

The Field of the Cloth of Gold was a site in Balinghem – equidistant between Ardres in France and Guînes in the then-English Pale of Calais – that hosted a tournament field as part of a summit from 7 to 24 June 1520, between King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France.

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor 16th-century Holy Roman Emperor

Charles V was Holy Roman Emperor from 1519, King of Spain from 1516, and ruling prince of the Habsburg Netherlands from 1506. Head of the rising House of Habsburg during the first half of the 16th century, his dominions in Europe included the Holy Roman Empire extending from Germany to northern Italy with direct rule over Austria and the Low Countries, and a unified Spain with its southern Italian kingdoms of Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia. Furthermore, his reign encompassed both the long-lasting Spanish and short-lived German colonizations of the Americas. The personal union of the European and American territories of Charles V was the first collection of realms labelled "the empire on which the sun never sets".

Derby died at Colham Green, Middlesex, on 23 May 1521, and was buried at Syon. His widow, Anne, died at Colham Green, and was buried 17 November 1550. [5]

Middlesex historic county of England

Middlesex is a historic county in southeast England. Its area is now almost entirely within the wider urbanised area of London. Its area is now also mostly within the ceremonial county of Greater London, with small sections in other neighbouring ceremonial counties. It was established in the Anglo-Saxon system from the territory of the Middle Saxons, and existed as an official administrative unit until 1965. The county is bounded to the south by the River Thames, and includes the rivers Colne and Lea and a ridge of hills as the other boundaries. The largely low-lying county, dominated by clay in its north and alluvium on gravel in its south, was the second smallest by area in 1831.

Syon Abbey

Syon Abbey, also called simply Syon, was a monastery of the Bridgettine Order founded in 1415 which stood until its demolition in the 16th century on the left (northern) bank of the River Thames within the parish of Isleworth, in the county of Middlesex, on or near the site of the present Georgian mansion of Syon House. It was named after the Biblical Holy “City of David which is Zion”, built on the eponymous Mount Zion.

Derby's line failed with the death of James Stanley, 10th Earl of Derby in 1736, when the earldom passed to a descendant of his younger brother, Sir James Stanley, ancestor of the Stanleys of Bickerstaffe.[ citation needed ]

Marriage and issue

Derby was betrothed in 1498 to Elizabeth Wells, the daughter of John Welles, 1st Viscount Welles, by Cecily of York, the daughter of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. A papal dispensation was obtained for the marriage. However Elizabeth died that year. By indenture dated 17 December 1505 Derby married Anne Hastings, the daughter of Edward Hastings, 2nd Baron Hastings, and Mary Hungerford, and by her had two sons and a daughter: [6]

Thomas Stanley, 2nd Earl of Derby, and Shakespeare

The failure of Thomas Stanley's grandfather, Lord Stanley, to come to the aid of King Richard III at Bosworth contributed to King Richard's defeat. Lord Stanley, who was by then married to the future Henry VII's mother, Margaret Beaufort, is given a major role in Shakespeare's Richard III. Lord Stanley's son, George, Thomas Stanley's father, was held hostage by King Richard, as noted in this speech given to Lord Stanley in Act IV, scene v of the play:

Sir Christopher, tell Richmond this from me:
That in the sty of the most deadly boar
My son George Stanley is frank'd up in hold;
If I revolt, off goes young George's head;
The fear of that holds off my present aid.


  1. Richardson IV 2011 , pp. 91–4.
  2. Richardson IV 2011 , pp. 93–4.
  3. Richardson IV 2011 , p. 93.
  4. Richardson IV 2011 , p. 92.
  5. Richardson I 2011 , p. 374; Richardson IV 2011 , p. 94.
  6. Richardson IV 2011 , p. 94.
  7. Complete Peerage 2nd Ed. Vol 4 p.209 footnote (a)

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Head of State of the Isle of Man
Preceded by
Thomas Stanley
as King of Mann
Lord of Mann
Succeeded by
Edward Stanley
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Thomas Stanley
Earl of Derby
Baron Stanley

Succeeded by
Edward Stanley
Preceded by
Joan le Strange
Baron Strange
Baron Mohun