(4th E. Derby)

Born: ABT Sep 1531

Christened: 4 Oct 1531

Acceded: 1572

Died: 25 Sep 1593/4, Lathom

Buried: 4 Dec 1593/4, Ormskirk

Notes: Knight of the Garter. 12th Baron Strange. The Complete Peerage vol.IV, pp.211-212.

Father: Edward STANLEY (3 E. Derby)

Mother: Dorothy HOWARD (C. Derby)

Married: Margaret CLIFFORD (C. Derby) 7 Feb 1554/55, Royal Chapel, Whitehall, London


1. Edward STANLEY

2. Ferdinando STANLEY (5 E. Derby)

3. William STANLEY (6 E. Derby)

4. Francis STANLEY

Associated with: Jane HALSALL

5. Ursula STANLEY

6. Dorothy STANLEY

7. Henry STANLEY

8. Thomas STANLEY


Stanley,Henry(4E.Derby)01.jpg (7130 bytes)

Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby
by Isaac Oliver
watercolour on vellum, oval, circa 1590
On display at the National Portrait Gallery

Born ABT Sep 1531, the heir of Edward, third Earl of Derby, by his second wife Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Howard, second Duke of Norfolk, Henry was also the recipient of high offices from the English Crown.

He was married 7 Feb 1554 to Margaret, only surviving child of Henry Clifford, 2 Earl of Cumberland, by Eleanor, daughter to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, by Mary, Queen Dowager of France, eldest daughter of Henry VII. The marriage was celebrated in the presence of Queen Mary and Felipe of Spain, in the Royal Chapel at Whitehall palace, in London, prior to the wicked designs of the latter for the Conquest of England.

Queen Elizabeth made him a Knight of the Garter in 1574. He was created alongside Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke. In 1580, he was appointed Ambassador extraordinary to confer the insignia of the Order of the Garter on Henri III of France. In 1577, he visited Isle of Man, and presided at a common-law court, and at a Tynwald Court at St. John's, when the Bishop did homage for his barony. He was also present at a Tynwald Court in 1583, when regulations for salmon and trout fishing were passed. In 1585, he ordered the Deemsters and Keys to declare the law about "Treasure Trove", whereupon they stated that any such treasure was a "Prerogative due unto his Lordship by the Lawes of this Isle". Bishop Meryck gives a pleasant idea of his rule in Man by his statement that the island "is very fortunate in its expenses, ... for the Earl expends the greater part of his yearly rent in defraying them". In the same year, he became a privy councillor; and, in 1586, he was appointed one of the commissioners of the trial of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. In 1588, he was made chief commissioner to treat for peace with Spain; and, in 1589, he was appointed lord high steward.

In 1589 Lord Derby visited the Isle of Man for the purpose of renewing the confidence of his subjects who had suffered severely from the tyranny of those "dressed in a little brief authority" during the absence of the Earls. He returned to Lathom in 1592, and died there on the 25 Sep 1594.

By his wife he had four sons and one daughter. Two sons, Edward and Francis, died young; Ferdinando became the fifth Earl, and William the sixth Earl. Finally became fed up with his wife and went to live with his mistress (and 2nd cousin), Jane Halsall of Knowsley, by whom he had two sons and two daughters. (Thanks to Dale Caragata for this information!)

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