|Press "BACK" on your
browser to return to
the previous page.
|Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of
Derby, 1531 - 1593
Henry, the 4th Earl of Derby
|Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby (September 1531–
25 September 1593) was a prominent English
nobleman who served as Lord High Steward during
the trial of Philip Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel.
Born in Lathom, Henry was the eldest son of Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby and his second wife
Dorothy Howard. His maternal grandparents were Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk and his wife
Agnes Tilney (1478-1545), daughter of Hugh Tilney of Boston and Eleanor Tailboys.
He was married on 7 February 1554 to Lady Margaret Clifford. She was the only surviving child of
Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland and Lady Eleanor Brandon. The marriage took place on a
chapel of the Palace of Whitehall and was attended by both Queen regnant Mary I of England and
her consort Philip II of Spain. They were relatives of the bride through her maternal grandmother
Mary Tudor, former queen consort of France.
Henry and Margaret were parents to five children:
Edward Stanley. Died young.
Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby (c. 1559 – 16 April 1594).
William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby (c. 1561 – September 29, 1642).
Francis Stanley (b. 1562). Died young.
Martha Stanley (b. 1565-?).
Ursula Stanley, who was illegitimate, but acknowledged. She married John Salisbury (d. 1612), he
was the son of Sir John Salusbury and Katheryn of Berain.
His father died on 24 October 1572. Lord Derby inherited his peerages, the title Lord of the Isle of
Man and the offices of Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire.
Elizabeth I of England created Derby a Knight of the Garter in 1574. He was created alongside Henry
Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke.
Henry was appointed ambassador to the court of Henry III of France in 1580. He was appointed to
the Privy Council in 1585. He was among the chief officials of the trial of deposed Queen regnant
Mary I of Scotland in 1586.
Henry was among the officials assigned to negotiate an end to the Anglo Spanish War following the
defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. This assignment was a failure. In 1589, an English Armada
under Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Norris suffered heavy casualties in battle with the Spanish naval
Elizabeth appointed Derby Lord High Steward in 1589 for the trial of Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel
and Surrey. He returned to Lathom in retirement in 1592 and died there one or two years late
Additional Information from other sources:
Henry Stanley was also the recipient of high offices from the English Crown. Queen Elizabeth made
him a Knight of the Garter in 1574, and, in 1580, he was appointed ambassador extraordinary to
confer the insignia of the Order of the Garter on Henry III of France. In 1577, he visited the island,
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," where upon 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 to try Mary, Queen of Scots. In 1588, he
was made chief commissioner to treat for peace with Spain; and, in 1589, he was appointed lord high
[From Aspden: 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 25th
September, 1594. He was married in 1554 to Margaret, only child of Henry :Clifford, 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 Philip of Spain, prior to the wicked designs of the latter for the Conquest of England. The issue
was four sons and one daughter. Two sons, William and Francis, died young; Ferdinando became the
fifth Earl, and (a second) William the sixth Earl.