Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby

Is your surname Stanley?

Research the Stanley family

Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


About Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby

Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby

Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby KG (September 1531 – 25 September 1593) was a prominent English nobleman, diplomat, and politician. He was an ambassador, Privy Councillor, and participated in the trials of Mary, Queen of Scots and the Earl of Arundel.

Born in Lathom, Henry was the eldest son of Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby and his second wife, Lady 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.[1]

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 in a chapel of the Palace of Whitehall and was attended by Queen Mary I of England and her consort Philip of Spain. They were relatives of the bride through her maternal grandmother Mary Tudor, former queen consort of France.

Henry and Margaret had four children in the next eight years, but then quarrelled and generally lived apart thereafter. From about 1570 he lived with Jane Halsall of Knowsley, with whom he had a further four children.[2]

His father died on 24 October 1572. Lord Derby inherited his peerages, the title Lord of Mann 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.

He 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 Scottish monarch Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1586.

In 1588, he was part of a mission which tried to negotiate an end to the Anglo-Spanish War following the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

In 1589, Elizabeth appointed him Lord High Steward 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 later.

Henry and Margaret were parents to four children:[3]

  • Edward Stanley. Died young.[3]
  • Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby (c. 1559 – 16 April 1594).[3]
  • William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby (c. 1561 – 29 September 1642).[3]
  • Francis Stanley (b. 1562). Died young.[3]

Henry was also father to at least four illegitimate children by Jane Halsall of Knowsley:[4]

  • Henry Stanley, for whom provision was made in the form of land at Ormskirk and at Broughton.[4]
  • Thomas Stanley, the younger illegitimate son, who received an estate in Kirkby.[4]
  • Ursula Stanley, who married John Salusbury (d. 1613); the son of Sir John Salusbury and Katheryn of Berain. Ursula and John had four sons and three daughters.[5] Ursula and her husband may be the ideal couple celebrated in Shakespeare's poem The Phoenix and the Turtle.[6]
  • Dorothy Stanley, who married Sir Cuthbert Halsall (d.1632), MP for Lancashire in 1614 [7]

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Stanley,_4th_Earl_of_Derby


  • Sir Henry Stanley, 4th Earl Derby1
  • M, #55383, b. September 1531, d. 25 September 1593
  • Father Sir Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl Derby b. 10 May 1509, d. 24 Oct 1572
  • Mother Dorothy Howard1 b. c 1508, d. b 1558
  • Sir Henry Stanley, 4th Earl Derby was born in September 1531.1 He was christened on 4 October 1531.1 He married Margaret Clifford, daughter of Sir Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland, 12th Lord Clifford, Sheriff of Westmoreland, Constable & Steward of the Castle Knaresborough and Eleanor Brandon, on 7 February 1555 at Royal Chapel, Whitehall, London, Middlesex, England.1 Sir Henry Stanley, 4th Earl Derby left a will between 21 September 1593 and 22 September 1593.1 He died on 25 September 1593 at Lathom, England.1 He was buried on 4 December 1593 at Ormskirk, England.1 His estate was probated on 17 October 1594.1
  • Family Margaret Clifford d. 29 Sep 1596
  • Citations
  • [S11568] The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, by George Edward Cokayne, Vol. IV, p. 211-2.
  • From: http://our-royal-titled-noble-and-commoner-ancestors.com/p1843.htm#i55383


  • Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby1
  • M, #13790, d. 25 September 1593
  • Last Edited=13 Dec 2012
  • Consanguinity Index=0.18%
  • Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby was the son of Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby and Lady Dorothy Howard.1 He married Lady Margaret Clifford, daughter of Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland and Lady Eleanor Brandon, on 7 February 1555.1 He died on 25 September 1593.1
  • 4th EARL OF DERBY and 8th LORD (Baron) MOHUN.2 He was invested as a Knight, Order of the Bath (K.B.) in 1547.1 He was 12th Lord (Baron) Strange (of Knokyn) (as which called up to House Lds /9 vp) on 23 January 1558.2 He succeeded to the title of 12th Lord Strange, of Knokyn on 23 January 1558/59, in his father's lifetime. He held the office of Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire between 1572 and 1593.1 He held the office of Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire between 1572 and 1593.1 He succeeded to the title of 5th Lord Stanley [E., 1456] on 24 October 1572.1 He succeeded to the title of 8th Lord Mohun on 24 October 1572. He succeeded to the title of 4th Earl of Derby [E., 1485] on 24 October 1572.1 He held the office of Vice-Admiral of Lancashire and Cheshire between 1573 and 1587.1 He was invested as a Knight, Order of the Garter (K.G.) in 1574.1 He was invested as a Privy Counsellor (P.C.) in 1585.1 He held the office of Chamberlain of Chester between 1588 and 1593.1 He held the office of Lord High Steward on 14 April 1589, at the trial of the Earl of Arundel.1
  • Children of Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby and Lady Margaret Clifford
    • Edward Stanley1
    • Francis Stanley2
    • Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby+1 b. 1559, d. 16 Apr 1594
    • William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby+2 b. 1561, d. 29 Sep 1642
  • Citations
  • [S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 1101. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  • [S37] BP2003. [S37]
  • From: http://www.thepeerage.com/p1379.htm#i13790


  • Henry STANLEY (4° E. Derby)
  • Born: ABT Sep 1531
  • Christened: 4 Oct 1531
  • Acceded: 1572
  • Died: 25 Sep 1593, Lathon
  • Buried: 4 Dec 1593, Ormskirk
  • Notes: See his Biography.
  • Father: Edward STANLEY (3° E. Derby)
  • Mother: Dorothy HOWARD (C. Derby)
  • Married: Margaret CLIFFORD (C. Derby) 7 Feb 1554/55, Royal Chapel, Whitehall, London
  • Children:
    • 1. Edward STANLEY
    • 2. Ferdinando STANLEY (5º E. Derby)
    • 3. William STANLEY (6° E. Derby)
    • 4. Francis STANLEY
  • Associated with: Jane HALSALL
    • 5. Ursula STANLEY
    • 6. Dorothy STANLEY
    • 7. Son STANLEY
    • 8. Son STANLEY
  • From: http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/STANLEY1.htm#Henry STANLEY (4° E. Derby)
  • 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, 2º 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, and, 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!)
  • From: http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/Bios/HenryStanley(4EDerby).htm


  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 54
  • Stanley, Henry by Albert Frederick Pollard
  • STANLEY, HENRY, fourth Earl of Derby (1531–1593), eldest son of Edward Stanley, third earl of Derby [q. v.], by his first wife, Katherine, daughter of Thomas Howard I, second duke of Norfolk [q. v.], was born in September 1531, and was christened on 4 Oct. (Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, v. 576). He was styled Lord Strange until his succession to the peerage. He was knighted on 20 Feb. 1546–7, at the coronation of Edward VI, to whom he became gentleman of the privy chamber. In April 1550 he was sent as a hostage to France, in company with the Earl of Hertford and other noblemen's sons, and about the same time a project was formed for marrying him to Margaret, daughter of the Duke of Somerset. According to his own statement, he was employed by Somerset to induce Edward VI to marry the duke's third daughter (Jane), to keep a watch on the young king's words and deeds, and to report any secret conferences he might have with his councillors. These proceedings formed one of the principal charges on which Somerset was condemned, though he denied them on oath at his trial (Tytler, England under Edward VI and Mary, ii. 15–25). In July 1554 Strange was appointed gentleman of the privy chamber to Philip of Spain, and on 7 Feb. following he married at the royal chapel, Whitehall, Margaret, eldest daughter of Henry de Clifford, second earl of Cumberland [q. v.] The ceremony was marked by the introduction of a Spanish game, ‘Juego de cañas,’ which has been misinterpreted as a masque, with the title ‘Jube the Cane’ or ‘Jube the Sane’ (cf. Collier, i. 146; Stanley Papers, i. 12; Machyn, Diary, pp. 82, 342). His wife was granddaughter of Henry VIII's younger sister, Mary, duchess of Suffolk, and thus had some claim to the crown (Bailey, Succession to the English Crown, pp. 171 et seq.; cf. art. Clifford, Henry, second Earl of Cumberland). But Strange himself kept these claims in the background, and never suffered any molestation on their account.
  • Soon after Elizabeth's accession he was, on 23 Jan. 1558–9, summoned to parliament as Baron Strange. In 1562 he became a member of Gray's Inn, and on 6 Sept. 1566 he was created M.A. of Oxford. On 26 Oct. 1572 he succeeded his father as fourth Earl of Derby and lord lieutenant of Lancashire. He frequently served as commissioner for ecclesiastical causes, and was an active member of the council of the north. He did not share his father's Roman catholic tendencies, and was a vigorous enemy to recusants in Lancashire. On 24 April 1574 he was elected K.G., and on 20 Jan. 1579–80 he was appointed ambassador-extraordinary to confer the insignia of the order of the Garter on Henry III of France (Cal. Hatfield MSS. iii. 39, 75, 90, 94, 96; Tanner MSS. lxxviii. ff. 22–36, 78–9, 234). On 20 May 1585 he was sworn of the privy council, and on 6 Oct. 1586 he was appointed one of the commissioners to try Mary Queen of Scots. In January 1587–8 he was made chief commissioner to treat for peace with Spain at Ostend, and on 23 March 1588–9 he was appointed lord high steward. On 14 April following he was lord high steward for the trial of Philip Howard, first earl of Arundel [q. v.] He died on 25 Sept. 1593, and was buried at Ormskirk. An engraving of an anonymous portrait of Derby, belonging to the present Earl Derby, is given in Doyle. He was patron of a company of actors who performed before the queen on 14 Feb. 1579–1580; it became more famous under the patronage of his son Ferdinando.
  • By his wife Margaret (1540–1596), with whom he had frequent quarrels, leading to their separation (cf. Cal. State Papers, Dom. Addenda, 1566–79, pp. 33–4, 42–3), he had four sons—Edward, who died young; Ferdinando Stanley, fifth earl of Derby [q. v.]; William, sixth earl [see under Stanley, James, seventh Earl of Derby]; and Francis, who died young.
  • [Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547–93, and Addenda, passim; Hatfield MSS. pts. i.–iv.; Acts of the Privy Council, 1550–88; Stanley Papers and Lancashire Lieutenancy (Chetham Soc.); Machyn's Diary (Camden Soc.); Lit. Remains of Edward VI (Roxburghe Club); Lords' Journals; Strype's Works, passim; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Froude's History; Collins's, Doyle's, and G. E. C[okayne]'s Peerages.]
  • From: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Stanley,_Henry_(DNB00)


  • Sir Henry Stanley
  • Birth: Sep., 1531
  • Death: Sep. 25, 1593 Lathom, Lancashire, England
  • Henry Stanley, Knight of the Garter, 4th Earl of Derby, 5th Lord Stanley.
  • Family links:
  • Parents:
  • Edward Stanley (1509 - 1572)
  • Spouse:
  • Margaret Clifford Stanley (1540 - 1596)*
  • Children:
    • Dorothy Stanley Halsall*
    • Ferdinando Stanley (1559 - 1594)*
    • William Stanley (1561 - 1642)*
    • Ursula Stanley Salusbury (1568 - 1636)*
  • Siblings:
  • Margaret Stanley Poyntz (____ - 1586)*
  • Jane Stanley Sutton (____ - 1569)*
  • Dorothy Stanley (____ - 1558)*
  • Katherine Stanley Knyvet (____ - 1568)*
  • Anne Stanley Arundell (1531 - 1602)*
  • Henry Stanley (1531 - 1593)
  • Burial: Ormskirk Parish Churchyard, Ormskirk, West Lancashire District, Lancashire, England
  • Plot: Derby Chapel
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 81537799
  • From: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=81537799



view all 22

Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby's Timeline

September 1531
Lathom, Lancashire, England
October 4, 1531
Ormskirk, , Lancashire, England
October 4, 1531
Ormskirk, , Lancashire, England
October 4, 1531
Latham, Yorkshire, England
October 4, 1531
Ormskirk, , Lancashire, England
Age 25
Age 27
London, England
Age 28
Knowsley, , Lancashire, England