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STANLEY, Thomas [~1433-1504] -- KG, 2nd Baron Stanley

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Derby (1485-1504), 1 Earl (3 cr.)

Wiki: Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby Wiki

Thomas Stanley, 2nd baron, summoned to parliament, from 30 July, 1460, to 9 December 1483. This nobleman, who was steward of the household to King Edward IV, stood faithful to the interests of his son, Edward V, and incurred, in the consequence, the jealousy of the Protector Gloucester, from the moment that daring personage contemplated seizing upon the government. Lord Stanley was at the council, when Lord Hastings was arrested by order of the Protector, and then very narrowly escaped with his life, having received a violent blow on the head from a halbert. He was afterwards committed to prison, when the Protector threw off the mask, and usurped the crown as Richard III, but was released, lest his son, George, Lord Strange, should stir up the people to revolt. To ensure his support, the new monarch loaded his lordship with honors; constituting him lord steward of the household, constable of England for life, investing him with the Garter, &c.; but his having married for his 2nd wife, Margaret Tudor, Countess Richmond, and mother of Richard's rival, Henry, Earl of Richmond, made him still an object of distrust to Richard. So soon, therefore, as Richard was appraised of the Earl of Richmond's arrival in Brittany, and his projects regarding the English sceptre, Lord Stanley was commanded to discharge all his servants, and strictly prohibited holding any communication with his stepson. Subsequently he obtained permission to retire into the country, but was obliged to leave his son and heir, George, Lord Strange, as hostage. This young nobleman Richard afterwards threatened to put to death, should his father appear in arms on the part of Richmond, but the menace failed in keeping Lord Stanley from the field, who distinguished himself as one of the most active commanders at Bosworth, and when victory at length declared for Lancaster, had the high honor of crowning upon the field of battle, his son-in-law and chief, and proclaiming him King of England, under the title of Henry VII. His lordship was soon afterward created Earl of Derby, and sworn of the privy council. [Burke: Abeyant, Forfeited & Extinct Peerages]
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