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The Chittick Family History
as written by Erminda (Chittick) Rentoul
1890 The Lodge, Cliftonville, Belfast. Ireland

Chapter Four | The Earldom of Derby

SIR Bernard BURKE says the Earldom of Derby had merged in the Crown, and so remained until conferred by Henry VII. upon the house of Stanley, of which we are about to treat. This is one of those families whose early baronial origin, though from a younger branch, seems, in defiance of change of name and arms, to stand upon a satisfactory foundation. From the time of Richard the Second it makes a very considerable figure in history, and the prominent part taken by Lord Stanley at Bosworth renders the name familiar to every person at all versant in the annals of England. Camden, Dugdale, and all our antiquaries, agree that the noble House of Derby is a branch of the old Barons Audeley, of Audeley, Co. Stafford.

The immediate founder of the Stanleys, William De Audeleigh, who lived in the reign of King John, had from his cousin, Sir Adam De Audeleigh, the manor of Stanleigh. When fixing his abode he assumed the surname of Stanleigh, or Stanley. The great great grandson of this William, Sir William De Stanley, married Joan, eldest daughter of Sir Philip De Bamville, Lord of Stourton, in Cheshire, by which alliance he became possessed of the manor and bailiwick of Wyrall joust, and thereupon assumed the armorial bearings since used by his descendants, in place of those borne by his ancestors- “Three stags' heads on a bend.” His grandson, another Sir William Stanley, Lord of Stanley, Great Stourton, &c., died 21st of Richard the Second, leaving three sons and a daughter. Sir William, the eldest son, succeeded his father, and was also of Hooton, in Cheshire, by right of his wife, Margaret, daughter and heiress of William Hooton, of Hooton.

The second son, Sir John Stanley, K.G., married Isabella, daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas Lathom, Knt.. In 1385 Sir John Stanley was Lord Deputy of Ireland, and had a grant of the manor of Blake Castle in that kingdom. In 1405 he had commission, in conjunction with Roger Lake, to seize on the city of York and its liberties, and also upon the Isle of Man.

In the seventh of Henry IV., being then Treasurer of the Household of the King, he obtained license to fortify a house at Liverpool (which he had newly built) with unbattled walls. In the same year, having taken possession of the Isle of Man, he obtained a grant in fee of the said isle, castle, and pile, anciently called Holm Town, and all the isles adjacent, as also all the legalities, franchise, &c., to be holden of the said King, his heirs and successors, by homage and the service of two falcons, payable on the day of their coronation. On the accession of Henry V. he was made a Knight of the Garter, and constituted Lord Lieutenant of Ireland for six years, in which government he died, 6th January, 1414, leaving two sons, the elder of whom, John Stanley, representative for Lancashire in Parliament in second of Henry V., married Isabella daughter of Sir Robert, and sister of Sir William Harrington, Knt., of Hornby, and was succeeded by his only son, Sir Thomas Stanley, Knt,, who was constituted Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and called a Parliament there in 1432. He was subsequently elected a Knight of the Garter, and summoned to Parliament, 20th January, 1455, as Lord Stanley. His Lordship married Joan, daughter and coheir of Sir Robert Goushill, of Haveringham, in Nottinghamshire, by Elizabeth, his wife, daughter and at length heiress of Richard Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, by whom he bad, besides daughters, Thomas, his successor, and William (Sir), of Holt, who was beheaded as a participator for placing Perkin Warbeck upon the throne. His Lordship died in 1458, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Thomas, second Lord Stanley, summoned to Parliament from 38th of Henry VI. to first of Richard III.

This nobleman married, first, Eleanor, daughter of Richard Nevil, Earl of Salisbury, and sister of Richard Nevil (the king-maker), the stout Earl of Warwick, by whom he had issue. Lord Stanley espoused, secondly, Margaret, daughter and heir of John, Duke of Somerset, widow of Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, and mother of Henry, Earl of Richmond.

How far his Lordship contributed to the victory of Bosworth is recorded in history, and his placing the crown of Richard upon the head of the victorious Richmond in the field is also a matter of historic record.

The new Monarch advanced Lord Stanley, 27th October, 1485, to the dignity of Earl of Derby, and one of the Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Steward of England, on the day of his coronation. His Lordship in the March following had a grant of the great office of Constable of England for life. He had no children by his second marriage, and, dying in 1504, was succeeded by his grandson, Thomas, second Earl, who married Anne, daughter of Edward, Lord Hastings, of Hungerford, and was succeeded at his decease, in 1522 (when, it appears, he bore the titles of Earl of Derby, Viscount Kynton, Lord Stanley and Strange, Lord of Knokyn, Mohun, Basset, Burnal, and Lacy, Lord of Man and the Isles), by his son, Edward, third Earl, K.G., Lord High Steward at the coronation of Queen Mary, and Chamberlain of Chester in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. His Lordship died 24th October, 1574, and was succeeded by his eldest son by his first wife, Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk.

Henry, fourth Earl, K.G.-His Lordship married Margaret, only child of Henry Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, by his first wife, Alianore, daughter and co-heir of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and Mary, Dowager Queen of France, the sister of Henry VIII., and, dying in 1593, was succeeded by his eldest son, Ferdinando, whose eldest daughter, Anne, married, first, Grey, fifth Lord Chandos, and, secondly, Mervyn, Earl of Castlehaven, son of the second Earl, who was executed on Tower Hill, 14th May, 1631. This nobleman obtained a special Act of Parliament in 1678, restoring to him the place and precedence as Lord Audley, enjoyed by his ancestors, but forfeited by his father Audley.

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