[From Lancashire Worthies, 1874]
TWO or three miles south-west of the busy little town of Leek, in Staffordshire, slumbers the obscure hamlet of Stanley, stony lea as it were, stan being Anglo-Saxon for stone. "The place," says Erdeswick, the old topographer of that county, " seems to take its name of the nature of the soil, which though it be in the moorlands is yet a rough and stony place, and many craggy rocks are about it." The name thus derived became that of the famous family of Stanley, itself an offshoot from another of still more ancient date and note. The Stanleys were a branch of the Staffordshire Audleys, said to have been "Barons by tenure before the reign of Henry III. ; " from them, through heirs female, descend the present Touchets Barons Audley, peers of the realm at this day. Of these Audleys was the " Lord James," the valiant warrior who " broke through the French army " at Poitiers, fighting until he was "covered with blood," and of whose interview with the Black Prince, after the victory, there survives a picturesque and touching record in the chivalrous pages of Froissart.
The Audley family seems to have been founded in the reign of Henry I. One of the founder's grand sons, William, had a liking for the stony lea aforesaid, and in the reign of King John exchanged with an uncle other land for it. From this William, called as his father had been, de Stanleigh (soon converted into Stanley), descended the Stanleys of Hooton, the Stanleys of Latham and of Knowsley, and the Stanleys of Alderley, among others. With his son, also a William, the fortunes of the new family took a start through one of those matrimonial alliances to which the house of Stanley owed much of its early prosperity and prominence. He married Jane, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Philip Bamville, of Storeton, in Cheshire, a few miles south of what is now Birkenhead, and known in these days for the New Red Sandstone quarries of Storeton Hill. With this marriage (temp. Edward II.) the Stanleys migrated from Staffordshire to Cheshire. It made them owners of a share of the manor of Storeton and hereditary bailiffs of the forest which then over spread the peninsula of Wirral, between the estuaries of the Mersey and the Dee. Wirral was disforested by Edward III., but from this hereditary bailiwick, or chief rangership, of the forest come " the three bucks' heads on a bend," which, with or without additions or modifications, has ever since been the crest of all these Stanleys. A more important acquisition in Cheshire was made by the marriage of another William de Stanley, a descendant of the foregoing (he died 6 Hen. VI.), to the heiress of Hooton, half-way or so between Chester and Birkenhead. The Stanleys of Storeton now became the Stanleys of Hooton, who centuries later, after the restoration of Charles II., were raised to the baronetage.
From Sir John Stanley, a younger brother of the first Stanley, whom marriage made owner of Hooton, have sprung the Stanleys of Knowsley in Lancashire Earls of Derby and the Stanleys Barons Stanley of Alderley in Cheshire. In our own day the baronetcy of Stanley of Hooton was merged in that of Errington, and strangers came into possession of Hooton and its hall, " commanding a peculiarly beautiful view of the Forest Hills, the bend of the Mersey, and the opposite shore of Hale, and shaded with venerable oaks of a growth which the Wirral breezes have elsewhere rarely suffered." The main line of the family is now in what was originally a junior branch, the Stanleys of Knowsley, founded by that Sir John, younger brother of the first Stanley owner of Hooton, and who "flourished," in the literal sense of the word, during the reigns of the Second Richard and of the Henries Fourth and Fifth.
It is from Sir John Stanley that the greatness of the family, though in a younger branch, dates and derives its origin. His career combined all the incidents and accidents to which, aided by the energy and astuteness of its heads, the earlier growth and success of the House of Stanley are traceable. A fortunate alliance, the favour of three successive Kings of England, the imprudence and ill-luck of great noblemen, his contemporaries, contributed to the enrichment and elevation of Sir John Stanley. He married Isabel, the daughter of Sir Thomas de Latham, and in right of his wife he found himself in time owner of the domains of Latham and of Knowsley. Richard II. made him Lord Deputy of Ireland and gave him grants of land there. The favourite of Richard II. was even a greater favourite of the King by whom Richard was dethroned and replaced. Under Richard he had been merely Lord Deputy of Ireland; under Henry IV. he became Lord Lieutenant. The unsuccessful revolt of the Percies brought Sir John Stanley the Lordship of the Isle of Man, transferred to him by the King from the old Earls of Northumberland, with such absolute ownership of the soil and jurisdiction over the islanders as to make the position of the Lords of Man little less than regal. A steady shower of royal benefactions descended on him during the reign of Henry IV., to whom he was Treasurer of the Household, and who permitted him-a rare favour, it seems, in those days-to " fortify, with embattled walls," a house ("of stone and lime," says the Royal Warrant) which he had built at Liverpool to " facilitate his communications with the Isle of Man." Its front abutted on the Mersey, at the foot of what is now Water street. ' It was long the chief civic residence of the Stanleys, and known as the Tower; after having served as an assembly room and a prison successively, it was taken down in 1819, and the place that knew it knows it no more. Henry V. gave Sir John the Garter and reappointed him Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He died in 1413, a few months after his resumption of the latter dignity, having during his long life raised his family from simple country gentlemen to the head of the lesser baronage."1 With his son John, the greatness of the new house of Stanley did not dwindle ; with his grandson Thomas it increased. This Thomas became, as his grandfather had been, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and was distinguished both as a warrior and a negotiator. In his person took place the elevation of the Stanleys to the peerage,e, so to speak. He was summoned to parliament as Lord Stanley, in the January of 1456, the year after that in which the Wars of the Roses opened with the battle of St. Alban's. He died in 1459, and was succeeded by his son Thomas, second Lord Stanley, afterwards first Earl of Derby, who carried the fortunes of the house to heights unknown before. The first Stanley Earl of Derby lived in a chaotic and turbulent age, an age, too, in which the old spirit of chivalry was being superseded by modern craft and subtlety. The courage and skill of the warrior had still their value, but strength of arm and hosts of retainers were insufficient without astuteness of head, without a watchful dexterity in remaining neuter when neutrality was .,he safest course, or in shifting from this cause to that, so as to be on the winning side in times when, the vanquished of yesterday might become the victor of today. The first Stanley Earl of Derby, pursued this policy with consummate skill, reaping as a reward large additional domains and a peerage, in our age as in his own one of the foremost in England.
His choice of a first, as afterwards of a second wife, was a very prudent one at the time, and his earliest appearance on the stage of public affairs is curiously characteristic of him. He began by marrying Eleanor, daughter of Richard Neville Earl of Salisbury, and sister to the stalwart Earl of Warwick, the famous king-maker, the most powerful noble of the day. But while ready to profit by this alliance the wary Stanley did not allow it to commit him to any very decided, much less -to any dangerous course. On his father's death in 1459, Lord Stanley found himself at the head of the retainers of his house and of those whom his connections. placed at his disposal. In the September of 1459 civil war broke out afresh. No lasting peace had been the result of the grand reconciliation-scene of the preceding year, which displayed Somerset walking hand-in-hand with Salisbury, Exeter with Warwick, while after them came the feeble and innocent Lancastrian King, Henry VI., in royal habit and crown, followed by the two great enemies, the Duke of York (father of Edward IV.) conducting the resolute Queen, Margaret of Anjou, " with great seeming familiarity all wending their way in solemnly-joyful procession to St. Paul's. A chance fray between a servant of the royal household and one of Warwick's retainers rekindled the Queen's old feud with the king-maker, and in the autumn a War of the Roses was raging again. On the 23rd of September 1459, at Bloreheath in Staffordshire, Warwick's father and Lord Stanley's father-in-law, the Earl of Salisbury, with 5,000 men, routed a force commanded by the King's friend, Lord Audley, of the family from which the Stanleys were originally an offshoot. Of Lord Stanley's conduct before, during, and just after this engagement there is extant a significant record in a petition of the Commons, complaining of it and of him, and presented to the King during the sitting of the staunchly Lancastrian parliament held in the ensuing November at Coventry. " To the King our Sovereign Lord," begins this document, of which the spelling is here modernised-" show the Commons in this present Parliament assembled : That whereas it pleased your Highness to send to the Lord Stanley, by the servant of the same Lord from Nottingham, charging him that upon his faith and [al]legiance, he should come to your Highness in all haste, with such fellowship "-following-" as he might make, the said Lord Stanley, notwithstanding the said commandment, came not to you, but William Stanley, his brother, went with many of the said Lord's servants and tenants, [a] great number of people, to the Earl of Salisbury, which were with the same Earl at the distressing of your true liege people at Blorcheath." This was the Sir William Stanley of Bosworth Field celebrity, and the conduct of the two brothers in this Bloreheath, affair, curiously prefigures that which they pursued a quarter of a century afterwards on a much more famous occasion. " Also," the petition of the indignant Commons continues, " where[as] your said Highness gave in commandment to your first begotten son, Edward, Prince of Wales "-murdered, eleven years later, after the battle of Tewkesbury-" to assemble your people and his tenants, to resist the malice of your rebels, and thereupon the same noble Prince sent to the said Lord Stanley to come to him in all haste possible, with such fellowship as he might make-the said Lord Stanley, putting the said matter in delay, faintly excused him[self], saying he was not then ready: Howbeit, of his own confession, he had before a commandment from your Highness to be ready to come to the same with his said fellowship, upon a day's warning; which delay and absence was a great cause of the loss and distress of your said people at Bloreheath. Also where[as] the said Lord had sent his servant to our Sovereign Lady the Queen "-Margaret of Anjou-" and to the said noble Prince of Wales and Chester, saying that he should come to them in all haste ; and after that he sent to them Richard Hokesley, his servant, to Eggleshall, certifying them that he would come to them in all haste; and desired, for as much as he understood that he was had in jealousy," therefore " that he might have the vanward against the Earl of Salisbury and his fellowship : And the said noble Prince" of Wales, " by the advice of his council, considering that the fellowship of the said Lord Stanley was fewer in number than the fellowship of the said Earl, willed and desired him to come to the said noble Prince and his fellowship, that they being, all together might come to have assisted your Highness, which was promised faithfully by his said servant should be performed in all haste: Which, notwithstanding, was not performed, but in default thereof, your people were distressed at Bloreheath aforesaid, as is well known : Howbeit that the said Lord Stanley was within six miles of the said heath " at " the same time, accompanied with 2000 men, and rested him with the same fellowship, by the space of three days after, at Newcastle " under Lyne, " but six miles out of Eggleshall, where the Queen and Prince then were ; and the said Lord Stanley, on the morning next after the distress at Bloreheath, sent a letter for his excuse to our Sovereign Lady the Queen and the said noble Prince, which said letter your said Highness had sent to him, commanding him by the same to have come to your said Highness with his fellowship in all haste, which "-that is Lord Stanley and his fellowship-" came neither to your Highness, to the Queen, nor to the said Prince, but so departed home again.
Also, where[as] the said Earl of Salisbury and his fellowship had distressed your said people at Blorcheath, the said Lord Stanley sent a letter to the said Earl to Drayton, the same night, thanking God of the good speed of the said Earl, rejoicing him greatly of the same, trusting to God that he should be with the said Earl in other place [s], to stand him in as good stead as he should have done if "-what a virtue in that 'if! "-" he had been with them there: Which letter the said Earl sent to Sir Thomas Harrington, and he showed it openly, saying, 'Sirs, be merry, for yet we have more friends:
Also, where[as] a Squire of the said Earl's, on the Monday next after the said distress, told to a Knight of your's "-the King's-" which was taken prisoner by the fellowship of the said Earl at Blorcheath, that a man of the Lord Stanley's had been with the said Earl at Drayton in the morning of the same day, and brought him word from the said Lord Stanley, that your Highness had sent for him, and that he would ride to you with his fellowship ; and if any man would resist or let "-hinder-" the said Earl to come to your High Presence for his excuse "-to excuse himself, then a common plea and pretext of rebellious magnates in arms-" according to the intent of the said Earl, that then the said Lord Stanley and his fellowship should live and die with the said Earl, against his resisters: Also where[as] the said, Prince" of Wales, "in fulfilling of your high commandment, sent as well for your people and his tenants in Wirrall Hundred as in Maxfield Hundred in Cheshire, the said people and tenants were let "-prevented-" by the said Lord Stanley, so that they might not come to your Highness, nor to the presence of the said noble Prince : Also where[as] a servant and one of the cooks of the said Lord Stanley's, being with William Stanley in the fellowship of the said Earl of Salisbury, and left behind at Drayton, declared openly to divers gentlemen of the fellowship of the Earl of Shrewsbury, that he was sent to the said Earl of Salisbury in the name of ' the said Lord Stanley, with more of his fellowship : Also, where[as] certain persons being of the livery and clothing of the said Lord Stanley were taken at the Forest of Morff in Shropshire, the day before their death [they] confessed that they were commanded in the name and behalf of the said Lord Stanley to attend and await upon the said William Stanley, to assist the said Earl of Salisbury in such matter[s] as he intended to execute :
"Of all which matters done and committed by the said Lord Stanley we, your said Commons, accuse and impeach him ; and pray your most high Regalie "-Majesty-" that the same Lord be committed to prison, there to abide after form of law." 2
Certainly a cumulative indictment, the truth of which is rendered abundantly probable by Lord Stanley's subsequent career. It is pretty clear from it that Sir William Stanley bad openly joined Salisbury against the King, while his brother, Lord Stanley, amused both sides with promises of support and expressions of sympathy, though carefully forbearing to strike a blow for either his father-in-law or his sovereign. To the petition of the Commons praying for the punishment or trial of Lord Stanley, the King returned a negative answer in the once frequent and potent but now long-obsolete formula, Le roi s'avisera. This may have been the result of re-assurances of his loyalty given by Lord Stanley, or of a disinclination to exasperate and render permanently disaffected a powerful family, the head of which was evidently by no means disposed to commit himself. After all Lord Stanley had not actually and in person joined the rebels. Other nobles and his own brother, Sir William Stanley himself, were proclaimed traitors, and their estates declared to be confiscated by that parliament at Coventry3 but then, as always, Lord Stanley escaped. On the 11 th December, accordingly, " Dominus Stanley " figures in the list of the peers who took a solemn oath of allegiance to Henry.4 Nay, he is soon found employed by the King in an important commission, which included the safe custody and the delivery to Henry of two of his own Brothers-in-law, among other persons. On the 13th of July 1460, less than a year after the battle of Bloreheath, he is ordered by the King to bring in safe to his presence " John and Thomas Neville," sons of the Earl of Salisbury, " and Thomas Harrington, together with James Harrington and others, " being in ward by the King's commandment for divers matters ministered against him in his late parliament holden at Coventry."5 This Thomas Harrington was the owner, and his son, James, heir, of Hornby Castle in Lancashire, and its domains, which came into the possession of the Stanleys, as will be seen hereafter. Lord Stanley's luck in acquiring for himself or for his family began early in his career.
In the following year the Yorkist cause triumphed, and, of course, while the triumph lasted, Lord Stanley ceased to be a Lancastrian. Victorious in the bloody battle of Towton (29th-30th March 1461) Edward IV. was seated on the throne, and in the second year of the new King's reign Lord Stanley was appointed justice of Chester. Eight years passed, and then, offended with Edward, whom he had placed on the throne, king-making Warwick was plotting the restoration of the same Henry VI. whom he had dethroned. A victory of Edward's at Stamford (12th March 1470) crushed Lord Willes's insurrection, which Warwick had instigated, and the king-maker sped to Manchester, to ask for aid from his brother-in-law, Lord Stanley. It was refused. Yet when, a few months afterwards, Warwick was successful and Edward an exile we read of Lord Stanley as one of the nobles who accompanied the king-maker to the Tower (6th October 1470), whence Henry was brought "with great pomp, apparelled in a long gown of blue velvet, through the streets of London to St. Paul's." Scarcely seventeen months elapse and again all is changed. Edward has returned and defeated the Lancastrians at the battle of Barnet (14th April 1471), where, fighting with desperation on foot, Warwick himself is slain. At Tewkesbury (4th May 1471) the Lancastrian cause was finally overthrown. On the 22nd of the same month poor Henry VI. " died," a prisoner in the Tower, and once more Edward IV. reigned in his stead.
With the restored Edward the astute and fortunate Lord Stanley was soon in higher favour than before. Three years or so after the death of Henry in the Tower, he was appointed Steward of the Yorkist King's Household, a high and confidential office. It was in this capacity that, in the summer of 1475, he accompanied Edward on that invasion of France which the wiles of Louis XI. and the gold distributed by him among the chief English courtiers turned into an alliance between France and England. Seven years later, when Richard, Duke of Gloucester - so soon to become Richard III. - was sent on an expedition into Scotland, Lord Stanley commanded under him the right wing, some 4000 strong, of the invading army, and with it Stanley invested and stormed Berwick-upon-Tweed, which remained English ever afterwards. There is a tradition preserved in some doggrel lines6 that, either in going or returning, there were feuds and frays between Richard's and Stanley's men, a circumstance which might help to account for the nature of the relations between the two soon afterwards. However this may be, the Scottish expedition had not been long over and Richard was at York, when (April 9th 1483) Edward IV. died, of over-eating as was surmised. His death opened a strange, eventful, and obscure chapter of English history.
Meanwhile Lord Stanley had become a widower and taken a second wife-a match which gradually led him to play a principal part in the melodrama of the new time. A year or two, probably, before the death of Edward, Stanley married that memorable lady, Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, mother of Henry VII. Daughter and sole heiress of John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, Henry VI.'s Captain, she was the great-grand-daughter of John of Gaunt-" time-honoured Lancaster." Her grandfather, John, Earl of Somerset, was the son of John of Gaunt by his mistress, Catherine Swynford, whom he afterwards married, and his offspring by whom an act of parliament legitimised. Thus, if the House of York were extinguished or set aside, Margaret had herself a shadowy claim to the crown. She was a girl of ten when she lost her father, and she grew up a pious, studious, and accomplished woman. At fourteen she married Edmund, Earl of Richmond, half-brother of Henry VI., his father having been that lucky Owen Tudor whose handsome person gained him the heart and hand of Katherine of Valois, the widow of Henry V., victor of Agincourt, Shakespeare's and Falstaff's Prince Hal. The eldest son of this singular marriage was the first husband of Margaret Beaufort, and father by her of Henry, Earl of Richmond, who became Henry VII. A few months after the birth of this their and her only child, her husband died, November 1456. Three years later she was married to Sir Henry Stafford, son of Humphrey, Duke of Buckingham -just when civil war in England was breaking out afresh. The little Henry of Richmond's uncle by the father's side, Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, was a fierce Lancastrian, and when that cause was overthrown, both of them fled to France, whence the nephew was to return one day to gain the battle of Bosworth and ascend the throne of England. Margaret was a woman of forty when in 1481 she lost her second husband, Sir Henry Stafford. By her marriage with Lord Stanley, the great nobleman whom the Yorkist Edward IV. delighted to honour became the step-father of the Lancastrian Pretender. The match seems to have been one of convenience on her side, probably it was so on both sides.
It gave Lord Stanley a wife with great possessions, and her only child was an attainted exile-a half-prisoner of the Duke of Brittany. Margaret herself gained by it a powerful protector high in the favour of the King. Her piety was of the ascetic kind, and she passed part if not all of her married life with her third husband in a way not unusual in those days for wedded dames, of great devoutness. "Long time before that he died," says her father-confessor, Fisher, Bishop of Rochester-the "he" being, of course, Lord Stanley-" she obtained of him licence, and promised to live chaste, in the hands of the reverend father my Lord of London, which promise she renewed, after her husband's death, into my hands again." Her influence over Lord Stanley must, nevertheless, have been very considerable, and to it in all probability was due the accession of the Tudor dynasty to the throne of England.
Lord Stanley returned from the North before Richard Crookback, and was present at the funeral of Edward IV. After the King's death there were three parties ready to struggle for supremacy. One was that of the Queen-Mother, Elizabeth Woodville, whose marriage to Edward, and still more the honours heaped by him on her kindred, had provoked the ire of some of his best friends among the nobles.7 The most notable member of the Queen-Mother's party was her brother, the gallant and accomplished Lord Rivers, whose translation from the French, "The Dictes or Sayings of Philosophers," was one of the earliest books issued from the press of William Caxton (1477). At the time of Edward's death Lord Rivers was at Ludlow, as governor of South Wales, having under his care his young nephew, Edward V. There, too, as Steward of the boy-King's Household, a significant fact, was Sir William Stanley. Lord Stanley himself seems to have belonged to a second party, one loyal to the young King and distrustful of his uncle, Richard of Gloucester, but hostile to the pretensions of the Queen-Mother and her kindred. This party was headed by the brilliant Lord Hastings, Edward's companion in danger, in triumph, and in pleasure, and who became the most trusted of his councillors. He, too, like Lord Stanley, had married a sister of Warwick, the king-maker. Last not least there was the party of Richard of Gloucester, already aspiring to be Protector, if not King, and about to secure the co-operation of the powerful and prominent but foolish Humphrey, Duke of Buckingham, whose uncle, Sir Henry Stafford, had been the first husband of Lord Stanley's second wife, Margaret of Richmond.
The first blow was struck by Richard, a very few weeks after Edward's death. With the assent and approval of Hastings, who disliked them as chief among the Queen Mother's relations and friends, and as old personal enemies of his own, Rivers and his nephew Grey were arrested by Richard's orders; their execution followed not long afterwards. The turn of Hastings himself came next. On the 13th of June occurred the scene in the Tower (the fourth of the third act of Shakespeare's -Richard III.), when, at a signal from Gloucester, armed men rushed into the council-room, seized Hastings and carried him off to immediate execution. Hastings and Stanley were on the friendliest terms, and according to tradition Stanley had warned Hastings of his fate and advised him to fly.8 If so, he ought himself to have fled, since, according to the same tradition, he was nearly involved in the destruction which befell Hastings. " In this bustle," says Sir Thomas More, the circumstantiality of whose narrative is unique, whatever doubts there may be as to its accuracy, " in this bustle," of the armed men rushing in, when Richard struck his hand upon the Council-table, " which was all before contrived, a certain person struck at the Lord Stanley with a pole-axe, and had certainly cleft him down, had he not been aware of the blow and sunk under the table. Yet he was wounded on the head that the blood ran about his ears. " This was on the 13th of June : on the 26th Richard, already Protector, was proclaimed King.
If the story of the pole-axe and the ducking under the table be true, it, or its sequel, but affords another proof of Lord Stanley's wonderful dexterity and good luck. His friend Hastings was beheaded, but he himself escaped. A fortnight after the scene in the Tower, and the day after Richard was proclaimed King, Stanley emerges a trusted counsellor of the " usurper," witnessing with Buckingham the new King's formal delivery of the Great Seal to his Chancellor, John Bishop of London.9 On the 6th of July came Richard's coronation, when "the Lord Stanley bare the mace before the King, and my Lady of Richmond bare the Queen's train." Before the end of the year this most dexterous and fortunate of noblemen was appointed "Constable of England for life." He had been already restored to the office near the King's person, that of Steward of the Household, which he filled under Edward IV. Whatever happened to kings or to dynasties, it was the fate of Lord Stanley to flourish and increase.
In Richard's triumphant progresses northward and westward, after the coronation, he was accompanied by Lord Stanley. During their course-if really ever enacted precisely as the time-honoured traditions represent it to have been - was enacted the dark tragedy of the Children in the Tower. just before the date assigned to this event, Buckingham is spoken of as aggrieved by Richard's treatment of him, and as having in dudgeon left the King at Gloucester for his own castle of Brecknock. To his care and custody at Brecknock had been entrusted the person of Morton Bishop of Ely (afterwards Cardinal and Archbishop of Canterbury), who, as a member of the Hastings party, had been arrested10 when its chief was not only arrested but executed, and as Sir Thomas More was, in his youth, a page in Morton's household, it 'is sometimes fondly fancied that he received from Morton's lips the materials for his history of Richard III., which became the groundwork of much of Shakespeare's tragedy, and of the traditional version of Richard's character and earlier career as King,. According to More, Buckingham in his wrath conceived a notion of setting himself up for King, descended as he was from a seventh son of Edward III. But as he rode on his homeward way, he met, between Worcester and Bridgenorth, his uncle's widow, Lord Stanley's wife, Margaret of Richmond. In the course of their conversation-Sir Thomas More is the authority for all this-she besought him,as powerful with the King, to use his influence on behalf of her son, Henry of Richmond, then an exile in Brittany. If Richard would permit him to return to England and marry one of the daughters of Edward IV., no other dowry than the favour of the King would be asked for with her. Circumstantial as is More's account, it is not likely that Margaret could have expected Richard thus to restore and honour a possible pretender to the throne. However, according to More, this mention of Richmond set Buckingham thinking. He came to the conclusion that it would be better for him to give up his own slender claim to the crown, and to support Richmond's. When he arrived at Breeknock, he talked the matter over with his prisoner, Morton, who strongly encouraged his new view. The peer and prelate at Brecknock opened formal negotiations with Margaret of Richmond. It seems that a project for marrying Richmond to the -Princess Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Edward IV., had been already communicated by Margaret to Elizabeth Woodville (then with her children in sanctuary at Westminster), through a Welsh physician, who ministered medically to both of them. Edward's widow now welcomed the scheme, and promised the co-operation of her friends. Great nobles and prelates entered into the plot all the more eagerly that the murder of the young Edward V. and his brother in the Tower by Richard's command had begun to be bruited abroad. Messengers were sent with money and advice to Richmond in Brittany, and he consented to everything. The 18th of October (1483) was fixed for a general rising. By that day Henry was to arrive in England at the head of an invading force, and co-operate with the levies of Buckingham and his fellow conspirators.
Stormy weather delayed the arrival of Richmond and scattered his ships. When at last, with a solitary vessel, he neared the coast of Dorsetshire, he found Richard's soldiers confronting him. There was nothing left for him but to return whence he came, and there, he soon heard of the failure of Buckingham's insurrection, and of the capture and execution of Buckingham himself Lord Stanley's wife had been deep in the plot, but he managed matters so that his own fidelity could not be directly impeached, and might even be represented as having contributed to the failure of the insurrection. Lord Stanley had married his eldest son George to Joanna, the daughter and heiress of John Lord Strange (her mother, be it noted, was a sister of Elizabeth Woodville), and through this marriage, it may be mentioned, there came to the husband and his descendants the Barony of Strange, a circumstance which accounts for the fact that "Lord Strange" was long the courtesy title of the eldest sons of the Earls of Derby. Now there has been preserved (it is printed in the " Plumpton Correspondence ") a letter from the secretary of this George Stanley, Lord Strange, dated the 18th October (1483), the very day fixed for Buckingham's rising, and it contains the following curious passage. "People in this country " Edward Plumpton writes from Latham, which, and not Knowsley, was then and for long afterwards the headquarters of the Stanleys "people in this country be so troubled in such commandment as they have in the King's name and otherwise, marvellously " the King ordering them one way, lords and landlords in the rebel interest ordering them another that they know not what to do. My lord Strange goeth forth from Latham upon Monday next with 10,000 men, whither we cannot say. The Duke of Buckingham has so many as that " it " is said here that he is able to go where he will ; but I trust he shall be right withstanded, and "-or-" else were great pity." Were the sympathies and antipathies of Lord Strange and of Lord Strange's father the same as those here expressed by Mr Secretary Plumpton? If Buckingham's rising had begun successfully, and if he had been joined in force by Lord Stanley's step-son, Richmond, would those 10,000 men under Lord Strange have been ordered to fight for Richard ? It may be doubted-Mr Secretary himself did not know whither Lord Strange was bound.11 Certain it is, however, that the ever-lucky and dexterous Stanley was a gainer by the failure of the insurrection which his wife had fomented. On the very day of Buckingham's execution, Richard granted to Lord Stanley " the Castle and Lordship of Kimbolton, late belonging to the great rebel and traitor Humpbrey Stafford, Duke of Buckingham." A few months before and Stanley was in danger, while Buckingham was Richard's chief friend and favourite. Now Buckingham's head rolled from the axe of the executioner, and Stanley throve upon his destruction. Richard might have his doubts, but he kept them to himself, and laboured to persuade Stanley practically that loyalty was the best policy. It was worth the King's while to try to secure the adhesion of a nobleman who could bring 10,000 men into the field.
But Margaret of Richmond's participation in the conspiracy which preceded Buckingham's abortive insurrection was well-known to Richard, and he could not hope to bribe her to be loyal to him or to desert the cause of her own son. Strange spectacle - while honours were heaped on the husband, all that seemed prudently possible was done to humiliate and punish the wife. Lord Stanley was made Constable of England for life in the December of 1483. Early in the new year, on the 22nd of January, 1484, a parliament met at Westminster, opened by Richard in person, his confidant and instrument, Catesby, being chosen Speaker of the Commons. Among the acts passed by this parliament for the punishment of persons implicated in Buckingham's conspiracy and insurrection, was, one directed against " Margaret, Countess of Richmond, mother to the King's great rebel and traitor, Henry, Earl of Richmond." It recited that " she had of late conspired, confederated, and committed treason" against the King, by "sending messages, writings, and tokens to the said Henry; desiring him to come into this realm and make war against him," and had also raised "great sums of money" to be employed for the same purpose. Nevertheless, it was added, the King considering "the good and faithful service that Thomas Lord Stanley had done, and intendeth to do, and for the good love and trust that the King hath in him, for his sake remitteth and will forbear to her the great punishment of attainder of the said Countess." 12 Margaret was, however, disabled from inheriting any lands or dignities, and declared to have forfeited her estates to the crown, only a life interest in them being conceded to Lord Stanley. It was an enactment which did not make the mother of Henry, Earl of Richmond or for that matter, perhaps, his step-father either-more loyal to Richard of Gloucester.
A year and a half passed away after the opening of the parliament which in the January of 1484 attainted Margaret of Richmond. The summer of 1485 found Richard at Nottingham once more awaiting a landing of Richmond's, and making energetic preparations to crush the second expedition of Lord Stanley's step-son. At the beginning of 1485 Richard acted as if he believed firmly in the fidelity of the Stanleys.13 In the January of that year he issued two commissions, one for Cheshire, the other for Lancashire. They were addressed to "all knights, squires, gentlemen, and all others the King's subjects " of the two counties. The Cheshire commission informs those whom it concerns that " the King hath deputed the Lord Stanley, the Lord Strange, and Sir William Stanley to have the rule and leading of all persons appointed to do the King's service when they be warned against the King's rebels. And it any rebels arrive in those parts that then all the power that they can make be ready to assist the said Lords and Knight upon their faiths and [al]legiances." The Lancashire commission calls upon the "knights, squires, and gentlemen, and others " of that county, " to give their attendance upon the Lords Stanley and Strange to do the King's Grace service against his rebels in whatsoever place within this Royaume they fortune to tarry." Richard was thus thrusting into the hands of the Stanleys weapons which seven months afterwards were to be turned against himself.
And now must come the statement of a problem in the story of the Stanleys, one arising out of the traditional, long-accepted, and undisputed account of the circumstances accompanying their contribution to the overthrow of Richard Crookback and to the establishment of the Tudor dynasty on the throne of England. According to the old chroniclers, Richard became towards his latter end suspicious of Lord Stanley's fidelity, an assertion plausible enough since Margaret of Richmond was doubtless aiding and abetting her son's second and successful expedition. There is, too, a general agreement on another point, namely, that to deter Stanley from joining Richmond, Richard secured the person of Stanley's son and heir, Lord Strange. According to one account, when quitting the Court for Lancashire, Lord Stanley was compelled to leave Lord Strange then and there a hostage in the hands of Richard. On the other hand the following is the statement of the Croyland Chronicler, a contemporary of the events which he records :-"A little before the landing of these persons " -Richmond and his adherents-" Thomas Stanley, Steward of the King's Household, had received permission to go into Lancashire to visit his house and his family, from whom he had long been separated. Still, however, he was permitted to stay there on no other condition than that of sending his eldest son, George Lord Stanley, to the King at Nottingham in his stead, which he accordingly did." The same chronicler avers that after the landing of Richmond was known to Richard, the King summoned Lord Stanley to join him at Nottingham, and received a refusal on the plea of sickness. Soon aftenvards, it is added, Lord Strange attempted to escape, was prevented, then confessed his guilt, acknowledging that his uncle, Sir William Stanley, was privy to Richmond's expedition, but declaring that his father was innocent, and if his own life were spared would still join the King. Last, not least, at the very crisis of the battle of Bosworth, in the old account reproduced by Shakespeare, Richard is represented as ordering the execution of Lord Strange, while those around beseech him to defer it until the battle is over 14
Richmond landed at Milford Haven on the 1st of August, 1485, Richard marched from Nottingham with his army on the 16th, and the Battle of Bosworth Field was fought on the 22nd of that month. Now it so happens that there is in the Warrington Museum a deed of reconveyance of his estates to Sir Thomas Butler from his feoffees, executed at Bewsey in Lancashire, and witnessed by Lord Stanley and his sons, Lord Strange and Sir Edward Stanley, on the 18th of July, 1485, only five weeks before the battle of Bosworth. Moreover, adds an obliging informant,15" there is another document of a similar character among the Lilford Muniments at Atherton, near Manchester-where the same witnesses are named-two or three weeks later : this deed is dated at Latham." "Two or three weeks later" would bring us very near the battle of Bosworth, and quite to the landing of Richmond. It is, therefore, impossible that, when Lord Stanley quitted Richard's Court for Lancashire, he could have left his son a hostage with the King or, at any rate, that Lord Strange could have remained in Richard's hands and fettered his father's action, since, as has been seen, he was, at or about the time of Richmond's landing, with his father in Lancashire. If Lord Strange was placed as a hostage by his father in the bands of Richard, it must have been in the brief interval between the date when he witnessed at Latham the signature of the later of the documents referred to and that of the battle of Bosworth. This is the account of the matter given by the Croyland Chronicler in the passage already quoted. The Croyland Chronicler is generally considered a trustworthy authority, yet it is almost, though of course not altogether, inconceivable that, knowing of Richmond's expedition and the part which he himself was ready to play in the impending contest, Lord Stanley committed his son at such a time and in such circumstances to the tender mercies of Richard Crookback.
This, however, is what the chroniclers would have us believe, and Shakespeare has given perpetuity to the improbable story. If Lord Stanley did not join Richmond on his landing, it was, we are told, because he feared for the life of his son,16 then very possibly safe and sound at Latham. It is Lord Strange's perilous position that, in the old chronicles, makes Lord Stanley pretend to retreat from Lichfield, which he left open to Richmond ; this is what he pleaded as an excuse for his neutrality, during the alleged interview with Richmond at Atherstone three nights before the battle ; 17 and this is to account for his indecision during the battle itself. Perhaps it may turn out that Lord Strange was never in Richard's hands at all, and that Lord Stanley never stirred a finger or moved a man until the fate of the battle was decided. All accounts agree that Richard's final charge might have been successful had not Sir William Stanley, with his three thousand men, suddenly come to the rescue of Richmond.18 But Sir William seems to have been a rasher, or rapider man than his elder brother, and much more ready to run risks. The reader remembers the first appearance of the two brothers on the public stage at the battle of Bloreheath, and can easily imagine Lord Stanley at Bosworth as six and twenty years before, beguiling both combatants with promises and assurances of sympathy, while waiting, before he joined either, to see which was the winning side. When Richard was killed and the battle over, the battered crown which had fallen from his helmet during the conflict was, according to a plausible tradition, placed by Lord Stanley or his brother on the head of the victorious Richmond. There was no longer room for doubts, scruples, hesitations. Nor did the Stanleys show any pity for those of their coadjutors of the ended reign, who to the last had remained faithful and true to Richard. Three days after the battle a batch of Richard's adherents was executed-Catesby among them. He made his will on the day of execution, and it contained this significant, this striking passage and petition: " My Lord Stanley, Strange, and all that blood! help! and pray for my soul, for ye have not for my body, as I trusted in you." 19
In one way or another the Stanleys had done great things for Richmond, and Henry VII. did not forget their services. In the October after the battle Lord Stanley was created Earl of Derby,20 and " was constituted one of the Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Steward of England on the 30th of that month--the day of the King's coronation." In the March of the following year he received a grant for life of the office of Constable of England ; the same high dignity which had been conferred on him by Richard was thus renewed to him by Richard's rival and successor. On the 20th of September in the same year arrived (with almost too great punctuality) the birth of the first child of Henry VII. and Elizabeth of York (they had been wedded on the 14th of January in the same year), that Prince Arthur whose marriage with Katherine of Arragon helped to bring about the English Reformation. At the christening of Arthur, the new Earl of Derby was one of the two male sponsors, the other being the Earl of Oxford, Sir Walter's and Anne of Geierstein's John Philipson, who had led the van of Richmond's army at the battle of Bosworth. Elizabeth Woodville, Edward IV.'s widow, was the female sponsor, beholding in her little grandchild a bud from the peaceful grafting of the White Rose upon the Red. In the November of the following year came the separate coronation of the Queen, and, at the feast in Westminster Hall which followed it, Lord Derby is described as present, " attired in a rich gown furred with sables, a marvellous chain of gold of many folds about his neck," and "the trappers of his courser right curiously wrought with theneedle." In this same year, moreover, aid given by Lord Strange, of course as representative of his father, in suppressing an insurrection against Henry, led to a further enrichment of the Stanleys. On the 16th of June, 1486, was fought the battle of Stoke, in which the insurgents under the Earl of Lincoln and Sir Thomas Broughton, a North Lancashire man, were routed, and their protege, the pretender Lambert Simnel, taken prisoner. Lambert himself was spared and set to turn a spit in the King's kitchen, but condign was the punishment of the noblemen and gentlemen who supported him in arms. According to his secretary, Edward Plurnpton, Lord Strange had "brought with him" to Stoke against the insurgents "a great host, enough to have beaten all the King's enemies only of "-with-" my Lord Derby's folks and his own." For this service Henry bestowed on Lord Derby the estates of Sir Thomas Broughton, in Furness. Among Henry's other grants of lands to Lord Derby then or at various times during his reign were those of the estates of "Sir James Harrington of Hornby, of Francis, Viscount Lovell " ("the cat, the rat, and Lovell, the dog "), " of Sir Thomas Pilkington, and what Sir Thomas had in right of his lady, who was daughter and heir of -.Chetham, Esq., of Chetham. The said Sir Thomas was owner of all the lands the Earl of Derby now claims in Salford Hundred. He had also Pooton of Pooton's, Bythom of Bythom's, and Newby of Kirkby's estates in this county, with at least twenty gentlemen's estates more."21 Not a lord in all the county was half so great a lord as he.
The prosperity of the Stanleys was at its height when one prominent member of the family was suddenly disgraced and hurled into the grave ; the head of the house, however, escaping the blow which felled and made short work of his brother. Sir William Stanley had reaped due rewards for his conduct at Bosworth. Henry appointed him Chancellor of the Exchequer, and gave him the Garter. An act of one of Henry's Parliaments confirmed him in the possession of the large grants of land, among them that of Holt Castle in Denbighshire, bestowed on him by the Richard on whom he turned, and of whose overthrow at Bosworth he was the principal cause. At the moment of losing everything, life as well as lands, Sir William Stanley was, according to Lord Bacon (as biographer of Henry VII.), "the richest subject for value in the kingdom; there being found in his Castle of Holt," Bacon adds, particularising with apparent gusto, "40,000 marks in ready money and plate, besides jewels, household stuff, stocks upon the ground, and other personal estate, exceeding great. And for his revenue in land and fee, it was £3,000 a year old rent; a great matter in those times." Some of this property had been acquired on the field of Bosworth itself, and was in fact neither more nor less than "loot." Bacon speaks of "the great spoils of Bosworth Field which came into this man's hands to his infinite enriching." Was all this not enough, or had Sir William become a malcontent because more had not been done for him, say because, while his elder brother was made Earl of Derby, Henry hesitated to revive for him and in his person the grand old Earldom of Chester, which had become a mere appendage of the Princedom of Wales? Or did he think that Perkin Warbeck really had a chance, and, true to the Stanley policy, had he made some tentative overtures to the new Pretender or the new Pretender's friends and backers ? Certain it is that when the secret history, true or false, of Perkin Warbeck's tamperings with disaffected English nobles was divulged by his and their agent, Sir Robert Clifford, whom Henry's gold bribed to turn King's evidence, he accused Sir William Stanley himself of being in the conspiracy. Stanley's whole guilt, if guilt there was, is said to have been the casual utterance of the remark that "if he were sure that that young man, Perkin Warbeck, was King Edward's son, he would never draw the sword against him." However, according to Bacon, when brought before the council, " he denied little of that wherewith he was charged, nor endeavoured much to excuse or extenuate his fault so that (not very wisely)" Bacon himself knew something of the dangers of hasty confessions-" thinking to make his offence less by confession, he made it enough for condemnation." The judges at Westminster sentenced him to death, and he was duly executed on the 15th February 1495. All his estate, real and personal, was confiscated by and to the King, and Henry's greed, it is sometimes thought, prompted him to procure a sentence of death and permit it to be executed on the man whose timely rush to aid him, ten years or so before, won for him the battle of Bosworth and the crown of England. That great service itself Henry had come to regard under its more dubious aspects. " The King's wit," says Bacon, "began now to suggest unto his passion that Stanley at Bosworth Field, though he came time enough to save his life, yet he stayed long enough to endanger it."
Lord Derby had not compromised himself by word or deed in the affair of Perkin Warbeck. What is stranger, he does not seem to have resented or even to have felt his brother's bloody doom. In the summer of the year of Sir William Stanley's execution, Lord Derby received at Latham and at Knowsley a visit from Henry, who perhaps wished thus to persuade the world that he had perfect trust in the fidelity of his mother's husband. Lord Derby sank the brother in the subject and the step-father, and Lord Derby's fool, not the master of the house himself, is the main figure in the old tradition which hints that amid the splendours of Henry's reception by the Lord of Latham in the summer of 1495, the tragedy of the preceding February was not quite forgotten. According to " a notable tradition still "-in Bishop Kennett's time-" believed, Henry, after a view of Latham, was conducted by the Earl to the top of the leads for a prospect of the country. The Earl's fool was in company, who, observing the King draw near to the edge of the leads, not guarded with business, he stepped up to the Earl, and pointing down the precipice said, 'Tom, remember Will !' The King understood the meaning, and made all haste down stairs and out of the house; and the fool long after seemed mightily concerned that his Lord had not courage to take the opportunity of revenging himself for the death of his brother." The first Stanley Earl of Derby was not a fool ! After leaving Knowsley, Henry went by way of Warrington to Manchester. "To promote the King's accommodation," says the modern historian of Lancashire, " the noble Lord built a bridge over the river Mersey at Warrington, for the passage of himself and his suite, which bridge has been found of so much public utility as to afford a perpetual monument of the visit of Henry VII. to Lancashire." 'Tis an ill wind that blows nobody good.
Some nine years after this visit of King Henry, Lord Derby died, probably about the age of seventy. His death must have occurred between the 28th of July, 1504, on which day his will was dated, and the 29th of November in the same year, the day on which it was proved. He left to the King a cup of gold, and legacies to this abbey and to that, duly providing too for masses on behalf of his own soul, of those of his wives, relations, friends, servants, and in one case, especially for the souls of all them he had in any wise offended, and for all Christian souls." Better, or more useful, he bequeathed " to the making of Garstang Bridge 20 marks," nor was that which he had built at Warrington forgotten in his will. He left it "three hundred marks to the intent that the passage shall be free for all people for evermore, without any toll or fare there to be asked." " And also I give to the making up of the aforesaid bridge at Warrington five hundred marks. " One of the few personal traits preserved of him bespeaks a magnificent style of doing things-worthy of his rank and possessions. The rhyming chronicle of the Stanleys, written in or about 1562, by Thomas Stanley, Bishop of Sodor and Man, and printed in Seacome's Memoirs of the House of Stanley, concludes with a postscript, in plain prose, thus :-" Yet have I left behind me a notable point which I had not presently in my remembrance, until an aged man, that sometime was servant unto this old first Earl Thomas, put it in my memory, which is: That when this noble Earl was disposed to ride for his pleasure, a hunting, or " on "other progress, or to visit his friends or neighbours, whose house soever he went unto, he sent his officers before, who made provision all at his cost, as though he had been at his own house. And at his departure the surplusage was left to the use of the house where he had lodged. And thus was his manner and order in all places where and when he travelled, unless by chance he came into some lord's house. I report if this was not too honourable to be put in oblivion." Surely.
Remarkable or not in his character, Thomas, second Lord Stanley, first Earl of Derby, was, it will have been seen, decidedly remarkable in his career and its results to his country and to himself. It was by him and 'his, more or less directly, that for good and for evil a Tudor dynasty was seated on the throne of England. This fact alone would make him a personage of some importance in English history. He lived in a turbulent age, of civil war, of violent dynastic cliaiige and unexampled political and social vicissitude, when no man of station felt his head safe on his shoulders, when life and property were equally insecure. It was possible here and there, perhaps, to avoid confiscation and the scaffold by keeping profoundly quiet, but the temporary victor in the incessant strife was apt to treat those who had not been with him just as if they had been against him, so that even the most cautious neutrality was not exempt from peril. Much greater, of course, was the danger run by those who, like this Stanley, took an active or a prominent part in the contests of the time-who staked their lives and lands on the result of a battle or an insurrection, on the wavering chances of a doubtful dynasty or succession. The Wars of the Roses made terrible havoc in the ranks of the English nobility, and estates changed hands as rapidly as if the soil of England were being played for at a colossal gaming-table. There was no appeal from the arbitrary fiat of the King, or of the faction dominant for the time being, since the servile parliaments of the period were always ready to confirm the decisions and to do the bidding of those who convoked them. Men were ever changing sides, and your ally to-day might be your enemy to-morrow. Warwick, the king-maker, whose sister Thomas Stanley married, lost his life battling to restore the Henry whom he had dethroned. Stanley's friend, Lord Hastings, had been a chief favourite of Edward IV., but he was one of the earliest victims of Edward's brother, Richard Crookback. Humphrey Duke of Buckingham was beheaded for revolting against the Richard whom a few months before he had aided.to usurp the throne. Stanley's, brother, Sir William, turned the tide of battle on the field of Bosworth in favour of Richmond; but the same Richmond, as Henry VII., deprived him of his life and possessions, perhaps sacrificed to the suspicions or the avidity of the King who owed him a crown. Such and similar characteristics and events of those bad old times confer a peculiar interest on the career of the first Stanley Earl of Derby, and excite a curiosity which, from the lack of data, must remain unsatisfied. Whether he chose a side or wavered and trimmed, he was always a gainer. Each change of dynasty, or extrusion of an occupant of the throne by a claimant, added to his possessions and his power. His first marriage made him a brother-in-law of Warwick, the king-maker; his second, stepfather of Henry VII.; and his choice of a wife for his son and heir was so contrived as to connect the Stanley family with the queen of Edward IV. The calamities alike of friends and of foes helped to aggrandise him. At the outset of his career, the misfortunes of his brothers-in-law, the Harringtons, enabled him to acquire for his family Hornby Castle and its domains, and towards the close of his life he benefited largely by confiscations, punishing and ruining those of the gentry of his own county who had been the dupes of Lambert Simnel's imposture. He not only escaped the axe which descended on the head of his coadjutor Lord Hastings, but he was forthwith taken into favour by the usurper who had executed his friend, and whose hirelings, if tradition and Sir Thomas More are to be trusted, had nearly inflicted on himself a violent death. It can scarcely be doubted that he was privy to Buckingham's insurrection, and certainly it was abetted by his wife. But while Buckingham was executed and Margaret of Richmond was attainted Stanley was further enriched by grants of Buckingham's lands, confiscated after the failure of a conspiracy, or combination, promoted by his own wife, if not by himself. The grants and honours lavished on him by Richard were confirmed to him, with considerable additions in both kinds, by Richard's rival, supplanter, and successor, Henry VII. He saw his brother sent to the block, but the tragic incident was followed by the honour of a state visit from the King who had beheaded Sir William, and the first Stanley Earl of Derby died full of years and honours, having survived the wars, executions, confiscations, and multifarious perils of four reigns, not only without loss, but with splendid acquisitions and accessions of wealth and dignity. All this presupposes great good fortune, no doubt, but to have achieved such a career he must have been also a marvel of coolness, astuteness, and dexterity. These are not qualities to be much admired when unaccompanied by others higher and nobler, yet their success on so great a scale excites a certain wonderment. In any of the sides taken or not taken by this Lord Derby, there was little more of- it principle " involved than in the preference of a white rose to a red, the badges of the two contending, factions in the long, bloody, and almost aimless civil war which devastated fifteenth-century England. What mattered it whether an amiable and pious imbecile like Henry VI., with a vindictive French wife, or a dashing and rather ruthless voluptuary like Edward IV. was King ? Even Richard III. seems to have been rather popular than ott:'erwise, and in any case the nation took a very slight interest in the struggle between him and Richmond for the crown, a struggle decided in Richmond's favour by the direct and indirect defection of the two Stanleys, on whom Richard had conferred many benefits. There may have been prepossessions, predilections, and prejudices operative in the contests of the historic period closed by the establishment of Henry VII. and his Tudor dynasty on the throne, but personal interest and calculation played by far the greatest part in them. It was with the Reformation, already at hand in the time of the first Stanley Earl of Derby, that " principle," in the modern sense of the word, made its first conspicuous appearance on the stage of our public affairs.
Margaret of Richmond survived Lord Derby a few years. Of the ways and disposition of this famous lady, the last of our great mediaeval Englishwomen, much more is known than of those of her third husband. Her father confessor in later days was Fisher, afterwards Cardinal by grace of the Pope-whom her son Henry VII. (thinking to please her), made Bishop of Rochester, and whom her grandson, Henry VIII., sent to the block a few weeks before Sir Thomas More, for the same offence as More's-denial of the royal supremacy. Fisher preached Margaret of Richmond's funeral sermon ; and in it he dilates on her possession of all womanly and princess-like good qualities, affectionateness, amiability, affability, dignity-on her munificent charities, public and private, her tending and nursing of the sick, her devoutness and asceticism, her self-imposed penances, austerities, and manifold mortifications of the flesh. She was wont to say that could the Christian princes of Europe be prevailed upon to make war against their infidel enemy, the Turk, she would cheerfully follow the army as their laundress, little foreseeing that later developments of the " Eastern Question " would give the banner of the Sultan a place among those of other Knights of the Garter in St George's chapel at Windsor. The portraits which we have of her in advanced years represent her with spare and worn features, in the habit of a recluse, and attitude of earnest supplication. But Margaret was no mere devotee, otherwise her son would never have reached the throne. Her letters-those to her son Henry VII., like his to her, overflow with genuine affection-show her to have been a woman of business and of the world; in one of them there is even a touch of humour. Two little original pieces from her pen, still extant, both of them on Court ceremonial and etiquette, are curious in themselves and as exhibiting her knowledge of, and interest in, the niceties of some of the pomps and vanities of this wicked world. One of them seems to have been composed in anticipation of the birth of her grand-son, Prince Arthur, the first born of Henry VII. and of Elizabeth of York. This is the " Ordinance as to what Preparation is to be made against the Deliverance of the Queen, as also for the Christening of the Child of whom She shall be Delivered," a programme of Court procedure and code of etiquette in which nothing is forgotten, from a minute detail of state-ceremonial and pageantry, to directions anent " the little cradle of tree, of a yard and a quarter long and twenty-two inches broad, in a frame fair set forth by painter's craft." When the presumed inmate of the "little cradle of tree" had grown into a boy of eleven, and was to be married, in form, at least, to Katherine of Arragon -the marriage that helped to bring about the English Reformation-Margaret gave a sumptuous and skilfully-ordered banquet to the Spanish courtiers, male and female, who came with the spousal-contract to England. Each Spanish gentleman present had by his side an English lady, each English gentleman a Spanish lady, and all were " served, after a right goodly manner, both of their victuals, dainties, and delicates, and with diverse wines, abundant and plenteously," in Margaret's Town-house of Cold Harbour, in what is now Upper Thames street, and on the site of which stands, or lately stood, Calvert's brewery, with its extensive manufacture of "Entire!" Five years afterwards the young Arthur died, and ten months later again the Queen, his mother, followed him to the grave. It was probably this event that led Margaret to compose and promulgate her second extant ukase, " The Ordinance and Reformation of Apparel for Great Estates or Princesses, with other Ladies and Gentlemen, for the Time of Mourning." Devoted though she might be to the contemplation of heavenly things, she retained a quick eye for terrestrial differences and distinctions, and what these allowed and disallowed. A chin-cloth of fine linen was then commonly worn at funerals, and called a Barbe. In this, her second " ordinance," Margaret peremptorily and stringently forbids any lady, under the degree of a baroness, to wear the Barbe over the chin, " which noble and good order," says the high lady, with stately indignation, " hath been and is much abused by every mean and common woman, to the great wrong and dishonour of persons of quality."
Literature, profane as well as sacred, and of a loftier order than that of Court ceremonial and etiquette, was, moreover, cultivated and encouraged by Margaret, Countess of Richmond and of Derby. She was the patroness of Caxton, as of Caxton's son-in-law and successor, Wynkyn de Worde ; and after the fashion of some of the grandees of those old days, and of the Packwoods of later times, she seems even to have " kept a poet." Caxton returned from Bruges to England about 1476, when he set up his first English printing-press in the precincts of what is now Westminster Abbey. Here, about 1489, he printed, and, as we should say, published his English version of " The History of Blanchardyne and Eglantine," an old romance and " sensation-novel " of those days. A copy of the French original of it, he says, he had " long before " been commissioned by Margaret to purchase for her-now wishing others to enjoy what she herself had enjoyed, she ordered him to translate it into English, and he, of course, obeyed the . commands of so great a lady. Another secular work, satirical not serious, ordered by Margaret to be executed and printed, was a prose version of Barclay's metrical rendering of Sebastian Brandt's well-known "Ship of Fools." Of her own literary performances, suffice it to mention the translation, from the French, of the fourth and final book of the famous "Imitation of Christ."
But it is by her " endowments for educational purposes," especially those which she bestowed on our two great universities, that Margaret of Richmond is mainly remembered. "The Countess, indeed," pays one of her biographers, would seem to have taken an especial pleasure in super-intending the education of the young. Very possibly she delighted in the society of youth. In the first year of her son's reign, we discover the facts of her not only being entrusted with the 'keeping and guiding' of the unmarried daughters of Edward IV., but also 'to her great charges' of the 'young lords,' the Duke of Buckingham and the Earls of Warwick and Westmorcland." When Henry VIII. himself, according to this authority, "was removed from the nursery to the school-room, it was to the venerable Countess that they," the King and Queen, "confided the important charge of superintending his education;" and while this young royal gentleman was in her care, "we find her," it is added, 22 "associating with him under her roof her young kinsman, afterwards Sir John St John, father of Oliver, first Lord St John, of Bletshoe," the ancestor of Oliver St John, the Puritan regicide, and of the still more famous St John, the Bolingbroke of Queen Anne and of history, who was not in the least a Puritan. Much earlier she is mentioned as "maintaining certain well-born youths at their studies, under Maurice Westbury, an Oxford academician." She is said to have tried to draw Erasmus from his studies to superintend those of her husband Lord Derby's son, James Stanley, who, through her influence, was afterwards made Bishop of Ely: "the worst thing she ever did," says an admirer of hers, but a candid and blunt one. This zeal for education was turned to the account of the Universities by her spiritual pastor and master, Fisher. He persuaded her to devote to the founding of St John's College, and to the further endowment of Christ Church, Cambridge, money which she intended leaving to monks and priests to say masses and sing dirges for her soul ; and it is significant that so zealous an ecclesiastic as Fisher should.have thus diverted the stream of Margaret's bounty. Its most magnificent academic memorials are St John's and Christ Church, Cambridge, but her name is more directly perpetuated by the Lady Margaret Professorship of Divinity, which she founded at Oxford as well as at Cambridge, and by the Margaret Preachership at the latter University, all of them being earlier in date than her munificence to the two Cambridge colleges.
Henry VII. died in the April of 1509, having appointed, as one of the executors of his will, her whom he styled in it, "Our dearest and most entirely beloved mother, Margaret, Countess of Richmond." Margaret survived her son only a few months, dying on the 3rd of the following July, in the 69th year of her age. She was buried in the chapel of Westminster Abbey which is called after her son the King. Hers is an altar-tomb, with an effigy, brass gilt and enamelled, by the same artist, Peter Torrigiano, who executed in the same " Henry VII.'s Chapel " that similar tomb of her son and his Queen, which Bacon called "one of the stateliest and daintiest in Europe." Her modest epitaph, briefly chronicling her academic and other munificences, was written by Erasmus, and for it, " as is entered in a Computus, or old book of accounts," that witty and learned gentleman received the sum of twenty shillings from the University of Cambridge, in which, three years afterwards, he was appointed Margaret Professor of Divinity. One little, and as it were, living memorial of Margaret of Richmond, still further connects her with Westminster Abbey. The bread and meat doled out to the poor of Westminster, in the College Hall, is the remnant of the old monastic charity which she founded for poor women in the Almonry ; if we remember rightly, her son, Henry VII., added one for poor men. Dean Stanley, who mentions the general fact, calls hers " the most beautiful and venerable figure that the Abbey contains."23 According to Fisher, in his funeral sermon, " Every one that knew her loved her, and everything that she said or did became her." Requiescat.
Lord Derby's first wife, the Lady Eleanor, daughter of Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, aunt of the consort of Richard the Third, bore him six sons and four daughters. Of the six sons, only the youngest two, Edward and James, survived him. George Lord Strange died in 1497, and in his father's life-time, the peerage and estates descending to his eldest son Thomas, so that the second Stanley Earl of Derby was the grandson of the first. Of Edward Stanley, who at Lord Derby's death was his eldest surviving son, there falls something to be said. Seacome, the gossipping, garrulous, and credulous historian of the house of Stanley, is loud in the praises of Sir Edward. "This gentleman's active childhood and martial spirit," he says, "brought him early to King. Henry VIII.'s notice and company, and his active manhood to his service. The camp was his school and his learning was a pike and sword. His Majesty's greeting to him whenever they met was, 'Ho! my soldier.' Honour floated in his veins and valour danced in his spirits." Nevertheless there rests on his memory a dark stain, or the shadow of a dark stain. Sir Edward Stanley's second wife was the daughter of Sir John Harrington of Hornby, who, with his father, Sir Thomas, was committed to the custody of Lord Derby, as already mentioned, after the battle of Bloreheath, both of them falling, before long, in the battle of Wakefield. Sir John Harrington's two daughters, coheiresses, seem to have been handed over to the wardship of Lord Derby, then Lord Stanley, and he married the eldest of them to his son Edward, who thus and somehow else became the owner of Hornby Castle and its domains. His wife, however, had a cousin John, and he, who claimed Hornby, as male heir, was "poisoned at the Temple 2 Henry VII.," so as to create suspicion that Sir Edward Stanley had a hand in his death.24 There seems, indeed, to have been something peculiar about Sir Edward. Even his panegyrist, Seacome, avows that, " this most martial and heroic captain, soldierlike, lived for some time in the strange opinion that the soul of man was like the winding up of a watch, that when the spring was down, the man died and the soul determined;" though according to the same authority he afterwards exchanged for a better that enthusiastic, heathenish, and brutish notion." However this may be, our first glimpse of him is a pleasant one, as of a lover of music and minstrelsy, and of his knightly valour there never was a doubt. In 1503 he was of the escort that accompanied to Scotland the young Princess Margaret, daughter of Henry VII. and Elizabeth, to be wedded to King James IV., through which marriage it is that our Sovereign Lady Queen Victoria now sits on the throne of these realms. Among the social interviews between the Scotch King and his betrothed at Newbattle Abbey, near Edinburgh, there was one at which the King of Scotland "began to play on the clavichords before the Queen, which pleased her very much, and she had great pleasure to hear him. Sir Edward Stanley then sat down to the clavichords and played a ballad and sang therewith "-or, as we should. say, " sang a ballad and accompanied himself "-" which the King commended right much. And meantime he "-the King -" called a gentleman of his that could sing well, and made them both sing together, the which accorded very well. Afterwards the said Sir Edward Stanley and two of his servants sang a ballad or two, whereof the King gave him good thank."25 Margaret and James were duly wedded, but the union of the Rose and the Thistle failed to produce the lasting peace between England and Scotland which the prudent Henry had doubtless expected from it. Another and a more hot-headed Henry became King, and James IV. did not grow wiser with time. Ten years later James IV. and Sir Edward Stanley met again, but this time on the field of Flodden, as foes not as friends, and with the clash and clang of contending arms substituted for the pleasant rivalry of music and of song. In that fierce fight, fatal to Scotland's King and to so many of her sons, Stanley, with his Lancashire and Cheshire men, was posted on the extreme English right, as everybody knows, thanks to Sir Walter and his Marmion.26
The battle began to the disadvantage of the English with an attack which the Scottish left made on their right, commanded by Sir Edward Howard, and this transient success of Huntly and of Home is said to have been due to the circumstance that the attacked were "men of Cheshire whose wonted valour was impaired by their being separated from the rest of their countrymen, and placed under the command of a Howard instead of a Stanley." 27 " Meanwhile," says Sir Walter, in plain prose, " upon the extreme right of James' army, a division of Highlanders, consisting of the clans of Mackenzie, Maclean, and others, commanded by the Earls of Lennox and Argyle, was so insufferably annoyed by the volleys of the English arrows, that they broke their ranks, and in despite of the cries, entreaties, and signals of De la Motte, the French Ambassador, who endeavoured to stop them, rushed tumultuously down hill and, being attacked at once in the flank and rear by Sir Edward Stanley with the men of Cheshire and Lancashire, were routed with great slaughter ; " 28 wild Celtic impetuosity then as so often since proving no match for stubborn Saxon strength.
It was going hard in the centre with Surrey,29 the English Commander-in-chief confronted by James and the flower of Scottish chivalry, when the victorious Stanley, and his northcountry men came to the rescue, attacking the Scottish right flank and rear, and deciding the battle in favour of the English. When night fell on the bloody field, the Scotch retreated with terrible losses, that of their rash King among the rest.'
Flodden gave Sir Edward Stanley a peerage. " As a reward for that service, King Henry, keeping his Whitsuntide at Eltham the next ensuing year (1514), commanded that for those valiant acts against the Scots, where he won the hill and vanquished all that opposed him, as also for that his ancestors bore the eagle in their crest, he should be proclaimed Lord of Monteagle "-Mount and Eagle-" which was accordingly then and there done ; and "-to clinch the matter, as it were-" he gave to the officers of arms five marks, besides the accustomed fees, and likewise to Garter, principal king of arms, his. fee." 30 The Lord Monteagle who received the historic letter hinting at the Gunpowder Plot was the great-grandson of this first Lord, the hero of Flodden. The Monteagle barony of the Stanleys has long been extinguished, but the " last words of Marmion " form a memorial of Sir Edward Stanley prouder or more enduring than any peerage.31
The other surviving son, James Stanley, the youngest of the first Lord Derby's six, "from his youth, and probably without much regard to his own taste or inclinations, seems to have been destined for the Church, in which profession for at least three generations, there had always been a younger son of the house of Latham brought up." He succeeded his uncle James as Warden of Manchester and rose, as already mentioned, doubtless through the influence of his step-mother, Margaret of Richmond, to be Bishop of Ely (1506). A decidedly unclerical Bishop, he was summoned by the Earl of Surrey to aid in raising Lancashire when the Scotch entered England on the expedition which ended so disastrously for them on the field of Flodden. The Bishop gave the command of his tenants to his son, for a son he had, the well-known Sir James Stanley of Harford, who also distinguished himself at Flodden. The Reformation not having arrived to abolish the celibacy of the clergy, this Sir James was, of course, an illegitimate son ; hence, perhaps, the sentence of excommunication under which the Bishop is reported to have been lying when he died. "I blame not the Bishop," says quaint old Fuller, "for passing his summer with his brother the Earl of Derby in Lancashire, but for living all the winter at Somersham with one who was not his sister, and who wanted nothing to make her his wife save marriage." This improper prelate was buried in a chapel of his own in the Collegiate Church of Manchester, and the inscription on his tomb asks a little favour of its reader : "Of your charity pray," it says, " for the soul of James Stanley, some time Bishop of Ely, and Warden of Manchester, who deceased out of this transitory world the 22d day of March 1515, upon whose soul and all Christian souls Jesu have mercy." Amen.
Between the Sir William Stanley whom Henry VII. beheaded and the James, already mentioned, who was Archdeacon of Carlisle as well as Warden of Manchester, the first Lord Derby had another brother, Sir John Stanley. He became Sir John Stanley of Weever in Cheshire, by marrying the heiress thereof, and from him descend the Stanleys, formerly baronets, now Barons of Alderley in that county.
Our first Lord Derby's eldest son, George Lord Strange, died in his father's life-time, and the peerage went to his eldest son, to be inherited by that son's descendants until 1736, when this line of succession expired. It and what was annexed to it then passed to Sir Edward Stanley of Bickerstaff in Lancashire, the lineal descendant of Sir James Stanley, third son of George Lord Strange, himself eldest son of the first Stanley Earl of Derby. From George Lord Strange there is an unbroken descent, in the male line, to the present, the fifteenth Earl of Derby.
Since the Stanleys became Earls of Derby nearly four centuries have elapsed. The vicissitudes of time and of succession have shorn them of many of their old possessions. They have ceased to be Lords of the Isle of Man, and, even in their own county, Latham, long their headquarters, has gone into other hands. But, thanks to the industrial energy and development of modern Lancashire, the fifteenth Stanley Earl of Derby is, in all likelihood, and relatively as well as absolutely, a more opulent nobleman than was the first.
* Dugdale's Baronage (London, 1675) ;
Collins's Peerage (edited by Brydges, London, 1812), VOI. iii.
§ Stanley Earl of Derby; Memoirs of the Ancient and honorable House of Stanley (by J. Seacome, Manchester, 1783) ;
W. Beamont's Notes on the Lancashire Stanleys (Warrington, 1869);
Jesse's Memoirs of King Richard the Third and some of his Contemporaries (London, 1862);
C. A. Halsted's Life of Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby (London, 1845), and.Richard III. as Duke of Gloucester and King of England (London, 1844) ; Sir Thomas More's Edward V. and Richard III. in Kennetes History of England (London,1706), vol. i.;
Ormerod's Cheshire; Whitaker's ,Richmondshire;
Baines's Lancashire, &c., &c.
[see also overview of Stanley Family]
1 Round Sir John Stanley there gathered a mass of legendary matter, one fragment of which must be reproduced, if only in a note. The crest of the Stanleys who descend from him, unlike that of the Stanleys of Hooton, exhibits, with the three bucks' heads, an eagle looking at a child in a cradle. Two principal versions of the origin of this crest of the eagle and child have been retailed, with great gravity, by chroniclers of the S tanley family. According to one version a Sir Thomas Latham, represented as the grandfather of the Isabel whom Sir John Stanley married, finds in an eagle's nest in Tarlestone wood an infant "swaddled and clad in a mantle of red." Being both issueless and "four score," Sir Thomas adopts the child, names it Oskell, and to him bequeaths all his estates. "Sir" Oskell has an only daughter, Isabel, with whom Sir John Stanley elopes, and in right of whom, after forgiveness by the father, he inherits the Latham property. In the other version of the legend, it is a Sir Thomas de Latham, father of Isabel, who has an illegitimate son, the mother being a certain Mary Oskatell. By a stratagem of the father, the infant Oskatell, so called after the mother, is deposited in an eagle's nest. Then Sir Thomas pretends to find him as if dropped from the skies, and, concealing the bantling's parentage, easily induces his wife to adopt the child of mystery. " Sir " , Oskatell is brought up as his heir by Sir Thomas, who, however, growing penitent in old age, leaves him only a few manors, and bequeaths the bulk of his estates to his legitimate daughter, Isabel, and her husband, Sir John Stanley. The genuine history of the crest of the eagle and child, with a good deal of curious information respecting the Lathams, will be found in a paper contributed by Dr Ormerod, the historian of Cheshire, to Nichols's Collectanea, and in the Miscellanea Palatina (London, 1851) of the former eminent antiquary.
2 Rotuli Parliamentorum, v. 369.
3 Rotuli Parliamentorum, v. 348, &c. (Given in Baines's Lancashire i. 414, &c., where it is said to refer to Thomas, first Lord Stanley, instead of his son, an error repeated in the second and recent editions of Baines, i. 135.
4 Rotuli Parliamentorum, v. 352.
5 Beamont's Notes on the Lancashire Stanleys, p. 5, a tract full of curious and original information.
6 "Jack of Wigan he did take
The Duke of Gloucester's banner,
And hung it up in Wigan church,
A monument of honour."
7 Shakespeare, with his knowledge of human nature, but seemingly ,without any historical or biographical authority for the suggestion, represents the high-born Margaret of Richmond as scorning the parvenue, Elizabeth Woodville :-
Q. Eliz. The Countess Richmond, good my Lord of Derby,
To your good prayers will scarcely say, Amen.
Yet Derby, notwithstanding she's your wife
And loves not me, be you, good lord, assured
I hate not you for her proud arrogance.
King Richard III.-Act i. scene 3.
In this passage, as often throughout the play, by a pardonable anachronism, Lord Stanley is styled Lord Derby, though he was not made Earl of Derby until after the battle of Bosworth.
8 " Before Lord Hastings' House.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. What, ho ! my Lord.
Hast. [within]. Who knocks at the door?
Mess. A messenger from the Lord Stanley.
Enter Lord Haslings. li'
Hast. What is't o'clock? ,
Mess. Upon the stroke of four.
Hast. Cannot thy master sleep these tedious nights?
Mess. So it should seem by that I have to say.
First he commends him to your noble Lordship.
Hast. And then?
Mess. And then he sends you word
He dreamt to-night the boar had rased his helm,
Besides he says there are two councils held
And that may be determined at the one
Which may make you and him to rue at th'otlier.
Therefore he sends to know your Lordship's pleasure,
If presently you will take horse with him
And with all speed post with him toward the North,
To shun the danger that his soul divines."
King R ichard III.-Act iii. scene 2.
A white boar, it need scarcely be added, was Richard's cognizance.
9 A delivery by not " to the usurper," as Jesse puts it (Memoirs of King Richard III, p. 340), misled probably by Miss Strickland (Queens of England, ii. 400, note), who also gives a wrong reference to Rymer's Foedera-xii. 189, instead of xii. 132.
10 Glouc. My Lord of Ely!
Ely. My Lord.
Glouc. When I was last in Holborn
I saw good strawberries in your garden there:
I do beseech yo send for some of them.
Ely. Marry, and will, my lord, with all my heart," &c., &c.
King R ichard IIL-Act iii. scene 4.
11 It might at first seem as if it were Shakespeare's marvellous instinct, unaided by suggestion of chronicler or historian, which, in the passage about to be quoted, led him to represent Ricliard as distrusting Stanley at the time of Buckingham's insurrection. The truth, however, is that, for his own convenience, Shakespeare suppressed the failure of Richmond's first and unsuccessful expedition, and makes the second and successful one to be contemporaneous with that insurrection ; whereas they were separated by nearly two years. For Richard's distrust of Stanley during Richmond's second expedition, and for his demand that Lord Strange should then be placed in his hands as a hostage, there is ample historical warrant ; how far it is rightful as regards Lord Strange (the George Stanley of Shakespeare) is another question which win be dealt with hereafter.
" Enter Lord Stanley.
K. Rich. How now, what news with you !
Stan. Richmond is on the seas.
K. Rich. ... Then, tell me, what doth he upon the sea?
Stan. Unless for that, my liege, I cannot guess.
K. Rich. Unless for that he coes to be your liege
You cannot guess wherefore the Welshman comes.
Thou wilt revolt, and fly to him, I fear.
Stan. No, mighty liege ; therefore mistrust me not. -
K. Rich. Where is thy power, then, to beat him back?
Where are thy tenant and thy followers ?
Are they not now up the western shore,
Safe conducting the rebels from their ships
Stan. No, my good Lord, my friends are in the North.
K. Rich. Cold friends to Richard: what do they in the North,
When they should serve their Sovereign in the West?
Stan. They have not been commanded, mighty Sovereign
Please it your Majesty to give me leave,
I'll muster up my friends, and meet your Grace
Where and what time your Majesty shall please.
K. Rich. Ay, ay, thou would'st be gone to join with Richmond:
I will not trust you, sir?
Stan. Most mighty Sovereign,
You have no cause to hold my friendship doubtful: never was nor never will be false.
K. Rich. Well,
Go muster men; but, hear you, leave behind
Your son, George Stanley: look your faith be firm,
Or else his head's assurance is but frail.
Stan. So deal with him as I prove true to you." [Exit.
King Richard III. -Act iv. scene.2,.
12 Rotuli Parliamentorum, vi. 250.
13 It was about this time, probably later rather than earlier, that to help in silencing the reports of his contemplated marriage to her, Richard removed from Court the Princess Elizabeth of York, afterwards wife of Henry VII. About this time, too, the "action" of that curious piece, "The Song of the Lady Bessy," Elizabeth herself, might be supposed to begin. In it Elizabeth is represented as making direct appeals to Lord Stanley to endeavour to place Richmond on the throne. Lord Stanley at first rejects them, then yields to them, and conspires accordingly against Richard. The "Song of the Lady Bessy" professes to be written by Humphrey Brereton, a confidential " esquire " of Lord Stanley's, but it cannot be accepted as genuine autobiography or history, and beyond doubt it is at least partly apocryphal. The best edition of its text is that printed by Mr J. O. Halliwell, in vol. xx. of the Percy Society's publications.
14 "Enter a Messnger.
K. Rich. What says Lord Stanley? Will he bring his power?
Mess. My Lord, he doth deny to come.
K. Rich. Off with his son George's head.
Norfolk. My Lord, the enemy is past the marsh:
After the battle let George Stanley die."
King R ichard III. -Act v. scene 3.
15 John Robson, Esq., M. D., of Warrington. It was by this gentleman, an eminent local antiquary, that the deed in the Warrington Museum was first published, and its historical or biographical importance pointed out, in the Gentleman's Magazine for September, 1863-not 1862, the year given in the new edition (1870) of Baines's Lancashire, 1.272.
16 Lord.Derby's House.
Enter Derby and Sir Christopher Urswick.
Der. Sir Christopher, tell Richmond this from me:
That in the sty of this most bloody boar, lil
My son George is flanked up in hold:
If I revolt off goes young George's head
The fear of that withholds my present aid . . . . . . .
But, tell me, where is princely Richmond now?
Chris. At Pembroke, or at Ha'rford-west in Wales," &c., &c.King R ichard III.-Act iv. scene 5.
17 Shakespeare has transferred the scene of the interview from Atherstone to the battle-field, and made the time the night before the battle :-
Enter Derby to Richmond in his text, Lords and others attending.
Der. Fortune and victory sit on thy helm !
Richard. All comfort that the dark night can altord
Be to thy person, noble father-in-law!
Tell me, how fares our loving mother?
Der. I, by attorney, bless thee from thy mother,
Who prays continually for Richmond's good:
So much for that.-The silent hour steals on,
And flaky darkness breaks within the east.
In brief,-for so the season bids us be,
Prepare thy battle early in the morning,
And put thy fortune to the arbitrement
Of bloody strokes and mortal-staring war.
I, as I may (that which I would I cannot),
With best advantage will deceive the time,
And aid thee in this doubtful stock of arms
But on thy side I may not be too forward,
Lest, being seen, thy brother, tender George,
Be executed in his father's sight."
King Richard III.-Act v. scene 3.
18 Polydore Virgil (Camden Society's edition, ii. 223), detailing the composition of Richmond's army says: " The number of all his soldiers, all manner of ways, was scarce 5,000, besides the Stanleyans, whereof about 3,000 were at the battle, under the conduct of William. The King's forces were twice so many and more."
19 Sharon Turner's Hisiory of England during the Middle Ages (London, 1825), iv. 52 (note).
20 He was not the first Earl of Derby, but simply " the first Stanley, Earl of Derby." The first Earl of Derby was Robert de Ferrers, to whom King Stephen gave the earldom as a reward for his valour at the battle of the Standard. The peerage was extinguished with the deprivation of the 5th Earl of Ferrers and Derby in 1297 for complicity with Simon de Montfort. Henry, Earl of Lancaster, whose daughter Blanche married John of Gaunt, was created Earl of Derby II Edward III. Through Blanche the earldom went to John of Gaunt's son Henry, and was merged in the higher dignity of the crown when he became King.
21 Baines, iv. 13.
22 Jesse's.Richard III., p. 263.
23 Foremost and leaning from her golden cloud
The venerable Margaret see! "
Gray's Installation Ode.
24 Whitaker's Richmondshire, ii. 261, &c
25 Joannis Lelandi.De Rebus Britanticis Collecianea (1790), iv. 284.
26 Surrey loquitur.
"The good Lord Marmion, by my life !
Welcome to danger's hour !
Short greeting serves in time of strife
Thus have I ranged my power
Myself will rule this central host,
Stout Stanley fronts their right
My sons command the vaward post
With Brian Tunstall, stainless knight."
Marmion canto Vi. 24.
27 Pictorial History of England, ii. 328.
28 Tales of a Grandfather: First series, chap, xxv.
Far on the left, unseen the while,
Stanley broke Lennox and Argyle
Though there the western mountaineer
Rushed, with bare bosom, on the spear,
And flung the feeble targe aside,
And with both hands the broadsword plied,
'Twas vain :-But fortune on the right
With fickle smile, cheered Scotland's fight," &c.
Marmion, canto vi. 27.
29 Marmion loquitur.
"FitzEustace, to Lord Surrey hie
Tunstall lies dead upon the field, I-l
His life-blood stains the spotless shield
Edmund is down :-my life is reft ;
The Admiral alone is left.
Let Stanley charge with spur of fire,
With Chester charge and Lancashire,
Fall upon Scotland's central host
Or victory and England's lost."
Marmion, canto vi. 29.
30 And last of all among the lave,
King James himself to death was brought,
Yet by whose act few could perceive,
But Stanley still most like was thought."
The Battle of Flodden Field.
31 Collin's Peerage, iii. 64.
The war that for a space did fail
Now trebly thundering swell'd the gale,
And STANLEY ! was the cry
A light on Marmion's visage spread,
And fired his glazing eye :
With dying hand, above his head,
He shook the fragment of his blade,
And shouted, 'Victory!
Charge, Chester, charge ! On, Stanley, on
Were the last words of Marmion."
Marmion canto vi, 12.