[From Manx Note Book vol 3, 1887]
THE FIRST EARL OF DERBY
THOMAS II. AFTERWARDS THE FIRST EARL OF DERBY, ELDEST SON OF THOMAS I., BARON STANLEY, BY HIS WIFE JOAN, ONLY DAUGHTER AND HEIRESS OF SIR ROBERT GOUSHILL <sup>1</sup>, succeeded his father in 1460. He was summoned to Parliament in the first year of Edward IV. (1461), and in 1472 he was made Judge of Chester. In the Civil war he did good service for the Yorkist cause, his most conspicuous feat being the taking of Berwick by assault. During the greater part of his reign he was steward of the Royal Household, and, having been one of Edward's most devoted adherents, he naturally transferred his allegiance to his son Edward the fifth. When Edward the fourth died, Richard Duke of Gloucester, who was plotting to supplant his nephew on the throne, saw that Stanley would be one of the chief obstacles in his way, and so he contrived to get rid of him by having him arrested on a charge of treason.
When, however, he had succeeded in ascending the throne, he decided that his best policy would be, if possible, to purchase Lord Stanley's allegiance, which he endeavoured to accomplish by making him Constable of England for life and conferring upon him the Order of the Garter. It is well known that this scheme failed and that Lord Stanley largely contributed to Richmond's success at the battle of Bosworth field, after which he is said to have placed the dead Richard's crown on his head,* and to have proclaimed him king as Henry VII. The new king shortly afterwards created him Earl of Derby, and constituted him one of the Lord's Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Steward at his coronation. In 1486 he was made Constable of England for life. In 1487 he was one of the godfathers of Prince Arthur, Henry VII.'s eldest son.
He took a prominent part in arranging the treaty of Etaples between England and France in 1492. It would seem that he used his wealth nobly, both in relieving the burdens of his people and in promoting public works such as the bridges at Garstang and Warrington, for their welfare. He was the builder of Latham House which became famous through its defence by the 7th Earl's noble consort 150 years later.
Lord Stanley married, firstly, Eleanor 4th daughter of Richard Nevill, Earl of Salisbury, and sister to the Earl of Warwick, the famous " king-maker, " and secondly, Margaret, daughter of the Duke of Somerset and Dowager-Duchess of Richmond, who was King Henry VII.'s mother. By his first wife he had issue 6 sons and 4. daughters, by his second, there was no issue. He died in 1504. It does not appear that he ever visited the Isle of Man, and during his reign the Statute book is a blank.
*It is not certain whether the crown was placed on Henry's head by Lord Stanley or by his brother Sir William Stanley
1 - AWM is mistaken heer - there were two daughters of Robt Goushill who were co-heirs