[Notes 13-19 from Manx Soc Vol 12 - see Index]

§ 13.

Sir John Stanley II., the second King of Man of the House of’ Stanley, was about twenty-three or twenty-four years of age when he succeeded his father the first king in 1414. He was at an early age made Steward of the Household of King Henry VI., and in 1427 he was made Constable of Carnarvon Castle in Wales. In 1439 he was appointed Governor of Carnarvon, and Constable of the Castle there, and Sheriff of Anglesea for life. The King also conferred on him the honour of knighthood. Shortly before his death he was appointed one of the Judges itinerant for the County of Chester. He died cir. 1432, having reigned as King of Man about eighteen years. (Seacome 27, 28.) -

He visited the Island in 1417, and again in 1422. In 1417 he held a Court of Tynwald at the Tynwald Hill, St. John’s, when the ancient mode of holding a Tynwald was declared, and certain old customary laws were declared and confirmed. (Mills 1.) In 1422 he held a Court at the Hill of Reneurling (Cronk Urleigh) in Kirk Michael, when the barons of the Island were called to do homage to him as king. (Mills 8). He also held a Tynwald at Castle Rushen, when certain customary laws were committed to writing.

§ 14.

The Chronicle and Sir E. Coke (see App. No. 2 to Notes) appear to have been both in error in naming the third King of the House of Stanley, Henry. According to Seacome (29) and Burke’s Peerage (287) his name was Thomas, and this is the name given by the other historians.

Thomas I, succeeded his father the second King cir. 1432, having previously had the honour of knighthood conferred on him by King Henry VI. In 1432 he was made Lieutenant of Ireland, and soon afterwards Comptroller of His Majesty’s Household. In 1440 he was appointed Deputy to the Earl of Suffolk, the judge of Chester, and in 1441 he and another were appointed by the same Earl Lieutenant-Justices of Chester. In 1448 Sir Thomas and others were commissioned by the King to treat with the Scots for a truce, and in 1449 he was appointed one of the conservators of the truce. In 1450 he, with others, was put in commission for the defence of Calais, and in 1451 he was again appointed a conservator of the truce with Scotland. In the same year he was made sole Judge of Chester, and in 1452 he was commissioned to treat for a new truce with Scotland. In 1456 he was created Baron Stanley, and made Lord Chamberlain of the King’s Household. In 1457 he was appointed one of the Council to Edward, Prince of Wales, and in 1460 he was again appointed one of the ambassadors to treat with those of Scotland. He died in 1460; being the twenty-eighth year of his reign as King of Man. (Seacome 29, 30.5

There is no account of his having visited the Island.


Thomas II., the second Lord Stanley and fourth King of Man of the House of Stanley, succeeded his father the third king in 1460. He was made Judge of Chester in 1472. In 1483 King Richard III. made him Constable of England for life, and installed him a Knight Companion of the Garter. In 1485 his step-son King Henry VII. created him Earl of Derby, and constituted him one of the Lords Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Steward of England at the coronation of the King, and in 1488 he filled a like office at the coronation of Elizabeth, the Queen Consort. In 1486 a new grant was made to him of the office of Constable of England for life, and in 1487 he was one of the god-fathers to Prince Arthur, the eldest son of Henry VII. In 1496 he was one of the guarantees of peace between the King and the Arch-Duke of Austria, and one of the Lords assenting to the peace made with France. He died in 1504; being the forty-fourth year of his reign as King of Man. (Seacombe 30—33, 37.) It does not appear that he ever visited the Isle of Man.

The succession is traced through his son George, who was his third son, the two elder sons having died young and without issue. George was married to Joan, the only daughter and heiress of John, Baron Strange of Knocking, and in right of his wife he had a summons to Parliament as Baron Strange. He died in 1497. (Seacome 35, 36.)


Thomas III., the second Earl of Derby and fifth King of Man of the House of Stanley, son of George, Lord Strange, succeeded his grandfather the fourth king in 1504. In 1508 he with other nobles became bound for the due performance of the marriage contract of Mary, third daughter of Henry VII., and the Prince of Spain. In 1514 he attended Henry VIII. in his expedition to France, and in 1521 he was one of the peers who sat on the trial of the Duke of Buckinghame. He died 24th May, 1521, being the seventeenth year of his reign as King or Lord of Man. (Seacome 37, 42, &c.)

According to Train (Vol. I., p. 167) he visited the Island in 1507, but tbis is by no means certain. During the reign of Edward IV. he dropped the title of King, and made use of that of Lord of Man and the I,sles, the title continued by his successors. Two reasons for the change of title are alleged,—(1) that as the Island was granted to the Stanley family by Henry IV., the chief of the House of Lancaster, it was prudent and politic to drop a title which might occasion jealousy and mistrust on the part of Edward IV., the chief of the House of York; and (2) that it is not fit for a King to be subject to any but the King of Kings,—that it doth not please a King that any of his subjects should affect that title, and that to be a great Lord is more honorable than a petty King. (Seacome 43, 132) The change of title did not of course derogate from the Sovereign rights of the Lords, or affect the relationship between them and their subjects.

On the decease of Thomas, the second Earl, his widow Ann, Countess of Derby, claimed dower in the Isle of Man. The case is reported by Kelway, Michaelmas 14 Henry VIII., (1523,) and is cited in 4 Coke’s Insitutes 201, to the following effect

An office was found that Thomas, Earl of Derby, at the time of his death was seized of the Isle of Man in fee, whereupon the Countess his wife, by her counsel, moved to have her Dower in the Chancery; but it was resolved by Brudenole, Brooke, and Fitzherbert, Justices, and all the King’s Counsel, that the office was merely void, because the Isle of Man was no part of the Realm of England, nor was governed by the Law of this Land; and the Statute de donis, of Uses, and of Wills, nor any other general Act of Parliament did extend to the Isle of Man, but by special name an Act may extend to it. (See Appendix No.2 to these Notes.) This decision was adverse to the claim for Dower. It is difficult to understand how the widow of a deceased Sovereign could have dower in the Sovereignty.

§ 17.

Edward, the third Earl of Derby and sixth Lord of Man of the House of Stanley, succeeded his father the fifth Lord in 1521, he being then a minor of the age of fourteen years. By the will of his father, the Governor and the civil authorities in the Island were to be continued in office during the minority of Edward, his affairs being managed by the Executors and Supervisors named in his father’s will, among whom were Cardinal Wolsey, Archbishop of York and Lord High Chancellor of England, and the Bishops of Exeter, Chester, and Man.

Edward became of full age in 1528, when he was one of the principal persons appointed to attend Cardinal Wolsey on an embassy to France, touching the making war in Italy for setting free Pope Clement VII., then a prisoner. In 1530 he was one of the peers who subscribed the declaration to Pope Clement VII. that if he refused his confirmation of the divorce of Queen Catherine, his supremacy in England would be in danger, and that a remedy must be sought elsewhere. In 1532 on the occasion of the coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn, he was made a Knight of the Bath, and after the ceremony he became her cup-bearer. On the accession of Edward VI. in 1547, he was made a Knight Companion of the Garter, and in 1550 he was one of the Peers who were parties to the Articles of Peace with the Scots and French. In 1553 he was appointed Lord High Steward of England on the occasion of the coronation of Queen Mary. In 1558 the office of Chamberlain of Chester was conferred on him, and in 1559 he became one of the Privy Council of Queen Elizabeth. He died 24th October, 1572, in the fifty-second year of his reign as Lord of Man. It does not appear that he visited the Island. (Seacome 44—51.)

§ 18.

Henry, the fourth Earl of Derby and seventh Lord of Man of the House of Stanley, succeeded his father the sixth Lord in 1572. He was by Queen Elizabeth made a Knight of the Garter, and he was at the head of the Commission sent to Flanders to treat of a peace with the Prince of Parma, on behalf of the King of Spain. Soon afterwards he was honored by the Queen to carry the ensigns and invest the King of France with the Order of the Garter. In 1564 he was appointed to attend the Queen on her visit to the University of Cambridge, and again in 1566 on her visit to the University of Oxford, on which latter occasion the degree of M.A. was conferred on him. He and other Peers were the Judges for the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots, and he was constituted Lord High Steward of England for the trial of Philip, Earl of Arundel, for treason. In 1588 he was appointed Lord Chamberlain of Chester. He died 21st September, 1594, in the twenty-second year of his reign as Lord of Man. (Seacome 61, 62.)

Earl Henry visited the Island in 1577. He presided at the Common Law Court held in May, and at a Tynwald Court held at St. John’s on the 13th July, 1577, at which court the Bishop did homage for his Barony. (Liber Plitor. 1577.) He was also present at a Tynwald Court held on the 24th June, 1583. (See Abstract, title "Salmon," post.)


Ferdinand or Ferdinando, the fifth Earl of Derby and eighth Lord of Man of the House of Stanley, succeeded his father the seventh Lord in 1594. He died from the effects of poison in May, 1595, in the first year of his reign as Lord of Man, (Seacome 63, 64.) It does not appear that visited the Island.


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