Anne STAFFORD

(C. Huntingdon)

Born: ABT 1483, Ashby, Leicestershire, England

Died: 1544

Buried: Stoke Pogis, Buckinghamshire, England

Father: Henry STAFFORD (2 D. Buckingham)

Mother: Catherine WOODVILLE (D. Buckingham/D. Bedford)

Married 1: Walter HERBERT (Sir Knight) AFT 1489

Married 2: George HASTINGS (1 E. Huntingdon) Dec 1503

Children:

1. Francis HASTINGS (2 E. Huntingdon)

2. William HASTINGS (ABT 1510, Huntingdon, Brewick, Scotland)

3. Catherine HASTINGS

4. Thomas HASTINGS (Sir)

5. Edward HASTINGS (1 B. Hastings of Loughborough)

6. Henry HASTINGS (b. ABT 1508, Huntingdon, Berwick, Scotland)

7. Mary HASTINGS (B. Berkeley)

8. Dorothy HASTINGS

Associated with: William COMPTON (Sir Knight)

Associated with: HENRY VIII TUDOR (King of England)


Stafford,Anne(CHuntingdon)01.jpg (141828 bytes)

Anne Stafford

  by Ambrosius Benson c. 1535


Daughter of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, and Catherine Woodville. She married Sir Walter Herbert on 15 Feb 1500 and after his death lived for a time in the household of her brother, Edward, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, and his wife, Eleanor Percy, at Thornbury. Buckingham arranged both of Annes marriages. She wed for the second time in Dec 1509, taking as her husband George, 3rd baron Hastings. It was as Lady Hastings that she was at court as one of Queen Catalina of Aragons ladies.

By 1510, she was at the center of a scandal. Don Luis Caroz, the Spanish Ambassador, reported, on 28 May, that one of the young, married sisters of the Duke of Buckingham had attracted the attention of King Henry VIII. The Ambassador was relying on gossip fed to him by one of Catalina's former ladies-in-waiting, Francesca de Carceres. Anne's own sister, Elizabeth, Lady Fitzwalter, informed their brother that Annes behavior was bringing shame on the Stafford family. Buckingham subsequently caught Sir William Compton in Annes chamber. After a heated exchange during which Buckingham is reported to have told the pair that 'women of the Stafford family are no game for Comptons, no, nor for Tudors, either', the Duke saw to it that Annes husband spirited his wife away from court, initially transporting her to a convent some sixty miles distant. Henry ordered Catalina to dismiss Elizabeth for her meddling; and bawled out Buckingham, who withdrew from court in a huff.

Speculation ran high that Compton had been soliciting Annes favors on behalf of King Henry VIII, and that Anne was the Kings mistress. Since Don Luis was primarily concerned with demonstrating how much Catalina was in need of his advice and counsel, he was probably all toa willing to believe that the incident was more significant than it really was. But whatever the truth of that relationship, William Compton himself seems to have developed a strong bond of affection with Lady Hastings. Records of the Court of Arches, an ecclesiastical court, from 1527, seventeen years later, indicate that Compton was obliged to take the sacrament to prove he had not committed adultery with Anne during his wifes lifetime. In his will, made in Mar 1522, he left Anne a life interest in property in Leicestershire and founded a chantry where prayers would be said daily for her soul. The latter provision was one usually made only for ones self and close family members.

Whatever the relationship with Compton, Anne seems to have developed a strong and loving relationship with her husband, as evidenced by letters he wrote to her, and she was named as one of the executors in his will. They lived primarily at Asby-de-la-Zouche, Huntingdonshire and at Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire. Anne was present at the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520.

Her brother Buckingham was executed for treason in 1521. She became Countess of Huntingdon in 1529 when Hastings was elevated in the peerage and from the late 1530s was part of the household of Henry VIII's daughter, Mary Tudor.

Anne had eight children, five sons and three daughters: including Francis, Edward, Thomas, William, Henry, Catherine, Mary and Dorothy.

The portrait labeled 'Anne Stafford, 1535' by Ambrosius Benson, probably the Countess of Huntingdon. In 1535, she would have been around fifty-two years old. The problem with the identification is that the sitter is dressed in the German fashion and was, as far as we know, painted in Bruges. On the other hand, the attribution of two other portraits to Benson, one of John Bourchier, 2nd baron Berners, painted c.1521-6, and the other traditionally called 'George Hastings, 1st E. of Huntingdon', place the identification as Anne within the realm of possibility.
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