Edward STANLEY

(1st B. Mounteagle)

Born: ABT 1463, Knowsley, Lancashire, England

Acceded: 1513/4

Died: 7 Apr 1523/4, Hornby Castle, Lancashire, England

Notes: Knight of the Garter.

Father: Thomas STANLEY (1 E. Derby)

Mother: Eleanor NEVILLE

Married 1: Anne HARRINGTON

Children:

1. Thomas STANLEY (2 B. Mounteagle)

Married 2: Elizabeth VAUGHAN (B. Grey of Wilton / B. Mounteagle) (b. ABT 1463 - d. 15 Jan 1514/5) (dau. of Thomas Vaughan and Cecily Verch Morgan) (w.1 of Thomas Greville of Cokesey - w.2 of John Grey, Lord Grey of Wilton) BEF 25 Nov 1501

Children:

2. Elizabeth STANLEY

Associated with: ?

Children:

3. Edward STANLEY

4. Thomas STANLEY (Parson at Baddisworth - living 1523)

5. Mary STANLEY (m. Son Radcliffe)


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, 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 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.

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. He was appointed in 1485 High Sheriff of Lancashire.

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. 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 which the King commended right much. And meantime 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. 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.

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". Meanwhile, 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; wild Celtic impetuosity then as so often since proving no match for stubborn Saxon strength.

It was going hard in the centre with Surrey, 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. 

The manor of Bolton-le-Moors, worth 40s. a year, is stated in the inquisition after Lord Mounteagle's death in 1523 to have been held together with Hornby, Farleton, &c., by virtue of a grant from Henry VII in 1489, of the king in chief by the service of one knight's fee; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 64. Thomas his son and heir died in 1560, holding all by the same service; ibid, xi, no. 1. William the son and heir of Thomas was the vendor. In the time of Henry VII Sir Edward Stanley had some difficulty in securing the tolls of the Jul fair, a number of the neighbouring gentry, with their men, coming armed and creating a great riot, so that had not the curate of Bolton interfered, standing between the combatants with the Blessed Sacrament upon him, Sir Edward's servants would have been taken and murdered 'out of hand'; Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 44. These tolls were granted to Sir Edward on 12 Jul 1507; (Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xxi, fol. a/59d.From: 'Townships: Great Bolton', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5 (1911), pp. 243-251)

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.

to Bios Page

to Family Page

to Peerage Page to Home Page