(1st B. Stafford)

Born: 18 Sep 1501, Penshurst, Kent, England

Acceded: 1547

Died: 30 Apr 1563, Caus Castle, Shropshire, England

Buried: 6 May 1563, Worthen, Shropshire, England

Father: Edward STAFFORD (3° D. Buckingham)

Mother: Eleanor PERCY (D. Buckingham)

Married: Ursula POLE 16 Feb 1518/9, England


1. Henry STAFFORD (2° B. Stafford)

2. Edward STAFFORD (3° B. Stafford)

3. Richard STAFFORD

4. Thomas STAFFORD

5. Walter STAFFORD

6. William STAFFORD

7. Elizabeth STAFFORD

8. Dorothy STAFFORD


10. Susanna STAFFORD


Henry Stafford was born in Penshurst, Kent, England, one of four children and the only son of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Eleanor Percy, Duchess of Buckingham. Eleanor (or Alianore) was the daughter of Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland and Maud Herbert. After his father's execution he managed to regain some of his family's position. Courtier and servant of all the Tudors from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I.

On 16 Feb 1518/9, Henry married Ursula Pole, the daughter of Margaret Plantagenet, Countess of Salisbury and Sir Richard Pole. The marriage had been arranged by the Duke of Buckingham, at the suggestion of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. Following their marriage, Henry and Ursula made their home in the household of the Duke, where they had guardians to watch over them. In Nov 1520, their first child was born; they would have a total of seven sons and seven daughters.

He was styled Earl of Stafford until the attainder of his father, beheaded for treason in 1521. He was posthumously attainted by an Act of Parliament in 1523, with his title and estates being forfeited to the Crown. 

Lands and title taken from him, then "restored in blood only" by Henry VIII in 1523. In 1531, Staffordshire elected him as a recorder for the borough; he was later appointed JP for both Staffordshire and Shropshire in 1536.

In Jan 1535 Stafford called Walter Blount his ‘friend’ when commending him to Cromwell, and Stafford almost certainly had a hand in his election for the borough of that name to the Parliament of 1542. If he was the Walter Blount who had written to Cromwell in 1534 suggesting that the King as Supreme Head should have the appointment of stewards of church properties, he would have been acceptable both to Cromwell and to Stafford, an enthusiast for the Dissolution, although when early in the following year Blount belittled the saints in the presence of Stafford and other local magnates Stafford was said to have been offended.

In 1547, Henry petitioned Parliament for restoration in blood, but did not claim any of his father's land or titles. He was summoned to Parliament by writ in 1548 and was thus created 1st Baron Stafford by Edward VI. This was the 4th creation of the barony which eventually became extinct in 1639, the title being resigned due to poverty. The barony was initially regarded as a new creation, but in Feb 1558, he won the right to have it recognised as carrying precedence from 1299.

Stafford had an extensive library of some 300 books, mostly Latin. In 1548, he published an English translation of the 1534 tract by Edward Foxe, as "The True Dyfferens Betwen the Royall Power and the Ecclesiasticall Power", (original title De vera differentia regiae potestatis et ecclesiae).

In 1554, after petitioning Mary for financial assistance, he was made one of two chamberlains of the exchequer, a position that brought with it £50. In 1557, his son Thomas was convicted of treason and executed for the Stafford´s Raid. Under Mary, with his reconversion to Catholicism he translated two tracts by Erasmus against Luther (neither survives). He commissioned other translations, such as Humphrey Lloyd's version of Vassaeus on urine, and influenced the publication of Mirror for Magistrates in 1559. 

Between 1558 and 1559, he was the Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, a role that also included being appointed as Clerk of the Peace.

Henry died on 30 Apr 1563, at the age of about 62, at Caus Castle in Shropshire. He was buried in Worthen church nearby on 6 May. He was succeeded in his titles by his eldest surviving son, Henry as 2nd Baron Stafford, who himself died two years later. His brother Edward Stafford was the third baron. The Howard Papers show him died 1565.

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