Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tudor Tart: Margaret Stanley, Countess of Derby

Portrait of a Lady, possibly Margaret
Margaret Stanley (née Clifford) was daughter of Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland and Eleanor Brandon (daughter of Mary Tudor, Queen of France). This put her next in line to the throne, after the Grey sisters. An attempt was made by Dudley to marry Margaret to his son, Guildford. However, Clifford refused to support Jane Grey as Queen, thus the marriage did not happen. Fittingly, Queen Mary gave Dudley's confiscated jewels and other riches to Margaret upon her wedding to Henry Stanley, heir to the Earl of Derby in 1555.

Because of the Lady Jane Grey scandal, Margaret concluded that the Grey sisters were unfit to rule, as was Elizabeth Tudor (since she was not Catholic). Thus, she was Mary's heir presumptive. However, the Stanley's were not held in high esteem by the people, thus had little backing.

Even when her husband became the Earl of Derby, the couple had financial troubles. Stanley consoled himself with his mistress, while Margaret dabbled in alchemy. This led to her consulting "wizards" which caused her to lose favor with Queen Elizabeth. She really got into trouble when she was accused of consulting a Dr. Randall to see how long Elizabeth would live, causing her to be banished from court, permanently. 

Tudor England: An Encyclopedia
Tudor Place

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  1. Hi, The Tudor Place is not a good source of information. There are no sources as to where the info came from. As for this portrait -- there is a HUGE discrepancy. The coat of arms do not fit for the portrait. Those coat of arms would have been that of her mother and father quartered; Brandon and Clifford. See:

  2. Thanks for the link. Saw it on the Facebook page as well. I had a hard time finding information on her, and saw the same information repeated other places, so went with it. I know the portrait is in dispute, and mentioned that. Some think it is her, some her mother. Since it was related to her, I thought it would be nice to include...