Sir William Stanley

Born c. 1435 d. 1495. Younger brother of Thomas Stanley, Earl of Derby, William fought on the Yorkist side of the battles of Blore Heath, Towton & Tewkesbury. Like his brother, he helped Richard III to suppress Buckingham’s rebellion and he was rewarded with Buckingham’s former position as chief justice of north Wales as well as the duke’s lordship of Thornbury (Glos.). Famously, although he was at the battle of Bosworth, he did not come to Richard’s aid, preferring to wait it out, and finally fighting for Tudor. According to Vergil, he saved Tudor’s life on the battlefield and the Great Chronicle relates that he crowned him there. For this service, he was richly rewarded by Henry VII who was his brother’s step-son, although he may have been disappointed not to receive a peerage.

In 1495 William was convicted of treason as he publicly stated that if Perkin Warbeck was indeed Edward’s IV’s son, he would not take up arms against him. He was beheaded in February of that year.

The wives of Sir William Stanley –

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