About this image
Eldest son of the 4th Earl of Derby. Married Alice Spencer, the youngest daughter of Sir John Spencer of Althorp and Catherine Kytson in 1579. They had three daughters: Anne Stanley, Countess of Castlehaven (b. 1580), Lady Frances Stanley (1583 - 1636) who became the wife of John Egerton, 1st Earl of Bridgewater and mother of John Egerton, 2nd Earl of Bridgewater, Lady Elizabeth Stanley (1588 - 1633) who married Henry Hastings, 5th Earl of Huntingdon and their Ferdinando Hastings, 6th Earl of Huntingdon was named after his maternal grandfather.
Ferdinando died of suspected poisioning. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinando_Stanley,_5th_Earl_of_Derby for additional information.
The Stanley family was descended from Ligulf of Aldithley, who was also the ancestor of the Audleys (see Audley-Stanley family - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audley-Stanley_family). Alison Plowde writes in 'Lords of the Land' (pp69-101) that the earliest Stanley ancestor is Liulf or Lydulph of Aldithley, Aldelegh or Audley who lived in the mid 12th century and this is confirmed by BurkeÆs Peerage which says Adam de Stanley brother of Lydulph had a son William who was granted Stanley and half of Balterley in Staffordshire by LydulphÆs son Adam de Audley. It is likely that he took the name Stanley from that place. (With thanks to Sue Hulse for the information and clarification on the Stanley family).
They were the third creation of Earls of Derby in 1485.
The senior line of the descendants of Thomas Stanley and Eleanor (or Alainor) Neville continued to hold the Earldom of Derby until the 1736 death of James Stanley, 10th Earl of Derby, and the title passed to a junior branch, the Baronets Stanley of Bickerstaffe, which still holds the title (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Stanley,_1st_Earl_of_Derby).
There is no connection to Derbyshire with this line of the Earls of Derby and it is wrongly reported that Stoneleigh is in Derbyshire. The Stoneleigh mentioned is most likely in Staffordshire and the Stanley family's seat, at least from the 8th Earl of Derby onwards, is actually Knowsley in West Derby, near Liverpool.
This image is one of a collection by the famous local antiquarian, Thomas Bateman, of Middleton by Youlgreave. (1821-1861). Bateman organized his collection by inserting them into a 4 volume copy of Lysons Magna Britannia, Derbyshire, creating a fascinating and unique illustrated record of the county. The purchase of the collection for Derbyshire Libraries was made possible by the generous bequest of Miss Frances Webb of Whaley Bridge, well known local historian, who died in December 2006.