STANLEY, Hon. Edward (1639-64), of Knowsley, Lancs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1661 - Oct. 1664

Family and Education

b. 7 Jan. 1639, 4th but 2nd surv. s. of James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby by Charlotte, da. of Claude de la Trémouille, duc de Thouars; bro. of Hon. William Stanley. educ.privately; travelled abroad 1654-8. unm.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Lancs. 1661-d., corporations 1661-3, loyal and indigent officers 1662, j.p. by 1663-d.2

Cornet (1) Life Gds. 1661-d.; gent. of the bed-chamber to the Duke of York 1663-d.3


Stanley’s ancestors acquired Knowsley and Lathom by marriage in the 14th century, and first sat for Lancashire in 1407. His father, a devout and articulate Anglican, fought for the King in both wars and was executed in 1651, but his elder brother was neutral. Stanley spent most of his early life in the Isle of Man, but in 1654 his mother sent him to France, recommending him to his aunt, the Duchesse de la Trémouille, as ‘gentle and of good disposition, brave but without pride’. He attached himself to the exiled Court of Charles II, though Hyde opposed his appointment as gentleman of the bedchamber in 1658. His elder brother took part in Sir George Booth’s rising in 1659, and Stanley set out for England to join him, but got no further than Calais before the rising collapsed. He accompanied the King to the Franco-Spanish negotiations in September 1659, and returned with him to England in the following May.4

Though something of a favourite during the royal exile, Stanley came to participate in the distrust which Charles seems to have felt for all his family. He was on better terms with the royal dukes, but it was not till 31 Jan. 1661 that he was granted a pension of £500 p.a., and only one half-yearly payment is recorded. He was elected for Lancashire to the Cavalier Parliament on the interest of his brother, who wanted support for his estate bill in the Lower House. This he may have carried to the Lords on 17 Mar. 1662. Apart from one private bill committee in 1664, he is not distinguishable in the Journals from his brother William, to whom probably the majority of the 17 references in the first five sessions should be credited. In spite of his military duties he was regarded as a Lancashire resident. His name appears in the list of court dependants in 1664, but he died in October of that year, succumbing to smallpox at Portsmouth, where he was preparing to accompany Prince Rupert on his abortive expedition to West Africa.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. Stanley Pprs. (Chetham Soc. lxvii), p. ccxcii.
  • 2. Lancs. RO, QSC 63; SP29/61/151.
  • 3. Merc. Pub. 21 Feb. 1661; SP29/80/13; G. de Witt, Lady of Lathom, 294.
  • 4. De Witt, 215, 241; SP29/26/78; HMC Bath, ii. 122, 124, 139; Clarke, Jas. II, i. 374-5.
  • 5. De Witt, 249, 252; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 194, 370; Kingdom’s Intell. 24 Mar. 1662; SP29/61/157; Pepys Diary, 31 Oct. 1664; CSP Dom. 1664-5, pp. 7, 48, 60.