STANLEY, Hon. Charles Zedenno (1666-1715), of Knowsley, Lancs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1702 - 1705
1705 - 1713
1713 - 14 Apr. 1714

Family and Education

b. 8 Dec. 1666, 9th s. of Charles Stanley, 8th Earl of Derby, by Dorothea Helena, da. of Jan van der Kerchhove, Ld. of Heenvliet, Zeeland; bro. of Hon. James Stanley*.  unm.1

Offices Held

Cornet, R. Horse Gds. 1690, lt. 1698–1704; lt. and brevet col. of ft. 1706–12.

Burgess, Wigan by 1695.2

Commr. settle trade with Spain 1707.3


As youngest brother of the 9th Earl of Derby, Stanley had little hope of inheriting the family title and, like his brother James, he entered the profession of arms. His political ambitions first surfaced in 1695 when he stood, with the support of Lord Derby, for Liverpool, and Derby considered putting him forward at the Lancaster by-election of 1697 before realizing that his interest was not strong enough to defeat that created by the 2nd Earl of Macclesfield (Charles Gerard*). Stanley did not stand in 1698, and when Lord Derby and his brother James quarrelled in the late 1690s Charles appears to have sided with the latter. He campaigned for James in the first Lancashire election of 1701, and at the second election of the year Stanley stood at Preston. Although defeated on this occasion, he topped the poll in 1702. Granted a month’s leave of absence on 7 Nov., he had returned to the House in time to vote on 13 Feb. 1703 to agree with the Lords’ amendments to the bill enlarging the time allowed for taking the abjuration oath. Stanley maintained a low profile for the rest of this Parliament. On 28 Nov. 1704 he did not vote for the Tack, and later in the 1704–5 session he supported the efforts of the Lancashire weavers to halt a bill to permit a export of Irish linen cloth to the plantations.4

Stanley was returned for Lancashire in 1705 after a fierce contest and was classed as ‘Low Church’. Absent from the division of 25 Oct. on the Speaker, he supported the Court in February 1706 on the ‘place clause’ of the regency bill. After his brother James (Earl of Derby since 1702) had been appointed chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster in June 1706, Stanley campaigned for the duchy candidate Arthur Maynwaring* at the Preston by-election of December 1706, and his loyalty to the Whigs probably explains his appointment in January 1707 as a commissioner ‘to settle trade and commerce’ with Spain. Stanley remained an inactive Member, though on 5 Mar. 1707 he was heard in his place when he agreed to waive his parliamentary privilege in the event of any suit brought by the Earl of Anglesey, who had married Stanley’s niece Lady Henrietta Stanley, relating to the estates of the late 9th Earl of Derby. An analysis of the House dating from early 1708 classed Stanley as a Tory, possibly in error, and in March he twice reported from committees considering petitions. The same month he was added to the Cheshire bench, possibly in an attempt to bolster the Whig interest in that county. He was returned unopposed for Lancashire at the 1708 election, and was again classed as a Tory in a marked list of the election returns. However, on 29 Jan. 1709 he told on the Whig side in the Orford election case, and he subsequently supported the naturalization of the Palatines in 1709 and voted for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell the following year. His only other significant activity in this Parliament was concerned with local issues, as in February and March 1709 he managed a bill to create a new parish in Manchester through the Commons, and on 23 Dec. 1709 was appointed to draft the Liverpool dock bill.5

Despite rumours in 1710 that he would be defeated for the county and forced to stand for Preston, Stanley was again returned for Lancashire. His regiment was disbanded in 1712 but he remained an inactive Member. He voted on 18 June 1713 against the French commerce bill, and was classed as a Whig in the division list subsequently printed. Concerted Tory opposition forced Stanley to withdraw from the Lancashire election of 1713, and he stood instead for Clitheroe. Though he was successful at the poll, his return was dismissed by the House on 14 Apr. 1714. He was determined, however, to regain a seat in Parliament, and in August announced his intention to approach the non-juring Tory Peter Legh† for his support at Newton. Stanley was obviously aware of the incongruous nature of this approach, for when challenged by one of Legh’s friends to declare ‘if he w[oul]d be a Tory’ Stanley reportedly replied that ‘it was an out of fashion thing, but that he was never of any side yet, but would be tied down upon occasion’. Rebuffed at Newton, he declared his candidacy for the county and maintained his interest at Clitheroe, but declining health may have forced him to withdraw from both these elections as he was returned for neither constituency and died on 9 Apr. 1715. He was buried at Ormskirk seven days later.6

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Richard Harrison


  • 1. P. Draper, House of Stanley, 252.
  • 2. NLS, Crawford mss 47/3/19, poll bk. [7 Nov. 1695].
  • 3. Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 116.
  • 4. Add. 28879, f. 264; Lancs. RO, Kenyon mss DDKe 9/70/9, Thomas to Roger Kenyon*, 17 Feb. 1696–7; SRO, Hamilton mss GD406/1/4679, Stanley to Duke of Hamilton, 9 Dec. 1700; Nat. Archs. Ire. Wych mss 1/284, John Atherton to Sir Cyril Wyche*, 30 Jan. 1704–5.
  • 5. HMC Kenyon, 439–40; L. K. J. Glassey, Appt. JPs, 184.
  • 6. NLS, ms 8262, f. 42; HMC Kenyon, 446; Hamilton mss at Lennoxlove bdle. 4203, James Dunlop to Duke of Hamilton, 9 Apr. 1712; Kenyon mss DDKe/HMC/1152, John Walmesley to George Kenyon, 23 June 1713; John Rylands Univ. Lib. Manchester, Legh of Lyme mss corresp. Thomas Barber to Peter Legh, 6 Aug. 1714; Devonshire mss at Chatsworth House, Finch-Halifax pprs. box 3 no.107, Ralph Assheton to [–], 13 Oct. 1714.