STANLEY, Hon. James (1664-1736), 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



Feb. 1701
Dec. 1701
11 Apr. - 5 Nov. 1702

Family and Education

b. 3 July 1664, 8th but 3rd surv. s. of Charles, 8th Earl of Derby, by Dorothea Helena, da. of Jan van der Kerchhove, Lord of Heenvliet, Zeeland. educ. St. Paul’s. m. Feb. 1705, Mary, da. and h. of Sir William Morley of Halnaker, Suss., 1s. d.v.p. suc. bro. as 10th Earl of Derby 5 Nov. 1702.1

Offices Held

Capt. Earl of Pembroke’s Ft. Mar. 1688, 1 Ft. Gds. 1689; col. of ft. 1692-1705; maj.-gen. 1704-5.

J.p. Lancs. 1689-d., commr. for assessment 1689-90, ld. lt. 1702-10, 1714-d., v.-adm. 1702-12; chamberlain of Chester 1702-d.; mayor, Liverpool 1734-5.

Groom of the bedchamber 1689-1702, chancellor, duchy of Lancaster 1706-10; PC 10 June 1706-d.; capt. yeoman of the guard 1715-23.2


Although Stanley was still under age at the general election of 1685, he could probably have been elected without difficulty for either Preston or Liverpool. But his brother, the 9th Earl of Derby, was determined to establish an interest at Clitheroe in spite of the risk of splitting the Tory vote. With the aid of the local party manager, Roger Kenyon, Stanley was elected, probably without a poll. His only committee in James II’s Parliament was for a naturalization bill.3

Stanley had little prospect of succeeding to the title till his nephew’s death in 1700, and was anxious to embark on a military career. His mother was Dutch, and he chose to join one of the English regiments in the United Provinces rather than James II’s army. Presumably he accompanied William of Orange to England in 1688. He was returned unopposed for Preston at the general election of 1689, but again served on only one committee, that for restoring corporations. Though according to Ailesbury’s list he voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. William gave him a court appointment and a commission in the guards. He served with distinction in Flanders, while continuously representing Lancashire from 1690 till he became a peer. When present in the Commons he voted as a Whig, but his heart was never in politics. He died on 1 Feb. 1736 and was succeeded by his distant cousin Sir Edward Stanley, 5th Bt..4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. P. Draper, House of Stanley, 251-2.
  • 2. Lancs. RO, QSC 103.
  • 3. HMC Kenyon, 178-80.
  • 4. Draper, 258.