Ref. No.: KN47
Sir Thomas Stanley, second Lord Stanley, was created 1st Earl of Derby by Henry VII after his support during the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 which secured Henry's throne.
Thomas first married Eleanor Neville, sister of Richard Earl of Warwick. Their eldest son George, Lord Strange, who was poisoned at a banquet in Derby House, London, in 1497, also had a son named Thomas. He became the next Earl in 1504. His second marriage was to the previously twice married Margaret Beaufort, daughter and heiress of John, Duke of Somerset and widow (by her first marriage) of Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond and thereby becoming the mother of Henry VII.
In 1495 Henry VII visited Knowsley and while there he bestowed the Earldom of Derby on Thomas. He also received estates in the North forfeited by the Yorkists who had remained loyal to Richard III. These comprised the Hundred of West Derby plus over 70 other properties. The 1st Earl died on 29th July 1504 and was buried at Burscough.