Stanley, James (1607-1651) (DNB00)

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STANLEY, JAMES, seventh Earl of Derby (1607–1651), born at Knowsley on 31 Jan. 1606–7, was the eldest son of William, sixth earl of Derby, by his wife, Elizabeth (1575–1627), daughter of Edward de Vere, seventeenth earl of Oxford [q. v.] The father, younger son of Henry Stanley, fourth earl of Derby [q. v.], passed much of the early part of his life abroad (Stanley Papers, III. i. 47), succeeded as sixth earl on the death of his brother Ferdinando, fifth earl of Derby [q. v.], on 16 April 1594, was elected K.G. on 23 April 1601, and served as privy councillor extraordinary from March to May 1603. For many years he was involved in ruinous litigation over his estates with his nieces, the coheiresses of his brother. On 22 Dec. 1607 he was appointed lord lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire, and died on 29 Sept. 1642. His portrait, engraved from a drawing in the Sutherland collection, is given by Doyle; another, also anonymous, belongs to the present Earl of Derby (Cat. First Loan Exhib. No. 497).

His son, who was styled Lord Strange during his father's lifetime, is erroneously said to have been educated at Bolton grammar school and at Oxford. After some private education he was sent abroad, visiting France and Italy, and learning the languages of those countries. In 1625 he was returned to parliament as member for Liverpool, where the Stanley interest had completely superseded that of the earls of Sefton. He was created K.B. at the coronation of Charles I on 1 Feb. 1625–6, and on 26 June following married, at The Hague, Charlotte de la Trémoille, daughter of Claude, duc de Thouars [see Stanley, Charlotte, Countess of Derby]. On 27 Dec. following he was associated with his father in the lieutenancy of Lancashire and Cheshire, and on 23 Oct. in the chamberlainship of Chester. He also took part in the government of the Isle of Man, of which the earls of Derby were hereditary sovereign lords. On 7 March 1627–1628 he was summoned as Baron Strange to the House of Lords, and about the same time he was made lord lieutenant of North Wales.

Lord Strange's tastes were those of a gentleman farmer; but he was fond of the good library he possessed, and gave encouragement to minor authors. He made Peter du Moulin (1601–1684) [q. v.], who had been introduced to him through his wife's family, his chaplain, and was patron of a company of players. He was a constitutional royalist and moderate Anglican, but his aversion to court life and non-attendance at parliament occasioned some ill-founded aspersions on his loyalty. When war broke out with the Scots in 1639, he joined Charles at York; he was again at York in 1640, but saw no active service against the Scots. He took no part in the proceedings of the Long parliament, and vainly endeavoured to arrange a compromise between the two parties in Lancashire (Stanley Papers, vol. i. p. lxix; ffarington Papers, pp. 80, 85). But when war was inevitable he threw himself ardently into the royalist cause, and urged that the king's standard should first be raised in Lancashire. Warrington was selected as the rendezvous, and Strange is said to have mustered over sixty thousand men in Lancashire and Cheshire. Charles unwisely vetoed his plan, and summoned Strange to join him at Nottingham. His first commission was to recover Manchester, which was strongly fortified and favoured the parliamentary cause [cf. art. Rosworme or Rosworm, John]. He began by utilising his friendly relations with the leading citizens, and attended a banquet in Manchester on 15 July. The roundheads, however, suspected his intentions, and he narrowly escaped being shot in retiring to Ordsall (Manchesters Resolution against Lord Strange, 1642, 4to; Pointz, A True Relation … of the sudden rising of the Lord Strange in Lankashire, 1642, 4to; Jesland, A Full and True Relation of the Troubles in Lancashire between the Lord Strange … and the well affected of that countie, 1642, 4to). He succeeded, however, in seizing magazines in several towns, which he was ordered to restore by parliament. He was deprived of his lord-lieutenancy, and on 16 Sept. was impeached of high treason and proclaimed a traitor by the House of Commons. On 24 Sept. he laid siege, with four thousand troops, to Manchester, but the vigorous defence compelled him to raise it on 1 Oct. By his father's death on 29 Sept. he succeeded as seventh Earl of Derby. He now entrenched himself at Warrington, but towards the end of November his troops suffered two defeats at Chowbent and Lowton Moor (Ormerod, Civil War Tracts in Lancashire). On 16 Feb. 1642–3 Derby, having taken Preston, made an unsuccessful assault on Bolton. He then (18 Feb.) went on to Lancaster, which he occupied and set fire to, but he failed to capture the castle, and similar ill-success attended a second attempt to capture Bolton on his return. Early in April he repelled an attack on Warrington by Sir William Brereton, but a fortnight later he was defeated at Whalley by Captain Ashton, and retreated to York. Warrington surrendered in consequence (cf. Manchesters Joy for Derbies Overthrow, 1643, 4to).

Meanwhile disturbances had broken out in the Isle of Man, and Derby arrived there on 15 June to restore order. He remained till November (Stanley Papers, vol. i. pp. lxxxviii–xcliii), but is said to have attended the parliament at Oxford during the winter. In February 1643–4 he was with Rupert in Cheshire, and he also accompanied Rupert in the following May when he beat the roundheads at Stockport, relieved Lathom House, and captured Bolton, where Derby is said to have led the last assault, and otherwise distinguished himself [see Stanley, Charlotte]. Thence he accompanied Rupert to Marston Moor (2 July), and after the ruin of the royalist cause in the north he withdrew (30 July) with his family to the Isle of Man. He was present, however, during part of the second siege of Lathom House in the autumn.

In the Isle of Man Derby established himself at Castle Rushen, and there he remained six years, entertaining fugitive royalists and resolutely refusing to make his peace with parliament. He was summoned to surrender a second time in July 1649, and was offered terms which he rejected in an indignant letter to Ireton (printed in Collins, Peerage, iii. 67; cf. A Declaration of the … Earl of Derby … concerning his resolution to keep the Isle of Man for his Majesties service against all force whatsoever, 1649, 4to). On 12 Jan. 1649–50 he was elected K.G. at Jersey, and in the same year he was selected by Charles II to command the forces of Cheshire and Lancashire in the projected royalist insurrection. In August 1651, though he disliked Charles II's agreement with the Scots, he made preparations for joining him on his march through England. He landed at Wyre Water in Lancashire on 15 Aug. with 250 foot and 60 horse, and had an interview with Charles II on the 17th (Gardiner, Commonwealth, i. 434). He then proceeded to Warrington, where his endeavour to enlist presbyterian support failed through his refusal to take the covenant (ib. pp. 435–6). On the 25th he was routed by Robert Lilburne [q. v.] at Wigan (Cary, Memorials, ii. 338; Lilburne, Two Letters … containing particulars of the totall rout and overthrow of the Earl of Derby, 1651, 4to). He had two horses shot under him and was severely wounded, but he escaped and joined Charles at Worcester on 2 Sept. After the battle (3 Sept.) he conducted Charles to Boscobel, but then proceeding northward alone he was captured near Nantwich, being given quarter by Captain Oliver Edge. He was arraigned on 29 Sept. at Chester before a court-martial, commissioned by Cromwell on the authority of an act of parliament passed in the previous August, declaring all who corresponded with Charles guilty of high treason. Colonel Humphry Mackworth presided. Derby pleaded the quarter granted him, but it was overruled on the ground that he was not a prisoner of war but a traitor, and he was condemned to death (The Perfect Tryall and Confession of the Earl of Derby, 1651). His petition to parliament, which was strongly supported by Cromwell (Gardiner, Commonwealth, i. 462), and his open recommendation to the countess to surrender Man, proved of no avail. He then attempted to escape from Chester Castle, but was recaptured on Dee bank. On 13 Oct. he was removed to Bolton, where he was executed on the 15th. ‘Among the sufferers for King Charles the First none cast greater lustre on the cause’ (Walpole, Royal and Noble Authors, iii. 37). He was buried in Ormskirk church, and became known as the ‘martyr Earl of Derby.’

Two portraits of Derby, painted by Vandyck, belong to the present Earl of Derby (Cat. First Loan Exhib. 1866, Nos. 689, 691). A copy of the first, painted while he was Lord Strange, was presented in 1860 to the National Portrait Gallery, London, by the fourteenth Earl of Derby. They were engraved by Loggan and Vertue, and copies are given in Walpole's ‘Royal and Noble Authors’ (iii. 37) and in the ‘Stanley Papers’ (Chetham Soc.) (Bromley, Cat. Engr. Portraits).

By his wife, Charlotte, Derby had issue five sons and four daughters (Stanley Papers, vol. ii. pp. cclxxxviii–ccxcii). Charles, the eldest, born 19 Jan. 1627–8, took part in Sir George Booth's abortive rising in 1658, and was restored as eighth Earl of Derby on the reversal of his father's attainder at the Restoration. He was author of ‘The Protestant Religion is a sure Foundation of a True Christian,’ 1668, 4to (2nd ed. 1671), and ‘Truth Triumphant,’ 1669, 4to. He died in December 1672, and was buried at Ormskirk, being succeeded as ninth and tenth earls by his sons, William George Richard (1658?–1702) and James (d. 1736). On the death of the latter, in 1736, the earldom passed to a distant cousin, Edward Stanley (1689–1776), whose great-grandson was Edward Smith Stanley, thirteenth earl of Derby [q. v.] At the same time the sovereignty of the Isle of Man and the barony of Strange passed to James Murray, second duke of Atholl [q. v.], whose grandfather, John Murray, second earl and first marquis of Atholl [q. v.], had married the seventh Earl of Derby's third daughter, Amelia Anna Sophia.

The seventh earl was author of several works extant in manuscript at Knowsley, comprising three books of devotions, printed in ‘Stanley Papers’ (Chetham Soc.), pt. iii. vol. iii.; ‘A Discourse concerning the Government of the Isle of Man,’ printed in Peck's ‘Desiderata Curiosa,’ 1732, vol. ii., in the ‘Stanley Papers,’ pt. iii. vol. iii., and by the Manx Society, vol. iii. 1859; a book of observations, a commonplace book, a book of prayers, and a volume of historical collections (Stanley Papers, pt. iii. vol. ii. pp. cccvii–cccxi). Some of his correspondence is among the Tanner MSS. in the Bodleian Library.

[The elaborate memoir of Derby prefixed by Francis Robert Raines [q. v.] to his edition of Derby's Devotions (Chetham Soc.) is based on the earl's manuscripts, but is biassed and glosses over his defeats and military incompetence; other memoirs of him are contained in Seacome's House of Stanley; The Earl of Derby and his Family, 1843; Cummings's The Great Stanley, 1847, and in the Lives of his wife [see art. Stanley, Charlotte, Countess of Derby]. See also the numerous tracts catalogued under his name in the Brit. Mus. Cat., and those printed in Ormerod's Civil War Tracts in Lancashire (Chetham Soc. vol. ii.); The First Blood drawn in the Civil War, Manchester, 1878; Cal. State Papers, Dom.; Clarendon State Papers; Journals of the Lords and Commons; Whitelocke's Memorials; Nalson's, Rushworth's, and Thurloe's Collections; Cobbett's State Trials, v. 293–324; Dugdale's Baronage, Collins's, Doyle's, and G. E. C[okayne]'s Peerages; Clarendon's Great Rebellion, ed. Matray; Heath's Royal Martyrs; Lloyd's Loyalist; Walpole's Royal and Noble Authors; Warburton's Prince Rupert, i. 299 et passim; Lady Theresa Lewis's Friends of Clarendon, iii. 338; Cary's Memorials of the Civil War; Gardiner's Civil War and Hist. of Commonwealth and Protectorate.]

A. F. P.