July 29 – Henry VII’s stepfather dies

On this day in Tudor history, 29th July 1504, in the reign of King Henry VII, Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby, the king’s stepfather died.

Find out a bit more about Stanley, and his role in helping Henry Tudor take the English throne, in this edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…


On 29th July 1504, Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby, died at his manor of Lathom in Lancashire.

  • Stanley’s first wife was Eleanor Neville, daughter of Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, and sister of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick.
  • In 1472, Stanley married Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of the future Henry VII, but in 1499, she set up her own household and took a vow of chastity.
  • In 1483, Stanley bore the great mace at Richard III’s coronation.
  • At the Battle of Bosworth, Stanley’s troops and those of his brother Sir William helped Henry Tudor win the battle. Some say that it was Stanley who crowned his stepson with Richard’s crown on the battlefield, but it’s more likely to have been his brother.

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