Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Our 13th Great Grandfather, Edward Stanley. A Major Figure During the Reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth I.

Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby.
Our 13th Great Grandfather (Williamson Line)

Our 13th Great Grandfather was Edward Stanley, the 3rd Earl of Derby. He was born on May 10, 1509. When he was 13 years old he was given all the the titles and estates of his father, the 2nd Earl of Derby. The following are highlights from his life:

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
  • King Henry VIII took responsibility for raising Edward until he was of age.
  • Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was appointed Edward's guardian.
  • In 1528 he accompanied the Cardinal on a mission to France.
  • In 1530 he was one of the leaders of the delegation that gave Pope Clement VII the declaration regarding Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
  • In 1530 he married the Duke of Norfolk’s half sister. She died a few weeks later of the plague. Later he married the Dukes other half sister, our Great Grandmother Dorothy.
  • In 1532 Edward accompanied Henry VIII on a visit to France to meet with King Francis I. Afterwords, Edward became a Knight of the Bath.
  • A few years later Edward played a major role in crushing the Pilgrimage of Grace, a large mainly church related rebellion which started in Lincolnshire and spread into North England
    The Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536 was a rising of Roman Catholics in N England. It was a protest against the government's abolition of papal supremacy (1534) and confiscation (1536) of the smaller monastic properties, intensified by grievances against inclosures and high rents and taxes. The Catholics protested their loyalty to Henry VIII, citing as their “great grudge” the position and influence of Thomas Cromwell. In Oct., 1536, several thousand men occupied the city of Lincoln, but dispersed after receiving a sharp rebuke from the king. Almost immediately, another rally occurred in Yorkshire. The movement, which rapidly gathered strength in N England, was led by Robert Aske, a Yorkshire lawyer. Aske and his followers occupied York and then moved on to Doncaster. Thomas Howard, 3d duke of Norfolk, promised from the king a general pardon and a Parliament to be held at York within a year. The men dispersed. Aske was well received by the king in London. In Jan., 1537, Sir Francis Bigod of Settrington, Yorkshire, led an uprising at Beverley. Although Aske and other leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace tried to prevent this new disorder, they were arrested, tried in London, and executed in June, 1537. The northern counties were placed under martial law, and many people were hanged on mere suspicion of disaffection. The repression in N England after the Pilgrimage of Grace put an end to open opposition to the government's religious policy.

  • In 1542 Edward accompanied the Duke of Norfolk on a raid into Scotland.
  • Edward became a Knight of the Garter when Henry VIII’s son Edward VI ascended to the throne in 1547.
  • In 1550 Edward was one of the peers who were present at the peace proceedings with Scotland and France.
  • He was appointed Lord High Steward and became of member of Queen Mary’s Privy Council.
  • He was a commissioner of Lady Jane Grey’s trail and was frequently present during the trials of accused heretics.
    Lady Jane Grey (1536/1537 – 12 February 1554) was a claimant to the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Ireland, having been the eldest granddaughter of Mary Tudor, Queen of France, making her the great-niece of Henry VIII. She was de facto monarch of England after the death of Edward VI for just over a week in July 1553. Residing in the Tower of London during her short reign, she never left the premises again. Her execution in February 1554 was caused by her father's involvement in Wyatt's rebellion against the rule of Queen Mary. Lady Jane Grey's rule of less than two weeks is the shortest rule of England in its history. Those historians that consider her a monarch have taken either the day of her proclamation as queen, 10 July, or that of her predecessor's death, 6 July, as the beginning. Hence her popular names of "The Nine Days' Queen" or, less commonly, "The Thirteen Days' Queen".
  • Queen Elizabeth I appointed him to her Privy Council. The Queen appointed him Chamberlain of Chester.
  • He died on October 24, 1572 at the age of 63.
Relationship Chart

Edward Stanley

Dorothy Howard married Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby

Jane Stanley married Edward Sutton, Baron of Dudley
Edward Sutton's mistress was Elizabeth Tomlinson
Ann Sutton married John Bagley
Edward Bagley married Ann Gregorie
Ann Bagley married William Brinton
John Willis married Ester Brinton
Henry Willis married Mary Rachel Underwood
John Willis - Phebe Bennett
Bennett Willis - Katherine Nosseman
Jonathan Willis - Anabella Phlegar
Margaret Ann Willis - George Matthew Williamson
William J. Williamson - Effie Helen Victor
Vennie, Ima Della, Inez, Lillie Ethel, Josie, Emmett, Walt, Charles, Maurice.
Charles and Luella (my parents)


  1. Very nice site. Edward Stanley is my 12th great grandfather via Henry Stanley/Margaret Clifford.

  2. Hello, I think I may have written you a note in the past. Through Elizabeth Brinton, Edward Stanley is my 14th great grandfather. My 2nd great grandmother was Martha Jane "Jennie" Wills. Do you know of any connection with your Wills to the Wills of Nebraska City, Nebraska? I believe Jennie had a brother named Levi.

    Thank you for the work that you do!

    : )

    Julie M.

  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Sutton,_5th_Baron_Dudley

    Your ancestor Elizabeth Tomlinson was not married to Edward Sutton; she was his acknowledged mistress. Not that there's anything wrong with that, just in the interest of historical accuracy the relationship shouldn't be called something it wasn't