Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Stanley, Montague

STANLEY, MONTAGUE (1809–1844), actor and painter, was born at Dundee on 5 Jan. 1809. His father, who was in the royal navy, was ordered to New York in March 1810, and took his family thither. By the death of his father in 1812 Stanley was left entirely to the care of his mother. She married again in 1816, and removed with her son to Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1817 the family went to Kingston, Jamaica. Two years afterwards Stanley sailed for England with his mother and a young brother and sister, and settled with friends in Lancashire. It was about this time that he first evinced a taste for drawing, but he had already shown a predilection for the stage, and in 1824 he took a theatrical engagement at York, under the assumed name of Manby. In the summer season of 1826, resuming his own name, he joined W. H. Murray's company at Edinburgh. ‘He was a very handsome young man, well suited for the parts he played, and was useful as well as a singer, being often cast for vocal parts such as Don Ferdinand in “The Duenna”’ (Dibdin, Annals of the Edinburgh Stage, p. 319). Although he acted at Dublin in 1830 and London in 1832–3, he remained at Edinburgh twelve years, taking his farewell benefit on 26 Feb. 1838, when he played Richard III. He appeared for the last time on 28 April, when he played Laertes to Charles Kean's Hamlet. ‘One of his best parts was Robert Macaire, in which the mixture of broad farce and melodrama seemed to suit him exactly’ (ib. p. 373). His withdrawal from the stage was due to religious scruples.

On quitting the stage in 1838 he mainly devoted himself to painting, which he had practised while an actor. At the same time he taught drawing, elocution, and fencing, in which he was an expert, and wrote serious verse, some of which was printed in the ‘Christian Treasury.’ There is no record of his having had any regular art education. It is stated that he took lessons from John W. Ewbank [q. v.] in Edinburgh at a comparatively late period in his career. When not confined by theatrical or tutorial duties to Edinburgh, he visited Wales, England, and the west of Scotland, making sketches, which he afterwards completed as pictures for the Scottish Academy. From 1828 till 1844 (save in 1831–32–33) he was a regular exhibitor there, mainly of Scottish landscapes. The only picture shown by Stanley in the Royal Academy of London, ‘Wreck on the Lancashire Sands,’ was exhibited in 1833, while he was in London. He was elected an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1839.

He secured a house at Ascog in Bute early in 1844, but died there on 4 May in that year, being buried in the churchyard. He married in 1833 an Edinburgh lady of good position; she survived him with seven children. Stanley made his reputation as a landscape-painter, and many of his pictures have been engraved as book illustrations. Sir T. Dick Lauder's edition of Uvedale Price's ‘On the Picturesque’ (1842) was illustrated by sixty wood engravings from Stanley's designs. Others were engraved for his published biography by the Rev. D. T. K. Drummond. Many of them were burnt while being conveyed by railway to Edinburgh to be sold by auction, a spark from the engine having ignited the truck in which they were packed.

[Brydall's Art in Scotland, p. 469; Drummond's Memoir of Montague Stanley, Edinburgh, 1848; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Dibdin's Annals of the Edinburgh Stage, passim; Catalogues of the Royal Academy and Royal Scottish Academy.]

A. H. M.

STANLEY, THOMAS, first Earl of Derby (1435?–1504), was son of Thomas Stanley, first lord Stanley (1406?–1459), and his wife, Joan, daughter and coheiress of Sir Robert Goushill of Hoveringham, Nottinghamshire, by Elizabeth Fitzalan, dowager duchess of Norfolk (d. 1425).

Sir John Stanley, K.G. (1350?–1414), the founder of the family fortunes, was his great-grandfather. He came of a younger branch of a famous Staffordshire house, the Audleys of Healey, near Newcastle-under-Lyme; the cadet line took its name from the manor of Stanlegh, close to Cheddleton, but settled in Cheshire under Edward II on acquiring, by marriage, the manor of Storeton and the hereditary forestership of Wirral. The nephew of Sir John (who was a younger son) removed the chief seat of the elder line of Stanley to Hooton in Wirral by marriage with its heiress (Dugdale ii. 247; Ormerod ii. 411). A still more fortunate alliance (before October 1385) with Isabel, daughter of Sir Thomas Latham, made Sir John Stanley himself lord of great part of the hundred of West Derby in south-west Lancashire, including Knowsley and Lathom (Rot. Parl. iii. 205; cf. Wylie, ii. 290). The famous Stanley crest of the eagle and child, which gave rise to a family legend, no doubt came from the Lathams (Baines, i. 49, iv. 248; Seacome, p. 22; Gregson, pp. 244, 250). Their badge in the fifteenth century was an eagle's (or griffin's) leg (Doyle, Official Baronage, i. 553; Gairdner, p. 412; Ormerod, iii. 641). Sir John, who in his youth had served in Aquitaine, went to Ireland as deputy for Richard II's favourite, De Vere, in 1386, and subsequently held important posts both there (lieutenant, 1389–91) and on the Welsh and Scottish borders. Henry IV rewarded his speedy adhesion with Hope and Mold castles and a regrant (10 Dec. 1399) of his old office in Ireland. But he became officially bankrupt, and in 1401 was superseded. Steward of the household to Henry, prince of Wales, from 1403, he entered the order of the Garter in 1405. The king rewarded his services during the northern revolt of that year by a grant, first for life and then in perpetuity, by the service of a cast of falcons at coronations, of the Isle of Man, which had been forfeited by the rebellion of the Earl of Northumberland (Fœdera, viii. 419; Baines, i. 370). In 1409 Stanley was made constable of Windsor. Henry V once more sent him to govern Ireland, and it was at Ardee, in that island, that he died on 18 Jan. 1414 (Dugdale, ii. 248; Seacome, p. 20). The Irish writers ascribed his death to irritation caused by the virulent lampoons of the plundered bard Niall O'Higgin (Gilbert, Viceroys, p. 301). Stanley built the tower in Water Street, Liverpool, which survived till 1821 (Gregson, p. 172). His third son, Thomas, was the ancestor of the Stanleys of Aldford and Elford. The eldest, John, the Manx legislator, married Isabel, sister of Sir William and daughter of Sir John Harrington of Hornby Castle, Lancashire, and died in 1437 (Ormerod, ii. 412; cf. Collins, ed. Brydges, iii, 54).

Their eldest son, Thomas Stanley (1406?–1459), born about 1406, first appears in 1424, when an armed affray between ‘Thomas Stanley, the younger of the Tower, esquire,’ and Sir Richard Molyneux (d. 1439) [see under Molyneux, Sir Richard, (d. 1459)], constable of Liverpool Castle, at the opposite end of the town, was prevented only by the arrest of both (Gregson, p. 171). He was knighted before 1431, when Henry VI made him lieutenant-governor of Ireland for six years. In 1446 Eleanor Cobham [see under Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester] was entrusted to his keeping in the Isle of Man. From that year to 1455 Stanley represented Lancashire in parliament; he took part in more than one negotiation with Scotland, and by March 1447 became comptroller of the royal household (Fœdera, xi. 169). The parliament of 1450–1 demanded his dismissal from court with others of Suffolk's party (Rot. Parl. v. 216), but on the triumph of the Yorkists in 1455 he was made, or remained, lord-chamberlain and a privy councillor, and 15 Jan. 1456 received a summons to the house of peers as Lord Stanley. He became K.G. before May 1457, and died on 20 Feb. 1459 (Complete Peerage, iii. 68; cf. Ormerod, iii. 337). By his wife, Joan Goushill, he had four sons and three daughters; the second son, Sir William Stanley of Holt (d. 1495), is separately noticed; the third, John, was the ancestor of the Stanleys of Alderley; the fourth, James, was archdeacon of Carlisle [see under Stanley, James, (1465?–1515)].

The eldest, Thomas, who succeeded as second Baron Stanley, was born about 1435, and in 1454 had been one of Henry VI's esquires (Ord. Privy Council, vi. 223). His political attitude was from the first ambiguous. When Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury [q. v.], who was perhaps already his father-in-law, encountered the royal forces at Blore Heath in August 1459, Stanley, though not more than six miles away, kept the two thousand men he had raised at the queen's call out of the fight. His brother William fought openly on the Yorkist side, and was attainted in the subsequent parliament. Stanley himself, though he came in and took the oath of allegiance, was impeached as a traitor by the commons, who alleged that he had given Salisbury a conditional promise of support. The queen, however, thought it better to overlook his suspicious conduct (Rot. Parl. v. 348, 369). He was with Henry at the battle of Northampton in the following summer, but the