- Anne Stanley, Countess of Castlehaven
Anne Stanley, Countess of Castlehaven (May 1580 – c. October 1647), was the eldest daughter and heir of
Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derbyand Alice Spencer. According to the will of Henry VIIIand the Third Succession Actshe was heir presumptiveto the English throne upon the death of Elizabeth I.
Her paternal grandparents were
Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derbyand Lady Margaret Clifford. Margaret was a daughter of Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberlandand Lady Eleanor Brandon. Eleanor was herself the youngest daughter of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolkand Mary Tudor, Queen of France.
Future Queen of England?
According to the will of Queen Elizabeth's father, Henry VIII, Elizabeth's throne was to pass to the descendants of Henry's younger sister,
Mary Tudor, Queen of France, making her the next logical heir.
There was a senior line of descent through Mary Tudor's granddaughter
Lady Catherine Grey, who secretly married Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford. The marriage was annulled, which made their two sons illegimate and their descendants were removed from the royal succession. However, James VI of Scotland was Elizabeth's closest relative and the great-grandson of Margaret Tudor, Mary Tudor's older sister. As the senior male descendent of Margaret Tudor, he had been favoured as the next successor for several years before Elizabeth's death. Anne was passed over in favour of James, who became King James I of England.
Anne was an unmarried woman at the time of Elizabeth's death in 1603.
February 28, 1607, Anne Stanley married Grey Brydges, 5th Baron Chandosof Sudeley, son of William Brydges, 4th Baron Chandosand Mary Hopton. They had the following five children:
*Hon. Robert Brydges (b. 1611), died young.
*Anne Brydges (b. 1612), she did marry, however, little is known as to who and whether there were any issue. There is little evidence about her life.
*Elizabeth Brydges (1619-1678), married her stepbrother,
James Tuchet, 3rd Earl of Castlehaven.
*George Brydges, 6th Baron Chandos (1620-1654), married 1. Lady Susan Montagu; 2. Jane Savage. No surviving issue, except for one daughter from his first marriage.
*William Brydges, 7th Baron Chandos (1621-1676), married Susan Kerr. No issue.
July 22, 1624at Harefield, she married Sir Mervyn Tuchet, 2nd Earl of Castlehaven, thus becoming Countess of Castlehaven.
The couple had one child together:
The marriage was unhappy, and the Countess accused her husband and his manservant (sexual companion), Giles Browning (or Giles Broadway) of
rape, after she bore a child to the manservant. Further charges were brought against her husband on the complaint of her stepson, James Tuchet, 3rd Earl of Castlehaven. Ultimately, it brought about the execution of her husband and manservant for sexual crimes.
Lady Anne Stanley died at
Ruislip, and was buried on October 11, 1647.
There are no descendants of Lady Anne Stanley recorded living after 1826, although this does not necessarily mean that her line ever went extinct. However, if her line did fail, then her right of succession to the throne of England would have passed to the heirs of her sister Lady Frances Stanley (b. 1583). Lady Frances' senior descendant,
William Villiers, 10th Earl of Jersey, is said to be the real heir to Lady Anne Stanley's claim to the throne of the Kingdom of England. However, it has been pointed out that Lord Jersey's grandfather, George Child Villiers, 9th Earl of Jersey, had been divorced from his first wife before he married Lord Jersey's grandmother. In the opinion of strict legitimists, because Lady Anne and her heirs, the legitimate monarchs, were not in possession of the throne, no English law passed since 1603 is valid. Under the laws of 1603, the 9th Earl of Jersey's divorce was not valid, and therefore his remarriage during his ex-wife's lifetime was null and void, and the children of the marriage illegitimate. Under a strictly legitimist interpretation, the current holder of the Stanley claim to the throne of England is Lady Caroline Ogilvy, only child of the 9th Earl's first marriage.
* [http://www.thepeerage.com/p4755.htm#i47549 Anne Stanley, Countess of Castlehaven, at thePeerage.com]
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