On this day in 1501 – Henry Stafford was born

Henry Stafford was born on 18th September 1501 in Penshurst, Kent to Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Eleanor Percy.

On 16th February 1519 Stafford married Ursula Pole, daughter of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury and Sir Richard Pole. The marriage had been arranged by Stafford’s father the Duke of Buckingham after it was suggested by Cardinal Wolsey. Ursula brought a dowry of 3,000 marks which would be increased by a thousand if her mother was able to gain back family land from King Henry VIII. Ursula’s mother, Margaret Pole, managed to secure them lands worth 700 marks and in return Edward Stafford kept lands worth £500 for Ursula’s jointure, in the event of her husband’s death.

Henry Stafford and his new wife lived in the household of his father as due to their young age they were required to have a guardian. In November 1520 the couple had their first child, named Henry, who died in infancy.

In 1521 Henry’s father was arrested and beheaded after being accused of treason, he was posthumously attainted by an Act of Parliament in 1523 which meant that his titles and lands were forfeited to the crown leaving Henry and his family with no support. Until the Attainder against his father, Henry had been known as the Earl of Stafford.

It is believed that Henry and Ursula had 14 children during the course of their marriage including Dorothy Stafford who served Queen Elizabeth I as Mistress of the Robes.

In 1547 Henry petitioned Parliament for the restoration in blood but did not ask for his father’s lands and titles to be returned to him. Instead in 1548 he was summoned to appear in front of Parliament and it was here that he was created 1st Baron Stafford by King Edward VI. It was the fourth time Baron Stafford had been created but because it had been viewed as a new creation he was the first in this line. Henry in February 1558 won the right for the title to have been recognised as a continuation from 1299, giving the title its history.

In 1531 Staffordshire elected him as a recorder for the borough and he was later appointed as Justice of Peace for Staffordshire and Shropshire in 1536. Henry was also the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire between 1558 and 1559 a role that included Clerk of the Peace.

In 1548 Henry published an English translation of the 1534 tract by Edward Foxe entitled ‘The True Dyfferens Between the Royall Power and the Ecclesiasticall Power’. During the reign of Queen Mary I he converted back to Catholicism and translated two tracts by Erasmus against Luther. His personal library included over 300 books many of which were in Latin.

Henry died on 30th April 1563 at Caus Castle in Shropshire. He was buried in Worthen Church on 6th May.

wothen churchWorthen Church the burial place of Henry Stafford

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