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Heiress Presumptive Lady
Countess of Derby,
1578-1596
Margaret Clifford, Countess of Derby
Eleanor Brandon.  Margaret married Henry Stanley 4th Earl of Derby, and they are reputed to have
stayed at both Leasowe Castle several times which was built for their eldest son,
Ferndinando.

Her maternal grandparents were Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk and Mary Tudor, former queen
consort of France. Mary was the fifth daughter of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York.

According to the will of Henry VIII, Margaret was in line to inherit the throne of England. Upon the
death of her mother she became seventh-in-line. However, both her cousins, Jane Grey and Mary
Grey died without issue, and their sister, her other cousin, Catherine Grey, died without the legimacy
of her two sons ever being proven. Margaret quickly moved up to becoming the second-in-line to the
throne after the death of Elizabeth I.

Margaret married Henry Stanley on 7th February, 1554. They had five children:

  1. Edward Stanley. Died young.
  2. Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby (c. 1559 – 16 April 1594).
  3. William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby (c. 1561 – September 29, 1642).
  4. Francis Stanley (b. 1562). Died young.
  5. Martha Stanley (b. 1565-?).

Margaret outlived her eldest son,
Ferdinando; her granddaughter, Lady Anne Stanley, Ferdinando's
oldest daughter, took her place as heiress presumptive. This proved meaningless as Anne was never
allowed to succeed Queen regnant Elizabeth I of England. Anne and her two younger sisters were
passed over for James VI of Scotland.