In c. 1517 his brother Humphrey, inherited the manors of Blatherwycke & Dodford manors in Hampshire from their uncle Thomas Stafford, Esq.
Marriage to Mary Boleyn
Mary Boleyn (c. 1500 – 19 Jul 1543)
Stafford was her second husband. Hen. VIII arranged her first marriage to William Carey.
In 1534, at 22 years old, he secretly married Mary Boleyn, b. 1499, the widowed sister of newly-crowned Queen Anne Boleyn (m. 1533 to King Henry VIII).
Mary was apparently "heavy with child" and this forced a secret marriage. It has been said that Queen Anne was very unhappy with their union and banished her sister from court temporarily.
In "The Six Wives of Henry VIII,'" by Alison Weir, William is said to have had "no fortune and no [family] standing" (not entirely true as his parents were definitely of the gentry but he was not from a titled family). However, the author elaborates in "Mary Boleyn," (2011), that Henry VIII was suspicious of anyone with the Stafford name, which he saw a threat to his throne. It was also the case that William himself, a was landless soldier and not a member of the peerage.
William Stafford and Mary Boleyn are the parents of:
Despite Queen Anne's subsequent fall from grace and execution in 1536, "Stafford," as he was always known, remained a close courtier to the King. In 1540 he was listed as a "Gentleman Pensioner" in the King's household. In 1541 he was listed as an "Esquire to the Body" of King Henry VIII.
Debt, Fleet Prison and War
Apparently, William was heavily in debt before c. 1541. According to Weir (2011), his wife also had financial issues and did not take control of the inheritance from her parents or her late brother's wife Jane Parker, until 15 May 1543. As a consequence, Mary owned Rochford Hall in Essex for a mere four days.
Mary Boleyn died 19 July 1543. That same year William briefly spent time in Fleet Prison. According to Gordon (2014), he was locked up in April ... before his first wife died. He was charged with 'eating meat on a Good Friday.'
William went on to fight in France during c. 1544; and again in Scotland in c. 1545.
Marriage to Dorothy Stafford
Dorothy Stafford Lady of the Bedchamber to Eliz. I, grandau. of last Duke of Buckingham.
Stafford remarried two years before Edward VI (1547-53) was enthroned as a Protestant child king.
Dorothy Stafford (b. c. 1526 - d. 22 Dec 1602), future"Mistress of the Robes" to Elizabeth I, became his second wife c. 1545.
Edward Stafford (1478 – 1521) 3rd Duke of Buckingham executed by Hen. VIII.
The marriage, however, was not financially stable, ... and as Protestants, the family relocated abroad c. 1553, when the staunch Catholic Mary I (1553-8) came to power. By March 1554, the Staffords were living in Geneva, where William was called, Lord Rochford.
William and Dorothy had 5 children but not all them were born in England.
1. Sir Edward of Grafton, Staffs. of Grafton, Staffs. & of Canon Row, Westminster (b. c. 1552 - d. 05 Feb 1605; bur. 05 Feb St. Margaret's, Westminster), ambassador to France.
m.1 Robserta Chapman, dau. of Alexander Chapman of Rainthorpe Hall in Norfolk.
3. Sir John of Marlwood, Glouc. (bp. 4 Jan 1556 Geneva, Switzerland - dsp. 28 Sep 1624; bur. 30 Dec Thornbury, Glouc).
m. Susannah Stonehouse (dsp; bur. 28 Dec 1621 Thornbury, Glouc), dau. of George Stonehouse of Little Peckham, Kent & Radley, Berks. and Elizabeth Gibson; widow of John Whynniard, Groom of the Wardrobe to Eliz. I & Jas I.
Elizabeth (b. c. 1550/6 at/of Blatherwick, Hants. - d. 06 Feb 1599).
Sir John's godfather was the Protestant Reformer, John Calvin. In the wake of William's death, Calvin took custody of the young John.
At the same time, Calvin also tried to make Dorothy and her children stay abroad. So Dorothy did not make it back to England until January 1559. She went on to serve Elizabeth I (1558-1603) as Lady of the Bedchamber, and died six months after the Tudor queen on 22 September 1603.
Epiphanius Evesham (fl. 1570 - 1623) is believed to have sculpted the tomb of Lady Dorothy Stafford at St. Margarets in Westminster, where she is buried.
bros Humphrey suc. >> //** STAFFORD OF BLATHERWICK, HANTS.**//
↑ 13.013.113.2 Thrush, A. & Ferris, J.P. (2010). STAFFORD, Sir Edward (c.1552-1605), of Cannon Row, Westminster. HOP. Web.
↑ According to Pollard (1898), "the Staffords of Grafton were a branch of the same family as the dukes of Buckingham and barons Stafford," (Pollard, A.F. (1898). Stafford, Edward (1552?-1605) (DNB00).Wikisource.org. Web. (citing Visitations of Staffordshire, Harl. MSS. 6128 ff. 89–91, and 1415 f. 109).
"Elizabeth Stafford." Wikipedia v. 21:40, 30 June 2018 -- asserts Sr William & Dorothy were second cousins but the citation isn't finished and only says "Holmes 2004."
As of 12 Dec 2018 Wikitree Relationship Finder reports that William Stafford and second wife Dorothy Stafford are third cousins once removed and directly descend from Richard Vydeville, paternal grandfather of Elizabeth Woodville, queen consort to Edward IV of York.
↑ Edward & Douglas had no surviving issue, (Lewis, 2013, citing various works by Douglas Richardson.[
↑ 22.022.1 Westminster Abbey states that Elizabeth (wife of William Drury) was the only dau. of Dorothy Stafford, "to reach maturity." Hasler (1981) and Richardson (2011) dispute this. Presumably ... she is the widow who inherited property from Drake and is the mother of Francis (see Ursula's bio for more).
↑ see also: Richardson, D. (2011). Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd ed., I, p. 121; ODNB articles on Mary Boleyn and Dorothy Stafford; Plantaget Ancestry, 2011 via Google Books; Wikipedia: Epiphanius Evesham
↑ property descent is not clear cut for Wm. ... see Weir, 2011, etc.
Bindoff, S.T. (1982). Stafford, Sir William (by 1512-56), of Chebsey, Staffs., Rochford, Essex and London. HOP. Web.
Lewis, M. (2014, February 17). Dorothy Stafford #90500, b. circa 1526, d. 22 Sep 1604, citing: various works by Douglas Richardson. ORTNCA. Web.
Lewis, M. (2014, February17). "Sir William Stafford, Burgess of Hastings, Standard Bearer #90509, b. circa 1500, d. 5 May 1556," citing various works by Douglas Richardson. ORTNCA. Web.
Richardson, D. (2011). "William Carey," in Plantagenet Ancestry, 2nd ed., pp. 482-483. Google Books.
Richardson, D. (2013). Royal Ancestry, II:57, V:24
Weir, A. (2011). Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings, pp. 214, 250. Random House. Google Books.
Hanson, M. (2015, January 31). Mary Boleyn: Biography, portrait, facts & information. EnglishHistory.net. Web.
"Mary Boleyn (Bullyn)." LDS Ancestral File, CD v 4.19, England; Poulsbo CA FHC, searched 16 Jun 1999.
AFN:9FXF-VC b 1504 of Chilton Folist, Wilts, d/o Thomas Boleyn Earl of Wiltshire AFN:9FXF-T6 and Elizabeth Howard Ctess of Wilts AFN: 9FXF-88; spouse: (1) William Carey (Cary) AFN:9FXX-OX, (2) WM STAFFORD [Sir] AFN:9FXW-9C, b Abt 1500 Of Blatherwick, Hants m.2 abt 1545 Dorothy Stafford AFN:9224-NM
CONFLICT: There are three generations missing; they are:
 Humphrey Stafford I, b 1384, Elizabeth Burdet;
 Humphrey Stafford II, b abt 1400, d 1449, m Eleanor Aylesbury;
 Humphrey Stafford III, b abt 1430, d 1486, m Katherine Frey"