William Stanley of Weever (1580 and 1613 Visitations) or Latham (Ormerod), was born after August 1472 [12 months for mourning + 10 months for breeding after 18 October 1470, when his mother's second husband, John Tiptoft, earl of Worcester, was beheaded.. His father was the son of Sir William Stanley, of Holt Castle, in Denbighshire. Sources using Sir Peter Leycester's pedigree say William's father was married to Joyce, daughter of Edward lord Powys, and that William and his sister Jane were her son. Other sources say this is incorrect, and twice widowed, Elizabeth Hopton, daughter of Thomas Hopton of Hopton, was the mother of William and Jane.
William's father was the second son of the first lord Stanley and, his father's older brother, Thomas Stanley, was the first earl of Derby. He was a powerful man. King Edward VI appointed him chamberlain of Chester in 1461, and steward of the Prince of Wales's household after 1571, as a reward for his support. King Richard III granted him "lordship of ‘Lione otherwise called the Holte,’ i.e. Holt Castle on the Dee", in 1583. At Bosworth, he and his 3,000 men watched the battle until Richard III was on the verge of winning and then Sir William personally "rescued Henry when actually within reach of his enemy's sword". Henry VII made him lord chamberlain in 1585, and knight of the Garter as a reward for his support. William's father was also granted Ridley manor, near Peckforton Hills, which he turned from a poor place into ‘the fairest gentleman's house in al Chestreshyre’.
William's father married Joan, daughter of the first Viscount Beaumont and widow of John, lord Lovel, in 1465. After his wife Joan's death, Sir William married William's mother, Elizabeth. Their marriage occurred between 18 October 1470, when Elizabeth's second husband, John Tiptoft, earl of Worcester, was beheaded, and 7 December, 1471, when they were granted the custody of the Earl of Worcester's lands and of his heir, Elizabeth's son, Edward, for his minority.
William had an older half-brother, Edward Tiptoft, and two sisters: Joan, married to Sir John Warburton of Arley; and Catherine, married to Thomas Cocat of Holt.
William married Joan Massy of Tatton, the only child of Sir Geoffrey Massey of Tatton, knight, and Isabel, daughter of sir John Butler of Bewsy, nigh Warrington in Lancashire. After his marriage, William held Tatton in right of Joan his wife.
Joan and William had one daughter also called Joan or Jane. In 16 Henry VII , when their daughter Jane was eight years old, they married her to John Ashton, son and heir of Sir Thomas Ashton of Ashton super Mersey, Cheshire. William therefore married Joan sometime before 1492.
In 1495, William's father was beheaded for treason and all his father's possessions were confiscated including: 40,000 marks, jewels, household goods, and cattle at Holt Castle; and lands worth 3,000l per annum. "A list of the accounts of all Ministers for the lordships, lands, and tenements, which were late of William Stanley, knt, rebel against the late Kin Hen. VII and in the hands of the now King by reason of forfeiture, for one who year, viz, from Mich. 27 to Mich. 28 Hen VIII." may be seen in the Ministers' Accounts. Exchequer. 27-28 Hen. VIII No. 55.
William died about 14 Henry VII .
His wife Joan survived him until 1511, and married again, firstly to Sir Edward Pickering in 16 Henry VII , and secondly to Sir John Brereton of Brereton.
After the death of both of her parents and her first husband, William's daughter, Jane, married Sir Richard Brereton, younger son of Sir Randle Brereton of Malpas. They married some time before 10 October 1519, because on that date, Richard Brereton, knt, and his wife, Joan, the daughter of William Stanley, esq, son of William Stanley, knt, petitioned the king concerning the granting of letters patent of restitution.
The Dictionary of National Biography entry for Wiliam's grandfather is cited as supporting the possibility that Elizabeth Hopton was his mother. The DNB does not actually name his mother. Douglas Richardson, in his 2013 Royal Ancestry, states that it is uncertain which of his father's wives was his mother.
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