This Day in History: 1503-12-05

On 5th December 1503, George Stanley, 9th Baron Strange, died at St Paul’s Wharf, London, allegedly of poison following a banquet. In 1485, he held the offices of Constables of Pontefract and Knaresborough Castles. He was the eldest son of Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby, and his first wife Eleanor, sister of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick; thereby, related maternally to both Anne Neville and Richard III. George Stanley was held as surety by Richard III for his father’s behaviour before/during the Battle of Bosworth and Thomas Stanley is reputed to have exclaimed “I have other sons” and was not of a mind to join the king during the battle. Richard is also claimed to have ordered George Stanley’s murder on the field at Bosworth but relented. By his father’s second marriage to Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, George became stepbrother to her son, Henry Tudor, later Henry VII, helping him win the effective last battle of the Wars of The Roses at Stoke Field on the 16th June 1487.