STANLEY, Henry (by 1584-by c.1649), of Fleet Street, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press




Family and Education

b. by 1584,1 o. surv. s. of John Stanley, Exch. dep. auditor by 1603-17,2 of Roydon, Essex and Elizabeth, da. of Henry Dynne†, Exch. auditor 1577-86, of Heydon, Norf. and London.3 educ. I. Temple 1609.4 m. aft. 1618 (with £300), Mary, da. of Thomas Turner of Layer de la Haye, Essex,5 ?s.p. suc. fa. 1617.6 d. by c.1649. sig. Hen[ry] Stanley.

Offices Held

Bailiff, Whitby Strand, Yorks. 1605;7 auditor of the Mint 1619-at least 1641;8 clerk, recusancy comm. (southern parts) 1627-36,9 auditor 1636-42.10


Stanley was descended from the senior branch of the family, resident in the Wirral. His father served as deputy auditor of Yorkshire, and was for many years a tenant of the Crown, and later of Sir Robert Cecil†, at Roydon Hall, Hertfordshire, a mile from Rye House, the residence of William Frankland*.11 This man was probably the Henry Stanley of London granted the rectory of Hartlepool, county Durham, in 1605, in which year he also joined with Edmund Sawyer* in purchasing the manor of Fishlake, Yorkshire. In 1609 he also helped Sir Thomas Hoby* secure a grant of the bailiwick of Whitby Strand in Yorkshire, which had previously been held by him and his father.12

Having presumably worked for his father, Stanley acquired the post of auditor of the Mint in 1619. Two years later he drafted a list of remedies for faulty Exchequer procedures, which was probably submitted to the Common’s committee for the bill concerning the passing of accounts when it met on 28 April. In 1624, he petitioned for the post of remembrancer to the prince of Wales for county Durham, to unknown effect.13 Although a very distant cousin of the 6th Earl of Derby, lord of the manor of Thirsk, his return to Parliament in 1625 doubtless owed more to the recent marriage of his niece to his senior colleague, Henry Belasyse*. His professional expertise explains his only committee nomination, for the bill to enable an oath to be administered to officials rendering public accounts (6 Aug.); he left no further mark on the records of his only Parliament.14 He is not known to have sought re-election in the following year, when he was replaced by the Exchequer official William Cholmley.

Stanley advised Sir John Savile* on potential reforms in the collection of recusancy fines, but failed to secure the auditorship of either of the composition commissions established in 1626-7, offices which had hitherto been exercised by the auditors of the Mint. However, he successfully petitioned the duke of Buckingham for the clerkship. He was summoned by the Commons for examination about the commissions during the debate of June 1628 on the remonstrance, but was apparently discharged without being questioned. Though auditing the accounts of the southern commission by 1636, he was not confirmed in the post until three years later, and was still being obstructed in the execution of his office by the clerk of the Pipe in 1640.15

Stanley was imprisoned in the Fleet in 1639 for refusing to honour a surety for a debt of £200, but continued to execute his offices by appointing a deputy, John Pulford. He was still in custody when he petitioned the House of Lords for redress in August 1641.16 He was probably the Henry Stanley impeached and remanded to the Fleet by the Lords in the following February for scathing remarks allegedly made about the Long Parliament at the time its calling was first mooted:

What a pox would you do with a Parliament; pull the king’s crown off his head? There is none but my lord mayor and a company of cuckoldy aldermen that do desire a Parliament, and they are all sons of whores that do desire one; and he [Stanley] hoped that the king will be pleased to carry the [law] terms unto York.17

He subsequently claimed that his servant had been bribed to corroborate this testimony, and begged for a chance to prove his innocence.18

His last account at the Mint having been over £700 in arrears, Stanley was unlikely to have been able to raise the sureties for good behaviour demanded by the Lords.19 He probably died in the Fleet, but no will or letters of administration have been found. He was presumably dead by the time Pulford petitioned the Commonwealth for confirmation in office.20 His nephew Thomas Povey was recruited to the Long Parliament for Liskeard in 1647.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Simon Healy


  • 1. He must have been 21 on receiving the grant of Hartlepool rectory in 1605 [C66/1669]. His parents were married in 1579, and his mother died in 1589, see Vis. Norf. (Norf. Arch.), ii. 238.
  • 2. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiv), 602-3; HMC Hatfield, xxiii. 108; Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, i. 622; ii. 68
  • 3. Vis. Norf. (Norf. Arch.), ii. 238; Exchequer Officeholders comp. J. Sainty (L. and I. Soc. spec. ser. xviii), 122.
  • 4. I. Temple database of admiss.
  • 5. PROB 11/132, f. 347; Vis. Essex, 602-3.
  • 6. Chamberlain Letters, ii. 68.
  • 7. E315/310, f. 40.
  • 8. E351/2044, 2064.
  • 9. CSP Dom. 1627-8, p. 101; 1635-6, p. 543.
  • 10. Ibid. 1635-6, p. 543; 1636-7, p. 81; L. Squibb ‘Bk. of all the Several Officers of Ct. of Exch.’ ed. W.H. Bryson, in Cam. Misc. xxvi (Cam. Soc. ser. 4. xiv), 124.
  • 11. Vis. Essex, 602-3; J. Foster, Lancs. Peds.; VCH Essex, viii. 232, 236.
  • 12. C66/1669; E112/143/1774; SC6/Jas.I/1268, f. 11v; CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 502.
  • 13. SP14/120/124; R. Zaller, Parl. of 1621, p. 97; CJ, i. 591a; Harl. 781, f. 77.
  • 14. E. Baines, Co. Palatine Lancs. iii. 157; Vis. Essex, 602-3; J. Foster Lancs. Peds.; Procs. 1625, p. 411.
  • 15. Univ. London, Goldsmiths’ ms 195, vol. 1, f. 4 ; G.E. Aylmer, King’s Servants, 134; CD 1628, iv. 291, 388; CSP Dom. 1627-8, pp. 15, 101; 1635-6, p. 543; 1639, p. 481; 1640, p. 367; SP23/79, p. 836; 23/111, p. 973.
  • 16. CSP Dom. 1639, p. 508; SP23/79, p. 836; 23/111, p. 973; HMC 4th Rep. 71, 97.
  • 17. LJ, iv. 615.
  • 18. HMC 5th Rep. 17.
  • 19. E351/2064.
  • 20. Pulford’s petition in SP23/111, p. 973, refers to ‘the late king’.