Jane Stanley

Jane Stanley was the second oldest daughter of Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby. She married Edward Sutton, 4th Baron Dudley in 1566 and bore him two sons. She died a few days after the birth of the second son, John Sutton, in Dec 1569.

Jane Stanley is the mother of Edward Sutton the 5th Baron Dudley, the older son, and hence the grandmother of the twelve or so illegitimate children of the 5th Baron and his mistress Elizabeth Tomlinson. This means she is the forebear of all the descendants of Thomas Wilmer discussed on this site.

Jane Stanley was a third cousin once removed of her husband’s first wife Katherine Brydges. For a brief time she would have been the stepmother of Katherine’s only child, Anne Sutton.

Jane has a complex and high level pedigree, with multiple links back to royalty. Her mother was Dorothy Howard, the half sister of the Duke of Norfolk. On her father’s side her Stanley ancestors intermarried with the Nevilles, Percys, Montagus and Hastings. See here.

Jane’s mother’s first cousin was Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII.

After Jane’s death, Edward Sutton, 4th Baron, married Jane’s first cousin, Mary Howard.

Mary Howard was the sister of Lord Howard of Effingham, who was in charge of the English fleet that defeated the Spanish Armada and hence also a first cousin of Jane.

She was buried on 3 Dec 1569 in St Edmund’s Dudley.


  • The 4th Baron’s first two wives were related through the Hastings family, both descended from Sir Leonard Hastings (d 1455)
  • The date of the marriage between Jane and Edward Sutton is not clear. It is bounded by the death of Katherine, the first wife, in April 1566 and the birth of the heir Edward in Sep 1567. This suggests a marriage in late 1566. Note also that Anne Sutton, Edward’s only daughter by his first marriage was the subject of a pre-nuptial agreement with the powerful Throckmorton family in April 1567. Both Jane’s father and brother were party to that agreement.
  • The baptism of John Sutton her younger son is also recorded in the St Edmund’s register on 30 Nov 1569, strongly suggesting that Jane’s early death was caused by the birth.