Sir George Vernon had two daughters, Dorothy and Margaret. Margaret married Sir Thomas Stanley (d.1576), the second son of the third Earl of Derby ➚ and it is their effigies that lie on the top of this monument. Sir Thomas Stanley was the Governor of the Isle of Man. The Stanley family were powerful landowners in Lancashire and Derbyshire. His ancestor Sir William Stanley was pivotal at the Battle of Bosworth ➚ by changing sides to support Henry Tudor (Henry VII).
Sir Thomas lies in the upper storey of the tomb. The inscription on the side of the tomb reads: Thomas Stanley, second son of Edward Earl of Derbie, Lord Stanley and Strange Descended from the Familie of the Stanleys Married Margaret Vernon one of the daughters and cohairs of Sir George Vernon of Nether Haddon in the Countie of Derbie Knight. By whom he had Issue Two Sons Henry and Edw: Henry died an infant and E (dward) survived to whom Thos Lordships Descended and Married the La Lucie Percie second daughter to Thomas Earl of Northumberland by her had issue 7 daughters and one soone Shee and her 4 daughters 18 Arabella 16 Marie 15 Alice and 13 Priscilla are interred under a monument in ye Churche of Waltham in ye countie of Essex. Thomas his soone died in infancie and is Buried in Ye parishe Churche of Winckle in Ye Countie of Lanca: Ye other Three Petronella Francis and Venesie are living.
The words at each end of the monument are reputed to have been written for it by William Shakespeare. This claim has been well authenticated; successive Earls of Derby patronised Shakespeare and his players.
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