The Hon. Lady Dorothy Stafford
|Lady Dorothy Stafford
Lady Dorothy Stafford Born: 1526, Died: September 23, 1603; interred
St. Margaret's Cemetery, London, England at Westminster. At St. Margaret's
Church at Westminster there is a special monument to Lady Dorothy Stafford.
Dorothy was the daughter of Ursula Pole (1504-1570) And Baron Henry Stafford (1501-1563); Henry was the son of Edward Stafford the 3rd Duke of Buckingham (1478-1521) and Eleanor Percy (died: 1530) who was the daughter of Henry Percy, The Earl of Northumberland (b. 1421) and Eleanor Poynings. Ursula was the daughter of Richard Pole, the Duke of Suffolk and Margaret Plantagenet, The Countess of Salisbury, Ursula's brother was Cardinal Richard Pole.
Two of Lady Dorothy's grandparents were judicially murdered by King Henry VIII Her paternal grandfather was Edward Stafford the 3rd Duke of Buckingham -Murdered for political reasons- and her maternal grandmother was Margaret Plantagenet Pole, The Countess of Salisbury. Margaret was the last of the Plantagenets -Murdered for religious reasons- ,her son and Lady Dorothy's uncle was Cardinal Reginald Pole, he later served as the last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of Queen Mary Tudor.
Lady Dorothy is important because of the fact that she was the second female in Stafford family history to successfully carry on the Stafford family bloodline without losing the Stafford Surname. Dorothy married a distant cousin who was also a Stafford, Sir William Stafford, a knight who served in the personal guard of King Henry VIII, William was also the King's brother-in-law since William's first wife was Mary Boleyn with whom he had no children who survived beyond infancy; thus there were no Stafford descendents from her, William and Mary did have a baby girl, who as historians stated, died before she was named.
The first female to carry on the Stafford family bloodline was Millicent
de Stafford (1155-1214), she married a man named Hervy Bagot, a knight
who legally changed his name to Stafford at the time of the wedding with
the permission of King Richard the Lion Hearted.
Margaret was the last of the Plantagenets and allowed to live as long
as she did to the age of 72, precisely because she was a female. No one
at the time seriously thought that a female would ever claim the throne
of England. So King Henry VIII did not see her as being a political threat
to his throne. However, when Mary Tudor assumed the throne of England
as queen after the death of King Edward VI Tudor. At this point everyone's
perspective changed regarding who was eligible to claim the throne by
right of ancestry; Lady Dorothy Stafford as the granddaughter of both
Edward Stafford, the 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Margaret
Plantagenet Pole, could easily trace her ancestry back to Norman English
royalty (King William the Conqueror) and Saxon English royalty (King Alfred
the Great) as well as the royal houses of virtually every nation in Europe
with the possible exception of Greece, she could easily trace to such
notables as Charlemagne, Englands King Edward III , several Roman Emperors
as well as Mark Anthony and Julia II Caesar, ( sister of Julius Caesar,
the famous dictator) and King Priam the King of ancient Troy and his wife
Queen Hecuba of Phrygia, Turkey through their son-in-law , Aeneas, the
legendary founder of Rome who married Priam's daughter Creusa.
Sir William accompanied by his wife Lady Dorothy Stafford, his children, his sister, a cousin and his servants went into exile out of fear of Queen Mary Tudor, they settled in Geneva, Switzerland in March 1554, being known there as Lord Rochford. He soon became embroiled in its disputes and on returning there after the uprising of 1555 he was nearly killed there.
When the English congregation made up of English expatriates was set
up in Geneva, he joined it. John Calvin the famous religious leader insisted
that Sir William's youngest son John (born in Geneva, Switzerland in the
year 1556) be baptized immediately and his son John was the first of the
congregation to be baptized on January 4 1556, with John Calvin himself
standing as godfather.
Baron Henry Stafford who was serving the Queen as a Courtier at the time.
The Queen recognized Lady Dorothy as a relative, the wife of her Uncle
Sir William Stafford whom she knew when she was a child.
Below is a scan of a page of the Plantagenet Roll of the blood Royal.