Anne Stafford, Countess of Huntingdon

Lady Anne Stafford

Anne Stafford, c. 1535, by Ambrosius Benson
Spouse(s) Sir Walter Herbert
George Hastings, 1st Earl of Huntingdon


Francis Hastings, 2nd Earl of Huntingdon
Sir Thomas Hastings
Edward Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings of Loughborough
Henry Hastings
William Hastings
Dorothy Hastings
Mary Hastings
Katherine Hastings
Noble family Stafford (by birth)
Huntingdon (by marriage)
Father Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
Mother Lady Katherine Woodville
Born c.1483
Died 1544
Buried at Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire

Anne Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon (née Lady Anne Stafford) (c. 1483–1544) was the daughter of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, and Lady Katherine Woodville. She was the wife of Sir Walter Herbert, and George Hastings, 1st Earl of Huntingdon, and served in the household of King Henry VIII's daughter, Princess Mary, the future Queen Mary I.


Lady Anne Stafford, born around 1483, the year her father was executed for treason by order of King Richard III, was the daughter of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, and Katherine Woodville, sister to Elizabeth Woodville, queen consort of King Edward IV.[1]

By her father's marriage to Katherine Woodville, Anne Stafford had two brothers, Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham,[2] and Henry Stafford, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, and a sister, Elizabeth, who married Robert Radcliffe, 1st Earl of Sussex.[3]

After the execution of the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, his widow, Katherine Woodville, married Jasper Tudor, uncle of King Henry VII. Katherine Woodville died on 18 May 1497. Her mother cared for Anne until her marriage in 1503.

When Anne's first husband, Sir Walter Herbert, died in 1507, Anne, then only 20 years of age, turned over control of her jointure, which included Raglan Castle in Wales, to her brother, Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham. Anne resided in her brother's household at Thornbury until her second marriage to George Hastings in 1509.[4]

In 1510, shortly after her second marriage, Anne was the subject of scandal when her brother, Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, after hearing rumours concerning Anne and Sir William Compton, found Compton in Anne's room. Compton was forced to take the sacrament to prove that he and Anne had not committed adultery, and Anne's husband, the Earl of Huntingdon, sent Anne away to a convent 60 miles distant from the court. There is no extant evidence establishing that Anne and Sir William Compton were guilty of adultery. However, in 1523 Compton took the unusual step of bequeathing land to Anne in his will, and directing his executors to include her in the prayers for his kin for which he had made provision in his will.[5]

Despite this scandal, Anne and her second husband, the Earl of Huntingdon, appear to have enjoyed a close and loving relationship, as evidenced by a letter written to Anne by the Earl in 1525 which has been described as 'one of the most affectionate and charming letters of the period'.[6]

Marriages and issue

Anne Stafford married firstly, in 1503, Sir Walter Herbert (d. 16 September 1507),[7] an illegitimate[8] son of William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke.[9] The marriage was childless.

She married secondly, in December 1509, George Hastings, 1st Earl of Huntingdon. They had five sons and three daughters:[10]


Fictional portrayals

Anne is the protagonist of At the King's Pleasure by Kate Emerson.[15] In two 2007 episodes of the Showtime television series, The Tudors, Anne Stafford, portrayed by Anna Brewster, is presented as the 3rd Duke of Buckingham's daughter (she was his sister), and is involved not with Henry VIII but with a fictionalized version of the King's future brother-in-law, Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. She is also shown as dying of the same sweating sickness that killed Compton.

Anne is also a character in the Philippa Gregory novel, The Constant Princess.


  1. Cokayne 1959, p. 738; Richardson IV 2011, p. 82; Dockray 2004.
  2. According to Davies she may have had another brother, Humphrey Stafford, who died young.
  3. Richardson IV 2011, p. 82; Davies 2008.
  4. Harris 2002, pp. 144–5.
  5. Harris 2002, p. 83.
  6. Harris 2002, pp. 83–4.
  7. Richardson II 2011, p. 374.
  8. Richardson, however, lists Sir Walter Herbert among the legitimate sons of William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke, and his wife, Anne Devereux; Richardson II 2011, p. 388.
  9. Harris 2002, p. 145.
  10. Richardson II 2011, p. 374.
  11. Richardson II 2011, pp. 374–5.
  12. Richardson III 2011, pp. 377–8.
  13. Howell 2004; McGurk 2004.
  14. Maclean & p. 252.


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