Edward Stanley, Lord Stanley (politician, born 1894)

The Right Honourable
Lord Stanley
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
In office
16 May 1938  16 October 1938
Monarch George VI
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
Preceded by Malcolm MacDonald
Succeeded by Malcolm MacDonald
Personal details
Born 9 July 1894
Marylebone, London
Died 16 October 1938 (1938-10-17) (aged 44)
Marylebone, London
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Hon. Sibyl Cadogan
Alma mater Magdalen College, Oxford

Edward Montagu Cavendish Stanley, Lord Stanley MC PC (9 July 1894 – 16 October 1938) was a British Conservative politician. The eldest son of the 17th Earl of Derby, he held minor political office before being appointed Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs in 1938, sitting in the cabinet alongside his brother Oliver Stanley. However, Stanley died only a few months after this appointment, aged 44, with his oldest son, Edward John Stanley, succeeding to the earldom in his stead.

Background and education

Stanley was born in Marylebone, London, the eldest son and heir apparent of Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby, by Lady Alice Montagu. He was spectacularly well-connected to leading political families.

His father Edward, Lord Stanley, later the 17th Earl of Derby, was at the time of his birth Conservative MP for Westhoughton, Lancashire, and went on to serve as Secretary of State for War from 1916–1918 and from 1922-1924. His paternal grandfather, the 16th Earl of Derby, was a former Lancashire MP, Colonial Secretary, and Governor-General of Canada. His great-uncle, the 15th Earl, served twice as Foreign Secretary and was Prime Minister Lord Salisbury's stepfather, while his best-known ancestor was his great-grandfather, the 14th Earl of Derby, who was Leader of the Conservative Party for 22 years (1846–1868; the longest tenure in that office) and Prime Minister three times (1852, 1858–59, and 1866–68). His paternal grandmother, Lady Constance Villiers, was daughter of Lord Clarendon, who also served as Foreign Secretary, three times. Lord Stanley's uncles Sir Arthur and Sir George also served as Conservative MPs.

His maternal grandfather was William Montagu, 7th Duke of Manchester, also a Conservative peer and MP. His maternal grandmother Louisa von Alten married after the death of the Duke of Manchester, Spencer, Duke of Devonshire, also known as Lord Hartington, former Leader of the Liberal Party.

His sister Victoria married Neil Primrose, the son of Liberal Prime Minister Lord Rosebery. Oliver Stanley was his younger brother, and his son Richard became an MP.

He became known by the courtesy title Lord Stanley in 1908, when his father succeeded in the earldom of Derby. He was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford.[1]

Military career

Lord Stanley was commissioned a second lieutenant on 2 July 1914.[2] He was promoted to temporary lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards on 15 November 1914,[3] later with seniority from 3 November 1914,[4] and became a substantive lieutenant on 11 November 1914.[5]

On 29 January 1916, he was made a supernumerary temporary captain with the Guards,[6] relinquishing the rank on 12 May 1916.[7] Lord Stanley was appointed adjutant of the newly formed Household Battalion on 9 September 1916, again as a temporary captain.[8] He received a substantive captaincy on 26 September 1916[9] and served as adjutant until 12 January 1917.[10]

He was appointed a staff captain and seconded on 13 August 1917,[11] and made a brigade major on 22 January 1918,[12] a post he held until 11 March 1918.[13] He served as a general staff officer, 3rd grade, from 6 May 1918[14] to 8 October 1918. On 9 October 1918, he was again appointed a brigade major.[15] serving in that capacity until 2 November 1919. Lord Stanley was awarded the Military Cross on 3 June 1919, for his service in Italy.[16] On 27 November 1920, he retired from the Army and entered the reserve of officers as a captain.[17]

Political career

Lord Stanley was first elected to Parliament on 28 June 1917 in a by-election in Liverpool Abercromby. He left Parliament the following year, when the seat was abolished for the 1918 general election.[1][18] During this time, he was the Baby of the House. He returned to Parliament in the 1922 general election when he was elected for Fylde.[1][19] He served under Stanley Baldwin as a Junior Lord of the Treasury from 1924 to 1927 and was a Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party from 1927 to 1929.[1]

On the formation of the National Government after the 1931, Stanley was made Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty under Ramsay MacDonald.[1] On 26 February 1934, he was admitted to the Privy Council.[20] In 1935 he was made Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs by Baldwin, and later that year was made Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty. Two years later, Lord Stanley became Under-Secretary of State for India and Burma.[1] On 16 May 1938 he entered the cabinet as Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs.[21] His brother, Oliver, was also in the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade. However, in October 1938, five months after being appointed to the cabinet, Lord Stanley died in Marylebone, aged 44.[1] Neville Chamberlain paid tribute to him in the House of Commons: "So great, indeed, was his keenness and his interest in Imperial relations that he insisted on carrying out his intention to visit Canada, although even then he was suffering from the disease which has now ended fatally. Perhaps in that office he would have, for the first time, found an opportunity of showing the full extent of his powers, for those who knew him best had long recognised that he possessed to an exceptional degree the high qualities of steady judgment and sterling good sense, combined with a complete and utter selflessness and integrity of purpose."[22]


Lord Stanley married the Honourable Sibyl Louise Beatrix Cadogan, daughter of Henry Cadogan, Viscount Chelsea, in 1917. They had three sons. He died in Marylebone, London, in October 1938, aged 44, predeceasing his father by ten years. His eldest son Edward succeeded his grandfather in the earldom in 1948. Another son, Richard, later became an MP for Fylde North. Lady Stanley died in June 1969, aged 76.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 thepeerage.com Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Montagu Cavendish Stanley, Lord Stanley
  2. The London Gazette: no. 28846. p. 5165. 3 July 1914.
  3. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29013. p. 10899. 18 December 1914.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 29084. p. 1983. 26 February 1915.
  5. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29064. p. 1408. 9 February 1915.
  6. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29485. p. 2056. 22 February 1916.
  7. The London Gazette: no. 29671. p. 7098. 18 July 1916.
  8. The London Gazette: no. 29772. p. 9560. 3 October 1916.
  9. The London Gazette: no. 29804. p. 10422. 27 October 1916.
  10. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30173. p. 6848. 6 July 1917.
  11. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30266. p. 9128. 31 August 1917.
  12. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30528. p. 2123. 15 February 1918.
  13. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30600. p. 3825. 26 March 1918.
  14. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30818. p. 8975. 26 July 1918.
  15. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30971. p. 12570. 22 October 1918.,
  16. The London Gazette: no. 31372. p. 6941. 30 May 1919.
  17. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 32140. pp. 11764–11766. 26 November 1920.
  18. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "A" (part 1)
  19. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "F" (part 1)
  20. The London Gazette: no. 34028. p. 1323. 27 February 1934.
  21. The London Gazette: no. 34511. p. 3189. 17 May 1938.
  22. theyworkforyou.com House of Commons debates, 1 November 1938
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Chaloner
Member of Parliament for Liverpool Abercromby
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Wilfrid Ashley
Member of Parliament for Fylde
Succeeded by
Claude Lancaster
Preceded by
Patrick Whitty
Baby of the House
Succeeded by
Joseph Sweeney
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl Stanhope
Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty
Succeeded by
Sir Victor Warrender, Bt
Preceded by
Malcolm MacDonald
Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
Succeeded by
Douglas Hacking
Preceded by
Sir Victor Warrender, Bt
Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty
Succeeded by
Geoffrey Shakespeare
Preceded by
Rab Butler
Under-Secretary of State for India and Burma
Succeeded by
Anthony Muirhead
Preceded by
Malcolm MacDonald
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
Succeeded by
Malcolm MacDonald
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Walter de Frece
Colonel of the 9th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment
Succeeded by
Oliver Stanley
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