Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby

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The Earl of Derby
Lord Stanley of Preston.jpg
6th Governor General of Canada
In office
1 May 1888 – 18 September 1893
MonarchQueen Victoria
Prime MinisterJohn A. Macdonald
John Abbott
John Thompson
Preceded byThe Marquess of Lansdowne
Succeeded byThe Earl of Aberdeen
President of the Board of Trade
In office
3 August 1886 – 21 February 1888
Prime MinisterThe Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded byA. J. Mundella
Succeeded bySir Michael Hicks Beach, Bt
Secretary of State for the Colonies
In office
24 June 1885 – 28 January 1886
Prime MinisterThe Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded byThe Earl of Derby
Succeeded byThe Earl Granville
Secretary of State for War
In office
2 April 1878 – 21 April 1880
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Beaconsfield
Preceded byGathorne Hardy
Succeeded byHugh Childers
Personal details
Born(1841-01-15)15 January 1841
London, UK
Died14 June 1908(1908-06-14) (aged 67)
Holwood, Kent, UK
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Lady Constance Villiers
Alma materEton
Royal Military College, Sandhurst
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/service British Army
Years of service1862–1865
UnitGrenadier Guards

Frederick Arthur Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, KG, GCB, GCVO, PC (15 January 1841 – 14 June 1908) styled as Hon. Frederick Stanley from 1844 to 1886 and as The Lord Stanley of Preston between 1886 and 1893, was a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom who served as Colonial secretary from 1885 to 1886 and Governor General of Canada from 1888 to 1893. An avid sportsman, he built Stanley House Stables in England and is famous in North America for presenting Canada with the Stanley Cup. Stanley was also one of the original inductees of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Background and education[edit]

Derby was the second son of Prime Minister Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, and the Hon. Emma Caroline, daughter of Edward Bootle-Wilbraham, 1st Baron Skelmersdale. He was born in London, and educated at Eton and Sandhurst. He received a commission in the Grenadier Guards, rising to the rank of Captain before leaving the army for politics.[1][2] He later served as Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of the part-time 1st Royal Lancashire Militia (The Duke of Lancaster's Own) from 23 June 1874 (though his political duties often kept him away from the regiment's annual training) and became Honorary Colonel of its successor, the 3rd and 4th Battalions, King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), from 27 February 1886 until his death.[3]

Political career[edit]

As the Hon Frederick Stanley he served as a Conservative Member of Parliament (for Preston from 1865 to 1868, North Lancashire from 1868 to 1885 and Blackpool from 1885 to 1886). In government, he served as a Civil Lord of the Admiralty (1868), Financial Secretary to the War Office (1874–1878), Secretary to the Treasury (1878), War Secretary (1878–1880) and Colonial Secretary (1885–1886). In 1886, he was created Baron Stanley of Preston, in the County Palatine of Lancaster. He served as President of the Board of Trade (1886–1888), remaining in that office until he was appointed Governor General of Canada.[1][2]

Derby was a Freemason.[4]

Governor General of Canada[edit]

Ice Carnival in Rideau Rink in Lord Stanley's time 1888–1893

Stanley was appointed the Governor General of Canada and Commander in Chief of Prince Edward Island on 1 May 1888.[1][2] During his term as Governor General, he travelled often and widely throughout the country. His visit to western Canada in 1889 gave him a lasting appreciation of the region's great natural beauty as well as permitting him to meet the people of Canada's First Nations and many western ranchers and farmers. During his visit he dedicated Stanley Park, which is named after him. He also experienced the joys of fishing and avidly pursued the sport whenever his busy schedule allowed. As governor general, Stanley was the third holder of that office to whom Queen Victoria granted the power of granting pardons to offenders or remitting sentences and fines and the power of mitigating capital or any other sentence.[2]

When Prime Minister John A. Macdonald died in office of heart failure on 6 June 1891, Stanley lost the close friendship he had enjoyed with Macdonald. He asked John Abbott to take over as prime minister. Once the government was in place, Abbott resigned for health reasons and turned the government over to John Thompson. Stanley helped cement the non-political role of the governor general when, in 1891, he refused to agree to a controversial motion in the House of Commons. The motion called on him as governor general to disallow the government of Quebec's Jesuit Estates Act, which authorized paying $400,000 as compensation for land granted to the Jesuits by the King of France.[2] The opposition to the bill was introduced by the other provinces who were motivated by mistrust of the Roman Catholic Church in Quebec. Stanley declined to interfere, citing the proposed disallowal as unconstitutional. In holding to this decision, he gained popularity by refusing to compromise the viceregal position of political neutrality.

Stanley's wife, whom Wilfrid Laurier described as "an able and witty woman", made a lasting contribution during her husband's term of office. In 1891, she founded the Lady Stanley Institute for Trained Nurses on Rideau Street, the first nursing school in Ottawa. She was also an enthusiastic fan of hockey games at the Rideau Rink.

The NHL Stanley Cup[edit]

A statue of Lord Derby stands in Stanley Park, Vancouver.

Stanley's sons became avid ice hockey players in Canada, playing in amateur leagues in Ottawa, and Lord and Lady Stanley became staunch hockey fans. In 1892, Stanley gave Canada a treasured national icon, the Stanley Cup, known originally as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup. He originally donated the trophy as a challenge cup for Canada's best amateur hockey club, but in 1909, it became contested by professional teams exclusively. Since 1926, only teams of the National Hockey League have competed for the trophy. This now-famous cup bears Stanley's name as tribute to his encouragement and love of outdoor life and sport in Canada. In recognition of this, he was inducted into the Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945 in the "Honoured Builders" category. The original size of the Stanley Cup was 7 inches (180 mm) and is now around 36 inches (910 mm) and weighs 35 pounds (16 kg).

Later years[edit]

Frederick Arthur Stanley

Stanley's term as Governor General of Canada was due to end in September 1893. However, in April of that year, his elder brother, the 15th Earl of Derby, died. Stanley succeeded him as the 16th Earl of Derby.[1] As a result, Stanley, now known as Lord Derby, left Canada on 15 July 1893 and returned to England. An administrator was appointed to fulfil his duties until Lord Aberdeen was sworn in that September.

Also in 1893, Toronto's "New Fort York" (built in 1841) was renamed The Stanley Barracks in honour of Lord Stanley. Back with his family in England, he soon became the Lord Mayor of Liverpool and the first Chancellor of the University of Liverpool. Stanley Park, Liverpool is also named after him. In November 1901 Lord Derby was elected Mayor of Preston for the following year,[1][5] and took part in the 1902 Preston Guild. He later received the honorary freedom of the borough of Preston, with which his family had been associated for centuries.[6]

During the last years of his life, he increasingly dedicated himself to philanthropic work. He was founder president of the committee for the building of Liverpool Cathedral in 1901.[7] He helped fund the Coronation Park, Ormskirk, in 1905.[8]


Constance Stanley, Countess of Derby by William Notman
The Earl of Derby

Derby married Lady Constance Villiers, daughter of George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon, on 31 May 1864.[1][2] She was born in 1840. They had eight sons and two daughters (of whom one son and one daughter died as children). Her Ladyship remained and several of their children lived in Canada throughout his term as Governor General. She was responsible for the foundation of the Lady Stanley Institute for Trained Nurses in Ottawa, Ontario, as well as a Maternity Hospital. She was president of the $4,000 fund instituted by the women of Canada for the presentation of a wedding gift to the present Prince and Princess of Wales: a sleigh, robes, harness and horses and a canoe. In 1890 Prince George of Wales (the future King George V) was their guest at Rideau Hall. In 1903 King Edward VII was their guest at their residence, St. James Square, London, England.

Their children were:[1]

Derby died on 14 June 1908, aged 67, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward, who also became a distinguished politician. Lady Derby died on 17 April 1922.[1]


After Edward Whymper made the first ascent of Stanley Peak in 1901, he named the mountain after Lord Derby. Vancouver's Stanley Park and Stanley Theatre were also named after him,[12] as was Stanley Park, Blackpool.

The Preston Squadron of cadets at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean was named in his honour. Stanley Park, an area that famously separates the home grounds of English Premier League football teams Liverpool F.C. and Everton F.C., was named after him. Stanley House Inn, named for Lord Stanley and was built as his summer residence in 1888 along the Cascapedia River.

The Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup is today known as the Stanley Cup and is awarded to the winning team of the National Hockey League playoffs each season. In October 2017, Lord Stanley's Gift Monument was erected in Ottawa at Sparks Street and Elgin Street, near the location of the dinner party announcing the Cup at the Russell House, which has since been demolished.[13]

Stanley Quay, later renamed Stanley Street, in Brisbane, Australia, was named after him at the time he was Colonial Secretary.

Honorary degrees[edit]

Honorific eponyms[edit]


Coat of arms of Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby
Coronet of a British Earl.svg
Stanley arms.svg
A cap of maintenance Gules turned up Ermine an eagle wings extended Or preying on an infant in its cradle proper swaddled Gules the cradle laced Or.
Argent on a bend Azure three stags' heads caboshed Or a crescent Azure for difference.
Dexter a griffin wings elevated sinister a stag each Or and ducally gorged with a line reflexed over the back and charged on the shoulder with a crescent Azure.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Burke's, 'Derby'.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Canada's Executive Head; Power and Emoluments of the Governor General. Almost Unlimited Authority Granted to Him – An Expensive Luxury for Canadians Who Want to Choose Their Own Governor", The New York Times, 5 November 1891.
  3. ^ Williamson & Whalley, pp. 329–30; Appendix B.
  4. ^ Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon: A few famous freemasons.
  5. ^ "Election of Mayors". The Times (36609). London. 11 November 1901. p. 7.
  6. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (36932). London. 22 November 1902. p. 12.
  7. ^ Riley, Ken (1987). Liverpool Cathedral. Fine Art Publications. pp. 16–17.Guide to the Anglican cathedral.
  8. ^ Broady-Hawkes, Dot (21 June 2015). "Ormskirk Nostalgia: Happy birthday to Coronation Park – 120 years old this month". Southport Visitor.
  9. ^ Morgan, Henry James, ed. (1903). Types of Canadian Women and of Women who are or have been Connected with Canada. Toronto: Williams Briggs. p. 323.
  10. ^ "Cornwall Terrace". Archived from the original on 12 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Biographies". Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  12. ^ Mathison, Emily. "Things That Go Bump in the Night: Unearthly spirit sightings at a local landmark" Archived 29 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 9 May 2008.
  13. ^ "Invitation: Monument Unveiling". 18 October 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Stanley Peak British Columbia #1538". Archived from the original on 21 March 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  16. ^ "Stanley Peak". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Peak Stanley". Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  18. ^ Stanley Street (Montreal)


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Preston
With: Sir Thomas Fermor-Hesketh, Bt
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for North Lancashire
With: John Wilson-Patten 1868–1874;
Thomas Henry Clifton 1874–1880;
Randle Joseph Feilden 1880–1885
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Blackpool
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Political offices
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Financial Secretary to the War Office
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Financial Secretary to the Treasury
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Secretary of State for War
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Preceded by
Secretary of State for the Colonies
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President of the Board of Trade
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Government offices
Preceded by
Governor General of Canada
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire
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Peerage of England
Preceded by
Earl of Derby
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Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Stanley of Preston
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Professional and academic associations
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