~ Countess of Derby ~
Margaret Stanley was born to Henry Clifford and Eleanor Brandon, the Earl and Countess of Cumberland. Her maternal grandparents were Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon, and as such, was the niece of Henry VIII. In his will, she was written as the eighth successor to the crown, after her mother. Jane the ‘Queen for Nine Days’ and Mary Grey died without issue, and their sister, Catherine, did not have legitimate children. As a result, Margaret became the second in line during Queen Mary’s reign.
Edward VI supported the Duke of Northumberland’s request that she marry his son Guildford. However, her father was against it, and in June 1553 she was engaged to the Duke’s brother, Andrew. When Mary became Queen, the Dudleys were imprisoned and she married Henry Stanley, heir to the Earl of Derby.
They had four children in their first eight years of marriage, but only two survived to adulthood: Ferdinando and William. Henry and Margaret often quarreled, and she often wrote about their situation, and he eventually left her.
During Queen Elizabeth’s reign, she was arrested; she had been caught in a conversation concerning a possible marriage between the Queen and the Duke of Alençon. Accused of practicing witchcraft to predict the Queen’s death, Margaret was placed under house arrest. Insisting upon her innocence, she wrote to Francis Walsingham, explaining that her physician was the sorcerer, who remained with her because of his great cures. Sir William Randall was executed, and no charges were brought up against her, however, she was banished from court.
I am in a black dungeon of sorrow and despair and I am deeply overwhelmed with heaviness through the loss of Your Most Royal Majesty’s favor and gracious countenance.
She died without returning to the Queen’s favor, and since she had died after her eldest son, his daughter, Anne, took her place in the succession. Anne was close to the Queen, but was overlooked so that James VI of Scotland could become king.
Source: Margaret Stanley, Wikipedia
Margaret's Timeline: A Chronology of the Life of Margaret Stanley, Countess of Derby