Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby is a close friend of Lord Hastings and Henry Earl of Richmond’s stepfather.
He is no great fan of the Queen’s family, but he is a good and honest man so far as he can afford to be. The execution of Rivers, Grey and Vaughan disturb him, as he sees that no-one may now be safe, and a premonitory dream almost leads him to flee the country until Hastings refuses to follow him. He dares say nothing when Hastings is suddenly condemned to death. Though he appears to support Richard, he works against him as much as he can, helping Dorset to escape to France and acting as go-between for the marriage arrangement between Richmond and Princess Elizabeth. Despite his reputation for honesty he cannot entirely trick Richard, who takes his son George as a hostage when Richmond attacks. As he loves his son, Stanley waits until the last possible moment before betraying Richard. He takes it upon himself to crown Richmond as King.