Four Kings of Mann
Between 1320 and 1405 there were four different Kings of Mann. They were all able to rule the Island independently and therefore, although it is not mentioned anywhere, must have been approved by the Pope.
In the section on Mann there are diagrams which show that in one way and another they had all got a hereditory claim to the Island.
Does John Stanley the fourth candidate have similar claim?
From Ireland to Wales
Note that Ragnhild is descended from GormFlaith of Naas through her Manx husband and from Brian Boru through his other wife, Eachraith Nic Cearbhall.
The digram is marked up to show the descent from the Manx King to Griffith ap Madog but the descent from Brian is also important.
Wales to Stanley
In his book “The House of Stanley”, John Seacome hedges around the question of John Stanley’s Celtic ancestry. Presumably he thought no-one would be interested, or alternatively he, and presumably the Stanley family themselves, in the early18th century did not want to emphasise this aspect of John Stanley’s rise to prominence.
In the fourteenth century did John Stanley’s family know of this heritage? Thanks to computerised genealogy it is now relatively easy to discover these relationships, but in the fourteenth century only the main branches of families kept such records.
Who then would have been responsible for uncovering his heritage? It is certain that it was known at the time of John’s selection as the next King of Mann. This diagram shows that John was relatively closely related to both Lord James Audley and William de Montacute and both those families would have kept genealogical records.
In particular William Montacute was himself descended from the Viking Kings of Mann and his family records may well have included references to John.
This same diagram was used in the segment on Mann but it has now once again been marked up differently to show the descent from the kings of man, but on this occasion not from Brian Boru to Ragnald Godfredson, the illegitimate son of Olaf the Black.
The significance of Ragnald
Stanley and Tudor
Not only were the Tudors and the Stanley’s both descended from the Viking Kings of Mann, though by different routes, but in the “Welsh” portion of their ancestry they were related even more closely. Bear in mind it is still a distant relationship, but it does beg the question as to wether Thomas Stanley’s decision to switch sides at the decisive battle of Bosworth Field was influenced by more than political motives.
The Saxon Heritage
The relations between the Stanley and Tudor families did not end there. Though once again the relationship came though the families of Wales,both Tudor and Stanley families had common ancestors in Eadwine ,Earl of Mercia and his wife Angharad Queen of Powis.