A large rectangular stone tablet set in a Gothic frame and immediately below lies a tablet contiguous with the first. Both parts of the tablet are divided into three.

It is in memory of Edward Stanley, 32 years Rector of Alderley and 12 years Bishop of Norwich, Catherine Stanley his wife and their 5 children Charles, Owen, Mary, Arthur (The Dean of Westminster) and Catherine.

Edward Stanley


Edward Stanley (1779 – 1849) was the younger brother of the first Lord Stanley of Alderley amd was Rector at St.Marys from 1805 – 1837, devoting himself earnestly to his work.

He was keenly interested in education, had a natural aptitude for natural sciences and was an expert in ornithology.

In 1837 he accepted the post of Bishop of Norwich where he remained until he died. He is buried in the nave of the cathedral.

Edward married Catherine, eldest daughter of Oswald Leycester (another notable Cheshire family) in 1810. Catherine is buried under the yew tree at St.Mary’s Alderley.

Edward & Catherine’s Children

Owen Stanley  (1811-1850), entered the Royal Naval College at 15 spending the next nine years serving chiefly in small ships on surveying work. He then joined the Arctic expedition which left the Orkneys in June 1836, sailing in the Terror and having charge of astronomical and magnetic observations during the voyage towards the North Pole. In 1844 he achieved rank as captain and two years later received command of another surveying ship, Rattlesnake under orders to survey New Guinea waters. Stanley’s achievement was principally scientific and was made a fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society for his surveying and observation work. His work is commemorated in the name of the Owen Stanley Range in New Guinea.

Mary Stanley (1813 – 1879) in 1854 was entrusted with the charge of 50 nurses during the Crimean War and served with Florence Nightingale for a time. Subsequently she assisted Arthur Penrhyn (her brother) in charitable work in Westminster and in 1861 was active in relieving the distress in Lancashire during the cotton famine.She is buried at Alderley by her own request, next to her mother under the yew tree.

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815 – 1881), As a student at Rugby, he was influenced by the liberal views of Thomas Arnold. In 1838 he was elected a fellow of University College, Oxford, made canon of Canterbury in1851, Canon of Christ Church in 1858 and installed as Dean of Westminster.

Charles Stanley (1819 – 1848) – also an explorer

Catherine Stanley (1821 – 1899) married Charles Vaughan, headmaster of Harrow.