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20GGM Margaret de Audley, suo jure 2nd Baroness Audley and Countess of Stafford: Only daughter of 21GGP Hugh de Audley, 1st Earl of Gloucester, and Lady Margaret de Clare.
Margaret was abducted by 20GGF Ralph, Lord Stafford, who had helped Edward III take the throne. At the time, her worth was at least £2314 a year, which was more than ten times Stafford’s own estates. (However, he eventually rose to Earl of Stafford in 1350.)

After the abduction, her parents filed a complaint with the king, but Edward supported Stafford. In compensation, the king appeased Hugh and Margaret by creating Hugh the 1st Earl of Gloucester.

Margaret de Audley and Stafford married before 6 July 1336. They subsequently had two sons and four daughters, the fourth of whom was our 19GGM Beatrice de Stafford, born circa 1341 in Staffordshire, England, died 1415.
Ralph, Lord Stafford
Grandpa Ralph was made a Knight banneret in 1327 and was fighting the Scots shortly afterwards. He supported the plot to free Edward III of England from the control of Roger Mortimer, which earned the king's gratitude. By the summer of 1332, he was a commissioner of the peace in Staffordshire and had served abroad on royal business, accompanying, interestingly enough, his future father-in-law, Hugh de Audley, 1st Earl of Gloucester. In the course of a distinguished military career, he became one of the twenty-six founding members and the fifth knight of the Order of the Garter in 1348. In November 1347, Grandpa Hugh died; they were able to take possession of his estates without paying the king’s homage, an indication of the relationship between them. Ralph was now a very wealthy man, from his estates and from the many prizes from the French war.[5]

Edward III created a number of new peerage titles to honour his war captains and to mark his jubilee year. Ralph was created the 1st Earl of Stafford on 5 March 1350, with an annuity of 1000 marks.

Even at the age of sixty, Stafford continued to command troops and act as a royal envoy, both in France and in Ireland in 1361, accompanying Lionel of Antwerp to try and restore English control.
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