Margaret Audley was the only child of Edward II's niece Margaret de Clare (1293/94-1342) and her second husband Sir Hugh Audley (c. 1289/95-1347), and was born sometime between January 1318 (nine months after her parents' wedding on 28 April 1317) and late 1322 (nine months after her father was imprisoned after the battle of Boroughbridge on 16 March 1322). Margaret de Clare was, with her older sister Eleanor and younger sister Elizabeth, one of the three co-heirs to the huge wealth of their brother Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, killed at Bannockburn on 24 June 1314. Margaret had a daughter, Joan, with her first husband Piers Gaveston, who died probably the day after her thirteenth birthday on 13 January 1325. Joan Gaveston's death left her younger half-sister Margaret Audley as sole heir to their mother's large inheritance. This made Margaret an extremely tempting marital prospect, but also, as a female, made her vulnerable. Her aunts Eleanor and Elizabeth de Clare both left sons as their heirs, respectively Hugh or Huchon, Lord Despenser, and William Donn de Burgh, earl of Ulster, whose daughter and heiress Elizabeth de Burgh married Edward III's second son Lionel.
I'm not sure when Margaret Audley was born, but I would imagine nearer the end of the period given above rather than near the beginning, as she was still unmarried at the start of 1336. This would make much more sense if she was then fourteen or so than if she was eighteen. She was a great-niece of Edward II and a first cousin once removed of Edward III. Shortly before 28 February 1336, Margaret was staying at her parents' manor of Thaxted in Essex, when something terrible happened: she was abducted by a large crowd of several dozen men, nineteen of whom are named and 'others' who are not, and forcibly married to one of them. He was Sir Ralph Stafford, a widower with two daughters, born in September 1301 and thus twenty or so years her senior. The wedding took place without her father Hugh Audley's consent and, one assumes, also without Margaret's (though no-one bothered to record this). Hugh Audley seems to have been present at Thaxted at the time, but could not protect his daughter from the large mob of armed men who had set out to take her from him. Ralph Stafford's aim was, of course, to force himself into a share of the vast de Clare inheritance by right of his wife. What happened to Margaret next is best left to the imagination. Snatched suddenly from from her home and her parents, married against her will, plus what must have come next, must have been a terrifying, traumatic experience.
Hugh Audley complained to Edward III, his wife Margaret de Clare's first cousin, who on 28 February 1336 - presumably shortly after the attack - ordered Robert Bousser and Adam Everyngham to find out what had happened. At this stage it was still unclear who had attacked Hugh's manor of Thaxted and what had gone on, except that Margaret Audley had been abducted and some of Hugh's goods stolen. By 6 July 1336, more facts had come out. Margaret had been married, and the culprit was a friend and ally of the king: Ralph Stafford had taken part in the young king's coup d'état against his mother Isabella and Roger Mortimer at Nottingham on 19 October 1330. Ralph's chief accomplices are named on the Patent Roll on 6 July 1336 when the king ordered four men to investigate further, not that these investigations were likely to do Margaret any good whatsoever. She was married now and could not be unmarried; and the king was hardly likely to punish one of his friends. [Calendar of Patent Rolls 1334-38, pp. 283, 298] Hugh Audley must have known Ralph Stafford well: on 23 April 1332, both of them received a safe-conduct from Edward III to travel overseas on his business, Ralph accompanying Hugh in his retinue. [Patent Rolls 1330-34, p. 276]
Ralph Stafford was later made first earl of Stafford and was a founder member of the Knights of the Garter (he was the fifth), and his and Margaret's Stafford descendants became dukes of Buckingham in the fifteenth century. Just think, Henry Stafford, the duke of Buckingham executed by Richard III in 1483, and his son Edward, the duke of Buckingham executed by Henry VIII in 1521, would never have existed if Ralph Stafford had not abducted - and, let's be frank, raped - a young girl in 1336. Hugh Audley himself was made earl of Gloucester in 1337, perhaps as a kind of compensation for the abduction, forcible marriage and rape of his daughter. No-one bothered to compensate Margaret herself, of course. She and Ralph had six children. Their elder son Ralph died young and their heir was their second son Hugh, to whom the earldom of Stafford and Margaret's share of the de Clare inheritance passed. They also had four daughters, Elizabeth, Joan, Beatrice and Katherine (not one of whom was named after their mother or their maternal grandmother Margaret de Clare, which may be revealing, though revealing of what I don't know). Hugh Stafford, second earl of Stafford, married Philippa Beauchamp, a granddaughter of Guy Beauchamp, earl of Warwick (d. 1315) and Roger Mortimer, first earl of March (d. 1330), and they were the ancestors of the later Staffords.
Margaret Stafford née Audley died on 7 September 1349, aged about thirty at most, though probably still only in her late twenties. Her widower and abductor Ralph Stafford, rewarded with an earldom and membership of the Knights of the Garter, lived a long life and died on 31 August 1372, shortly before his seventy-first birthday. So that's nice.