The House of York
Edmund, 1st Duke of York, 1341–1402
Named Edmund of Langley after the manor where he was born, he was the fifth son of Edward III and Queen Philippa. Created Earl of Cambridge in 1362, he joined his brother John, Duke of Lancaster (John of Gaunt) in his wars against Castile. In 1372, he married his first wife, Isobel, younger daughter of Peter, King of Castile and Léon, while her elder sister married John. They had three children: Edward Plantagenet, 2nd Duke of York; Constance of York, Countess of Gloucester, and Richard, Earl of Cambridge. Created Duke of York by Richard II in 1385, he retired from public life after Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, seized the crown from Richard II. After the death of Isobel in 1394, he married Joan, daughter of Thomas Holland, Earl of Kent.
His arms were: Quarterly, France ancient and England, over all a label of three points argent each point charged with three torteaux; and his crest on a cap of maintenance gules turned up ermine, a lion statant guardant crowned or, gorged with a label as in the arms; on his seal, the arms are supported by two falcons, each holding with beak and claw a long scroll, which extends backward over body, inscribed with the motto "None other".
Edward Plantagenet, 2nd Duke of York, 1373–1415
The elder son of Edmund of Langley, he was created Earl of Rutland in 1391. Richard II made him Lord High Admiral and Warden of the Cinque Ports and in 1397, Duke of Albemarle. In the first year of the reign of Henry IV he became involved in a plot to assassinate the king at a tournament at Oxford. His father went to warn the king, but Edward forestalled him by confessing to the king himself. He lost the dukedom but was pardoned, becoming Duke of York on his father’s death. He was killed at the battle of Agincourt, where he led the vanguard. He died without issue and was succeeded by his nephew Richard.
His arms were: as Lord High Admiral, Per pale, dexter, the attributed arms of Edward the Confessor, charged overall with a label of three points; sinister, Quarterly, France ancient and England, over all a label of five points argent, each charged with three torteaux. After he became Duke of Albemarle, his arms were: Quarterly, France ancient and England, over all a label of three points gules each charged with three castles gold. As Duke of York, they were: Quarterly France modern and England, over all a label of York.
Constance of York, Countess of Gloucester, 1374–1416
The only daughter of Edmund of Langley, Constance was the mistress of Edmund Holland, Earl of Kent, by whom she had a daughter named Eleanor. She later married Thomas le Despencer, Earl of Gloucester. Two children, Richard, Lord le Despencer, and Elizabeth le Despencer, died without issue, but their daughter Isabel le Despencer married twice, her second husband being Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. Their daughter, Anne Beauchamp, married Richard Neville (The Kingmaker), who thus became Earl of Warwick.
Constance bore the arms of her father, Edmund of Langley, impaled by those of her husband, which were: Quarterly, first and fourth, or, three chevronels gules; second and third, Quarterly, argent and gules, a fret or, overall a bendlet sable.
Richard, Earl of Cambridge, 1376–1415
Named Richard of Coningsburgh, after the place in Yorkshire where he was born, the younger son of Edmund of Langley was created Earl of Cambridge in 1414. In the following year, however, he conspired with Henry, Lord Scrope, and Sir Thomas Gray to assassinate the king, Henry V. He may have been bribed by the French king, Charles VI, or it may have been because, in the event of his brother-in-law Edmund, Earl of March, dying without issue, his own son would have been next in line for the throne. The Earl of March revealed the plot to the king, and Richard was executed.
Richard’s first wife, Anne Mortimer, was sister and afterwards heiress to the Earl of March and to the claims of her great-grandfather, Lionel, Duke of Clarence, second son of Edward I, thus giving her Yorkist successors a superior claim to the throne over the House of Lancaster. Richard of Coningsburgh’s second wife was Matilda, daughter of Thomas, Lord Clifford.
His arms were: Quarterly, France first ancient, later modern, and England, over all a label of three points argent each charged with as many torteaux, within a bordure argent charged with lions rampant.
Anne’s arms were: Quarterly, first and fourth, barry of six, or and azure, on a chief of the first two pallets between two base esquires of the second, over all an escutcheon argent; second and third, or a cross gules, impaled with those of her husband.
Isabel, Countess of Essex, 1409–1484
Isabel was the oldest child of Richard of Coningsburgh and Anne Mortimer. Her husband Henry Bourchier, second Earl of Eu in Normandy was created Viscount Bourchier by Henry VI and Lord Treasurer of England. William, the eldest of their ten children, married Anne, sister of Elizabeth Woodville.
The Bourchier arms: Quarterly, first and fourth, argent, a cross engrailed gules, between four water bougets sable; second and third, gules, billety and a fess or, and their crest A man’s head in profile with sable hair and beard, ducally crowned or, with a pointed cap gules.
Richard, 3rd Duke of York, 1411–1460
Richard was the only son of Richard of Coningsburgh, and the only male, apart from Henry IV, with an unbroken male descent from Henry III. Although his father had been executed for treason, Henry VI restored to him the titles Duke of York, Earl of Cambridge and Rutland. An honorable man, his superior claim to the throne and obvious capability compared with the weak and mentally afflicted Henry VI earned him the hatred of the Queen, Margaret of Anjou. His wise and just rule in Ireland during 1449–1450 laid the foundation for an Irish–Yorkist alliance which survived until after the defeat of Richard III at Bosworth.
Made Protector of England in 1454 during Henry’s temporary insanity, he defeated an attempt by the Queen and the Earl of Somerset to regain control when, in 1455, along with the earls of Warwick and Salisbury, he defeated the king’s forces at St Albans. He was made Constable of England, but the Queen’s party regained power the following year. In 1459 the Queen felt strong enough to to crush the Yorkist party and in October the Yorkist forces, surrounded at Ludlow, were forced to flee. The Duke and his second son Edmund, Earl of Rutland, fled to Ireland while Warwick and his party went to Calais. Within a year, Warwick was back in England and in control of London. The Duke of York returned and on October 10 laid his hand on the empty throne in the chamber of the Lords in parliament, claiming the crown. His bid for the throne was premature, but the Duke was eventually recognized as heir to the throne, Prince of Wales and Protector of England.
The Queen’s party rallied once again, however, and on 30 December 1460 the Duke’s forces, issuing from Sandal Castle clashed with the Lancastrians at Wakefield. The Duke was killed, along with his son Edmund, and their heads were exposed on the walls of York. They were later buried at Pontefract and then at Fotheringhay.
His arms were: Quarterly, France modern and England, over all a label of three points each charged with three torteaux, and upon his helmet his crest was On a chapeau gules doubled ermine, a lion statant guardant crowned or, gorged with a label as in the arms.; the badge with which he is particularly associated is the silver falcon and gold fetterlock, the fetterlock open to symbolise the release of the falcon and the aspiring hopes of gaining the crown.
Cicely Neville, Duchess of York, 1415–1495
The wife of Richard, 3rd Duke of York, Cicely Neville was the daughter of Joan Beaufort, the youngest child of John of Gaunt and Catherine Swynford. Her father was Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland. Known in her youth as the Rose of Raby, after her birthplace, Raby Castle, she was a staunch supporter of her husband, spending as much time with him as was possible in that troubled age. They had eight sons and four daughters, of whom four sons and one daughter died young.
After the tragic death of her husband and second son, Edmund, in 1460, Cicely shortly witnessed the triumph of her eldest son Edward. She is reported to have been outraged by his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville. Further tragedy followed when, in 1478, Edward tired of the treacherous behaviour of his brother Clarence and the latter died, or was killed, in the Tower. In 1483, Edward died, and then, in 1485 her last surviving son Richard III was killed at Bosworth. Outliving all her sons, the unfortunate duchess lived to see many of their progeny murdered by Henry VII and the House of York destroyed. In 1480, she became a Benedictine nun at Berkhamsted, where she lived until her death.
Her arms were: a falcon rising, ducally gorged, bearing on its breast a shield of arms, Per pale, dexter, Quarterly, France modern and England; sinister, gules, a saltire argent, supported by Dexter, an antelope gorged with a coronet; sinister a lion.
Children of Richard, Duke of York and Cicely Neville
Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter, 1439–1476
Eldest daughter of Richard, Duke of York, she was first married to the Lancastrian Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter and Lord High Admiral. She divorced her Lancastrian husband in 1472 and married Sir Thomas St Leger, K.G., by whom she had a daughter, Anne, whose descendants became the earls and later dukes of Rutland.
Her arms were: Per pale, dexter, Quarterly, France modern and England; sinister, per fess, de Burgh and Mortimer.
Edmund of York, Earl of Rutland, 1443–1460
Edmund was born in Rouen, France, while his father was serving as Lieutenant of France. At the age of seven, Edmund received his education at Ludlow Castle, along with his brother Edward. When his father’s Yorkist party fell out of favor in 1459, Edmund accompanied his father to Ireland, where he was created Earl of Cork.
After the Yorkist victory at Northampton September 1460, he returned to England and headed north to Sandal Castle with his father to help quell disturbances there. Edmund was killed at the battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460, by Lord Clifford, whose father had been killed at the battle of St Albans. As he struck the fatal blow, Clifford allegedly cried ‘By God’s blood, thy father slew mine and so will I do thee and all thy kin.’
His arms were: Quarterly, first, Quarterly France modern and England, a label of five points argent the two dexter points charged with lions rampant purpure and the three sinister points each with three torteaux; second and third, Burgh; fourth, Mortimer.
Elizabeth, Duchess of Suffolk, 1444–1503
The second daughter of Richard, Duke of York, and Cicely Neville married John de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, whose father, William, had arranged the marriage between Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou. John de la Pole, whose mother, Alice, was the grand-daughter of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer, took little part in politics. The couple had seven sons, of whom the eldest was also named John (see below). Edmund de la Pole was beheaded by Henry VIII and the last de la Pole heir, Richard, was killed at the battle of Pavia in 1524, fighting for the French.
The arms of John de la Pole were: Quarterly, first and fourth, azure a fess between three leopards’ faces or; second and third, argent, a chief gules, over all a lion rampant double queued or; and his crest was An old man’s head gules, beard and hair gold, with a jewelled fillet about the brows.
John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln 1464?-1487
The eldest son of Elizabeth and John, Duke and Duchess of Suffolk, was created Earl of Lincoln in 1468. He was also made a Knight of the Bath in 1475 and attended his uncle Edward IV’s funeral in April 1483. He bore the orb at the coronation of another uncle, Richard III, in July 1483 and became the president of the Council of the North. He was declared heir to the throne by Richard III in the event of the death of his own son, Prince Edward. At this time, he was also created Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and was given the reversion to the estates of Lady Margaret Beaufort, subject to the life interest of her third husband, Lord Stanley.
A staunch supporter of Richard III, he fought at Bosworth and survived. The new king, Henry VII, had no wish to alienate the de la Pole family and appointed John a justice of oyer and terminer the following year. In 1487, he fled to Brabant and then to Ireland, where he joined the army of the pretender Lambert Simnel. He was killed at the Battle of Stoke in June 1487. Shortly afterward, he was attainted.
He was married twice: (1) Margaret Fitzalan, daughter of Thomas, twelfth Earl of Arundel; and (2) the daugher and heiress of Sir John Golafre. He left no children from either marriage.
Arms of John de la Pole: Same as above during his father’s lifetime, differenced with a label argent – or his father’s and mother’s impaled.
Edmund de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, 1472?-1513
Edmund de la Pole was born about 1472, the second son of John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, and Elizabeth, sister of Edward IV. In 1481 Edward IV sent Edmund to Oxford. He was created a Knight Baronet at Richard III's coronation. He was also present, with his father, at the coronation of Elizabeth of York on 25 November 1487 and was frequently seen at Henry VII's court.
His father died in 1491, and as eldest surviving son, should have inherited the dukedom but did not, due to an Act of Attainder against his brother John, Earl of Lincoln. By an indenture date 26 February 1493, Edmund agreed to forego the title of duke and was created an earl. He also had to pay £5,000 for the restoration of some of his lands.
In October 1492 Edmund was at the siege of Boulogne. On 9 November 1494 he was leading challenger at Westminster in a tournament which created Henry (later Henry VIII) Duke of York.
In 1495 Edmund was appointed trier of petitions from Gascony and other parts. He was created a Knight of the Garter in 1496. In February 1496 he was one of the English noblemen who stood surety to Archduke Philip for the observance of new treaties with Burgundy.
On 22 June 1496 he led a company against Cornish rebels at Blackheath. Two years later, he was indicted at the King's Bench for murder and received a pardon. Although he resented being arraigned (as one of royal blood) he attended a Chapter of the Garter at Windsor in April 1499.
In July or August 1499 Edmund fled to Guisnes and then to St. Omer. Henry VII instructed Sir Richard Guldford and Richard Hatton to return him by any means. However, he returned to England voluntarily and was restored to favor.
Edmund was a witness at the marriage of Arthur to Catherine of Aragon in May 1500 and then went with Henry VII to Calis where he stayed until August 1501. He fled to Emperor Maximilian in the Tryol. Maximilian had promised support to anyone of Edward IV's blood.
On 7 November 1501 Edmund and his supporters were proclamimed traiors at St. Pauls Cross and was outlawed at Ipswich on 26 December 1502. He reclaimed his dukedom. Maximilian then promised not to aid any traitors to England (he was paid 10,000) and Edmund remained at Aix le Chappelle until Easter 1504. In January 1504 Edmund and his brother, William and Richard, were attainted by Parliament. He left Aix fro Gilderland and was immediately thrown in jail.
On 24 January 1506 Edmund commissioned two servants to treat with Henry VII and in March 1506 was conveyed to the Tower. Henry had given Archduke Philip his written promise not to execute Edmund.
Upon the accession of Henry VIII in 1509 Edmund was not among those included in the general pardon. He went to the block in 1513.
Edmund married Margaret, daughter of Richard, Lord Scrope and had one daughter Anne, who became a nun at Minories within Aldgate. He had no male heir.
Richard de la Pole, 14?-1525
Richard was the fifth son of John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, and Elizabeth, sister of Edward IV. His brothers Humphrey and Edward took orders in the Church, Edward becoming the Archdeacon of Richmond. In 1501 Richard fled abroad with his brother Edmund. Three years later he was attainted along with his brother. Eventually he fled to Hungary, where Henry VII requested that King Ladislaus VI surrender Richard to him. The Hungarian king refused and gave Richard a pension.
Richard’s name is not mentioned in the general pardon issued by Henry VIII upon his accession in 1509. Louis XII of France recognized Richard as king of England, giving him a pension of six thousand crowns. After the execution of his brother Edmund in 1513, Richard assumed the title of Duke of Suffolk and became a claimant to the English throne.
When Louis XII died in 1515, his successor Francis I continued Richard’s allowance. As a further sign of favor, he was sent him on several missions, including Lombardy and Bohemia. In 1522, Francis seriously thought of sending Richard to invade England, but the invasion did not take place.
On 25 February 1525, Richard was killed, fighting in the French army at the Battle of Pavia. The Duke of Bourbon was one of the chief mourners at his funeral.
Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy, 1446–1503
Born at Fotheringhay, Margaret, the third daughter of Richard, Duke of York, and Cicely Neville, was an intelligent, charming, and accomplished woman. Prior to the announcement of Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, she had acted as the first lady of the court.
A prestigious marriage was arranged for her to Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, who was many years her senior. She had no children by him and survived him by many years. After Charles’ death, Margaret maintained a close friendship with her Charles’ only daughter Mary. The respect in which she was held in her adopted country enabled her to play an active supporting role for the Yorkist cause on many occasions. After the death of her brother Richard III, she continued her efforts, backing both Lambert Simnel and later Perkin Warbeck. She died at Malines and is buried in the church of Cordéliers.
The arms of Burgundy, shown impaling France modern and England quarterly on her arms were: Quarterly, first and fourth, azure, three fleurs de lys or within a bordure gobony argent and gules; second, per pale, Bendy of six or and azure within a bordure gules and sable, a lion rampant or; third, per pale, Bendy of six or and azure, within a bordure gules and argent, a lion rampant gules crowned or; over all an inescutcheon, or, a lion rampant sable.
George of York, Duke of Clarence, 1449–1478
Born in Dublin, George was the sixth son of Richard, Duke of York, and Cicely Neville. He was created Duke of Clarence in the first year of Edward IV’sreign. Until Elizabeth Woodville finally bore Edward a son in 1470, Clarence was the heir presumptive ,and it was soon clear to the Earl of Warwick that he was discontented and ambitious. On 11 July 1469, George married Isobel Neville, Warwick’s elder daughter, against the wishes of his brother, cementing an alliance against the king. When Warwick reconciled with Margaret of Anjou, however, and his younger daughter, Anne, was betrothed to the Lancastrian heir, George realized that he was not to be made king in Edward’s place. At the last minute, he returned to the Yorkist fold and was reconciled with Edward and his younger brother Richard. After Warwick’s death at the Battle of Barnet in 1471, George laid claim to his vast estates, and although eventually forced to share them when Richard of Gloucester married the now-widowed Anne Neville, he remained a rich and powerful prince. He continued to flout Edward’s authority, however, and was put in the Tower. In 1478 a Bill of Attainder passed the death sentence on Clarence and he died in the Tower, the exact manner of his death being unknown. Clarence and Isobel had four children, of whom two, Margaret and Edward, survived.
Clarence’s arms were: Quarterly, France modern and England, over all a label of three points argent each charged with a canton gules; his crest was On a chapeau gules turned up ermine, a lion statant guardant crowned or, charged on the breast with a label as in the arms; his badges were A bull passant sable armed unguled and membered or, gorged with a label of three points argent each charged with a canton gules, and A silver gorget of chain, edged and clasped with gold and lined with red.
Margaret Plantagenet, Countess of Salisbury, 1473–1541
Margaret was the eldest child of George, Duke of Clarence and Isobel Neville, she married Sir Richard Pole, K.G. in 1491. They had four sons and a daughter. During the fifth year of the reign of Henry VIII, Margaret, as heiress to the titles of Warwick and Salisbury, petitioned the king and was restored to the title of Countess of Salisbury. She was appointed governess to the Princess Mary and remained in favor until Anne Boleyn became the Queen. Her loyalty to Princess Mary caused her to be dismissed from court.
After the downfall of Anne Boleyn, Margaret returned to court. She did not remain in favor for long. Because of the letter her son, Cardinal Reginal Pole, wrote to the King, and of the betrayal of her son Geoffrey, the Countess was arrested and put into the Tower in March 1539. She was kept in the Tower under close confinement for two years and was executed without trial. She was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church in 1886.
Her arms were: Quarterly, first, Quarterly, France modern and England, a label of three points argent each charged with a canton gules; second, gules, a saltire argent, a label of three points gobony argent and azure impaling Gules, a fess between six crosses crosslet or; third, Chequy or and azure, a chevron ermine impaling Argent, three lozenges conjoined in fess gules; fourth, Or, an eagle displayed vert impaling Quarterly, I and IV, Or, three chevrons gules; II and III, Quarterly, Argent, and gules, a fret or, overall a bendlet sable.
Henry Pole, Lord Montagu, 1492–1539
The eldest son of Margaret Plantagenet, he was knighted by Henry VIII in 1513 during Henry’s French campaign. He was a ember of the royal household and was allowed his own livery. In 1520, he attended Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. He was one of the peers who convicted Anne Boleyn.
As a Roman Catholic, Pole did not approve of Henry’s destroying Church property and the anti-Catholic feeling in England. Henry was fully of Montagu’s feelings, and through his betrayal of his brother Geoffrey Pole, the king now had the evidence he needed to have Montagu arrested in put into the Tower. Pole was tried and found guilty by a jury of his peers. He went to the block on December 9 1539.
He married Jane, daughter of George Neville, Lord Bergavenny, in 1513. They had three children. His only son may have been attainted with his father and died in the Tower.
Geoffrey Pole, 1502?-1558
The second son of Margaret Plantagenet, little is known of his early life. In 1529, he was knighted by Henry VIII at York Place. A devout Roman Catholic, he greatly disapproved of Henry VIII’s divorce proceedings from Katherine of Aragon. Although he was appointeed one of the servitors at Anne Boleyn’s coronation, his loyalties were with Princess Mary and the former Queen Katherine. He then visited the imprial ambassador Chapuys and assured him that if the Holy Roman Emperor were to invade England to redress the wrong that had been done to Queen Katherine, that the English people would favor him.
Unfortunately, his words reached the ears of the king and he was arrested and sent to the Tower on August 1538. He was persuaded to talk and he revelaed the names of secret Papists at court, including his own brother, Henry Lord Montagu. Geoffrey was pardoned as a result of his betrayal and the others he mention, including his brother, were executed.
Having felt guilty at betraying his brother and friends, Geoffrey tried to commit suicide while he was in the Tower. In 1540, he left his family behind and fled to Europe, where he remained until the reign of Queen Mary. He returned to England and died in 1558.
He married Constance, the elder of two daughter and heirs of Sir John Pakenham. They had five sons and six daughters.
Arthur Pole, 1502-1535
Third son of Margaret Plantagenet, he was sentenced to death in the reign of Elizabeth I, being implicated in a plot to release Mary, Queen of Scots. Because of his royal blood, the Queen spared him from execution but not imprisonment.
In 1526, he married Jane Lewknor. It is not known if there were any children from this marriage.
Reginald Pole, 1500-1558
The youngest son of Margaret Plantagenet, he graduated from Magdelan College, Oxford. He was sent to Italy to complete his education and lived there for five years. Reginald was another Pole family member who did not approve of Henry’s divorce from Queen katherine. The King was well aware of this and several times tried to get Pole on his side. At the urging of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Pole wrote Henry a letter, in which he attacked Henry’s policy of royal supremacy and defended the spiritual authority of the Pope. It was at this time that he was created a cardinal by Pope Paul III. Henry then put a price on the new cardinal’s head and arrested and executed many members of the pole family, including his mother and his oldest brother Henry Lord Montagu.
When Henry’s daughter Mary became Queen, he was commission as a papal Legate. He landed in England in 1554 and began to reorganize the country back into the Church of Rome. Two years later he was ordained as a priest and the following year became the Archbishop of Canterbury.
For the next two years, Cardinal Pole help Queen Mary with her persecution of English Protestants. Disapproving of Pole’s methods, Pope Paul IV cancelled his legatine authority and denounced him as a heretic. Shortly afterwards, he fell ill and died twelve hours after Queen Mary on November 17 1558.
Ursula Pole, ? -1570
Ursula was the only daughter of Margaret Plantagenet. In 1518, she married Henry Stafford, first Baron Stafford. Very little is known of her. It is believed that she had at least thrteen children before her death in 1570.
Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick, 1474–1499
The son of George, Duke of Clarence, and Isobel Neville, he may have suffered from some form of mental impairment. He lived in the royal apartments in the Tower under the reign of his uncle Richard III. Henry VII kept him in the Tower, but as a prisoner. When Perkin Warbeck was imprisoned in the Tower, the two attempted to escape (possibly at the instigation of Henry’s agents) and both were executed in 1499.
Edward IV, King of England, 1442–1483
By the Grace of God, King of England and France and Lord of Ireland
The eldest son of Richard, Duke of York and Cecily Neville, Edward was born in Rouen, France, on April 28, 1442. He was educated at Ludlow Castle, along with his younger brother Edmund, Earl of Rutland. He inherited the title of Earl of March. Edward. was raising forces in the Welsh borders for the Yorkist cause when his father and younger brother Edmund were killed at the Battle of Wakefield in 1460. Acting speedily and decisively, Edward routed the Lancastrians at the battles of Mortimer’s Cross and Towton, and claimed the throne. Henry VI was then acclaimed a usurper and a traitor. Edward was crowned in June 1461. He was an extremely popular ruler, although well-known for his licentious behaviour. During his reign, printing and silk manufacturing were introduced into England.
Edward’s secret marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, a widow of a Lancastrian knight, angeed the old nobility and alienated his cousin Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (also known as "The Kingmaker"), who had previously been a major power during the early days of Edward’s reign. In 1469, Edward was deposed by Warwick, and was drien out of England and to Burgundy. Warwick reinstated Henry VI. Two years later, backed by his brother-in-law, Charles ("The Bold"), Duke of Burgundy, returned to England with a large army and defeated the Lancastrians at the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury.
The remaining years of his reign were, for the most part, peaceful. There was, however, a short war with France in 1475, after which Louis XI agreed to pay Edward a yearly subsidy. Edward died on April 8 1483 and was buried at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.
As King, Edward’s arms were: Quarterly, France modern and England, and his crest On a chapeau gules turned up ermine, a lion statant guardant crowned or. As badges, he used the white rose of York, the sun in splendour, and the white rose en soliel, as well as the lion, the bull and the hart, the falcon and fetterlock of the dukes of York, and a white rose incorporating red petals, a forerunner of the Tudor rose.
Elizabeth Woodville, 1437–1492, Queen of England
Elizabeth was the eldest child of Sir Richard Woodville and Jacquetta of Luxembourg. She was maid of honor to Margaret of Anjou. She was married to Sir John Grey of Groby, who was killed in battle in 1461, leaving her with two small sons. Elizabeth married Edward IV secretly in April 1464 and was crowned Queen in May 1465. She was also a patroness of Queens’ College, Cambridge and gave the College its first Statues in 1475. Her ten brothers and sisters, who were as avaricious and unpopular as herself, were raised to high rank by the king. Elizabeth and Edward had three sons and seven daughters.
Following her husband’s death in 1483, their marriage was declared invalid by Parliament and their children illegitimate. In 1485, however, Elizabeth’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth of York, married Henry VII and became Queen of England. Elizabeth Woodville was subsequently banished to Bermondsey Abbey, where she died in 1492.
Elizabeth Woodville’s seal displayed a shield of her husband’s arms impaling her own, which were Quartlerly, first argent, a lion rampant double queued gules, crowned or (Luxemburg, her mother’s family), second quarterly, I and IV, gules a star if eight points argent; II and III, azure, semée of fleurs de lys or; third, barry argent and azure, overall a lion rampant gules; fourth, gules, three bendlets argent, on a chief of the first, charged with a fillet in base or, a rose of the second; fifth, three pallets vairy, on a chief or a label of five points azure, and sixth, a fess and a canton conjoined gules (Woodville).
Children of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville
Elizabeth of York (1466-1503), Queen Consort of England
Mary Plantagenet (1467-1482), buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
Cecily Plantagenet (1469-1507), Viscountess Welles
Edward V of England (1470-1483/5), one of the Princes in the Tower
Margaret Plantagenet (Apr. 1472-Dec. 1472), buried in Westminster Abbey
Richard, Duke of York (1473-1483/5), one of the Princes in the Tower
Anne Plantagenet (1475-1511), Duchess of Norfolk
George Plantagenet (1477-1479), Duke of Bedford, buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
Katherine Plantagenet (1479-1527), Countess of Devon
Bridget Plantagenet (1480-1517), nun at Dartford Priory, Kent
Elizabeth of York, 1466–1503, Queen of England
Born 11 February, 1466 at Westminster Palace, Elizabeth was the first born child of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. She was betrothed to George Neville, Duke of Bedford, and then engaged to the Charles, the Dauphin of France (later Charles VIII). Elizabeth married Henry Tudor in 1486 and became Queen of England, thus uniting the Houses of York and Lancaster. As. Queen, she was completely dominated by Henry VII and his mother Margaret Beaufort.
She bore Henry eight children: (1) Arthur, Prince of Wales, b. 1486; (2) Margaret (later Queen of Scotland) b. 1489; (3) Henry (later Henry VII) b. 1491; (4) Elizabeth b.1492; (5) Mary (later Queen of France and Duchess of Suffolk) b. 1496; (6) Edmund (died young) 1499; (7) Edward (died young); and (8) Katherine (died young) b. 1503. Elizabeth died in childbirth in on her birthday in 1503, at the age of 37 years. She is buried beside her husband in the Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey.
Mary of York, 1467-1482
Mary was the second daughter, born 11 August, 1467 at Windsor Castle. She was promised in marriage to the King of Denmark, but died in 1482 before the marriage could take place. She is buried in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.
Cicely of York, 1469–1507, Viscountess Welles
Cicely was born on 20 March 1469 at Westminster Palace. She was originally promised in a marriage treaty to the heir of James III of Scotland but instead married John, Lord Welles, by whom she had two daughters Elizabeth and Anne, both of whom died without issue. By her second marriage, to Thomas Kyme of Isle of Wight, she had Richard and Margaret. She died at Quarr Abbey, Isle of Wight on 24 August 1507.
Edward V, 1470–?
The eldest son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, Edward was born in sanctuary at Westminster on 4 November 1470. He was created Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chester, March and Pembroke. As Prince of wales, Edward was educated at Ludlow Castle by his uncle Anthony, Earl Rivers.
Following his father’s death, he was brought to London to be crowned. Parliament, however, declared him to be illegitimate and Richard of Gloucester became king. Edward and his brother Richard lived in the Tower of London during the summer of 1483. Their fate is unknown.
Edward’s arms as king were: Quarterly, France modern and England, and his crest on his Great Seal; on a chapeau gules turned up ermine encircled by a royal coronet, a lion statant guardant crowned or.
Margaret of York, b. and d. 1472
This child of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville (not to be confused with her aunt of the same name) was born 10 April 1472 at Windsor Castle and died on 11 December of the same year. She is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Richard, Duke of York, 1473–?
Born at Shrewsbury, the second son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, Richard was created Duke of York in 1474. In 1478, at the age of four years, Richard was married to six-year-old Anne Mowbray, who had inherited the estates of her father John Lord Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk in 1475. They married at St Stephen’s Chapel, Westminster, but Anne Mowbray died while still a child. When his brother, Edward V, was deposed, young Richard, who had been in sanctuary with his mother, was taken by the Archbishop of Canterbury to live with his brother in the Royal Apartments in the Tower of London. Their fate remains a mystery, but many contemporary heads of state including (in secret correspondance, but not publicly) the Spanish King and Queen, believed the claimant Perkin Warbeck, executed by Henry VII, to be Richard.
His arms were: Quarterly, France modern and England, a label of three points, argent on the first point a canton gules; his crest was On a chapeau gules turned up ermine, a lion statant guardant crowned or, gorged with a label as in the arms, and his badge a falcon volant argent, membered or, within a fetterlock unlocked gold.
George of York, Duke of Bedford, 1477-1479
The seventh child and third youngest son of Edward IV and Eizabeth Woodville, he was created Duke of Bedford, but died very young. He is buried at Windsor.
Anne of York, 1475-1510
Anne was married to Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk. She died in 1510 without surviving issue.
Catherine of York, 1479–1527
The sixth daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, Catherine married William Courtenay, Earl of Devon, and had one child, Henry, who succeeded his father as Earl. Despite being made Marquis of Exeter, Henry’s Yorkist blood doomed him, and he was beheaded in 1538 for being implicated in a plot with Cardinal Pole. Henry’s only son, Edward Courtenay, died without issue, and the descendants of this family are from the younger brother of an earlier generation.
The arms of Catherine were her husband’s arms impaling her own: Quarterly, first and fourth, or, three torteaux; second and third, or a lion rampant azure; impaling quarterly, first, quarterly, France modern and England, second and third, de Burgh, and fourth Mortimer.
The arms of Henry Courtenay were: Quarterly, first, France and England quarterly, within a bordure quarterly of England and France, second and third, or, three torteaux; fourth, or a lion rampant azure,; and his crest, out of a ducal coronet or, a plume of ostrich feathers four and three argent.
Bridget of York, 1480-1513
The tenth and last child of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, she became a nun at Dartford and died in 1513.
Richard III 1452–1485
By the Grace of God, King of England and France and Lord of Ireland
Richard III was born on the 2 October, 1452 in Fotheringhay Castle during the tumultuous period known as the Wars of the Roses. His personal motto of Loyaulte Me Lie was a testament of his unswerving loyalty for his brother, Edward IV.
In 1461, he was sent to Middleham Castle to begin his knightly training under his cousin, Richard Neville, known as "The Kingmaker". In 1472, he married the Lady Anne Neville and they retired to Middleham. As Lord of the North, Richard spent the next twelve years bringing peace and order to an otherwise troublesome area of England. Through his hard work and diligence, he attracted the loyalty and trust of the northern gentry. His fairmindedness and justice became his byword. He had a good working reputation of the law, was an able administrator and was militarily formidable. Under his leadership, he won a brilliant campaign against the Scots that is diminished by our lack of understanding of the region in his times.
He enjoyed a special relationship with the city of York and intervened on its behalf on many occasions. Richard, known to be a pious man, was instrumental in setting up no less than ten chantries and procured two licenses to establish two colleges; one at Barnard Castle in County Durham and the other at Middleham in Yorkshire. It is known that his favorite castle was Middleham and he was especially generous to the church raising it to the status of collegiate college. The statutes, written in English rather than Latin, were drawn up under his supervision.
With the untimely death of his brother, Edward IV in 1483, he was petitioned by the Lords and Commons of Parliament to accept the kingship of England. During his brief reign, he passed the most enlightened laws on record for the Fifteenth Century. He set up a council of advisors that diplomatically included Lancastrian supporters, administered justice for the poor as well as the rich, established a series of posting stations for royal messengers between the North and London. He fostered the importation of books, commanded laws be written in English instead of Latin so the common people could understand their own laws. He outlawed benevolences, started the system of bail and stopped the intimidation of juries. He re-established the Council of the North in July of 1484 and it lasted for more than a century and a half. He established the College of Arms that still exists today. He donated money for the completion of St. George's Chapel at Windsor and King's College in Cambridge. He modernized Barnard Castle, built the great hall at Middleham and the great hall at Sudeley Castle. He undertook extensive work at Windsor Castle and ordered the renovation of apartments at one of the towers at Nottingham Castle.
In 1484, while Richard and Anne were at Nottingham, they received word that their beloved son, Edward, who was at Middleham, died suddenly after a brief illness. His wife, Anne, never recovered from the loss of her son and died almost a year later. Her body was borne to Westminster Abbey and laid to rest on the south side of St. Edward's Chapel. Richard wept openly at her funeral and later shut himself off for three days.
In eighteen months, he lost brother, son and spouse. Throughout these tragedies, he remained steadfast to his obligations. His reign showed great promise, but amidst the intrigues and power struggles of his time, he found himself on Bosworth Field. Richard III was 32 years old when he died at the Battle of Bosworth and was the last English king to die in battle.
Arms as Duke of Gloucester: France and England modern, over all a 3-pointed label ermine, on each point a conton gules.
Arms: Quarterly, France modern and England, and his crest on his Great Seal; on a chapeau gules turned up ermine encircled by a royal coronet, a lion statant guardant crowned or; special cognisant, a boar rampant argent, armed and bristled or.
Anne Neville, Queen of England, 1456-1485
Anne Neville was born on 11 June 1456 at Warwick Castle, the younger daughter of Richard Warwick ("The King Maker") and Anne Beauchamp, heiress to the large Beauchamp estate. She spent her childhhod at warwick Castle along with her older sister Isabel. In 1469, her father, no longer in favor with Edward IV, fled to Calais, bringing his family with him. Shortly afterwards, Warwick went over to the Lancastrians, and Anne was betrothed to the Lancastrian Prince Edward, Prince of Wales. Her father and uuncle John were killed at Barnet in April 1471. Edward of Lancaster died at Tewkesbury a month later. She married Richard, Duke of Gloucester and they spent most of their married life at Middleham Castle. They had only one living child, Edward, Prince of Wales. In 1484, Prince Edward died. Anne never recovered and died, probably of tuberculosis, in March 1485, just five months before her husband Richard.
Her arms were: Quarterly, France modern and England, impaling gules, a saltire argent.
Edward, Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester and Salisbury, 1473–1484
Edward was the only surviving child of Richard III and Queen Anne. He was born at Middleham Castle, Yorkshire and was created Prince of Wales during the first year of his father’s reign. Edward suddenly became ill with abdominal pain in 1484 and quickly died, possibly of appendicitis. His parents were distraught with grief and his death may have hastened Anne’s decline.
Arms: Quarterly, France modern and England, a label of three points argent.
John of Gloucester
John was Richard III’s illegitimate son. His mother is unknown. He was also called John of Pomfret, his father appointed him Captain of Calais in 1485, calling him ‘our dear son’. After his father’s death, during the reign of Henry VII, John was beheaded on the pretext of treasonable activities in Ireland.
Lady Catherine Plantagenet
Katherine was the illegitimate daughter of Richard III. Her mother is unknown. In 1484, Katherine was married to William Herbert, Earl of Huntingdon. Richard settled property worth 1,000 marks a year on the couple. Katherine died young without producing any living children.
The Neville Family
Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, 1400-1460
Richard Neville was born in 1400, the eldest son of Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland and his second wife Joan Beaufort, daughter of John of Gaunt. Sometime before 1420 Salisbury succeeded his eldest half–brother, John, as Warden of the West Marches of Scotland. Salisbury took part in the coronation of Henry V's wife, Catherine of France, in 1421, as Carver.
In January 1425 he was appointed Constable at Pontefract Castle and in October of the same year, his father, Westmorland, died, leaving Salisbury without land – his inheritance of land through marriage was considered sufficient. His wife was the 18–year–old only daughter of Thomas de Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury. On 3 May 1429 Neville's claim to the title Earl of Salisbury, in right of his wife, was approved by judges and provisionally confirmed by peers in a Great Council until Henry VI became of age. Henry VI confirmed His tenure for life was confirmed by Henry VI on 4 May 1442.
As Warden of the West Marches, he spent much of his time in the north, but he did attend Henry's coronation on 6 November 1429, acting as Constable for the absent Duke of Bedford (uncle to Henry VI and Regent in France).
Salisbury was also part of two embassies to Scotland in May 1429 and January 1430, the latter to offer Henry's hand in marriage to James' daughter, who was about to be married to the Dauphin of France (later Louis XI). The result of these visits was a 5–year truce.
Although Salisbury did not go to France with Henry in 1430 he did join him in 1431, probably returning together in February 1432. On 18 February 1433 Salisbury was made Master Forester of Blackburnshire, having already been created Warden of Forests North of the Trent. At the July 1433 Parliament Salisbury acted as trier petitioner and was given the title of Warden of the East Marches.
On the death of the Duke of Bedford, Salisbury's brother–in–law, Richard, Duke of York was appointed to France in his place and Salisbury accompanied him. On his return in November 1457 Salisbury was created a Privy Councillor.
Upon his mother's death in November 1440 Salisbury inherited his father's lands around Middleham and Sheriff Hutton. His half–brothers had tried to stop the split of the estates and bloodshed ensued, causing the government to intervene.
As Salisbury was connected to both York and Lancaster - to York through his brother–in–law and to the Lancastrians through his mother. He tried to stand aloof from the trouble between both factions. However the continuance of the Duke of Somerset in power, against an agreement Salisbury helped mediate, caused annoyance and he ignored orders not to get involved in the dispute between his sons and the Percies. Salisbury was accused of conniving with his sons and on the appointment of York as Protector during the madness of Henry VI, Salisbury came down on the side of York while the Percies supported Lancaster.
As Protector, York gave Salisbury the Great Seal of the Chancellor. Salisbury is said to have asked for the vacant See of Ely to be given to his youngest son, George. The Council refused but promised him the next vacant see. On the recovery of Henry VI, Salisbury lost the Great Seal and he retired to Middleham. Open warfare had broken out again between the Nevilles and Percies in 1457 when Lord Egremont (son of Earl of Northumberland) was captured and taken to Middleham. The reconciliation between the Nevilles and Percies of 1458 did not last and armed warfare again broke out the Summer of 1459.
Salisbury left Middleham with an army whose force was reckoned to be between 500 and 7,000 to join up with York. However, they were cut off from each other by the Lancastrian army in Nottingham and Market Drayton. York was at Ludlow. Fortunately, for Salisbury, Lord Stanley, remained inactive at Newcastle under Lyme. The Battle of Blore Heath on 22 August was a bloody affair resulting in many deaths and the capture of two of Salisbury's sons, John and Thomas. Salisbury managed to reach York at Ludlow, where he was excluded from the pardon offered to the Yorkists at Ludlow.
After their flight from Lufford on 12 October, Salisbury, Warwick and York's eldest son, Edward, Earl of March, fled to Calais via Devonshire and Guernsey. At the Parliament which met on 20 November 1459 Salisbury, his three sons and his wife plus various Yorkist leaders were all attainted.
On 26 June 1460 Salisbury landed at Sandwich and with Warwick and March entered London on 2 July. Warwick and March left Salisbury in charge while they went to meet Henry's forces at Northampton. Once Henry was in their hands the attainder was lifted and Salisbury was made Great Chamberlain of England.
York and Salisbury left London on 9 December 1460, arriving at Sandal Castle on 21 December. After spending Christmas at Sandal, they fought at the Battle of Wakefield, where York and his son Edmund were killed, along with Salisbury's second son Thomas. Salisbury was captured and taken to Pontefract, where he was beheaded, his head being exhibited with York's on the walls of York. He was finally buried at Bisham Abbey in 1463. He left Sheriff Hutton and three neighbouring manors to his wife for life but they were given to his nephew, John, Lord Neville for his support of the Lancastrian cause.
By Alice, his wife, he had 4 sons and 6 daughters. Sons: (1) Richard, Earl of Warwick; (2) Thomas married Maud, widow of Robert, 6th Lord Willoughby de Eresby; (3) John, Baron Montagu, Marquis of Montagu, killed at Barnet; (4) George, Bishop of Exeter, Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor. Daughters: (1) Joan married William Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel; (2) Cicely married (i) Henry Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick, (ii) John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester; (3) Alice married Henry, Lord Fitzhugh of Ravensworth Castle near Richmond; (4) Eleanor married Thomas Stanley, 1st Lord Stanley, later 1st Earl of Derby; (5) Catherine married William Lord Hastings; (6) Margaret married John de Vere III, 13th earl of Oxford.
Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, 1428–1471
Born November 1428, Richard Neville was the eldest son of Richard, Earl of Salisbury, and Alice, daughter and heiress of Thomas Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury. He married Anne Beauchamp, only daughter of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, in 1436. Upon the death of Anne’s niece (also named Anne), Richard Neville became Earl of Warwick by right of his wife and also inherited his father-in-law’s estates. He was also named Lord of Glamorgan and Morgan, owner of the castles and honor of Bergavenney, plus lands at Warwick, Elmley, Worcester, Cardiff, Glamorgan, Neath, Abergavenny, and Barnard Castle.
He remained outwardly neutral in the struggle between York and Somerset until February 1452, when war broke out between the Neville and Percy families. When his uncle Richard, Duke of York, became Protector due to Henry VI’s madness, both Warwick and his father Salisbury came over to York’s side.
Warwick was summoned to the Privy Coucil in December of the same year and sat regularly in the Council. Along with Salisbury and York, Warwick was one of the commissioners who invested Henry VI’s son Edward of Lancaster as Prince of Wales on 13 April 1454.
With the return of Henry VI’s sanity in 1455, York and his supports were dismissed, while Somerset once again took power. Warwick was now being closely identified with York’s party.
At the 1st Battle of St. Albans (22 May 1455) Warwick’s victory earned him a military reputation. His services were rewarded with the appointment of Captain of Calais, the office to be held for seven years. However, Lords Welles and Rivers refused to hand over their charge until they had been paid in arrears. It was not until April of the following year that Warwick actually took over.
In July 1457, the French Admiral de Breze sacked Sandwich, which supplied Calais. The Duke of Exeter, who was Captian of the Sea, could not get his fleet together in time to prevent de Breze from attacking. As a result, Warwick had the post transferred to him and he held it for three years.
During the Spring of 1460, Warwick joined forces with the Duke of York, who was now in Ireland. In June, crossed to Sandwich with Edward, Earl of March, Salisbury and an army of between 1,500-2,000 men. Together with his brother George’s men, they marched to meet Henry VI at Northampton. It was a Yorkist victory. Henry VI was captured and sent down to London.
After the death of Richard, Duke of York, and his own father, Warwick supported Edward in his successful bid for the throne. He also received the title of Earl of Salisbury and inherited lands in the south and in Yorkshire, including Middleham and Sheriff Hutton. Disillusioned by Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, Warwick started to plot against Edward IV. Against the king’s wishes, he married his eldest daughter, Isobel, to Edward IV’s brother George, Duke of Clarence in the Spring of 1469. Shortly after the wedding, the Nevilles and George of Clarence were back in England, trying to garner support against Edward. Eventually Warwick and George were declared traitors.
Warwick threw in with Louix XI of France and plotted to restore Henry VI to the English throne. He then made an alliance with York’s great enemy, Margaret of Anjou, at Angers, France, the result of which his youngest daughter Anne, was betrothed to Margaret’s son, Edward, Prince of Wales.
After landing in England, he was betrayed by George of Clarence, who went back to the Yorkist side. His troops, along with those of his brother John, and his brother-in-law Oxford, fought against Edward at Barnet in April 1471 Both Warwick and his brother were killed at the battle. Their bodies were stripped and displayed for two days at St Paul's before being interred at Bisham Abbey.
His arms were: Quarterly, first Grand Quarter, Quarterly, first and fourth, gules, a fess between six crosses crosslet or; second and third, or, three chevronels gules; second Grand Quarter, Quarterly, first and fourth, argent, three lozenges conjoined in fess gules; second and third, or, an eagle displayed vert; third, Grand Quarter, gules, a saltire argent, over all a label compony of the last and azure; fourth Grand Quarter, Quarterly, first and fourth, chequy or and azure, a chevron ermine; second and third, quarterly argent, and gules fretty or, over all a bend sable.
John Neville, Marquis Montagu and Earl of Northumberland, 1431?-1471
Born around 1431, John Neville was the third son of Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury and Alice, daughter of Thomas de Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury. At Christmas 1449, along with his elder brother Thomas and Edmund and Jasper Tudor, he was knighted by Henry VI at Greenwich.
In 1453 he played a prominent role in conflicts between Nevilles and Percies in Yorkshire – he and Lord Egremont (3rd son of Earl of Northumberland) were the leaders of the two rival factions. They ignored orders to desist until 1454 when the Chancellor of England put a temporary end to the disputes. However, disputes broke out again in 1457. The two sides fought a battle at Castleton, near Guisborough, which John won, taking Lord Egremont and his brother Richard Percy as prisoners to Middleham. The Nevilles managed to persuade York assizes that the Percies should pay damages. These, however, were never paid as Lord Egremont escaped. At a reconciliation in March 145,8 the Nevilles agreed to forego the fine.
In 1459 John and his brother Thomas marched south with their father to join the Earl of Warwick and Duke of York. At Blore Heath, Salisbury routed the royal troops sent to intercept them. John and Thomas chased the fleeing Cheshiremen but were, themselves, captured and imprisoned in Chester Castle. After Ludlow John and Thomas were attainted with the rest of their family and were not released until Warwick returned from Calais in the summer of 1460.
John was raised to the peerage as Baron Montagu and made Lord Chamberlain of the Household, a position that gave him a seat in the Privy Council. Montagu and Warwick stayed in London when their father and brother Thomas were killed at Wakefield in December 1460. Following the 2nd Battle of St Albans on 7 February 1461, Montagu was captured by Queen Margaret's army. He was taken to York, where he remained until after the Battle of Towton, when Edward IV entered the city. Montagu pleaded for the city and Edward granted a pardon.
When Edward went south for his coronation, Montagu raised a siege of Carlisle against the Scots and the Lancastrians. His reward was the Order of the Garter, vacated by the loss of his father, which was conferred on him in March 1462, along with the forfeited estates of Viscount Beaumont in Norfolk and Nottinghamshire. His title was confirmed by Edward.
He played a major part in keeping the north under control and was rewarded with the post of Warden of the East Marches against Scotland on 1 June 1463. Along with Warwick he relieved Norham Castle, which was besieged by Queen Margaret and the Scots. In the spring 1464 the Scots agreed to treat for peace. Along with brothers Warwick and George, Montagu was appointed a commissioner. Montagu went to escort the Scottish delegation to the conference in York. On his way Montagu narrowly escaped an ambush near Newcastle, led by Humphrey Neville (of the older Lancastrian branch of the family). He then found the road blocked by the Duke of Somerset and Sir Ralph Percy at Hedgely Moor. The ensuing battle on 25 April 1464 resulted in a victory for Montagu and death for Sir Ralph Percy. Montagu met the Scottish envoy at Norham and they travelled to Newcastle, where he learnt that Somerset had regrouped and was camped near Hexham. With the river on one flank behind them and high ground to the other, the Lancastrians were trapped. After a fight, they were driven in to a wood, where a majority were captured. Somerset and other leaders were executed over the following 10 days. As a reward, Montagu was granted the Earldom and estates of Northumberland, forfeited by Henry Percy, who had been slain at Towton.
The secret marriage of Edward IV to Elizabeth Woodville did not affect Montagu as much as it did Warwick. However, the proposed marriage between Montagu's son George and the heiress of the Duke of Exeter did not take place, as she married to Elizabeth Woodville's son by her first marriage.
How much Montagu supported Warwick's rebellion is not known but there is nothing to show any involvement in the Robin of Redesdale revolt of 1469. In order to keep Montagu's support, Edward agreed to the betrothal of his eldest daughter Elizabeth to Montagu's son George, who was created Duke of Bedford on 5 April 1470. The release and pardon of Henry Percy caused Montagu some unease, since he was enjoying Percy's title and estates. Again he did not openly support the Warwick/Clarence alliance when Edward drove them out of the country but neither did he support Edward. As a consequence Edward decided Montagu could no longer be trusted, so he was deprived of the Northumberland inheritance, which was restored to Percy, along with the post of Warden of the East Marches.
On Warwick's landing in September 1470 Montagu assembled 6,000 men at Pontefract and declared for Henry VI. This desertion helped drive Edward IV out of England and Montagu was reappointed Warden of the East Marches.
Montagu did not try to stop Edward's landing in March 1471 but he did join Warwick at Coventry and fought beside him at Barnet, where both brothers were killed. Their bodies were stripped and displayed for two days at St Paul's before being interred at Bisham Abbey.
John married Isabel, daughter and co–heiress of Sir Edmund Ingoldsthorpe of Borough Green near Newmarket. They had two sons and five daughters. Sons: (1) George, who died in 1483 and is buried at Sheriff Hutton; and (2) John, who died young. Daughters: (1) Anne married Sir William Stonar of Oxfordshire; (2) Elizabeth married (i) Thomas, Lord Scrope of Masham, (ii) Sir Henry Wentworth; (3) Margaret married (i) Thomas Horne, (ii) Sir J Mortimer, (iii) Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, who divorced her; (4) Lucy married (i) Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam, (ii) Sir Anthony Brown; and (5) Isabel married (i) Sir William Huddleston of Sawston, (ii) William Smith of Elford, Staffordshire.
George Neville, Bishop of Exeter, Archbishop of York, Chancellor of England, 1433?-1476
George Neville was born around 1433, the fourth and youngest son of Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, and Alice, daughter of Thomas de Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury. He was destined for the Church from an early age and in March 1446 he was invested with a 'golden prebend' (stipend of canon) of Masham, in York Minster.
He had begun his studies at Balliol College, Oxford. Among his contemporaries was John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester (later to become his brother–in–law through his marriage to George's sister Cicely).
In June 1450 George was admitted (by special grace) to the degree of BA, even though he had not completed the course. His connections ensured he transcended many of the regulations and duties necessary to become an MA. He was awarded his Master's degree in May 1452 and became Chancellor of the University in June 1453, a post he held until his resignation in July 1457. He was made Archdeacon of Northampton and Prebendary of Tame in the Diocese of Lincoln on 17 August 1454, Canon and Prebendary of Thorpe, Ripon on 12 August and ordained a priest on 21 December.
When the post of Bishop of Ely became vacant his father pushed for it to be awarded to George, but the Council refused, stating that George would be recommended for the next vacant see. Although Pope Calixtus III appointed John Hales, Archdeacon of Norwich to the vacant Bishopric of Exeter, pressure was exerted to make him change his mind. Calixtus did so reluctantly but with the proviso that George could not be consecrated until he reached his 27th year. Until such time, he was to be known Bishop–elect and enjoy the revenues of the See.
In January 1456 he became Master of St Leonard's Hospital, York. Also at some point before May 1463, he became Archdeacon of York. George was finally consecrated on 3 December 1458.
George avoided being caught up in his father's rebellion in 1459. After his father and brothers were attainted in October 1459, George declared himself a supporter of the King, although in July 1460 he headed an armed force to meet his father and brothers on their return. He accompanied his brother the Earl of Warwick and cousin, Earl of March, to the Battle of Northampton and again on their return to London with the captive Henry VI. George was given the Great Seal of Chancellor of England, a position resigned by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
George was present at the Council of Yorkist Peers at Baynard's Castle, which, on 3 March 1461, declared Edward, Earl of March as King. He was regranted the Chancellorship on 10 March.
In 1463, in the absence of his brother, Warwick, and having proved himself to Edward, George was entrusted with a mission to the joint conference between France and Burgundy, where he succeeded in 'detaching' Louis XI from the Lancastrians by a year–long truce. He also obtained an extension of the commercial truce between Burgundy and England. In 1464 he accompanied his brothers Warwick and Montagu to treat with Scottish Commissioners at York when a 15–year truce was agreed.
He was created Archbishop of York on 12 September 1464, although not enthroned until 23 September 1465. It was noted that the only member of the royal family present was Richard, Duke of York. Edward wanted to break free from his Neville cousins' influence. His first open blow was to visit a sick George and take the Great Seal from him. Although the Nevilles went through a ceremony of reconciliation with Edward, George – despite expectations – was not restored to the Chancellorship.
In 1469 George helped stir up trouble in the North involving Robin of Redesdale. He joined Warwick in Calais, where he married his niece Isabel to Edward's brother George, Duke of Clarence on11 July 1469.
It was said that it was George who found Edward IV deserted by followers near Coventry after his defeat at Edgecote on 26 July 1469. He took him firstly to Warwick Castle, then to Middleham for 'safe keeping'. It is further claimed that it was only by George's connivance that Edward managed to escape to London. Still Edward did not trust George and tried to prevent him giving aid to Warwick in 1470 by making George swear a solemn oath to be faithful to the Crown against Warwick. George was then exiled to his house, the Moor, at Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.
With Edward's flight and the restoration of Henry VI, George once again became Chancellor. On Edward's return in 1471 Warwick wrote to George asking him to keep Edward out of London for 2–3 days. The citizens of London decided to make terms with Edward. George secretly wrote to Edward and he refused to let Henry VI take sanctuary at Westminster. George surrendered both himself and Henry when he entered the city on 11 April 1471. George was placed in the Tower, but was pardoned on 19 April and finally freed on 4 June when he swore allegiance to Edward's son.
George spent Christmas 1471 at the Moor with John Paston in 'great cheer', believing himself to be restored to favor. Edward invited him to hunt at Windsor then invited himself the visit the Moor. George left Windsor to make preparation but the day before Edward was due to arrive, he summoned George to Windsor, where he was arrested on a charge of corresponding with the Earl of Oxford.
On 25 April 1472 George was brought to the Tower in secret and the following day, still in secret, he was taken to Calais and imprisoned either at Hammes or Guisne. Edward seized all George's lands, goods, chattels, jewels and plate. Because of the secrecy it was rumored that he was dead.
In November 1473, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was reported to be suing for George's return but it was not granted until 1475. George's health had been broken and he died at Blyth, Northumberland on 8 June 1476.
William Neville, Baron Fauconberg, afterwards Earl of Kent, ?-1463
William was the second son of Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland and his second wife Joan Beaufort, daughter of John of Gaunt. His date of birth is unknown.
He was knighted by Henry VI at Leicester Abbey in May 1426. Neville is believed to have fought with the Earl of Salisbury (Thomas de Montacute) at Orleans in 1428.
William was married, before 1424, to Joan, heiress of Baron Fauconberg of Skelton Castle, Cleveland. Baron Fauconberg had died in 1407 when Joan was only a few months old and it was in her right that William was summoned to Parliament to become Baron Fauconberg in 1439.
After spending some time on Scottish afairs William joined his brother, now Earl of Salisbury, and the Duke of York on an expedition to France in 1436. William was prominent in the campaign against Burgundy and in 1439 was Captain of Verneuil, Evreux and Le Neufbourg; Captain–General of Marches of the Chartrain and Governor of the Vicomtes of Auge, Orbec and Pont Audemer. He was at the siege of Meaux in August 1439 and in 1440 helped his cousin, Edmund Beaufort, Earl of Dorset, capture Harfleur. He was created Knight of the Garterarter and received the Norman lordship of Rugles, near Breteuil.
William served under the Duke of York in 1441–2 and was appointed Captain of Roxburgh Castle in March 1443 for 5 years. Towards the end of 1443 William's brother Robert, Bishop of Durham appointed him Steward of the Bishopric, a post which he held until 1453.
He was once again in France in 1448 as one of the English Commissioners at conferences held at Louviers and Rouen. On 16 May 1449, a sudden attack by the French at Pont de L'Arche nearly cost William his life. He was taken prisoner and not liberated until sometime in 1450. In August 1450 he served on an embassy to Charles VII.
In 1452, William was given security for over £4,000 in arrears of pay and reappointed Captain of Roxburgh Castle for 12 years, possibly a reward for the neutrality of the Neville family during York's armed demonstration.
During York's first protectorship, William sat in the Privy Council but was not present at the 1st Battle of St Albans, being in France at the time. He was given an appointment as Joint Constable of Windsor Castle.
In 1457, William was serving under his nephew Warwick at Calais and in February 1458, he commanded the fleet at Southampton. When Warwick went to join York's uprising in the summer of 1459 William stayed in Calais and readmitted Warwick and Salisbury after their flight in Octoer 1459. William was not included in the attainder on the Nevilles.
In June 1460, he helped secure a landing in England by capturing Sandwich and in July 1460 he helped Warwick to victory at Northampton when Henry VI fell in to the hands of the Yorkists.
Wiliam fought at Towton in March 1461 and is credited with playing a major role in the victory. He was left to assist Warwick and Montagu with the reduction of the north when Edward IV went to London for his coronation.
He was rewarded with the Earldom of Kent, which had become extinct on the death of Edmund Holland in 1408. He was also appointed Lord Steward of the Household and a Privy Councillor. Other rewards included being licensed to export 100 sacks of wool, duty free, and granted the manor Crewkerne, Somerset.
William was appointed Admiral of England on 30 July 1462 to stop Queen Margaret invading from France. This he failed to do. His last public appointment was as a Special Commissioner and Justice of Oyer and Terminer in Northumberland and Newcastle on 21 November 1462. He died on 9 January 1463 and was buried at Guisborough Priory.
As he left no legitmate male heirs, his titles fell into abeyance. He did, however, have three daughters by Joan: (1) Joane married Sir Edward Bedhowing; (2) Elizabeth married Sir Richard Strangelove of Harlessy, Clevland; and (3) Alice married Sir John Conyers of Hornby Castle, Yorkshire, the supposed leader of the Robin of Redesdale rebellions in 1469. His natural son was Thomas, known as the Bastard of Fauconberg.
Other Prominent Yorkists
Sir Robert Brackenbury, ?-1485
Sir Robert was a native of Denton, County Durham, belonging to one of Durham's oldest families, dating from the 12th century. The first mention of Sir Robert is in 1473, when he was granted goods from a Richard Fynche. It is possible that at this time he was a former servant of the Earl of Warwick's.
In 1480 Brackenbury received a part of Elizabeth, Lady Latimer's estate. He was also appointed a commission under John Kelnyg, Chancellor of Durham, to enquire about salvage from a Dutch ship wrecked near Hartlepool.
He also concluded several land transactions a this time. His nephew Ralph granted Robert lands in the territory of Scoleacle (present–day School Aycliffe). John Kelynghall and Sir William Pudsey also granted Brackenbury their lands in Selaby, Durham. He also received the manor of Selaby. Thus Robert secured undivided possession of Selaby.
Brackenbury was treasurer of Richard, Duke of Gloucester's household. When Richard became King, Robert was given more honors. He was granted, for life, the offices of Master and Maker of the King's Money, and of Keeper of the Mint within the Tower of London. Three days later an indenture was drawn up between the King and Brackenbury, and, as security for Robert, Sir Ralph Assheton, William Tunstall and John Hoton, esquires, and a goldsmith, John Kirkeby, each put up £100. Also, on 17 July 1483, Brackenbury was made Constable of the Tower for life. His wages as Constable alone were £100 per annum.
There were more honors to come. On 8 March 1484 he received the lordships or manors of Writtle, Havering, Boyton, Hadleigh, Rayleigh and Rochford in Essex, and of the castle, the Constableship of Tonbridge Castle and Hadlow, the manor of Penshurst, Middleton and Marden, in Kent. He was given forfeited estates of Earl Rivers, the Cheyne family (Hastings, Sussex), and Walter Roberts (Kent, Surrey, and Sussex).
In December 1484, he was made Sheriff of Kent, replacing James Pekham. Also in December he was knighted by the King.
When Richard received word of Henry Tudor's landing, he issued instructions to sheriffs and commissioners of array. To Brackenbury he sent additional orders – he was to bring with him Sir Thomas Bourchier and Walter Hungerford. Both men had rebelled against and had been pardoned by Richard. Unfortunately, the two men escaped at Stony Stratford and joined Tudor's forces.
Brackenbury joined the King at Leicester on 20 August. At Bosworth, two days later, he fought as one of Richard's principal captains and was killed. Sir Robert was married to Agnes (last name unknown). He left two daughters, Anne and Elizabeth.
William Catesby, 1446?-1485
William Catesby was born about 1446, the son of William Catesby of Ashby St Legers, Northamptonshire and Phillipa, daughter and heiress of Sir William Bishopston. Nothing is known of his childhood. He was trained as a lawyer and acted as a legal advisor, land-agent, executor, and feoffee-to-uses His patrons including the Duke of Buckingham, Lord Hastings, Lord Lisle (brother to the Queen’s first husband), and Lord Dudley, as well as Lady Latimer. With the death of his father in 1479, William inherited his father’s estates in Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire, and Huntingdonshire.
In February 1481, William was retained as one of the apprentices-at-law as counsel by the administration of the Duchy of Lancaster, with a fee of 13s.4d. per annum; he was to retain this office under Richard III.
Until the death of Edward IV, Catesby continued to act as legal counsel and administrator of local estates. Catesby may also have sat as knight of the shire in Edward IV’s last parliament, which took place between 20 January and 18 February 1483. It is possible that he may have represented Northamptonshire.
On April, 1483, Edward IV died suddenly, leaving England with a 12-year-old king. Edward’s brother Richard Duke of Gloucester became the Protector for his nephew until the boy came of age. The following month, Catesby was granted for life the office of Chancellor of the Earldom of March, with an annual fee of £40. The very next day he was created a J. P. for his home county of Northamptonshire.
After June of 1483, Catesby was to have a new master - King Richard III. On 13 June Lord Hastings, Catesby’s then master was arrested for treason against the Protector and executed. It was thought that Hastings was plotting against the Protector along with others such as Bishop John Morton and the former Queen Elizabeth Woodville. Whether or not there really was a conspiracy between Hastings and the Woodville is not known. Historians are still divided about this.
Catesby gained by Hastings' downfall. He was appointed to his post of Chamberlain of the Receipts of the Exchequer. On 30 June 1483 he was also appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Chancellor of the Earldom of March for life. In 1484 Catesby was appointed Speaker at Richard's only only Parliament. He was a Commissioner for Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, and Gloucestershire. He was created an Esquire of the Body by Richard.
Until Buckingham’s treason in 1483, Catesby was the Duke’s steward and surveyor in the manor of Rothwell (Northamptonshire); on 11 March 1481 he was included in the Duke’s feoffees at Rothwell, some Stafford family estates in Essex, and the lordship of Thornbury (Gloucestershire). In the Spring of 1484 William was part of a group, including Sir William Hussey, Chief Justice of the King’s Bench, that was to administer certain of Buckingham’s forfeited lands in order to pay off the Duke’s debts.
Throughout 1484, Catesby served on a number of royal commissions. On 1 November, he was part of a commission which included John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, and others such as Catesby’s uncle Justice John Catesby, to deliver Newgate jail to Sir John Guildford of Rolvenden, who had been attainted due to his participation in the Buckingham rebellion. On 1 May he was appointed a member of commissions of array in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, and Northamptonshire. During this time Henry Tudor, calling himself Earl of Richmond, was being supported by Francis, Duke of Brittany, despite the Duke having concluded a truce with Richard III. There were rumors of Tudor’s bringing an army over to the south coast of England in the spring of 1484. On 26 June Catesby was included in a commission authorized to take (at Southampton) the muster of a retinue of 1,000 archers which Lord Powis was supposed to be taking to Brittany, presumably as a consideration for the truce and to capture English exiles; the archers never went overseas. On 20 February Catesby was part of another commission appointed to negotiate for an extension of the truce with Brittany. The truce was extended from 1 July 1484 to 24 April 1485 being continued to Michaelmas (29 September) 1492. On 20 September fifteen of Richard’s councillors, including the Chancellor Bishop Russell, and William Catesby, were authorized to negotiate with the Scottish King James III’s emissaries in hopes of securing a peace treaty. Only four of the English commissaries - the Chancellor, the Duke of Norfolk, Sir Richard Ratcliffe, and Catesby - were entrusted with securing a marriage between James’s heir and Anne, daughter of John de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, and Richard III’s niece. New commissions of array were issued on 8 December 1484, with Catesby serving on those for Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Hertsfordshire.
Little is known of Catesby’s activities from February until his death in August, 1485. On 7 August, Henry Tudor landed at Milford (Pembrokeshire). Crossing Wales, he reached Shrewsbury by 15 August. On the morning of 22 August, the King’s army met the Tudor army at Bosworth Field. Among those in the King’s army were William Catesby, Lord Zouche (Catesby’s brother-in-law), and Sir Richard Ratcliffe (his wife’s relative by marriage). King Richard III was killed in the battle, along with Ratcliffe. Lord Zouche escaped the field. Catesby, however, was taken prisoner and executed presumably three days after the battle, on 25 August. In his will, dated on the day of his death, he asked to be buried at Ashby St. Leger and that his wife to restore all the land he had wrongly purchased and to divide the remainder among their children. He also asked for Lords Stanley and Strange to pray for his soul.
Catesby married Margaret, daughter of William, Lord Zouche. They had at least one son, George. In 1497, Henry VII reversed the attainder on William Catesby in favor of his son. The family flourished until a descendant –Robert Catesby–was attainted in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 against James I.
William, Baron Hastings, 1430?-1483
Born about 1430, William Hastings was the son of Leonard Hastings and Alice, daughter of Lord Camoys. On the death of his father, he succeeded to estates in Leicestershire and Warwickshire and was Sheriff of both counties.
Hastings received an annuity from Richard, Duke of York on condition that he served him above all others and at all times. He was highly recommended to York's son, later Edward IV. On the accession of Edward IV, Hastings was appointed Master of the Mint. While holding that post he introduced new coinage of a gold noble coin worth 100d. and 2 other gold pieces worth 50d. and 20d. He was appointed (1461–69) Chamberlain of North Wales; (1461–83) Grand Chamberlain of the Royal Household; (1463) Receiver of Revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall; (1471) Lieutenant of Calais. He was created Baron Hastings in 1461 and received large grants of forfeited estates. In the right of his wife, he also received land grants in Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, and Suffolk.
Hastings was present at Edward IV's coronation and in 1462 he accompanied Edward on an expedition north. He was also one of the lords sent to Carlisle to receive the Queen of Scots in July 1462 and undertook the siege of Dunstanburgh with 10,000 men.
On 21 March 1464, Hastings was installed as Knight of the Garter. Later in the same year, he joined the Earls of Warwick and Northumberland to treat for peace with James III of Scotland.
On 28 March 1465, Hastings was deputed with Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, to treat with representatives of Charles the Bold for an alliance. In May of the same year, Hastings, with Warwick and five other lords was directed to treat with ambassadors from Philip, Duke of Burgundy, for trade between merchants of each country; as well as in 1466, being one of the ambassadors sent to treat with Burgundy for the marriages between Edward IV's sister Margaret and Charles and between Edward's brother George, Duke of Clarence and Mary, daughter of Charles.
When Edward escaped from Middleham to London in 1469, Hastings raised troops to aid him and was reappointed Chamberlain of North Wales. It was Hastings who warned Edward of Warwick’s invasion in 1470 and he accompanied Edward to Lynn (present-day King’s Lynn), Norfolk.
Hastings was also one of the party which went with Edward to France and he received a pension from Louis XI of 2,000 crowns a year; as well as a pension from the Duke of Burgundy of 1,000 crowns a year.
On Edward IV's death, Hastings swore allegiance to Edward V and although disliked by the Woodvilles (apparently because he was appointed Governor of Calais over Elizabeth Woodville's Brother Earl Rivers), he kept his position by virtue of his fidelity to Edward IV.
However, he opposed Elizabeth when she proposed Edward V should be escorted to London with a large army and crowned before Richard got to hear of it. He then refused to support Richard’s claim to the throne and buried his differences with Elizabeth Woodville’s party through Jane Shore. He was arrested and charged with treason while attending a Council meeting held at the Tower on 14 June 1483. Although generally believed to have been beheaded on the same day, there is an extant document which purports to claim it was a week later before his execution. He is buried in the north aisle of the Chapel of St. George in Windsor, near Edward IV.
He married Katherine, daughter of Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury and widow of Lord Bonville. They had three sons and one daughter. The eldest son and heir, Edward, became 1st Earl Huntingdon; his other sons were named Richard and William. His daughter, Anne, married George, Earl of Shrewsbury.
John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk of the Howard Family, 1430?-1485
Born around 1430, John Howard was the son and heir of Sir Robert Howard and Margaret, daughter of Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. Through his mother and her female line, he was descended from Edward I, thus making him the premier Duke and heir to the title of Earl Marshall. Nothing is known of his childhood.
His first recorded service was in 1451, when he followed Lord L’Isle to Guienne. He was also present at the Battle of Chatillon in July two years later. It was at this time that he entered the service of John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk.
On the first accession of Edward IV, Howard was knighted and appointed Constable of Colchester Castle, Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk. He was also one of the King’s Carvers.
Howard took an active part in John Mowbray’s quarrel with John Paston. In August 1461, he was involved in a violent brawl with Paston and used his influence with Edward IV against Paston. In November of the same year, Howard was imprisoned after giving offence at the election of Paston, causing many complaints against him.
The following year, he was appointed Constable of Norwich Castle and received grants of several manors forfeited by the Earl of Wiltshire. He was joined by William Neville, Baron Fauconberg and Lord Clinton to "keep the seas", taking Croquet and the Isle of Rhe. Later in the year, he was sent to help the Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick at Warkworth.
In the Spring of 1464, Howard helped Norfolk secure Wales for Edward IV. He bought the reversion of Bamburgh Castle in June of the same year and was with Edward IV and his court at Reading by the year’s end.
Howard was appointed Vice Admiral for Norfolk and Suffolk in 1466, and was charged with conveying envoys from England to France and the Duke of Burgundy. He remained in Calais from 15 May to 27 September.
He was elected Knight of the Shire for Suffolk in April 1467, having been elected Knight of the Shire for Norfolk in 1455. November 1467 saw him as an appointed Envoy to France as well as Treasurer to the Household, a post which he held until 1474. The following June (1468) he attended Margaret of York to Flanders for her marriage to Charles, Duke of Burgundy.
On the restoration of Henry VI, he was created Baron de Howard (15 October 1470). However, when Edward IV landed back in England in March 1471, after living in exile in Bruges, Howard proclaimed Edward to be King.
The following June, he was appointed Deputy Governor of Calais. When Edward IV invaded France in July 1474, he was accompanied by John Howard, who was one of the commissioners who made a truce at Amiens. Howard received a pension from Louis XI and remained in France, briefly, as a hostage after Edward’s departure. On Howard’s return to England, he was granted manors in Suffolk and Oxfordshire forfeited by John de Vere, Earl of Oxford.
John Howard was also sent by Edward to treat with France on several occasions – July 1477, March 1478, and January 1479. Also, in 1479, he was put in charge of the fleet which was sent to Scotland.
At Edward IV’s funeral in April 1483, he carried Edward’s Banner. He then attached himself to Richard III. On 13 May 1483, he was appointed High Steward of the Duchy of Lancaster and wa made a Privy Councillor. A month later, John Howard was created Duke of Norfolk and Earl Marshall.
He persuaded Elizabeth Woodville to let the young Duke of York join his brother Edward V in the Tower. At Richard III’s coronation, Howard performed many functions – he acted as High Steward, bore the crown, and, as Earl Marshall, was the King’s Champion. Shortly afterwards, he was created Admiral of England, Ireland, and Aquitaine, and was appointed Chief of Commissioners to negotiate with James III of Scotland on 12 September 1484 at Nottingham.
In August 1485, he summoned his retainers to Bury St. Edmunds and commanded the vanguard at the Battle of Bosworth, where he was killed. Howard was attainted at Henry VII’s first Parliament. He was buried in the conventual church at Thetford, Norfolk.
John Howard was married twice. His first wife was Catherine, daughter of William, Lord Moleyns. By Catherine he had one son Thomas, Earl of Surrey and 2nd Duke of Norfolk, and four daughters: Anne, who married Sir Edward Gorges of Wraxall; Isabel, who married Sir Robert Mortimer of Essex; Jane, who married John Timperly; and Margaret, who married Sir John Wyndham of Crownthorpe and Felbrigg.
In January 1467, he married his second wife Margaret, daughter of Sir John Chedworth, by whom he had one daughter Catharine, who married (1) John Bourchier, 2nd Lord Berners; and (2) John Norreys.
Francis, Lord Lovel, 1456-1487? (under construction)
Sir Robert Percy (under construction)
Sir Richard Ratcliffe, ?-1485
Sir Richard Ratcliffe was the younger son of Sir Thomas Radcliffe and Margaret, daughter of Sir William Parr of Kendal (grandfather of Catherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth wife). His maternal grandfather was Comptroller of the Household of Edward IV.
He was knighted by Edward IV on the battlefield of Tewkesbury in 1471 and was created Knight Banneret by Richard, Duke of Gloucester during the siege of Berwick in August 1482. He was sent to York in June 1483 with a letter to the city’s Mayor, John Newton, asking for assistance in the Buckingham rebellion. Returning from York, he arrived at Pontefract at the same time as Earl Rivers, Richard Grey and others. On 25 June 1483 Rivers, Grey, and Sir Thomas Vaughan were executed by Ratcliffe. For his services, he was created a Knight of the Garter, Knight of the Body to the King, High Sheriff of Westmorland for life, as well as the receiving the Stewardship of Wakefield.
Along with William Catesby, Ratcliffe was regarded as one of Richard III's most trusted advisers. On 22 April 1485 Ratcliffe was sent a safe conduct from James III of Scotland to head a commision to treat with him. He never left London.
He was slain at Bosworth and was attainted by Henry VII. The attainder was reversed in 1495 on the petition of Ratcliffe's son Richard.
Ratcliffe married Agnes Scrope, daughter of John, Lord Scrope and widow of Christopher Boynton of Sedbury, Gilling near Richmond. They had one son, also named Richard.
Richard Woodville (Wydeville), 1st Earl Rivers, 1405?- 1469
Born around 1405, Richard was the on of Richard Woodville of the Mote, near Maidstone, Kent and Grafton, Northamptonshire and Joan Beauchamp, heiress of a Somerset family. He was knighted by Henry VI at Leicester on 19 May 1426. Woodville commanded a troop to France in 1429, conveying the Duke of Burgundy's army wages. He served under the Dule of Suffolk in 1435–6, as well as Somerset and Talbot in an attempt to relieve Maux in 1439.
He went to France with the Duke of York in June 1441 and helped relieve Pontoise. On 25 September 1442, Richard was created Knight Banneret and Captain of Alençon. Between 9–29 May 1448 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Rivers by letters patent. It is not certain why he close the title of Rivers.
Woodville helped put down Jack Cade's rebellion in June 1450 and was admitted to the Order of the Garter and Privy Council in August of the same year. Although he received a commision as Seneschal of Aquitaine on 18 October 1450 to fight the French his proposed expedition remained idle at Plymouth for 9 months and was cancelled on the fall of Bordeaux. He spent the next few years at Calais under the Duke of Somerset and fought at the Battle of St. Albans.
Rivers was summoned to the great council in January 1458, which arranged the reconciliation between the rival forces and in July he was appointed to inquire into the Earl of Warwick's piratical attack on a Lubeck salt fleet.
When the Earls of March and Warwick took refuge in Calais in 1459, Rivers was stationed at Sandwich to guard against a landing. Early in 1460 Rivers and his son Antony were surprised in their beds by Sir John Dynham and carried to Calais where they were berated by the Yorkists for their part in branding the Earls traitors. How they escaped is not known, but they both fought at Towton. After the battle, Rivers accompanied Henry VI on his flight to Newcastle.
The secret marriage of his daughter Elizabeth of Edward IV did much to increase the family's fortunes. The Woodvilles' influence increased much to the displeasure of the 'old nobility'. Rivers was appointed Treasurer on 4 March 1466 and on 25 May the same year, he was created 1st Earl Rivers. John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, was forced to resign as High Constable of England in favor of Rivers, who took up the staff on 24 August 1467.
Supporters of the Earl of Warwick started uprisings against the Woodvilles, but Warwick himself visited Edward IV at Coventry in early 1469 and was reconciled with Rivers. The reconciliation was short–lived, the final break coming with the marriage of the Duke of Clarence to Isabel Neville in July 1469.
After Edward IV's defeat at Edgecote on 26 July 1469, Rivers and his second son, Sir John Woodville, were taken at Cheapstow, conveyed to Kenilworth and executed on 12 August 1469.
He secretly married Jacquetta of Luxembourg, daughter of Peter de Luxembourg, Count of St, Pol and widow of John, Duke of Bedford (uncle to Henry VI and Regent in France) around 1436. On 23 March 1437 she paid £1,000 for marrying without a royal license. Rivers received a pardon on 24 October 1437. Her relatives claimed that they'd had two children before their marriage but this rumour was discounted.
She bore him 14 children – 7 sons and 7 daughters. Five sons survived: (1) Antony, 2nd Earl Rivers, who married (i) Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Lord Scales, and (ii) Mary, daughter of Sir Henry Fitzlewis; (2) John, who at 20 was married to the 80–year–old Catherine Neville, dowager Duchess of Norfolk and was executed with his father; (3) Lionel, Bishop of Salisbury; (4) Edward, who commanded the Woodville fleet in 1483 and joined Henry Tudor in exile; (5) Richard, attainted 1483, restored 1485 and succeeded Antony as 3rd (and last) Earl Rivers. He died without issue in 1491.
Daughters: (1) Elizabeth, who married Edward IV; (2) Margaret, who married Thomas Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel; (3) Anne, who married (i) William, Viscount Bourchier and (ii) George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent; (4) Jacquetta, who married John Lord Strange of Knocklin; (5) Mary, who married William Herbert, Earl of Huntingdon; (6) Catherine, who married (i) Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, (ii) Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford, and (iii) Sir Richard Wingfield; (7)Eleanor, who married Anthony, Lord Grey of Rutkin.
Anthony Woodville (Wydville), Baron Scales, 2nd Earl Rivers, 1442?- 1483
Born about 1442, the eldest son of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers and Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford (widow of John of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI and Regent in France). Not much is known of his early life. In January 1460, he went with his father to Sandwich, where they were surprised and captured by a group of Yorkists and taken to Calais. They both fought for the Lancastrians at Towton, where Anthony was reported "fallen". Deciding Henry VI's cause was lost, they both transferred their allegiance to Edward IV. His title of Lord Scales by right of his wife was confirmed in 1462 and it was under that title that he was summoned to Parliament that same year. After the wedding of his sister Elizabeth to Edward IV in 1464, Anthony's advancement was swift. He succeeded the Duke of Milan as a Knight of the Garter and received a grant of the Lordship of the Isle of Wight.
He was an accomplished knight and in 1465 sent a challenge to Anthony, Count la Roche – half–brother of Charles the Bold – known as "The Bastard of Burgundy" and a knight of great renown. The challenge was accepted, but Burgundian wars delayed the combat until June 1467. Over two days they fought on horse and on foot, with the contest being declared a draw.
Anthony was one of the negotiators for a marriage between Edward's sister Margaret and Charles, Duke of Burgundy. He accompanied Margaret to Bruges in June 1468. In October 1468 he was created Governor of Portsmouth and entrusted with command of the fleet which took 4,000 Englishmen to assist the Duke of Burgundy against France.
Anthony's father was killed at Edgecote on 26 July 1469, making him Earl Rivers and Constable of England. He resigned the constablecy to Richard, Duke of Gloucester. In 1470 he was created Lieutenant of Calais and was responsible for keeping the Nevilles and rebels away, a task which he failed to accomplish.
Rivers went with Edward IV into exile and returned with him in 1471 and he is credited with helping Edward secure victory at Barnet. While Edward was fighting at Tewkesbury, Anthony was repulsing "The Bastard of Fauconberg" from London.
On 8 July, 1471, he was created Councillor to his nephew the Prince of Wales. In October 1471, he was given reluctant royal agreement for a safe conduct to Portugal to fight the Saracens. He returned before 23 July of the following year, when he was empowered to arrange an alliance with the Duke of Brittany.
In February 1473, Anthony was created on of the Prince of Wales’ Guardians and Chief Butler of England. Two years later he went on a pilgrimage to Rome and southern Italy. On his return in early 1476, he was robbed and applied for restitution from the authorities; it was signed out of respect for Edward IV. Pope Sixtus IV invested Anthony with the title "Defender and Director of Papal Causes in England".
A second marriage was negotiated for Anthony with Margaret, sister of James III of Scotland in 1478. Edward IV bestowed on him Thorney and three other honors and sent Margaret a safe conduct. The Scottish Parliament voted 20,000 marks for the marriage. The negotiations were broken off suddenly without warning or explanation.
At the time of Edward IV’s death in April 1483, Anthony was at Ludlow with his nephew Edward, now Edward V. He left Ludlow with his nephews Edward V and Richard Grey, and 2,000 followers, leaving on 24 April 1483 and reaching Stony Stratford five days later. It was at Stony Stratford that they he heard that Richard, Duke of Gloucester and Henry, Duke of Buckingham had arrived in Northampton. Anthony and Grey rode back with the two dukes and joined them for dinner. The following day, Rivers and Grey were arrested and sent to Sheriff Hutton. Among their baggage was found a large quantity of arms and armor. They were charged with treason and then moved to Pontefract, where they were executed on 25 June 1483.
Anthony Woodville married: (1) Elizabeth, Baroness Scales and Neucelles, widow of Sir Henry Bourchier, 2nd son of the Earl of Essex. Their marriage took place between July 1460 and March 1461. She died on 1 September 1473; and (2) Mary, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Henry FitzLewis of Horndon, and Lizabeth, daughter of Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset. Mary survived Anthony and married (2) Sir John Neville, natural son of the 2nd Earl of Westmorland. Anthony had no legitimate children, but had at least one natural daughter Margaret, who married Sir Robert Poyntz of Iron Acton, Gloucestershire. Anthony was succeeded by his brother Richard as 3rd (and last) Earl Rivers.
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