EARLS OF  WARWICK
                                 The  Neville's of Warwick

The Neville's are closely allied to the "Wars of the Roses" through Richard Neville the 16th earl Warwick's on-off support for Edward IV, a Yorkist king. William Lord Hastings was a protector of Edward IV and thus came into close contact with both Edward and Warwick and very close contact with Richard III's axe.
The Midgley's of Yorkshire were Yorkist supporters of William Lord Hastings, so you can read where your forebears may have been involved
[it might be best to print off and read.]
Richard Neville also became the 8th earl of Salisbury- otherwise styled 1st earl Salisbury [1429] in his line. b.1400, d.1471 This Richard revived the title through his wife Lady Elizabeth [Alice] Montacute, b. 1406, d. 1462 or 1463 married 1420.
The title 8th earl Salisbury passed from John Montague/Montacute to Richard Neville* because John was accused by Henry Bolingbroke of treason; for this John was beheaded by a mob and his head placed on London Bridge.

*An alternate scenario provided by Gavin Webb who as a re-enactor has studied Sir Thomas Montacute 4th [9th] earl of Salisbury,  the son of John Montacute: Thomas was knighted and his lands and title, as earl of Salisbury, were restored to him when he received a reversion of his father's attainder. He also increased  his possessions upon marrying Eleanor granddaughter of the "Fair Maid of Kent" in 1399. Upon the death of Thomas, his only child, Alice Montacute, as the countess of Salisbury, married , in about 1420, Sir Richard Neville [Nevil] earl of Warwick, who then gained the earldom in her right. Richard and Alice had two sons, Richard and John, the former was styled "Warwick the King maker", both were killed at the Battle of Barnett in 1471. See below



small rose of the House of York. EARL WARWICK [Richard Neville] "THE KING-MAKER"

The eldest son of the 8th earl ['2nd earl Salisbury'] was also a Richard Neville [b.1428, d. 1471]. This Richard is often referred to as "The Kingmaker" or "Warwick".
Originally a supporter of the Lancastrian cause, Warwick returned to the support of the Duke of York against King Henry VI and his Queen.Margaret [of Anjou]. Margaret was ascendant to the king due to his "insanity " for the years 1453-55.

Warwick Succeeds
Richard Neville is popularised as 'Warwick', he started his Yorkist military exploits in St. Albans, Herts. in 1455 when a Yorkist army marched on London but found their way blocked by King Henry VI's troops. The Yorkist rebels won the conflict due to Warwick's bold stroke of a flank attack through the side streets of the town. Warwick took control of the captaincy of Calais in 1456 and continued in this capacity until his death in 1471. He had replaced the Duke of Somerset who had commanded Calais from 1451 to1454 when the Duke of York forced him from his position.Sir Gervase Clifton had been Somerset's treasurer. Clifton gained the Manor of Wakefield through marriage and thus had a vested interest in the Wool Staple, his lands, especially in the Pennines produced large amounts of wool at great profit. Clifton did not attend well to the payment of the garrison such that when Warwick replaced Somerset he had to set about rectifying the damage. Warwick became popular with his men and even took to piracy of ships from the Hanseatic League, eventually landing a force in Southern England to confront Henry VI and Queen Margaret in battle.

Warwick Escapes
In 1459 Warwick and the Duke of York were chased from the battle at the Route of Ludford, near Ludlow, Shropshire by Henry's troops. The Duke of York fled to Dublin and Warwick back to his haven of Calais.

Warwick returns & succeeds again
In 1460 Warwick and the Duke of York returned to England and won the Battle of Northampton and overthrew the Lancastrians. Henry VI was captured and  held prisoner in the Tower of London whilst his queen, Margaret fled to Wales.
See Warwick visiting Henry VI in 'The Tower'

No quarter was given to knight or noble, the cruelty of the War of the Roses had begun.
 

THE PLAYERS
Henry VI alias Henry Plantagenet and his Queen Margaret of Anjou
Edward IV alias Edward Plantagenet
Richard Duke of Gloucester [later Richard III]
Edward V and Richard Duke of York ["The Princes in the Tower"]
Earl of Warwick alias Richard Neville ["The King-maker"]

Yorkist Defeats
The Percies of Northumberland, staunch Lancastrians, amassed a huge army  to win the battle of Wakefield in 1460 at which the beloved Duke of York was killed [at "The Fallings"]. Sir Hugh Hastings, Sir Thomas Neville and Sir Hugh Mortimer were amongst those who died. All the chief prisoners were beheaded* as commanded by Queen Margaret. This behaviour became common-place after each battle throughout the "Wars of the Roses". On their way to London Queen Margaret's troops sacked a number of towns in an act of wanton destruction, which of course did not endear them to the population.
 

* The bodies of the Duke of York, his father and brother were decapitated and their heads stuck on Wakefield Castle
[Sandal Magna castle]. The Duke's head was taken to York, had a paper crown placed upon it and stuck on theYork castle walls.

Warwick tried to bar their way in the second battle of St. Albans in 1461 but he failed to halt this mighty force. The Queen, Margaret, by all accounts was a cruel person, making her 7 year old son Edward Prince of Wales pass sentence of death on the prisoners.

Warwick succeeds for a third & fourth time.
Warwick with Edward, Earl of March, son of the Duke of York [shortly Edward IV] regrouped their forces and defeated the Lancastrians at Mortimer's Cross in the Welsh marches

At the Battle of Towton in 1461 Warwick defeated the Lancastrians, Henry 6th fled to Scotland but was captured in 1465, others say he was found wandering in disguise in Lancashire.
The ineffectual Henry was now deposed. Edward IV and Warwick had Henry locked in the Tower of London. for it is said, a maddening 10 years.

Edward Made King
Warwick now made Edward Plantagenet King Edward IV. Warwick incidentally was Edward's cousin who was now made the Governor of Calais for his services where he proved himself an able commander.
Edward confiscated lands of the Lancastrians and gave it to his supporters.

Warwick Revolts Against Edward IV and escapes to Calais
Warwick who had fought for Edward IV at Towton [and again later Barnet and Tewkesbury] now, in about 1465,  revolted against Edward  for a variety of reasons [The choice of Edward's wife, and the king's non-alignment with France], Warwick basically, as we say today "spat the dummy".  He & Queen Margaret led an invasion and restored Henry VI to the throne.Henry VI of England, of the House of Lancaster.
He may have taken Edward prisoner for a while but was forced to escape to his beloved Calais & France six months after his initial rift with Edward. From 1469 until his death in 1471 Warwick held the position of Captain of Calais, the Wool Staple. Warwick had been made the 16th earl of Warwick by his marriage to Anne Beauchamp [ the Beauchamps were Earls of Warwick], and inherited the title 9th Earl of Salisbury from his father. However because he was now opposed to Edward IV , the king gave the 9th earldom to Thomas Montague.

Warwick Returns again
By 1470 or 1471 Warwick had returned to England as an invader, this time the roles were reversed and Edward 4th had to escape to Holland [Netherlands/Flanders] with Lord William Hastings and the future Richard III.
Warwick restored the by now, imbecilic Henry VI by "pulling him out of the Tower" and essentially ruled him.

Edward IV, Richard [later III] and Lord Hastings Return
In 1471 Edward IV, Richard [later III], Lord William Hastings and troops, lent by the Duke of Edward IV King of England, of the House of York Burgundy,who held Flanders, invaded England. Richard defeated Warwick at the Battle of Barnet, Essex, in April, where Warwick was killed. A further win at Tewkesbury removed the power of the Lancastrians, Margaret's army was crushed and her son Edward Prince of Wales was killed. Following these ultimate wins, Edward IV was restored to the throne. Richard [later Richard III] married Warwick's daughter, Ann Neville after defeating her own father!
Edward IV now had the feeble Henry VI murdered in the Tower, Henry was the last of the Lancastrian kings.
For a time Calais, the Wool Staple was without a captain until Edward IV's chamberlain and great friend Lord William Hastings was appointed. From about 1472 Lord Hastings replaced Warwick as the Captain of Calais, until his untimely death in 1483.
See Edward IV enthroned

The deaths of Edward IV and Lord William Hastings
Edward IV's early death at the age of 41 in 1483 left the way open for the ambitious Richard Duke of Gloucester [later Richard III]- except for a few small obstacles, not the least of which were Lord William Hastings and also Richard's  nephews. Hastings, the protector and great friend of Edward IV is hastily [excuse the pun] beheaded by Richard without trial. Then, later, as Richard III he gave the Captaincy of Calais to his third child John Plantagenet.

Richard the Protector?
Richard III, Duke of Gloucester. Richard  Duke of Gloucester now played the Protector of the Realm for his 12 year old nephew King Edward V and Richard Duke of York. Richard Duke of Gloucester now made himself  King!
In the interim Richard declared Edward the IV's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville* to be invalid and the two sons of Edward IV to be illegitimate ["Princes in the Tower"].
*It is known that William Lord Hastings conspired with the Woodville family against Richard

Murder most Foul- who were the culprits?
Rumours spread that Richard III had the princes murdered in the Tower, his own nephews, in order to satisfy his regal ambitions [1483]. In 1674 two boys skeletons were found in the White Tower when repairs were being carried out. They were sealed behind stonework. Some observers now feel that the death of the Princes etc. to be anti-Yorkist propaganda. For this Richard has, according to some sources been unjustifiably maligned by Sir Thomas More in his History of Richard III and William Shakespeares's Richard III.  To address this, members of the World-wide Richard the III Society are on a mission to clear his name, good luck!

However for Richard III 'tis but a short reign of two years before he is cut down in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth in Leicestershire, the last Battle of the Wars of the Roses. His  reign is given far more prominence than its shortness deserves.



John Neville  was created the 1st marquess of Montague, Kt. of the garter. [b. 1431, d. 1471] He was the younger son of Richard Neville. John was a Yorkist who became a Lancastrian supporter.
There is also a Thomas Neville [d. 1471 also] otherwise known as Lord Fauconberg or unflatteringly, the "Bastard of Fauconberg " or Lord Falconbridge. Thomas was appointed to investigate the accounting procedure of the garrison at Calais then under Somerset and Clifton, which was found to require backpayments of some 60,000 pounds. Originally he was a Lancastrian rebel against Edward IV. He fought the king with Richard Neville the 16th earl of Warwick, The Kingmaker. Eventually Thomas  was beheaded

Home Home | Previous



Links: Lord Willam Hastings
          Titles of the nobility
          Edward the IV claimed as an illegitimate son

Off site links:         
          The Earl of Salisbury
          Thomas Montacute- edited from Dictionary of National Biography by L.Stephens & S. Lee, 1891.


Copyright © 2001,Tim Midgley revised June 2006.