Neville, Richard (Earl of Warwick, 'The Kingmaker')

 Born  Nov 1428   Born At  
 Died  14 Apr 1471   Buried At  
 Father  Neville, Richard (Earl of Salisbury)   Mother  Montacute, Alice (Daughter of Earl of Salisbury)

Titles Include

Earl of Warwick

Richard was a member of the powerful Neville family which had survived since the time of King John when Robert Fitz-Maldred ,lord of Raby, married Isabella de Neville. Their son took the name Neville and successive generations always passed down through a male heir mainly from father to son. Several Nevilles married the heiresses of baronial houses whose land and titles were transferred across.


Richard Neville's grandfather Ralph Neville had married the daughter of John of Gaunt (the son of Edward III) and Richard's father had gained the title Earl of Salisbury when he married Alice the previous Earl of Salisbury's daughter. Richard himself married Anne Beauchamp the heiress to the Warwick earldom. The last male Beauchamp died without an heir and so Richard took the title of Earl of Warwick which gave him control of large amounts of land in the Midlands and South Wales.

Wars of the Roses

Warwick became a supporter of Richard, Duke of York (White rose) in the conflict with the Henry VI and the Lancastrians (red rose) over claims for the English throne. After several battles against the Lancastrians Warwick and the Yorkists captured the King at the Battle of Northampton in July of 1460. After several more battles Richard of York's son Edward was declared king of England and was crowned in June of 1461 as Edward IV.

Changing Sides

Warwick's support for the new king ended when Edward married Elizabeth Woodville in 1468. In 1469 Warwick was behind a rebellion against the King. Warwick managed to capture the King after the battle of Edgecote in July of 1469 but the Earl did not have the support of Parliament and the country so he had to release the King from prison. In 1470 Warwick fled to France and there met Margaret of Anjou, the exiled wife of Henry VI. Although Warwick and Margaret had previously been enemies they put aside their differences and plotted together to remove Edward IV from the English throne. With assistance from the French King Louis XI Margaret and Warwick attempted to restore Henry VI to the throne. In September of 1470 Warwick and Margaret landed in England and in October Henry VI had been released from the Tower of London and restored to the throne. The victory did not last long as the Yorkists fought back taking London and then defeating the Lancastrians at the Battle of Barnet where Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick was killed. Due to his attempts to control who should be the King of England Richard has become known as the 'Kingmaker'.


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Partial Personal Timeline

1428 Nov 22  Birth of Richard Neville, the Kingmaker
 Richard was the son of Richard Neville, 5th earl of Salisbury and Anne, the daughter of Thomas Montacute, 4th earl of Salisbury.[1] 
1449   21yrsRichard Neville becomes Earl of Warwick
 Richard Neville married Anne Beauchamp who was the heiress to the Warwick Earldom. The last male Beauchamp had died without an heir and so Richard took the title of earl of Warwick. This gave him control of large amounts of land in the Midlands and South Wales. 
1455 May 21  27yrsThe Yorkists are summoned
 A council was called and the Edward and Warwick were summoned to attend. Concerned that the reason they have been called to attend was that they would be punished, the Yorkists decided to demand a meeting of their own with the King at St. Albans.

Episode: Wars of the Roses  
 May 22  Battle of St. Albans
 The King had by his side at St. Albans the Dukes of Somerset and Buckingham, Lords Pembroke, Northumberland and Devon and around 2,000 Lancastrian men. They tried to hold the town against the Yorkists led by Salisbury and Warwick but Warwick was able to enter the town through an unguarded spot and attack the flanks of the Lancastrian barricades. Although this battle was small it left the Duke of Somerset dead along with Lord Northumberland and Clifford. As a result of this victory power again swung to the Yorkists although support from the Barons was not total. Richard, Duke of York, again became Protector of the Realm and the powerful position of Captain of Calais was given to the Earl of Warwick.

Episode: Wars of the Roses  
1458 - 1459 30yrsWarwick fights several naval battles
 England's naval power was weak and the waters between France and England were filled with pirates. Sandwich had been attacked by the French the year before. To put an end to this problem, the Earl of Warwick, the Captain of Calais, commanded a fleet of ships to patrol the English Channel. His fleet attacked and captured Spanish and Genoese ships talking prisoners and treasure. This made the Earl popular with the sailors under his command and the traders who the pirates had previously attacked.[1] 
1459 Sep  31yrsWarwick returns to England
 The Earl of Warwick arrived in England from Calais. He was welcomed in London before setting off north to meet up with the Duke of York.[2]

Episode: Wars of the Roses  
 Oct 12  Battle of Ludford Bridge
 The Earl of Warwick with a force from Calais reached Ludlow and the combined army of the Yorkists attacked the King's army at Ludford Bridge near Ludlow. The men from Calais refused to fight their king and a weak Yorkist army was defeated. Richard Duke of York and his younger son escaped and fled to Ireland while Salisbury, Warwick and Edward of March (later Edward IV) fled to Calais.

Episode: Wars of the Roses  
1460 Jan 15  32yrsYorkists capture Lancastrian fleet
 The Lancastrians were building a large fleet of ships at Sandwich on the south coast and with it they planned to attack Calais. The Earl of Warwick became aware of this and arranged a raid led by John Dinham to steal the ships. Early in the morning of the fifteenth of January the Yorkists supporters attacked the dockyard and stole those ships that were seaworthy. Richard Woodville (Earl Rivers), his wife Jacquetta and their son Anthony were captured.[3]

Episode: Wars of the Roses  
 Mar  Warwick sails to Ireland
 With the Yorkists in control of the seas around the south coast of England, the Earl of Warwick was able to leave Calais and sail to Ireland where the Duke of York had taken refuge. There they planned their invasion of England and the defeat of the Lancastrians.[3]

Episode: Wars of the Roses  
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