Richard Neville

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Richard Neville (1428-1471, 1st earl of Warwick, called “the kingmaker”, was the most powerful of the barons of England during the early stages of the Wars of the Roses. His land-holdings encompassed four earldoms throughout most parts of England.

He supported the Yorkist cause against the Lancastrian king Henry VI and was instrumental in Henry’s deposition and the accession of Edward IV to the throne in 1461 after which he received even more honours and virtual control of the north of England. Edward’s secret marriage to Elizabeth Woodville and the granting of honours and estates to her family brought a loss of influence and prestige to Warwick and a change of allegiance. His new-found support for Henry brought about the restoration of Henry to the throne in 1470 and the exile of Edward.

Edward returned within the year and Richard Neville was killed at the battle of Barnet on Easter Sunday, 1471. He was a gifted politician, aided by inherited wealth and power, but a poor commander, which led to his demise.

Reference:

“Oxford Companion to British History”

“The Plantagenet Encyclopedia”

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