Thursday, May 2, 2013

Anne Neville

Richard an
                wife Anne Neville
In 1460, Anne's father, Warwick, called the Kingmaker,
and Edward, Earl of March, defeated Henry VI at Northampton, a
nd in 1461, Edward was proclaimed King of England, and married
 Elizabeth Woodville in 1464.

Marriage to Edward, Prince of Wales:

By 1469, Warwick and his nephew George had turned against
Edward IV, and joined Henry VI's cause. The next year, Warwick,
called the Kingmaker, married his daughter Anne to Edward,
Prince of Wales, son (and heir apparent) of Henry VI. Just a
year later, Anne's young husband Edward and his father, Henry VI,
were killed when Margaret of Anjou's forces were defeated at the
battle of Tewkesbury.

Richard of Gloucester:

As part of the continuing machinations of the Wars of the Roses,
Warwick had been trying to marry Anne to Edward IV's brother,
Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Richard's other brother George, Duke of
Clarence, was already married to Anne's sister, Isabel Neville. Anne
and Richard were first cousins once removed, as were George and Isabel,
all descended from Ralph de Neville and Joan Beaufort. (Joan was the
 daughter of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, and Katherine Swynford.)
George tried to prevent the marriage of his wife's sister to his brother.
His motivation likely was that he didn't want to divide his wife's
inheritance with his brother. Anne, widowed since 1471, married
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, in 1472.
George, Duke of Clarence, was executed in 1478 for plotting
against Edward IV; Isabel had died in 1476; Anne Neville took
charge of raising their children, her niece and nephew.

The Young Princes:

When Edward IV died in 1483, his minor son, Edward, became
Edward V. But the young prince was never crowned; he was
put into the charge of Anne's husband, Richard of Gloucester,
as Protector. Prince Edward and, later, his younger brother
were taken to the Tower of London, where they disappeared
from history.
Stories have long circulated that Richard III was responsible f
or the deaths of his nephews, the "Princes in the Tower," to
remove rival claimants for the crown. Henry VII also had
motive and, if the princes survived Richard's reign, would
have had opportunity to have them killed.

Heirs to the Throne:

Richard had his brother's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville
declared invalid and his brother's children declared illegitimate
on June 25, 1483, thereby inheriting the crown himself. Anne
was crowned as Queen and their son, Edward, made Prince of
Wales. But Edward died on April 9, 1484; Richard adopted
heir nephew, Edward, Earl of Warwick, as his heir, probably 

at Anne's request.

Anne's Death:

Anne, reportedly never very healthy, fell ill in early 1485,
and died on March 16, 1485. Buried in Westminster, her g
rave was unmarked until 1960. Richard quickly named a
different heir to the throne, his sister Elizabeth's adult son,
the Earl of Lincoln.
With Anne's death, Richard was rumored to be plotting to
marry his niece, Elizabeth of York, to secure a stronger
claim to the succession. Stories soon circulated that Richard
had poisoned Anne to get her out of the way. If that was his
plan, he was foiled; Richard III's reign ended with his defeat
by Henry Tudor, who was crowned Henry VII and married
Elizabeth of York, bringing to an end the Wars of the Roses.

Fictional Representations of Anne Neville:

Shakespeare: In Richard III, Anne appears early in the play
 with the body of her father-in-law, Henry VI; she blames
Richard for his death and that of her husband, the Prince of
Wales, son on Henry VI. Richard charms Anne, and, though
she also loathes him, she marries him. Richard early reveals that
he does not intend to keep her long, and Anne is suspicious that he
intends to kill her. She conveniently disappears as Richard begins
a plan to marry his niece, Elizabeth of York.
Shakespeare takes considerable license with history in his story
of Anne. The time of the play is much compressed, and motives are
likely also exaggerated or changed for literary effect. In the historical
timeline, Henry VI and his son, Anne's first husband, were killed in
1471; Anne married Richard in 1472; Richard III took power in 1483
soon after his brother, Edward IV, died suddenly, and Richard ruled
for two years, dying in 1485.
Recent fictional representation: The Rose of York: Love & War by
Sandra Worth, 2003, historical fiction.

Family of Anne Neville:

  • Mother: Anne de Beauchamp (1426-1492?), a wealthy heiress in
  •  her own right whose lands and title (Warwick) made her husband 
  • one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in England
  • Father: Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (1428-1471), known as the 
  • Kingmaker; a supporter of Richard, Duke of York, in his unsuccessful 
  • conflict for the crown against Henry VI, then a supporter of Edward IV's 
  • successful campaign and finally a supporter of Henry VI, briefly successful
  •  but finally killed in battle at Barnet by Edward IV's forces
Sister: Isabel Neville (September 5, 1451 - December 22, 1476)


  1. Edward, Prince of Wales, son of Henry VI
  2. July 12, 1472: married Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III, brother 
  3. of Edward IV

Children of Anne Neville and Richard III

  1. Edward, Prince of Wales (1473 - April 9, 1484)

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