The Nevills in January

Posted: January 28, 2011 in Nevents

Back to more serious stuff…

I’ve decided to raid my timeline book towards the end of each month to see what interesting things the Nevills, their friends, allies and enemies might have been up to. I thought I’d be quite radical and start with January.


1455 (early Jan) York resigns as Protector and Defender of England after the recovery of Henry VI.

1460 Commissions of array are sent out in the king’s name with orders to seek out traitors; Newbury town sacked by the duke of Exeter, earls of Wiltshire and Shrewsbury; the Master of the King’s Ordnance is murdered while bringing armaments to London; the earl of Wiltshire (according to PMK) leaves queen Margaret’s party in fear, fills five carracks with stolen goods, says he’s going after the Calais earls and buggers off to Holland

15 Jan John Wenlock and John Dinham raid Sandwich harbour at dawn, capturing all ships and removing Richard and Anthony Wydeville from their beds (and, according to Santuiste, Gervaise Clifton) and take them back to Calais, where they are soundly berated by the earls of Warwick and March.

1461 News of the battle of Wakefield reaches Edward, earl of March, possibly at Shrewsbury; news also reaches London; Warwick rallies his forces, appeals to council for a loan for the defence of the realm – he receives 2,000 (pounds? marks? didn’t think to note that down!) and a group of his servants, arrested for attacking a citizen’s house, are released; Yorkist captains are told to arm every man they can collect – Norfolk in East Anglia, Arundel & Bourchier in the south of England; Bonville, Kyriell and John Nevill call up their retainers; Chancellor George Nevill issues a stream of writs calling for order; rebels and rioters are arrested, as are people shipping food to the Lancastrians; armed men are pouring into the capital without summons; Warwick writes letters expressing confidence in the Yorkist government to the dukes of Milan and Burgundy and the Pope; Warwick receives a ‘reassuring’ letter from Louis XI; Coppini attempts to negotiate with queen Margaret

5 Jan Marie of Gueldres meets queen Margaret at Lincluden Abbey where Margaret offers Marie Berwick in return for support from the Scots

20 Jan Queen Margaret is in York with a force of Scots

Lancastrians are swarming south with the duke of Somerset in command; all lords are wearing the Prince of Wales’s livery

Warwick sends out commissions of array

John Nevill is promoted and takes the title lord Montagu (presumably this is so he can take command in the coming battle)

1463 Maud Stanhope (widow of sir Thomas Nevill) marries sir Gervaise Clifton

A force of Scots approaches Alnwick castle, led by the earl of Angus and Pierre de Breze; Warwick pulls his forces back

A memorial service is held at Fotheringhay castle for the duke of York and his son, Edmund earl of Rutland

5 Jan The Scots leave Alnwick taking most of the garrison north, the rest surrender to Warwick; Edward IV is in London

6 Jan Warwick occupies Alnwick

15 Jan Funeral held at Bisham priory for the countess and earl of Salisbury and their son, sir Thomas Nevill, in attendance are: George duke of Clarence, Elizabeth duchess of Suffolk (representing Edward IV), the Archbishop of York, lord Henry Fitzhugh, William lord Hastings, Alianor Nevill (lady Stanley), Margaret Nevill (later countess of Oxford) and Isobel Ingoldisthorpe (wife of John Nevill)

1464 Warwick negotiates a marriage treaty with Louis XI between Edward IV and Bona of Savoy; there is also an offer of marriage from Spain between Edward IV and Isabella of Castille

1465 Margaret Nevill marries John de Vere earl of Oxford

1468 Edward IV orders Warwick to Coventry; Warwick (up to his eyeballs in rebellion) writes to his brother John who says he is willing to speak with him if he comes to the Marches; Warwick sends word to James III of Scotland that he’d like to meet with him, James agrees

17 Jan Warwick assembles his men and prepares to ride north, saying “If the kings moves north, I shall spring to arms at once”

The Archbishop of York attends a secret meeting in Nottingham where a compromise between Edward IV and Warwick is brokered – Warwick will be warmly received at court if he comes ‘in a mood befitting his allegiance’; Warwick agrees to this

Warwick writes to Louis XI that he has Clarence on his side and goes to Coventry where he is warmly received by the king

Edward IV requests that Warwick put his name to a bond demanded by the duke of Burgundy as security for Margaret of York’s dowry (200,000 crowns); Warwick refuses and informs Edward that he is being misled by ‘false councillors’

1469 Edward IV gathers forces at Fotheringhay

16 Jan Earl of Devon and lord Hungerford are Hanged, drawn and quartered at Bemerton (I should remember why!)

1471 Duke of Burgundy allows the dukes of Somerset and Exeter return to England after they swear an oath to work against Warwick

2 Jan Edward IV meets the duke of Burgundy at Aire where the duke promises to provide Edward for money and men in order to return to England and retrieve his crown

  1. James Harris says:

    You were asking about the reasons for the fates of Devon and Hungerford. Strictly speaking, Henry Courtenay and Thomas Hungerford did not hold those titles, since Henry’s older brother and Thomas’ father had both been attainted and executed as Lancastrians earlier in the 1460s. They are among a wide range of gentlemen and a few prominent Londoners arrested in 1468 on suspicion of Lancastrian conspiracies. Courtenay and Hungerford are brought to trial at Salisbury on 12 January 1469 before a panel of judges consisting of Richard Duke of Gloucester, Anthony Woodville, Humphrey Stafford, the Earl of Arundel and Lords Audley and Stourton, the trial being conducted in the personal presence of King Edward. The charges were that in May 1468 they had entered into treasonable correspondence with the exiled Queen Margaret with a view to bringing about “the final death and final destruction” of Edward IV. Despite Courtenay citing a general pardon granted to him in July 1468, they are both found guilty and hanged.

    The pro-Lancastrian chronicler John Warkworth, however, claims that the conspiracy was a fabrication and both men were framed by the malice of Humphrey Stafford. Whether coincidentally or otherwise, the forfeited lands of the two deceased gentlemen together with the title of Earl of Devon are bestowed on Humphrey Stafford by King Edward in May 1469.

    Whether ill-gotten or not, Humphrey does not enjoy his promotion for very long. When Warwick and Clarence rise in rebellion a few months later, Humphrey Stafford is one of the men denounced as an “evil councillor” to the King. Edward IV entrusts Humphrey Stafford and William Herbert (recently promoted to Earl of Pembroke) with the task of raising a royal army to resist the rebels, but an eve of battle quarrel between the two men results in William Herbert going into battle unsupported by the other half of the Yorkist forces. Herbert is crushingly defeated, and Humphrey Stafford is deserted by his demoralised troops and flees to his West Country estates. This turns out to be Humphrey’s final mistake, since the people in Bridgewater believe the stories of his having framed Henry Courtenay, and take advantage of his predicament to seize him and summarily behead him on 17 August 1469. If Humphrey was guilty of framing two innocent men (which we don’t know), then karma (or the Nevilles and their allies) certainly struck quickly.

    (Details from Chapter 6 of Charles Ross’ book on Edward IV.)

    Hope that helped?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s