The Nevills in April – the unkindest month of all

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Nevents

Like December, April is a tough month for a Nevill obsessive to get through. This is the 540th April since the Battle of Barnet. Just thought I’d let you know, save you doing the maths.


15-18 April Secret meetings are held at Westminster, from which York and the Nevills are not invited. The Yorkists feel that their downfall is the main item on the agenda and begin to gather their armies.


April Parliament agrees to support the Calais wool staple and pay the garrison 50,000 in arrears. Calais surrenders to Warwick’s representatives, who report the poor state of repair of walls and other defences and that the garrison is under strength.


25 April John Nevill marries Isobel Ingoldisthorpe at Canterbury Cathedral. Archbishop Bourchier officiates.

Warwick, his countess and two small daughters set sail for Calais.


Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter and Admiral of England, puts to sea, patrolling the channel in an attempt to prevent Warwick, Salisbury and March from leaving Calais.


April Warwick and Edward IV at Middleham then Durham.

Margaret of Anjou and Henry VI cede Berwick to the Scots and are given shelter.

Edward IV returns south, leaving the Nevill brothers to deal with the Lancastrians in the north.


April Warwick in London for parliament and negotiations with French and Burgundian embassies.

William Nevill, Lord Fauconberg (Earl of Kent), dies.


13 April Elizabeth Wydeville and William, lord Hastings, sign a marriage agreement – her son Thomas Grey (or, if he died, his brother Richard) was to marry a daughter born to Hastings and his wife Katheryn Nevill born in the next five years.

25 April Battle of Hedgely Moore – John Nevill, lord Montagu, was on his way to Scotland to escort envoys to a peace conference in York. The Lancastrian lords Hungerford and Roos fled, leaving sir Ralph Percy to hold the line alone. His forces were crushed by Montagu.

25 April Edward IV rides north

30 April Edward IV is at Stony Stratford. I wonder what happens next…


15 April Warwick is in Boulogne to treat with Charles count Charolais (later duke of Burgundy). The two men take an instant dislike to one another and negotiations break down.

18 April Warwick is in Calais.


mid April Edward IV sends a party to treat with count Charolais regarding marriages and alliances. Warwick is preparing to go to France with a broad commission to negotiate for peace or truce.


late April Warwick is in Burgundy for discussions with the duke of Burgundy. He pays a visit to Edward IV’s youngest sister, Margaret, now duchess of Burgundy.


early April After the failure of the Lincolnshire rebellion, Warwick and Clarence go to Warwick to collect the countess Anne and Anne Nevill. They go to Exeter to collect Isobel, duchess of Clarence then cross the Channel to Calais.

14 April Edward IV at Exeter – he leaves his sword behind as a reminder that he is king.

mid April Some of Warwick’s partisans are captured, tried by Worcester and executed (one or two are beheaded, about twenty sailors are hanged). Their bodies are impaled on spikes. Public opinion is scandalised.

16 April Warwick and his party are outside Calais harbour. There is a message from John Wenlock that landing at Calais would be dangerous and he warns Warwick off. Isobel Nevill goes into labour and gives birth to a son who is either stillborn or dies shortly after birth. He is buried at sea. Wenlock, on Warwick’s request, sends some wine to the ship to help strengthen Isobel.

mid April Thomas Nevill, Bastard of Fauconberg, joins Warwick. Breton and Burgundian ships and fishing vessels are captured.

Warwick sends word to Louis XI that he needs refuge.

Anthony Wydeville, earl Rivers, attacks Warwick’s ships. There are several hundred casualties and it’s a hard fight. Warwick inflicts considerable damage and manages to get away. He is not followed.


1 April Edward IV occupies Warwick Castle. Messages are sent to Warwick with offers of pardon of his life. Warwick refuses to talk. Clarence is on his way.

4 April Clarence is outside Warwick Castle in battle array with banners displayed. Edward’s forces meet him. Edward, Richard Duke of Gloucester, Hastings and Rivers go to meet Clarence. A reconciliation is effected.

early April The Earl of Oxford, Duke of Exeter and Montagu are in Coventry. They get news of Clarence’s defection. Clarence sends messages in an attempt to get Warwick to reconcile with Edward IV. Warwick again refuses. Edward offers “divers good conditions and profitable for the earl if that he would have accepted them’. Warwick continues to refuse. Edward issues a final challenge.

5 April Edward IV goes to London.

8 April Courtenay and Somerset go to meet Margaret of Anjou, who’s arrival in England is expected.

10 April George Nevill, archbishop of York, brings Henry VI out of the Tower of London for a procession. Lord Zouch carries the sword of state.

The mayor of London opens the gates for Edward. George Nevill sends him a secret message of welcome.

11 April Edward IV enters London. George Nevill hands Henry VI over to him and Edward is quickly recrowned. He goes to sanctuary to collect his queen, Elizabeth Wydeville, and leaves her in his mother’s care at Baynard’s Castle.

Warwick gets news that Edward is in London, and that Louis XI has signed a three month truce with Burgundy, thus cutting off Warwick’s escape route. He writes an angry letter to Louis.

12 April Queen Elizabeth is in the Tower. George Nevill is in the Tower. Edward goes to meet Warwick.

13 April Edward heads north, he has the captive Henry VI with him.

Margaret of Anjou lands at Weymouth.

Edward arrives in Barnet. Warwick’s advance guard is in the town. Edward drives them back.

Anne, countess of Warwick, lands at Portsmouth.

14 April Battle of Barnet Warwick and Montagu are both killed.

15 April Countess of Warwick takes sanctuary at Beaulieu Abbey

Margaret of Anjou in Cerne Abbas. Anne Nevill is with her. She is met by Somerset. She hears the news from Barnet.

Edward IV disbands his army.

19 April Edward is at Windsor, raising more troops.

Somerset sends small bands around the south of England in an attempt to confuse Edward.

24 April Edward leaves London.

30 April Margaret of Anjou, Somerset et al are in Bristol.


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