Archive for the ‘Anne Nevill, Duchess of Gloucester’ Category

1470

The earl of Warwick and George duke of Clarence are anchored outside Calais harbour after fleeing England with the countess of Warwick, duchess of Clarence and Anne Nevill. John Wenlock sends word that they should not try to land in Calais. Isobel duchess of Clarence gives birth to her first child, a boy, who is either stillborn or dies within hours. He is buried at sea. Her father sends to Calais for wine for her, as it was believed to have strengthening qualities.

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1470

After the failure of their rebellion against Edward IV, the earl of Warwick and George duke of Clarence, with the countess of Warwick and Anne Nevill, collect Isobel duchess of Clarence in Exeter and set sail for Calais.

1471

George Nevill Archbishop of York is holding London for his brother, Richard Nevill earl of Warwick. In an attempt to get the populace on side, he brings Henry VI from the Tower of London and processes him through the city. The Mayor of London makes the decision to open the gates to Edward IV and the archbishop sends him secret messages of welcome.

1985

Birth of a daughter, Stefanie Robyn, to Karen Clark and Nick Fowler. She is a tiny scrap of humanity but her spirit is strong. Her habit of bouncing began early and, 27 years later, is still well entrenched.

1460

In exile, along with other leading Yorkists, the earl of Warwick sails from Calais to Ireland for talks with the duke of York and to collect his mother, who has had to flee England after being attainted along with her husband and sons at the November 1459 parliament.

Henry Holland, duke of Exeter and hereditary Admiral of England, fails in an attempt to stop Warwick on his way back to Calais.

1485

Death of Anne Nevill, Queen of England.

Anne was the younger daughter of Anne countess of Warwick and Richard Nevill earl of Warwick. She was born on 11 June 1456. Married to Edward Prince of Wales in December 1470, she was widowed after the battle of Tewkesbury. No-one is sure of the date of her marriage to Richard duke of Gloucester, but it was probably c1472. She and Richard had one child, a son Edward, who died in April 1484.

Arms of Queen Anne Nevill

 


1453

Birth of Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales, to Margaret of Anjou and Henry VI of England.

Edward married Anne Nevill, daughter of Richard Nevill earl of Warwick in December 1470. He was killed at the battle of Tewkesbury in May 1471.

1459

Betrayed by Andrew Trollope and the men of the Calais garrison, and refusing to accept a pardon that doesn’t include the earl of Salisbury, Richard duke of York and his supporters leave Ludlow castle and prepare to flee England.

1470

Henry VI is recrowned at St Paul’s. Warwick holds the king’s train and the earl of Oxford carries the sword of state.

1470

Anne Nevill and Edward Prince of Wales are formally betrothed at Angers.

There is an oathtaking on a piece of the True Cross.

Anne’s father, the earl of Warwick, swears to uphold the party and quarrel of Henry VI.

Edward’s father, Margaret of Anjou, swears to treat Warwick as a true and faithful subject and never reproach him for past deeds.

1483

Coronation of Richard III of England and his queen, Anne Nevill.

Birth of Anne Nevill, younger daughter of Richard Nevill, earl of Warwick, and Anne Beauchamp, countess of Warwick.

Anne was born at Warwick Castle. She had an older sister, Isobel, and an older illegitimate half sister, Margaret.

In December 1470, Anne married Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales, in Amboise in France. Prince Edward was killed in May the following year at the battle of Tewkesbury.

Anne later married Richard duke of Gloucester. Anne’s wikipedia entry (which isn’t too horrific) dates this wedding at 12 July 1472, but I’m not sure if that date is solid. They had one child, a son Edward, born at Middleham c1473.

In 1483, Anne became queen of England when Richard orchestrated the overthrow of his brother’s son, Edward V. Richard and Anne were crowned on 6 July 1483 and young Edward became Prince of Wales.

Anne and Richard’s son, Edward of Middleham, died at Sheriff Hutton on 9 April 1484. Both his parents were overcome by grief.

Anne died on 16 March 1485, possibly of tuberculosis, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

I stumbled on this while I was on the hunt for information for an upcoming post.

I feel that it needs a response, something to balance the books a little. I know, it’s an uphill battle – the view that poor Isobel and Anne were mere pawns (oh, and Doomed) is so entrenched that it’s going to take a miracle to shift it by so much as a millimetre.

Just to set the tone, here are some of the words used to described Warwick and/or his actions:

”political conniving”; “charismatic”; “self-centered”; “arrogant”; “man of moderate military skill”; “merciless”; “exploit”; “had no need to hold [his daughters] in esteem”; “hankering for supremacy and clout”; the only loyalty he held was to himself”; “enmesh in his pursuit for power”; “ego”; “narcissism”; “heedless”; “used his youngest daughter”; “spider web of intrigue”; “hopeless machinations”; “fanaticism for prestige and importance”.

Phew!

Now for the girls:

“submissive political pawns”; “overshadowed and beleaguered their short lives”; “use Isobel and Anne to his best advantage”; “dutiful daughter”; “not having a voice in the matter”; “uneasy”; “anxiety and adversity”; “used his youngest daughter”; “tossed likes sheaves of parchment in the wind”; “no longer of urgent necessity”; “surely ailing from childbirth”; “her future unclear”; “displace[d] in her father’s strategy”; “did [George] transfer this resentment to Isobel?”; “rook” – well, a promotion of sorts, I guess; “emotions must have spun like a tornado on a top”; “instruments”; “puppets”; “card to be gambled”; “a roll of the dice”; “practically imprisoned”; “[abandoned] to an unknown providence”; “intimidated by his unbalanced personality”; “defying her husband’s ambitions”.

And Clarence? Acoholic Wifebeater Clarence is At Home and receiving visitors.

Ok, this is an opinion piece and we’re all entitled to our opinions. That’s why I’m giving mine.

The negative stuff about Warwick is delivered as if it’s Fact. Undisputed Fact. The writer knows, for instance, that Warwick was ‘heedless of Isobel’s advanced pregnancy’. There’s no room to speculate about his emotions “spinning like a tornado”. He could have left his wife and daughters in England while he and Clarence hightailed it to Calais. He didn’t. Why? Because he was ‘heedless’? Probably not. He was probably very mindful of the dangers of leaving them behind to be Edward’s hostages. And pregnancy, despite the dangers then and, to a lesser extent, now, is not an illness. It can’t have been fun for any of them, particularly Isobel, and the journey could possibly have hastened labour. But, given the time and the horrific infant mortality rate, had she been abandoned in Exeter (because that’s what her father and husband would have been accused of doing, had they taken to sea without her), she might still have delivered a dead or weak child. Which was a son, by the way, not a daughter called “Anne Plantagenet” or anything else. To imagine Warwick shrugging off the death of his first grandchild is to paint him as truly inhuman. To interpret his request of wine from John Wenlock as anything other than a desperate attempt to do the only thing he could to help his daughter (as some have done), shows a lack of understanding. To not even mention it…

Warwick must have hoped for a son, right up till the last possible moment. It was what men did then, and a lot of men still do now. Let’s speculate for a moment and say that he did have one. Let’s say the 1453 pregnancy hinted at resulted in the birth of a healthy boy. And, for the sake of argument, let’s assume his name was Richard. (Father, both grandfathers… the boy would have been on a hiding to nothing.) I don’t doubt for a second that, the moment Edward IV’s oldest daughter was born, Warwick would have had an eye on her as a suitable bride. And, had that come to pass, Richard junior would have had exactly the same amount of say in it as his sisters had in their marriages. He’d have had to give his consent. Now that might well have been lip service, but it was needed nonetheless. Even the six year old Richard senior would have had to consent to his marriage to Anne Beauchamp way back when.

As for Warwick not holding his daughters in esteem (“they were females”), there’s way too much of this kind of thinking, in my view. He may well have been bitterly disappointed that he had no son, but even his illegitimate daughter, Margaret, was acknowledged, found a husband and eventually went to court to work for her half-sister, Anne, when she became queen. (Ok, Warwick had nothing directly to do with that, but it suggests to me that she was as much a part of the family as, say, the Bastard of Fauconberg.) What it doesn’t suggest is that Warwick dismissed his daughters as unimportant ‘pawns’. (Margaret’s marriage was advantageous to Warwick, but *all* noble parents strove for this. All. Of. Them.)

I don’t for a moment doubt that both Isobel and Anne were loved by their father. Whatever ‘say’ they might have had in their respective marriages, they were bloody good ones! Their father didn’t ‘marry them off’ to swineherds and beggars. One got a Duke, the other a Prince. Anne may well have been the more trepidatious of the two – after all, her new husband’s future was hugely in doubt. There’s much made of the loophole supposedly left open at Margaret of Anjou’s insistence – that the marriage not be consummated until Warwick was in control in England. But, keeping in mind the flipside of his preferred future (father-in-law to the king of England) – his daughter tied to a failed regime and an impoverished court in exile – it may well have been a mutually beneficial loophole.

Isobel and Anne Nevill were the daughters of a powerful, ambitious and very able man. Their mother was a strong woman who went where he did, shared his triumphs and his difficulties. The countess is reported to have not much enjoyed living in Calais, yet she was there pretty much whenever her husband was. One reading of this is that she was weak willed and dominated – just as her daughters are often painted. Another, better in my opinion, is that she viewed her marriage as many noblewomen did. Apart from any feelings of affection she might have had – and on balance of evidence, it would appear that the marriage was at least affectionate – it was a partnership, a kind of corporation. And, given that particular combination of parents, marriages of their own that were designed to make them queens (that’s Queens, in case anyone missed it), would hardly have been looked on as hardships by the Warwick girls. (“I’m going to make you a queen, daughter.” “Well, daddy, that’s really no less than I would have expected!”) There was no time to do this for Anne, but the care Warwick took to cultivate Clarence suggests that he did, in fact, care that Isobel was happy in her marriage. He wanted them to be fond of each other. And there is nothing in the sources that I can find – nothing – that even hints that they were otherwise. When push came to shove, and the Clarence Plan was abandoned, Isobel stuck with him. In fact, as we shall see, she conspired with him and on his behalf against her father’s best interests.

There is much speculation in this article about the reactions, responses and emotions of the sisters during the uncertain time the family faced outside Calais harbour and in France. And this is just as it should be – speculative. We don’t know how they felt, all we can do is extrapolate from what we know of their lives, the influences on those lives, the kinds of women they were (noble, rich, accomplished). Yet Warwick is Bad and the writer knows exactly how he felt and thought – which was Bad.

If Commines is to be believed, a member of Isobel’s household, an unnamed woman, was operating between England and France, through Calais, under the nose of Wenlock (who Commines  believed at the time to be loyal to Edward IV). She was acting, it seems, as a go-between for the Clarences and Edward IV (or Clarence’s mother and sisters). This is not the behaviour of a women stranded and abandoned. Isobel was, on her husband’s behalf, using the resources she had available to her to effect a change in both his fortunes and hers. Her father’s daughter?

From here on, the article is mainly about Isobel’s marriage to George duke of Clarence and Anne’s to Richard duke of Gloucester. Needless to say, Gloucester is ‘good’ and Clarence is ‘bad’. Gloucester was gently guided by Anne, Isobel didn’t have ‘the commanding nature necessary to sway the mercurial Clarence”. She died, mercifully, before she witnessed his downfall and execution. There’s an alternate reading to this – Isobel had a stabilising effect on Clarence and her death grieved him so greatly that he spun out of control. Just an idea…

Both men had their eye on the main chance. Neither of them (so far as we know) made any attempt to go to their mother-in-law’s aid. Only when he’d secured his share of her fortune did Gloucester, perhaps at Anne’s request, make a move to get the countess out of sanctuary. Well, obviously! –  the writer of this article seems to know all about it. She states that while there is no evidence that either of them did, if the sisters tried to help their mother, Anne was the more supportive. Yes, I’m a little lost there, as well…

Oh, and the countess was kept in sanctuary to keep her from remarrying. (“She would surely have remarried”.) This is the post I’m working on, so I don’t want to go into it here, but I will say this: We don’t know if she would have remarried. As it turns out, she didn’t. Warwick had been her husband since she was 9 years old, she’d been to hell and back with him. She was now 45, and, had she kept her wealth and her husband’s, no doubt would have been seen as a good match. But there were going to be no more children. And Alice Fitzhugh didn’t remarry. Neither did Katheryn Hastings. Or Cecily Nevill… This is a hell of a leap. I think it more likely that part of the reason the countess removed herself was to prevent a hurried remarriage to the nearest available Wydeville. But Edward was thinking about his brothers at this time…

In summary… To anyone who has any interest in these two women: Please stop writing about  Isobel and Anne Nevill as if they were weak women who had no control over their lives. Please stop using their early deaths as a sign that they were Doomed From the Start. Please read something about their father. (Both Hicks and Pollard have done a bang up job here.) Oh, and can we consign the overused, tired and meaningless word pawn to the dustbin of history? Let’s stop the nonsense. It’s starting to get depressing.

I’ve already blogged little about Middleham Castle and mentioned the dvd, but I’d like to review it a little more, along with its companion disc Sandal Castle: The battle of Wakefield & Building Sandal’s castles.

Middleham Castle: a royal residence

Though the Nevills are mentioned in the commentary, and credit given to their castle extension and remodelling exploits, the dvd focusses heavily on the occupancy of Richard duke of Gloucester and his duchess, Anne Nevill. I thought there could have been at least some exploration of Anne’s earlier life in the castle, perhaps put alongside her time there as a young wife and mother.

The computer reconstructions of the castle, accompanied by the host, John Fox, walking through the ruins, was very well done. Fox’s commentary is a little stilted in places, but for a privately produced dvd it wasn’t so bad as to be offputting. The graphics of the interiors I found particularly good. A great deal of attention was paid to the two gatehouses, the Prince’s Tower (which may have served as the main living quarters for the Gloucesters) and the great hall and kitchen/cellars. I would have liked a little more on the other buildings. Suggested quarters/offices for some of the castle officials were pointed out, but very briefly.

Specific things about the Nevill occupancy of Middleham that I’d have liked to learn more about included where the family’s quarters might have been situated. As, at least brifely, all ten of the Salisburys’ children were living under the same roof, a sense of where they all slept would have been particularly useful. I would also have liked to know more about the grittier side of castle life – where were the stables? the training grounds? As these are very personal wants, and as the vast majority of purchasers of the dvd would have been more than happy with the details they got about the Gloucesters’ occupancy of Middleham, they’re not major criticisms.

In general, I was impressed with the quality of the reconstructions, the camera work, the connection between the reconstructions and the ruins and the research. I’d happily recommend this dvd do anyone interested in castles, and Middleham in particular.

There wasn’t a great deal that bounced off my nonsense-shield.

Sandal Castle: the battle of Wakfield & Building Sandal’s castles

Again, the computer reconstructions of Sandal castle – a magnificent building in its time, very different to Middleham – were excellent. This time, the host (again John Fox, much more relaxed and working with a better flowing script) was placed in a couple of the scenes and this worked fairly well. His eyeline was off in some places, but that’s not an easy thing to nail down.

The exploration and explanation of the battle of Wakefield left me with some problems, however. There are a good many different theories and ideas about this battle. It was certainly a monumentally shocking event and in my view it very much changed the tenor and conduct of the wars, but I’m not convinced that the explanation provided here is the right one.

There seem to be two major competing ideas. Firstly, that York rashly left the castle, underarmed and underintelligenced (yes, it is! I just used it) and got caught by the larger Lancastrian force. Some reasons given for this include an attempt to rescue stranded foragers and responding angrily to Lancastrian taunts. Secondly, that Sir John Nevill (cousin of the earl of Salisbury) arrived with reinforcements and changed sides in the ensuing battle. It is this second view that the dvd promulgates, not just as a theory but as a matter of fact. This is based largely on a negative conjecture: the duke of York, a seasoned soldier and general, would not make such a fundamental error as to leave the safety of his castle undermanned. While it may be unlikely, it isn’t impossible. Experience and past success doesn’t inoculate you against mistakes. If the first explanation is correct, I think it likely that it was an attempt to rescue foragers, rather than a temperamental response to insults. The possibility of betrayal can’t be ruled out either. I was less concerned with the presentation of the theory as I was with the vehemence and finality with which it was presented.

The other thing that was presented as matter of fact was the death of Edmund earl of Rutland. His ‘murder’ by Clifford on Wakefield bridge, in revenge for Clifford’s father’s death at St Albans, is presented without any room for doubt.

The beheading of Salisbury at Pontefract is mentioned without any discussion as to how he got there, Thomas Nevill’s name comes up only in the final role call of the dead and William lord Harrington (Salisbury’s son in law) isn’t mentioned at all. Also missing is Henry Fitzhugh, but perhaps I’m the only Fitzhugh-obsessive currently in existence.

Margaret of Anjou’s whereabouts were given correctly as Scotland; her determination to ‘get the Yorkists’ was put down to the disinheritance of her son under the Act of Accord and there was no mention of heads in bags, just on Mickelgate Bar.

In terms of Sandal Castle, the dvd is worth watching, but keep your nonsense-shields up when it comes to Wakefield.

The second documentary (The building of Sandal’s castles) I didn’t watch. This is not because I didn’t want to, but I ran out of time. I will get back to it some time soon and let you know how it goes.

This is a marriage about which a great deal has been said, written and speculated.  For the True Believer, there are some basic ‘facts’ that no-one wants to question.  It would be so easy just to go with the flow – the shared childhood, the cookshop, the bitter tears at the funeral – but quite apart from whether any of it’s even vaguely true, it’s not nearly so much fun as trying to work the angles, weasel out the probable from the improbable and coming up with something that’s real, believable and matches my own perceptions and perspective.

First, here are the things we don’t know:

•  how Anne felt about her first husband; how his death affected her;
•  when and where her marriage to Gloucester took place;
•  how and when the couple communicated before Anne’s complicit abduction (rescue?) to sanctuary;
•  which of them was the instigator of the plan;
•  just who might have been aware that not all the correct dispensations were acquired;
•  how they felt about each other;
•  whether Richard would have divorced her (he actually had fairly strong grounds for an annulment) and what (if any) relationship they might have had subsequently;
•  how much Anne was aware of any thoughts he might have had about divorce.

The things we do know:

•  at the time they married, it was a mutually beneficial plan and they both went into it with their eyes open;
•  at least until the death of their son, the marriage seems to have been successful;
•  their grief at their son’s death was profound, though how much of it was shared I’m not sure.

Looking at their respective ranks, Anne and Richard were a natural pairing. He was the king’s brother and she was the widow of the Prince of Wales, and Warwick’s daughter, with everything that came with that.  Richard might have eventually married a minor foreign noblewoman, but the Nevill wealth was far too tempting a prize to let slip.  The Nevill brothers weren’t attainted after Barnet, which was a lucky break for John’s widow and a bonanza for whoever got their hands on Warwick’s daughters.  George already had Isobel and I’m sure this was a factor in not only Richard’s decision making processes but also Anne’s.

The countess of Warwick was treated apallingly while she was in sanctuary after her husband’s death at Barnet. I don’t see her as an unwilling pawn of Warwick’s, dragged from pillar to post.  She was with her husband every step of the way, from good to bad to horrendous. She fought hard to retain her property, neither she nor her husband were attainted, there were no real legal grounds for her being dispossessed and, later, declared dead by Parliament. Her daughters’ complicity in her dispossession is clear.  To me that points to a couple of things:  the girls had shifted their loyalties entirely from their parents to their husbands; and they were a couple of opportunistic, status and wealth driven women – very much their father’s daughters!

Richard probably didn’t give much thought to Anne until she made first contact.  No doubt he was irritated that brother George had both the Nevill girls in his control, but I’m not sure that  I know, I’ll marry her! was his first thought.  Remarriage would very much have been on her mind and in her interests.  She needed a champion who could match George and Isobel; she needed someone of status and rank; she saw both of these things in Richard. Edward IV’s part in all this is intriguing.  Whatever might be said about the brothers’ relationship, Edward’s affection for George and Richard (at this point at least) can’t be denied.  He did some pretty shonky things in order to enrich them.  Despite his stated disapproval of George’s marriage to Isobel, he didn’t try too strenuously to stop it, and seems to have accepted it with fairly good grace in the end (but that’s a different post).

Despite claims from some that the difference in their ages would have meant they had very little to do with each other as children at Middleham, there can be no doubt that Anne and Richard were at least aware of each other’s existence. They were at the same table at Cawood for George Nevill’s enthronement feast, for instance. They might even have got on well, given the half-grown boy, little girl dynamic.  That doesn’t mean that they had any stronger feelings beyond a vague lopsided fondness.  He might have been the object of fluttery hero worship (I’ve been a young girl and I know how peculiarly their minds can work) but their future marriage doesn’t need to be foregrounded in any way.  They knew each other, they probably didn’t have any strong feelings of either affection or dislike. End of story.

Despite the strictures placed on the consummation of her first marriage, I think it’s possible that the hormones of the teenagers were hard to subdue. It makes it more interesting if Anne didn’t go to her second marriage a virgin.  It strengthens, for me, the likelihood that she had reasons other than I’ve already stated for wanting to be a wife once more.  I’m not sure how I see Edward PoW at this point. He’s as one dimensional in most fiction as a lot of the minor characters.  The whole “he likes to chop heads off” thing is usually quoted out of context and not in full.  There’s more to this boy than meets the eye.  I think her first marriage meant a lot to Anne, not least it being one in the eye for big sister. The relationship between the sisters isn’t known. They could well have loved each other dearly through thick and thin, or not been particularly good friends at all. It was probably somewhere in between these two, affected in some way by the conflict between their husbands.

Some pretty heavy negotiations between the brothers Clarence and Gloucester over control of their wives’ fortunes, led to an Act of Parliament in 1472  entrenching them as Isobel and Anne’s heirs. There was clearly some doubt as to the legality of the Gloucester’s marriage and the ‘divorce’ clause in Act is often interpreted as either giving Richard some wriggle room or as a compromise between him and Clarence.

And over that, it  is ordeyned by the seid auctorite that yf the seid duc of Gloucestr’ and Anne, hereafter be devorced, and after that he doo his effectuell diligence and contynuell devoir, by all convenient and laufull meanes, to be laufully maried to the seid Anne the doughter, and duryng the lyf of the same Anne be not wedded ne maried to any other woman: that yet the seid duke of Gloucestr’ shall have and enjoy asmoche of the premisses, as shall apperteigne to the seid Anne, duryng the lyf of the seid duke of Gloucestr’ (British History Online)

Reading this recently, I was left with the question: Who benefits? Clarence certainly doesn’t and neither, in isolation, does Gloucester. It strikes me that the person whose interests this best serves is Anne Nevill. If Clarence had succeeded in forcing an anulment, he couldn’t count on getting control of her share of the Warwick/Nevill estates, either by pressuring her to marry someone he could control or by seizing them himself. Richard couldn’t just sit on his hands and keep them, either. Nor could he remarry and keep them. I can’t see it being any kind of compromise between the brothers as it effectively renders pointless any attempt by Clarence to bring the Gloucesters’ marriage to an end. During the period between any potential divorce and remarriage, Anne’s property would be safely in the keeping of her ex-husband/husband-to-be. I’m left wondering just who came up with this.

Richard and Anne had one child, a son, Edward. His birth year isn’t known. He died suddenly shortly after Richard took the throne. Whatever their feelings for each other might have been, the death of their son was a watershed.  It blew the marriage out of the water (if I can be allowed the occasional mixed metaphor) however much they drew together at first.  This wasn’t just a much loved child who died, it was the sole hope that Richard had of a dynasty.  The countess and earl of Salisbury had ten surviving children; the duke and duchess of York had seven.  The granddaughter of one and the son of the other managed one between them. The sole male hope of the Nevills was John’s son George.  (That Alice, Alianor, Katheryn and Joan had sons meant nothing in this context; the existence of the young earl of Warwick hardly mattered; the duchess of Suffolk’s abundance of sons meant a little more, but had John de la Pole succeeded his uncle that would have been a whole nother kettle of fish.)

The marriage of the duke and duchess of Gloucester would seem, for the most part, to have been a successful one.  Whether they loved each other deeply or not, they suited each other in many ways.  Anne got the status and security she needed, Richard got the wealth and the reflected glory in the north of his late father-in-law.  Any thoughts he might have had about divorce (he was a childless king; he’d disinherited his brother’s children on the grounds of bastardy; his own marriage wasn’t quite as unchallengeable as he might have liked) need not imply that he didn’t care about her.  Business, as they say, is business.  Anne would have thought very differently about it, but her death overtook events and, in the end, that was one humiliation she didn’t have to face.

I think Richard did quietly grieve for his queen when she died – for lost opportunities; for the support she surely was to him in the turbulence of his reign; for their son, both her hope and his of immortality; and for the strength of mind and personality she must have had in order to instigate their marriage and pave the way for him to rule so successfully, as duke of Gloucester, in the Nevill heartland.

A marriage that evolves, changes from pragmatic considerations, to a strong sense of shared purpose, if not love, to grief and breakdown and almost to divorce is a far more interesting proposition than dewy eyed youngsters, adoring each other since childhood.  I’ll leave that for the Suffolks, they deserve it far more than anyone else.

I am much indebted to Michael Hicks and would recommend his biography of Anne Nevill, though with some caution. He occasionally sensationalises when he needn’t and the book is, of necessity, rather threadbare in places. We know so little about Anne’s life that much of the book is conjecture, extrapolated from the lives of women of similar rank. It does shine a little light into some dark corners, if it is read, as I say, with caution.