Anne Neville, Queen of England

Anne Neville

Anne, the younger daughter of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, also known as the ‘kingmaker’ was married to both Margaret of Anjou’s son, the Lancastrian heir to the throne and after this death at the Battle of Tewkesbury to Richard of Gloucester, the last Yorkist king.

Anne and her older sister Isabel grew up at Middleham where they met George of Clarence and Richard. Unfortunately their father’s relationship with George and Richard’s brother, King Edward IV soured after Edward married Elizabeth Woodville. In 1470, Warwick switched sides resulting in Anne’s marriage to Edward of Lancaster.

Following Warwick’s death at the Battle of Barnet on 14 April 1471, Isabel and Anne became co-heiresses but their mother Anne Beauchamp, who was descended from the Despensers, had first to be declared legally dead before George could access his wife’s inheritance as Richard Neville was earl in jure uxoris. Anne remained countess of Warwick until her death in 1492 but her estates were nobbled by her sons-in-law, although in order to marry Anne, Richard effectively forewent much of his share. Anne had effectively become the ward of George and had no intention of sharing the kingmaker’s estates with anyone. Anne was probably destined for a nunnery but in the meantime the story went that she was hidden in the kitchens.

Richard, not known for his lack of perseverance, arranged for Anne to go into sanctuary and for a dispensation from the pope permitting their marriage. The wedding took place in 1472 and the couple returned to Middleham. Eventually Anne Beauchamp was permitted to join them. Isabel died in 1476 as a result of complications from childbirth or from TB. Anne Neville acquired some of her sisters estates as well as all but adopting her young son Edward.

Edward IV died in April 1483 and Richard was crowned in July having revealed to the world that Edward had married Elizabeth Woodville bigamously, rendering Edward V and his siblings illegitimate. Anne was crowned with him. Their only child, another Edward, became Prince of Wales. He died in Middleham in 1484 whilst his parents were journeying north to visit him. Anne, grieving for her only child, became unwell, probably from TB, and died in March 1485. She was buried in Westminster Abbey – Richard was said to have wept at her funeral although rumour already painted him as a wife killer plotting to marry his own niece. On the day Anne died there was a solar eclipse – it was said afterwards that Richard lost his favour with Heaven on the day his wife died.

3 thoughts on “Anne Neville, Queen of England

  1. Richard wept for days after Ann died .He may have fell into his nieces arms for compassion but I doubt he or her had anything but family love between them. In any case she was under law a bastard as Edward was indeed a bigamist according to Bishop Stillington who said he had married the King to the Talbot girl before he married the Woodville witch.As he never recanted on this statement we must see it as fact as he could have said later he was forced to say it? As this was not the case and he was member of church his statement is more than likely true .As Richard had brought matter up when eventually he was notified of his beloved brothers the kings death what good was marriage to his own niece. The only thing that ever bothered me about Richard was his rough murder of Lord Hastings . I can see how vexed he must have been to find that Hastings had passed the Royal seal over to Edwards queen in hiding. Would have come as real hard shook but to chop off his head was over the top I think. Richard a most cool customer a brave and loyal commander of war it was totally out of character .So what else did he discover in his absence one wonders to tip him over the edge?

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