The Smythe monument Elford Church. Photo Aidan McRae Thomson
Of the four sons of Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, only two, Richard Earl of Warwick and John Marquis of Montagu had children. Warwick, who would go on to become known as the ‘Kingmaker’, had two daughters, while John who married Isabel Ingoldesthorpe/Ingaldesthorpe (d.20 May 1476) on the 25 April 1457 would have five daughters and two sons. While the Kingmaker’s two daughters are well known being of course Isobel and Anne Neville, wives to brothers George Duke of Clarence and Richard III respectively, John’s children are rather less famous. All were to lose their fathers violently at the Battle of Barnet 14 April 1471. I will not be going into the careers of their fathers here but concentrate on John Neville’s seven children.
GEORGE NEVILLE born c.1465 died 4 May 1483. Betrothed to Edward IV’s three year old daughter Elizabeth, 5 Jan. 1470, when he was created duke of Bedford. Not only his father’s heir but also the heir male of Richard Neville, earl of Warwick. However although neither his father or uncle had been attainted, George did not inherit the Neville lands and in 1478 lost his dukedom on the grounds that he could not support the estate – this point is debatable – see Prof M A Hick’s article What might have been: George Neville, Duke of Bedford 1465-83 – as well as all other dignities (1). Little is known of him after this shabby treatment by Edward IV, except that Richard Duke of Gloucester, his cousin, was on March 9 1480 granted the wardship and the marriage of George (2). George who died 4 May 1483 was buried at Sherrif Hutton.
Church of St Helen and the Holy Cross, Sheriff Hutton. Resting place of George Neville Duke of Bedford. Photo British Listed Buildings. Photographer unknown.
JOHN NEVILLE: Died in infancy 1460, and was buried at Sawston, Cambridgeshire.
ANNE NEVILLE d.1486. Anne became the third wife of Sir William Stonor in the autumn of 1481 and the only wife to give him children, a son and daughter. The most advantageous of Sir William’s marriages for Anne had the blood of the old nobility of England coursing through her veins. The marriage became even more advantageous when on the early of death of her brother George in 1483, Anne became a great heiress. Hopefully love grew between the couple, as it often did between these marriages that were made for status rather than affection and the charming letter she wrote on the 27 February 1482 quite soon after her marriage to her husband would indicate that it did. Written from Taunton Castle, where she was staying with Thomas Grey Marquis of Dorset and his wife Cicely Bonville, the letter read:
‘Syr, I recomaund me unto you in my most heartily wise, right joyfull to here of your helthe: liketh you to knowe, at the writyng of this bill I was in good helthe, thynkyng long sith I saw you, and if I had knowen that I shold hav ben this long tyme from you I wold have be moche lother then I was to have comyn in this ferre Countrey. But I trust it shall not be long or I shall see you here, and else I wold be sorye on good feth….. And I beseche oure blessed lord preserve you’ Your new wyf Anne Stonor (3).
Anne saw her husband attainted in 1483 but lived long enough to see him restored to his estates in 1485 before her death the following year. While it is known that Sir William was buried in the old Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey the whereabouts of his wife’s grave as far as I can tell is unknown.
Elizabeth: d.1515 married first to Thomas, Lord Scrope of Masham (d 1493), and secondly, before 1496, to Sir Henry Wentworth, who died in 1500. It was Elizabeth who would commission a tomb over the graves of her parents at Bisham Abbey,
Margaret: born c.1466. Married 1.Thomas Horne, 2. Sir John Mortimer and 3. Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk who divorced her. Brandon’s marital history is described as ‘murky and reprehensible’ as well as ‘controversial’ which is putting it mildly to be honest (4). His first wife was Anne Browne, daughter of Sir Anthony Browne and Lucy Neville, Margaret’s sister. He contracted to marry Anne and she became pregnant, but in summer 1506 he abandoned her to marry her widowed aunt, our Margaret Mortimer nee Neville. On 7 February 1507 he had licence of entry on Margaret’s lands, which he rapidly began to sell. By the end of the year, probably £1000 or more in profit, he was negotiating the annulment of his marriage to Margaret on the multiple grounds of his consanguinity with Margaret, the consanguinity of his two wives, and the consanguinity of his grandmother with Margaret’s first husband. He then went on to (re)marry Anne Brown in secret in Stepney Parish Church. A later second, public, marriage took place at St Michael Cornhill. The legitimacy of their daughter Anne, please keep up at the back dear reader, was later questioned, depending as it did upon the exact sequence of events. After Anne’s death shortly after giving birth to a second daughter, Mary, Brandon went on to marry Mary Tudor, who was Queen of France for a brief time, and sister to Henry VIII (5). It would seem she had always loved him and insisted they get married. Why? Brandon seems woefully lacking in honour where women were concerned. Was there a dearth of men with integrity at the Tudor Court? However, I think we have gone off on a tangent here so back to the Nevilles. Phew!
Lucy: Married 1. Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam 2.Sir Anthony Brown. Lucy’s daughter by Sir Anthony, Anne, was to marry Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk, who abandoned her to marry her widowed aunt, Margaret Mortimer nee Neville, see above. What Lucy, who died c.1533, thought about it frustratingly is unknown. Requested in her will dated 20 August 1531 to be buried at Bisham Abbey, Berkshire where ‘my lorde my father is buried’ but it appears that she was actually buried with her first husband Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam in the House of the Austin Friars, Tickhill, Yorkshire (6). The friary was suppressed in 1537 and the tomb sometime thereafter was moved into the parish church of Tickhill where it still survives today. During restoration work to the church in 2012, human remains were found in the tomb chest tightly packed together. Osteoarchaeologists established the remains were of two men and two women. These were deduced to be the remains of Lucy, her first husband Sir Thomas and his parents whose remains were brought to St Mary’s Church, Tickhill after the dissolution of the friary. The remains were reinterred in November 2013. An interesting article can be found on the examination of the bones can be found here.
LUCY NEVILLE’S EFFIGY IN TICKHILL CHURCH
LUCY WAS REBURIED WITH HER FIRST HUSBAND SIR THOMAS FITZWILLIAM. TICKHILL CHURCH. PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN.
Isabel: Married 1. Sir William Huddlestone of Sawston,Cambs 2. William Smythe d.1525 of Elford, Staffordshire. There is a splendid monument to Isabel and her second husband in St Peter’s Church, Elford.
And there we have it – the children of John Neville Marquis of Montagu and his wife with the wonderful name – Isobel Ingoldesthorpe. Some were sad and were scarce here before they were gone. Others made hopefully good, happy marriages, others disastrous with a diabolical spouse i.e. Charles Brandon. Some made scarcely any impact at all but perhaps they were the best and the luckiest ones of all.
(1) See Prof M A Hick’s article What might have been: George Neville,Duke of Bedford1465-83— his identity and significance. The Ricardian December 1986
(2) Memorials of the Wars of the Roses, p.230. W E Hampton.
( 3) Stonor Letter and Papers 1290-1483 p.61 Kingsford ed Christine Carpenter
( 4) Oxford DNB. Brandon, Charles, first duke of Suffolk c.1484-1545. S J Gunn
(6) Lucy Neville, Montague’s Daughter. Ricardian article. Pauline E. Routh.
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