/ / / / Richard (“The King Maker”) Neville, Earl of Warwick and Salisbury, K.G.

Richard (“The King Maker”) Neville, Earl of Warwick and Salisbury, K.G.


Knights of the Middle Ages I 1146-1492

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One of the Yorkist leaders in the Wars of the Roses (1455-1487), Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (1428-1471) was instrumental in the accession of two kings, a fact which later earned him his epithet of “Kingmaker” to later generations. The Wars of the Roses were a series of English civil wars for control of the throne of England fought between supporters of two English rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: The House of Lancaster (associated with a red rose), and the House of York (whose symbol was a white rose). Through fortunes of marriage and inheritance, Warwick emerged in the 1450s at the centre of English politics. Originally a supporter of King Henry VI, a territorial dispute with the Duke of Somerset led him to collaborate with Richard, Duke of York, in opposing the king. From this conflict he gained the strategically valuable post of Captain of Calais, a position that benefited him greatly in the years to come. The political conflict later turned into full-scale rebellion, where in battle York was slain, as was Warwick’s father Salisbury. York’s son, however, later triumphed with Warwick’s assistance, and was crowned King Edward IV. Edward initially ruled with Warwick’s support, but the two later fell out over foreign policy and the king’s choice of Elizabeth Woodville as his wife. After a failed plot to crown Edward’s brother, George, Duke of Clarence, Warwick instead restored Henry VI to the throne. The triumph was short-lived however: on 14 April 1471 Warwick was defeated by Edward at the Battle of Barnet and killed.

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Dimensions 37 × 54 cm