Richard Wydeville, Earl Rivers, KG, ob. 1469


Knights of the Middle Ages I 1146-1492

In stock



Rivers was a minor English nobleman who married (way above his station) the widowed Duchess of Bedford, Jacquetta, daughter of Peter of Luxembourg. They had met when Wydeville was in service to the Duke. Close to the Royal Court, Jacquetta’s (and so Wydeville’s) influence increased further when Henry VI married Margaret of Anjou whose uncle was Jacquetta’s brother-in-law. The Wydeville (Rivers) marriage produced a reportedly beautiful daughter, Elizabeth, who married Sir John Grey shortly before he was killed at the battle of St. Albans in 1461, the same year King Edward IV seized the crown. 3 years later the King happened to stay in a castle where Elizabeth was also staying. They married secretly much to the embarrassment and annoyance of the Earl of Warwick (The Kingmaker) who was trying to negotiate a peace with France with the intention of using a suitable marriage for the purpose. The consequence of the marriage was that as the father of Queen consort Elizabeth Woodville, Rivers became the maternal grandfather of Edward V, maternal great-grandfather of Henry VIII and great, great, great, great grandmother of James I of England and James VI of Scotland. He is also a direct ancestor of British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill. The King loaded the Rivers’ with honours and titles so that eventually Warwick exacted his revenge when Rivers was taken at the Battle of Edgecote, 1469, delivered to Warwick and executed without trial.

Additional information

Dimensions 37 × 54 cm