Anne Neville

Anne was born on 11 June 1456 at Warwick Castle, Warwickshire, daughter of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and Anne de Beauchamp.

Anne spent much of her childhood at Middleham Castle in North Yorkshire, where she first met Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later to become King Richard III of England. She may even have been betrothed to Richard in childhood, but she was to marry elsewhere.

In December 1470, Anne married Edward of Westminster at Angers Cathedral in France, however the seventeen year-old was to die five months later at the Battle of Tewkesbury on 4 May 1471, leaving Anne a widow. Following this battle, Anne was taken prisoner and placed in the London home of George, Duke of Clarence, husband of Anne’s sister Isabella and brother of Richard, Duke of Gloucester..

Richard Neville, Anne’s father had wanted her to marry the Duke of Gloucester , as did Gloucester himself, however the Duke of Clarence was against this. Richard Neville did not have any sons, meaning that any lands and titles would be inherited by his daughter’s, therefore in the hands of his son in-laws and Clarence greedily wanted to keep all of it for himself, which he could do If he prevented Anne from marrying.

Anne was to ruin Clarence’s plan by escaping his control, although it is unknown how she did this, but she may have had help from the Duke of Gloucester.

Anne and Richard, Duke of Gloucester were married, it is believed on 12 July 1472 at Westminster Abbey, and Anne became Duchess of Gloucester. They lived at Middleham Castle, Yorkshire, where Anne gave birth to her only child, Edward.

Anne’s sister Isabella held the Lordship of Glamorgan, however following the death of her husband, George, Duke of Clarence in February 1478, the title transferred to Anne, therefore her husband, as women could not hold titles in their own right.

Edward IV died on 9 April 1483, and his nine year-old son Edward, came to the throne, with the Duke of Gloucester, his uncle named as Lord Protector.

Richard, however wanted the throne for himself and he had Edward IV’s children declared illegitimate.

On 6 July 1483, Richard was crowned Richard III and Anne was crowned Queen of England, their son, Edward was named Prince of Wales on 8 September 1483.

Edward, Prince of Wales died suddenly on 9 April 1484 at Sheriff Hutton, Yorkshire leaving Richard and Anne devastated.

It may have been this that instigated Anne’s own illness shortly after.

Anne died aged twenty-eight on 16 March 1485 at Westminster, possibly of tuberculosis. She is buried in Westminster Abbey in an unmarked grave.

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