John Neville, Earl Of Northumberland - Encyclopedia

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JOHN NEVILLE NORTHUMBERLAND, EARL OF (c. 1430 1471), English soldier, was the third son of Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury, and a brother of Richard Neville, earl of Warwick, the "king-maker." At the battle of Blore Heath in 1459 John Neville was taken prisoner by the Lancastrians, although the Yorkists under his father had won the victory; he was among those who were attainted in the parliament of Coventry, and he was not released until 1460 when his own party had gained the upper hand. Just afterwards he was created Lord Montagu and was made chamberlain of the royal household. He was not present at 'the battle of Wakefield, when his father was taken prisoner, but he was again a captive after the second battle of St Albans in 1461. He was speedily released by Edward IV., whom he served in the north of England, being rewarded with lands and honours. In 1463 he became warden of the east marches towards Scotland, and he was responsible for the Yorkist victories at Hedgeley Moor and at Hexham in April and May 1464; after the latter battle he secured the execution of Henry Beaufort, duke of Somerset, and other captives of high station. In this year (1464) he was created earl of Northumberland, the Percies being now crushed, and their head, Henry Percy, being in prison. Northumberland did not at first join his brother Warwick and the other Nevilles when they revolted against Edward IV., but neither did he help the king. Edward, doubtless suspecting him, restored the earldom of Northumberland and its vast estates to Henry Percy, while John Neville's only recompense was the barren title of marquess of Montagu. At Pontefract in 1470 he and his men declared for Henry VI., a proceeding which compelled Edward IV. to fly from England, and under the restored king he regained his position as warden, but not the earldom of Northumberland. He did not attempt to resist Edward IV. when this king landed in Yorkshire in March 1471, but he fought under Warwick at Barnet, where he was slain on the 14th of April 1471. His son George (d. 1483) was betrothed to Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV., and was created duke of Bedford in 1470, but the marriage did not take place and he was deprived of his dukedom in 1477.

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