Anne Beauchamp, 16th Countess of Warwick



Anne Beauchamp, 16th Countess of Warwick was born July 13, 1426 at Caversham Castle in what is now Berkshire. Her father was Richard Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick and her mother was his second wife, Isabel le Despenser. She married Richard Neville after being betrothed to him in 1434 (yes she was eight, he was six). They were then married in April of 1436 in a double ceremony that also included her brother Henry and Cecily Neville With her father dying then her brother Henry and his daughter Lady Anne Warwick Neville inherited the title of Warwick along with other lands through his wife. Her three older half sisters contested this. Her sister Eleanor was married to Edmund Beaufort who was closely related to the Nevilles. Richard Neville was the grandson of Joan Beaufort, Edmund’s aunt. This increased tensions between the two families. It took many years, and a Papal dispensation to eat eggs and meat during Lent to help her bear children., The couple finally had two daughters, Isabel, who married George, the Duke of Clarence(this required another Papal dispensation since Edward IV did not approve of it) and Anne who married Prince Edward first and then Richard, Duke of Gloucester who of course became Richard III. The marriage of Isabel and George caused the small family to flee England for a time during which Isabel had a stillborn son while on the ship, Calais had turned them away.

Richard Neville was often sent out of the country and there is some reason to believe that Anne went with him at least some of those times, so though the marriage was a political one they seemed content even thought Richard fathered at least one illegitimate child during the marriage.

Because of bickering over Anne’s estate Richard gave up most of the Warwick lands, which had, been held in his wife’s name and his Salisbury lands to George as well as the office of The Great Chamberlain of England. Edward inherited those lands and titles after his father was executed for treason in 1478. Anne outlived her husband, daughters and sons in laws and passed away in obscurity she was not even at the Coronation of Richard. An act of Parliament in 1474 had labeled her officially dead leaving her lands split between her sons in laws. She had petitioned Henry to receive some of her lands back with the stipulation that they would return to the Crown upon her death. She died on September 20, 1492.



Anne Neville



Anne Neville

Anne Neville was born June 11, 1456 at Warwick Castle to Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and Lady Anne de Beauchamp, 16th Countess of Warwick. She spent most of her early years at one of her father’s other castles, Middleham Castle, where she and her sister Isabel met two of the younger sons of the Duke of York, Richard and George. Isabel married George, without the King’s consent, and Anne married Edward of Westminster, the Lancastrian heir to the throne. (She had been engaged to Richard but that was cancelled due to Neville’s duplicity). The marriage was a political move. Her father had tried to replace Edward IV twice as king, after the second failure he ran to France and tried to ally himself with the Lancasters. With Henry VI imprisoned in The Tower of London, Margaret of Anjou was left running the nation and she did not trust Warwick. To put these suspicions to rest Richard betrothed Anne to Edward and they married about December 13, 1470.

In April of 1471 Anne, Edward and Margaret returned to England. During the Battle of Tewkesbury Prince Edward was killed and Anne was taken prisoner. She was first held at Coventry and then later by George, her brother in law. This caused tension between Clarence and his brother Richard as Richard wanted to marry Anne but George wanted to inherit all of the Warwick assets. Some legends say he dressed her like a servant in a cookshop to hide her. Richard finally tracked her down and placed her at the Church of St Martin le Grand until he could get his brother George to approve of the marriage. He also agreed to give up many of her lands to his brother. They married in 1472.

The new couple made heir home at Middleham Castle and her mother Lady Anne moved in with them after getting released by the King from her sanctuary. This is where their son Edward was born.

On April 9 1483, Edward IV died and Anne’s husband Richard was named Lord Protector for his 12-year-old nephew Edward V. Then on June 25, 1483, Edward V and his siblings were declared illegitimate and Richard ascended the throne as King Richard III. Anne Neville was crowned alongside her husband on July 6, 1483 by Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the first joint coronation in 175 years. To this day no one truly knows what happened to the princes in the tower, it’s been one of my favorite questions in history since childhood.

In April of 1484, their son Edward died. She later adopted her nephew, Edward, Earl of Warwick, and made him Richard’s heir, though he later changed that. She died on March 16, 1485 of tuberculosis, at Westminster. There was an eclipse on the day she died and some people said that signaled Richard’s fall.


6 July 1483: The Coronation of King Richard and Queen Anne