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Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick

Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (1428 - April 14, 1471) is better known as "Warwick the Kingmaker". He was the richest man in England outside the royal family, and he used his wealth and power to help depose Henry VI in favor of Edward IV, and then later to place Henry VI back on the throne.

Warwick was the eldest son of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury and Alice Montagu, Countess of Salisbury. He married Anne Beauchamp, daughter and eventual heiress of the 15th Earl of Warwick. Thus he controlled two great earldoms, with estates throughout the English Midlands and the Welsh March.

Warwick was a successful military leader, and was instrumental in putting Edward IV of England on the throne. However, he soon fell out with Edward, who would not listen to his counsel and married an unsuitable woman against his wishes.

Warwick had no sons. His older daughter, Isabel, married George, Duke of Clarence, the king's brother, but Warwick continued to be discontented, feeling that he was losing ground to the Woodville family, relations of Edward IV's new queen. In desperation, he defected to the Lancastrian cause, and went to France to negotiate with Margaret of Anjou, queen of King Henry VI of England. As a result, he married off his younger daughter, Anne, to Margaret's son, Edward, Prince of Wales. George, Duke of Clarence, who was also jealous of the Woodvilles, joined his father-in-law in his French exile, but later returned to England and rejoined his brother's faction.

Margaret remained suspicious of Warwick, and insisted that he cement their alliance by returning to England with an army. He did so, and defeated Edward, temporarily restoring King Henry VI to the throne. However, by the time Margaret and her supporters were ready to join him, Warwick had been defeated and killed by the returning Edward IV at the Battle of Barnet 1471. His daughter, Isabel, remained married to Clarence, but Anne Neville, whose husband the Prince of Wales was killed shortly afterwards at the Battle of Tewkesbury, later married Richard III of England.


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