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On this day in history in 1485, died Anne Neville.
Anne Neville was the daughter of Warwick the kingmaker, and was married first to a Lancastrian heir, and then a Yorkist prince, and then died mysteriously.
Anne Neville was born on June 11th 1456, at Warwick Castle, the younger daughter of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, and Anne Beauchamp. As a girl she lived at Middleham Castle, where she used to play with the sons of Richard, Duke of York, claimant to the throne, when the boys visited the Warwick estate.
In 1461, Warwick had secured the throne for Edward IV, and deposed Henry VI, but by 1470, he had begun to find Edward insufferable, and decided to change allegiance and restore Henry VI. He married Anne to Henry’s young son Edward, and raised a rebellion against Edward IV, placing Henry VI back on the throne. The situation was complicated in that Anne’s sister, Isabel, was already married to Edward IV’s brother, George, Duke of Clarence.
Warwick and Henry’s victory was short lived. Edward IV gathered an army and took on Warwick and Henry, and roundly defeated them at the Battle of Tewksbury. Both Warwick and Prince Edward were killed in battle. Anne lost her father and her husband in one day.
Anne now became a political prisoner. She was taken to the house of Edward IV’s brother, George Duke of Clarence and his wife, her sister Isabel. George decided that Anne must marry again and so wedded her of to his younger brother Richard in 1472. In 1483, Edward IV died, leaving the throne to his young son Edward V, with Anne’s husband, Richard as protector. Richard soon found a way to have his nephew declared illegitimate and took the throne himself as Richard III, and Anne was crowned with Richard in Westminster Abbey. They had a child, Edward, who died in 1483, and soon after Anne died of tuberculosis, aged 28, on 16th March 1485. There were rumours that Richard wanted to get rid of Anne and marry his cousin Elizabeth of York, so he was suspected of murder. In Shakespeare’s Richard III, Anne appears as a ghost, tormenting Richard on the eve of the decisive Battle of Bosworth. Anne was buried in Westminster Abbey on the south side of the High Altar. Her grave was unmarked until a bronze tablet was erected in 1960, by the Richard III Society.
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