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Anne (1456-1485) (DNB00)


From Wikisource

ANNE (14561485), queen of Richard III, was the daughter of Richard Nevill, earl of Warwick,
known in history as the Kingmaker, and of Anne, the heiress of the former earls, of the
Beauchamp family. She was born at Warwick Castle on 11 June 1456. She had an elder sister
named Isabel, born also at Warwick in 1451, who was the only other child her father had. In 1461,
when she was about five years old, Henry VI was deposed, and Edward IV crowned king by her
father's means. In 1466 she and her sister were present at the enthronement of her uncle, George
Nevill, as archbishop of York; and it is to be noted that, at the banquet which followed, her future
husband, Richard, then Duke of Gloucester, was placed at the head of the table (LELAND'S
Collectanea, vi. 4). In 1469 her father, the Earl of Warwick, intrigued against Edward IV, and
seduced the king's brother Clarence from his allegiance. He stirred up a rebellion in England and
withdrew to Calais, of which place he was governor; and there Clarence married his daughter
Isabel. The countess and her two daughters appear to have been at Calais before the earl and
Clarence arrived there. Immediately after the marriage these two lords returned again to England,
where they took the king prisoner, and put some of his wife's relations to death at Coventry.
Edward escaped soon after, and issued a general pardon; but next year another rebellion was raised
in Lincolnshire, with the view of making Clarence king. It was quelled at the battle called
Lose-coat field, fought near Stamford, and Clarence and Warwick escaped with some difficulty
once more across the sea. The Duchess of Clarence fled with her husband, and was delivered of a
child on board ship while crossing the Channel. They were obliged to land, not at Calais, where
Warwick's own lieutenant refused him entrance, but at Dieppe; and they were well received by
Louis XI, with whom the earl had long been in secret correspondence.
And now began a negotiation of a kind unparalleled in history. The French king set himself to
reconcile the high-spirited Margaret of Anjou with the man who had turned her husband off the
throne, his object being to unite Warwick, Clarence, and the house of Lancaster in one confederacy
against King Edward. His efforts were successful, and a treaty was at length agreed and sworn to
at Angers, by which Margaret agreed to pardon Warwick, and Warwick engaged to maintain the
cause of King Henry, while Louis, for his part, undertook to assist them to the utmost of his power.
It was further arranged that after the kingdom had been recovered for Henry, his son Edward,
Prince of Wales, should marry Warwick's daughter Anne. Meanwhile they were solemnly
betrothed at Angers, and Warwick and Clarence set out on their expedition for the conquest of
England. They succeeded beyond all expectation, insomuch that King Edward was taken by
surprise, and obliged to escape beyond sea. Henry VI was set at liberty and was king once more.
Margaret of Anjou, her son, and her son's fiance, prepared at once to set out for England; but the
weather was so stormy that they were detained seventeen days on the coast of Normandy before
they could cross. At length they landed at Weymouth on the evening of Easter Sunday, 14 April
1471. But meanwhile a great change had taken place. Edward IV had obtained aid from his
brother-in-law, the Duke of Burgundy, and had already effected his crossing into England while
Margaret was waiting for a wind. He had, moreover, won the decisive battle of Barnet on the very
day that Margaret landed; who learned to her dismay on Easter Monday that her new supporter,
Warwick, was slain and her husband once more a prisoner. Moreover, she was deserted by

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