TitlesRichard Neville's grandfather Ralph Neville had married the daughter of John of Gaunt (the son of Edward III) and Richard's father had gained the title Earl of Salisbury when he married Alice the previous Earl of Salisbury's daughter. Richard himself married Anne Beauchamp the heiress to the Warwick earldom. The last male Beauchamp died without an heir and so Richard took the title of Earl of Warwick which gave him control of large amounts of land in the Midlands and South Wales.
Wars of the Roses
Warwick became a supporter of Richard, Duke of York (White rose) in the conflict with the Henry VI and the Lancastrians (red rose) over claims for the English throne. After several battles against the Lancastrians Warwick and the Yorkists captured the King at the Battle of Northampton in July of 1460. After several more battles Richard of York's son Edward was declared king of England and was crowned in June of 1461 as Edward IV.
Warwick's support for the new king ended when Edward married Elizabeth Woodville in 1468. In 1469 Warwick was behind a rebellion against the King. Warwick managed to capture the King after the battle of Edgecote in July of 1469 but the Earl did not have the support of Parliament and the country so he had to release the King from prison. In 1470 Warwick fled to France and there met Margaret of Anjou, the exiled wife of Henry VI. Although Warwick and Margaret had previously been enemies they put aside their differences and plotted together to remove Edward IV from the English throne. With assistance from the French King Louis XI Margaret and Warwick attempted to restore Henry VI to the throne. In September of 1470 Warwick and Margaret landed in England and in October Henry VI had been released from the Tower of London and restored to the throne. The victory did not last long as the Yorkists fought back taking London and then defeating the Lancastrians at the Battle of Barnet where Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick was killed. Due to his attempts to control who should be the King of England Richard has become known as the 'Kingmaker'.