Robin of Redesdale

ROBIN of Redesdale (fl. 1469), rebel captain, is difficult to identify. After Edward IV’s marriage with Elizabeth Woodville, the consequent political disaffection centred in the north of England. There were two risings in 1469. One was headed by Robert Hildyard; the other, instigated by Warwick and Clarence, was led by ‘Robin of Redesdale.’ It was probably thought convenient to have a popular fictitious name as a watchword [see Hood, Robin], and Robin of Redesdale seems to have been the pseudonym adopted by a member of the numerous Conyers family. He was either Sir William Conyers (d. 1495) of Marske or his brother, Sir John Conyers, K.G., who, as head of his family, lived at Hornby, Yorkshire. Warkworth identifies Robin with Sir William (Chron. pp. 6, 44–5), and is followed by Mr. Gairdner. But Sir John and his son (also Sir John) took a prominent part in the rebellion. The two Sir Johns seem to have marched south with the rebels, and at Edgecote in Northamptonshire, on 26 July 1469, helped to defeat the Earl of Pembroke and his brother, Richard Herbert, but the younger Sir John was slain there. A year later, when Edward went into the north after his victory over rebels in Lincolnshire, at the battle of Lose Coat Field, the elder Sir John Conyers and Hildyard came in to him. The former lived until 1490, and was much favoured by Henry VII (cf. Campbell, Materials for the Reign of Henry VII, Rolls Ser., i. 63, 277, &c.), to whom he was a knight of the body. He married Margery, daughter of Philip, lord Darcy, and was succeeded in his estates by his grandson William (b. 1468), son of the Sir John who was killed at Edgecote.

[Ramsay’s Lancaster and York, ii. 338–51; Oman’s Warwick, pp. 183–4; Whitaker’s Richmondshire, ii. 41; Gairdner’s Introd. to vol. ii. of the Paston Letters, p. xlix; Chron. of Rebellion in Lincolnshire, ed. Nichols; Three Fifteenth-Cent. Chron. pp. 183–4; Bishop Percy’s Folio MS. pp. 246, 257; Visit. Yorkshire (Harl. Soc.), pp. 74–7; Testamenta Vetusta, p. 298; Tonge’s Visitation of Yorkshire (Surtees Soc.), passim; Wills and Invent. (Surtees Soc.) i. 78; Surtees’s Durham, vol. ii.]

Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 48
Robin of Redesdale by William Arthur Jobson Archbold

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