Teaching Resources

Teaching Resource: Richard Neville’s role in the Wars of the Roses

Richard Neville, better known as Warwick the Kingmaker, had a pivotal role in the Wars of the Roses from its outset until his death at the Battle of Barnet. A powerful magnate, he used the systems of marriage and land ownership to advance the fortunes of his family. Warwick’s success at this saw him becoming one of the wealthiest men in the country. Additionally, his daughter Anne became Princess of Wales through marriage to Edward of Westminster and later Queen Consort, through her marriage to King Richard III. His second daughter, Isabelle, married Prince George, the Duke of Clarence.

Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick
Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. From the Rous Roll

Warwick was not only good at manipulating the marriage system and taking advantage of the manner in which inheritances could be used for family gain. He was a major player politically too. With a role on Council, he acquired important positions and was in many ways acting as the chief minister at various moments in his life. As these roles diminished and the influence of others rose, he changed allegiances. What was his motive? Why did he side with the ‘opposition’ on so many occasions?

This lesson, for A-Level History, explores the life and times of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. It provides a chronological understanding of events and assesses the impact of them.

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