Devereux, Walter, Lord Ferrers of Chartley

(1432–1485)
   Walter Devereux, Lord Ferrers of Chartley, was a loyal adherent of the house of YORK and one of EDWARD IV’s chief lieutenants in WALES.
   Born into a Herefordshire GENTRY family, Devereux was a councilor of Richard PLANTAGENET, duke of York, and served as steward of many of the duke’s Welsh lordships in the 1450s. When war erupted in 1459, Devereux took up arms for York and was with the duke’s forces at the Battle of LUDFORD BRIDGE. After York’s flight to IRELAND,Devereux was included in the bills of ATTAINDER passed against leading Yorkists in the COVENTRY PARLIAMENT, but he saved his life by submitting to HENRY VI.He resumed his Yorkist allegiance in 1460 and fought with York’s son, Edward, earl of March, at the Battle of MORTIMER’S CROSS in February 1461. He was also present at the LONDON assembly that proclaimed March king as Edward IV. Devereux fought for Edward at the Battle of TOWTON in late March, being knighted on the field, and was one of the commanders of the Yorkist forces at the Battle of TWT HILL in October. In 1462, Devereux was elevated to the PEERAGE as Lord Ferrers of Chartley, a title that he held by right of his wife.With his home at Weobley in Herefordshire, Ferrers had interests in the Welsh marches (i.e., borderlands). Edward strengthened these connections in the 1460s by naming Ferrers to numerous Welsh commissions, granting him lands in the marches and in Berkshire, and appointing him captain of Aberystwyth Castle. In the spring of 1470, Ferrers assisted the king in suppressing the rebellion raised by Richard NEVILLE, earl of Warwick, and his ally, George PLANTAGENET, duke of Clarence, the king’s brother. As a prominent Yorkist, Ferrers was dismissed from all county commissions of the peace by the READEPTION government of Henry VI. When Edward IV returned from exile in March 1471, Ferrers fought for him at the Battles of BARNET and TEWKESBURY.He also helped drive Jasper TUDOR, earl of Pembroke, and his nephew, Henry Tudor, earl of Richmond, into exile in BRITTANY, thereby restoring Yorkist authority in Wales. In 1473, Edward appointed Ferrers to the COUNCIL, and in 1475, Ferrers raised a troop of MEN-ATARMS and ARCHERS to accompany the king on his French expedition.
   Although a long-time Yorkist who might have been expected to support EDWARD V, Ferrers acquiesced in RICHARD III’s usurpation of the throne in 1483 (see Usurpation of 1483). Richard rewarded Ferrers’s loyalty with a grant of lands and an annuity of £146 per year. Ferrers died fighting for Richard at the Battle of BOSWORTH FIELD in August 1485. He was attainted in the first PARLIAMENT of HENRY VII, and his estates were confiscated by the Crown.
   Further Reading: Boardman, Andrew W., The Medieval Soldier in the Wars of the Roses (Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: Sutton Publishing, 1998); Evans, H.T.,Wales and the Wars of the Roses (Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1995); Ross, Charles, Edward IV (New Haven, CT:Yale University Press, 1998).

Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses. . 2001.

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