Dinham, John, Lord Dinham

(d. 1501)
   A capable administrator and military commander, John Dinham (or Dynham), Lord Dinham, was a loyal adherent of the house of YORK and a trusted servant of the house of TUDOR.
   Born into a Devonshire GENTRY family, Dinham rendered vital service to the Yorkist cause in October 1459, when, after guiding them from the Battle of LUDFORD BRIDGE, he sheltered Richard NEVILLE, earl of Warwick; Richard NEVILLE, earl of Salisbury; and Edward, earl of March (see Edward IV, King of England) in the Dinham family home at Newton Abbot. Dinham also hired a vessel to carry himself and the Yorkist lords to safety at CALAIS. In the early morning of 15 January 1460, Dinham raided Sandwich, capturing a Lancastrian fleet being readied there for an attack on Calais and carrying off its commander, Richard WOODVILLE, Earl Rivers, as well as Rivers’s wife, JACQUETTA OF LUXEMBOURG, and his son, Anthony WOODVILLE. In early June, Dinham, accompanied by William NEVILLE, Lord Fauconberg, and John WENLOCK, again descended on Sandwich, defeating a Lancastrian force of ARCHERS and MEN-AT-ARMS and seizing the town as a Yorkist bridgehead. Named to the royal COUNCIL in 1462 and raised to the PEERAGE in 1467, Dinham became the chief Yorkist peer in the West Country after the death of Humphrey STAFFORD, earl of Devon, in 1469. Loyal to Edward IV, Dinham was one of only seven nobles not summoned to the READEPTION session of PARLIAMENT in 1470. After Edward’s restoration in 1471, Dinham became deputy at Calais to William HASTINGS, Lord Hastings. In May 1473, Dinham helped repel the landing in Essex of John de VERE, the Lancastrian earl of Oxford, and in 1475 he commanded a fleet charged with holding the Channel while Edward IV’s army sailed to FRANCE. After the USURPATION OF 1483, Dinham supported RICHARD III, who rewarded him with the stewardship of the royal Duchy of Cornwall. Dinham also received extensive land grants in the autumn after remaining loyal to Richard during BUCKINGHAM’S REBELLION. In December 1484, Dinham recaptured the Calais fortress of Hammes from its turncoat garrison, which had defected to Henry Tudor, earl of Richmond (see Henry VII, King of England). Perhaps because he allowed the Hammes garrison to march away, Dinham was superseded in the Calais command in 1485 by John of Gloucester, the king’s bastard son. Because Dinham remained in Calais as one of Gloucester’s deputies, he was not present at the Battle of BOSWORTH FIELD in August 1485. Dinham was almost immediately favored by Henry VII, who appointed him treasurer of England, an influential office that Dinham held until his death in January 1501. One of Henry’s most active councilors, Dinham served on many royal commissions and received numerous rewards, including election to the prestigious Order of the Garter.
   Further Reading: Gillingham, John, The Wars of the Roses (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1981); Ross, Charles, Edward IV (New Haven, CT:Yale University Press, 1998); Ross, Charles, Richard III (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981).

Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses. . 2001.

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