Neville, Sir Humphrey

(c. 1439–1469)
   A cousin of Richard NEVILLE, earl of Warwick, and a leader of the Lancastrian branch of the NEVILLE FAMILY, Sir Humphrey Neville raised a rebellion in 1469 that forced Warwick to end his own uprising, release EDWARD IV from custody, and return temporarily to his Yorkist allegiance.
   Neville was a great-grandson of Ralph Neville, first earl of Westmorland, through Westmorland’s first wife, while Warwick was a grandson of Westmorland through Westmorland’s second wife, a member of the BEAUFORT FAMILY. Being on bad terms with their half siblings, the descendants of Westmorland’s first family were loyal Lancastrians. Three months after Edward IV’s victory at the Battle of TOWTON in March 1461, Humphrey Neville and several other Lancastrians raided into Durham from SCOTLAND, where they had followed HENRY VI into exile. Neville was captured, attainted by PARLIAMENT, and imprisoned in the TOWER OF LONDON. In about 1463, he escaped and returned to northern England, where he again agitated for the Lancastrian cause. However, perhaps through the influence of his Yorkist cousins, Neville soon submitted to Edward IV, who granted him pardon and a knighthood. By April 1464, Neville reverted to his former allegiance, joining the Lancastrian garrison at BAMBURGH CASTLE and setting an unsuccessful ambush for his cousin John NEVILLE, Lord Montagu, Warwick’s younger brother. Neville fought with Henry BEAUFORT, duke of Somerset, at the Battle of HEXHAM in May 1464 and, after that defeat, fled into the borderlands between Durham and Northumberland, where he maintained himself against the Yorkist authorities until 1469. Neville probably assisted the northern uprisings of the summer of 1469, whereby Warwick and his new son-in-law, George PLANTAGENET, duke of Clarence, Edward IV’s disaffected brother, were able to capture the king and seize control of the government. Apparently dissatisfied that Warwick was content to rule through Edward IV rather than restore Henry VI, Neville launched an uprising in northern England. Because few nobles would support him against the rebels while he held the king, Warwick was forced to release Edward, from whom he first extracted a pardon for himself and Clarence. Within weeks, Warwick crushed the uprising and captured Neville,who was executed at York in the presence of the king on 29 September.
   Further Reading: Haigh, Philip A., The Military Campaigns of the Wars of the Roses (Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: 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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