Neville, Sir Thomas

(c. 1429–1460)
   Sir Thomas Neville, the second son of Richard NEVILLE, earl of Salisbury, and the younger brother of Richard NEVILLE, earl of Warwick, played a prominent role in the NEVILLE-PERCY FEUD of the 1450s. HENRY VI knighted Thomas and his younger brother John NEVILLE, the future Lord Montagu, in January 1453. In August, Sir Thomas married Maude Stanhope, the niece of Ralph, Lord Cromwell. Because it enhanced the NEVILLE FAMILY’s influence in the north and made possible the future Neville acquisition of former Percy estates in Cromwell’s possession, the marriage aggravated a feud that had broken out earlier in the year between Sir John Neville and Thomas PERCY, Lord Egremont, a younger son of Henry PERCY, earl of Northumberland. Leading a large armed force, Egremont intercepted Sir Thomas Neville’s wedding party as it passed northeast of York on 24 August. Besides his new wife, Sir Thomas was accompanied by his parents, his brother John, and a formidable escort of armed RETAINERS. The encounter erupted into the so-called Battle of HEWORTH, a skirmish that resulted in no bloodshed but nonetheless aggravated the feud and drew Sir Thomas into more active participation on his family’s behalf. After various incidents and provocations on both sides, Sir Thomas and his brother John defeated and captured Egremont at the Battle of STAMFORD BRIDGE in October 1454.
   By 1459, the Neville-Percy feud had merged into the national rivalry between the houses of YORK and LANCASTER, and the Nevilles had become the chief allies of Richard PLANTAGENET, duke of York. In September, Sir Thomas fought with his father at the Battle of BLORE HEATH, where he and his brother John were captured after pursuing the defeated Lancastrians too aggressively. Like his father and brothers, Sir Thomas was included in the bills of ATTAINDER passed against the Yorkist leaders at the COVENTRY PARLIAMENT of November 1459. In July 1460, Sir Thomas and his brother won release from confinement through Warwick’s capture of the king at the Battle of NORTHAMPTON. Named to various offices by the new Yorkist government, Sir Thomas became Warwick’s lieutenant as warden of the West March (i.e., the Scottish border) and had responsibility for upholding the regime’s tenuous authority in the lands of the Crown Duchy of Lancaster. In October, when York laid his claim to the throne before PARLIAMENT, Sir Thomas accompanied Warwick to Westminster to tell the duke that neither the PEERAGE nor the people were willing to accept the deposition of Henry VI. In December, after the compromise Act of ACCORD provoked Lancastrian resistance across England, Sir Thomas joined the army that his father and York led north from LONDON. He died with them at the Battle of WAKEFIELD on 30 December, and his head was afterwards displayed with those of the duke and Salisbury on the town gates of York.
   See also North of England and the Wars of the Roses; all other entries under Neville
   Further Reading: Hicks, Michael,Warwick the Kingmaker (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1998); Storey,R. L., The End of the House of Lancaster. 2d ed. (Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: Sutton Publishing, 1999).

Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses. . 2001.

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