Woodville, Anthony, Earl Rivers

(c. 1442–1483)
   Through his control of the person of EDWARD V and his leadership of the politically powerful WOODVILLE FAMILY, Anthony Woodville (or Wydeville), Earl Rivers, may have unwittingly helped convince Richard, duke of Gloucester (see Richard III, King of England), that it was in his best interest to seize the Crown from his nephew in 1483.
   The eldest son of Richard WOODVILLE, Earl Rivers, and of JACQUETTA OF LUXEMBOURG, duchess of Bedford, Woodville, like his father, supported HENRY VI on the outbreak of war in 1459. In January 1460, Woodville and his father were captured at Sandwich by Yorkist raiders, who carried the two men to CALAIS, where they were soundly berated as social upstarts by the Yorkist leaders, Richard NEVILLE, earl of Warwick, and his WOODVILLE, ANTHONY, EARL RIVERS 299 father Richard NEVILLE, earl of Salisbury. Freed shortly thereafter, Woodville married the daughter of the Lancastrian peer, Thomas SCALES, Lord Scales. After fighting for the Lancastrians at the Battle of TOWTON in March 1461, Woodville transferred his allegiance to EDWARD IV and was recognized as Lord Scales in right of his wife in 1462. In 1464, the king’s marriage to Scales’s elder sister, Elizabeth WOODVILLE, led, much to the chagrin of Warwick, to the rapid advancement at COURT of Scales and his numerous siblings. In June 1467, Scales, who was an accomplished knight, fought Anthony, the Bastard of BURGUNDY, the natural son of Duke PHILIP, in a tournament at Smithfield. Scales distinguished himself in the contest, which had been arranged in part to emphasize the Woodville connections, through Duchess Jacquetta, with the highest European nobility. Part of the embassy that negotiated the marriage of Edward’s sister, MARGARET OF YORK, to Duke CHARLES of Burgundy, Scales accompanied the princess to her wedding in 1468. When Warwick launched his first coup attempt in July 1469, Edward sent the Woodvilles from his presence, both to protect them and to allay discontent. In August, after the defeat of the king’s forces at the Battle of EDGECOTE, Scales’s father and brother were executed by Warwick, though Scales— now Earl Rivers—escaped to rejoin the king after the collapse of Warwick’s uprising. In April 1470, Rivers foiled Warwick’s attempt to retrieve his ship Trinity from Southampton harbor and later in the summer defeated Warwick’s fleet in the Seine.
   When Warwick, now allied with Queen MARGARET OF ANJOU, forced Edward IV to flee the kingdom in October 1470, Rivers was one of the peers who shared the king’s exile in Burgundy (see Edward IV, Overthrow of). After spending the winter negotiating for shipping, Rivers returned to England with Edward in March 1471. He fought at the Battle of BARNET in April and was instrumental in driving Thomas NEVILLE, the Bastard of Fauconberg, from LONDON in May. In July,Rivers angered the king by asking leave to go abroad; although Edward granted the request, he replaced Rivers as lieutenant of Calais with William HASTINGS, Lord Hastings, an action that later caused ill feelings between Rivers and his successor. Rivers traveled widely during the 1470s. After returning from Portugal in 1472, he undertook pilgrimages to Compostella in Spain in 1473 and to Rome in 1475. In November 1473, Edward appointed Rivers governor of the young Prince of Wales, an important and powerful position that made its holder a political force in WALES and, potentially, in the next reign.
   Upon the death of Edward IV in April 1483, Rivers was at Ludlow (on the Welsh border) with Edward V. Ordered by the COUNCIL in London to limit the size of the royal retinue, Rivers and the king left Ludlow on 24 April accompanied by 2,000 men. On 29 April at Stony Stratford, Rivers and his half nephew Richard Grey returned to Northampton to meet the king’s uncle, Richard, duke of Gloucester, who was coming south with Henry STAFFORD, duke of Buckingham. Cordially received by the two dukes, Rivers and Grey were next day arrested and sent north in custody. Gloucester’s apparent fears that the Woodvilles intended to control the minority government seemed confirmed when large quantities of arms were found in Rivers’s baggage and Queen Elizabeth, upon hearing the news of Rivers’s arrest, fled with her other children into SANCTUARY. On 25 June, Gloucester’s servant Sir Richard RATCLIFFE executed Rivers, Grey, and Thomas VAUGHAN at Pontefract, likely without benefit of trial.
   Rivers was the most cultured and popular member of his family. He was an early patron of the printer William CAXTON, whose first productions from his English press were Rivers’s translations of The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers (1477) and the Moral Proverbs of Christine de Pisan (1478). Dominic MANCINI, the Italian observer who was present in London in 1483, was critical of the Woodvilles, but described Rivers as “a kind, serious and just man. . . . [who] had injured nobody, though benefiting many” (Ross, p. 98). Although a political realist who safeguarded his family’s interests, Rivers was also something of an ascetic, as evidenced by his many pilgrimages and the hair shirt he wore under his garments. Nonetheless, his influence over Edward V and the political and military resources he wielded as head of the extensive Woodville AFFINITY threatened Gloucester’s future and persuaded the duke to strike down Rivers and seize the throne, actions that reopened the WARS OF THE ROSES in 1483.
   See also all other entries under Woodville
   Further Reading: “Anthony Woodville,” in Michael Hicks, Who’s Who in Late Medieval England (London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1991), pp. 346–348; MacGibbon, David, Elizabeth Woodville: Her Life and Times (London: A. Barker, 1938); Ross, Charles, Edward IV (New Haven, CT:Yale University Press, 1998).

Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Woodville, Richard, Earl Rivers — (c. 1410–1469)    Richard Woodville (or Wydeville), Earl Rivers, was the father in law of EDWARD IV and the head of a large and ambitious family whose advancement by the king in the 1460s helped provoke Richard NEVILLE, earl of Warwick, to rebel… …   Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses

  • Anthony Woodville, 2. Earl Rivers — Anthony Woodville, 2. Earl Rivers, auch Anthony Wydeville, (* um 1440 in Grafton Regis; † 25. Juni 1483 in Pontefract), war ein englischer Adliger. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Verwandtschaft 2 Wechsel von Lancaster zu York 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers — Anthony Rivers, 2nd Earl Rivers (1442? ndash; 25 June 1483) was an English nobleman, courtier, and writer.He was the eldest son of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers and Jacquetta of Luxembourg. Like his father, he was originally a Lancastrian,… …   Wikipedia

  • Richard Woodville, 1. Earl Rivers — Richard Woodville, auch Richard Wydeville, (* um 1405 in Maidstone; † 12. August 1469 in Northampton) war ein englischer Soldat und Adliger. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Nachkommen 3 Literatur …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Richard Woodville, 3rd Earl Rivers — (birth unknown, died 6 March 1491) succeeded his brother, Anthony Woodville, as the third Earl Rivers. He was the son of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers and Jacquetta of Luxembourg, and was the brother of Elizabeth Woodville, wife and Queen of …   Wikipedia

  • Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers — Richard Woodville (or Wydeville), 1st Earl Rivers (1405 ndash; August 12, 1469), was an English nobleman, best remembered as the father of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV.Born at Maidstone, Kent, he was the son of another Sir Richard… …   Wikipedia

  • Earl Rivers — war ein erblicher englischer Adelstitel, der dreimal in der Peerage of England, verliehen wurde. Der Titel wurde nicht von einem Ort abgeleitet, daher auch nicht „Earl of Rivers“, sondern von einem alten Namen, der innerhalb der Familie Woodville …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Earl Rivers — was an English title held in succession by the families of Woodville or Wydeville, Darcy and Savage. In 1299 John Rivers, or de Ripariis, was summoned to parliament as a baron, and his son John was similarly summoned by Edward II. The earldom was …   Wikipedia

  • Rivers, Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl, Baron Rivers — ▪ English noble Woodville also spelled  Wydeville,  Wydville , or  Wydevill  born c. 1440 died June 25, 1483  English noble, a leading supporter of his brother in law, the Yorkist king Edward IV.       Anthony and his father, Sir Richard… …   Universalium

  • Woodville — may refer to one of the following:Places;United States *Woodville, Alabama *Woodville, California *Woodville, Florida *Woodville, Georgia *Woodville, Maine *Woodville, Mississippi *Woodville, North Carolina **Woodville, Bertie County, North… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.