Wife to Richard, Duke of York, mother to Edward IV and Richard III, and aunt to the famous ‘Kingmaker’, Richard, Earl of Warwick, Cecily Neville was a key player on the political stage of fifteenth-century Britain England.
Mythologically rumoured to have been known as ‘the Rose of Raby’ because of her beauty and her birth at Raby Castle, and as ‘Proud Cis’ because of her vanity and fiery temper, Cecily’s personality and temperament have actually been highly speculated upon. In fact, much of her life is shrouded in mystery. Putting aside Cecily’s role as mother and wife, who was she really?
Matriarch of the York dynasty, she navigated through a tumultuous period and lived to see the birth of the future Henry VIII. From seeing the house of York defeat their Lancastrian cousins; to witnessing the defeat of her own son, Richard III, at the battle of Bosworth, Cecily then saw one of her granddaughters become Henry VII’s queen consort.
Her story is full of controversy and the few published books on her life are full of guess-work. In this highly original history, Dr John Ashdown-Hill seeks to dispel the myths surrounding Cecily using previously unexamined contemporary sources.
|Publisher:||Pen and Sword|
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Dr John Ashdown-Hill is a well-known medieval historian, having published extensively on a variety of topics within that period but focussing mainly on the Yorkist era. He is best-known for his pivotal role in uncovering the burial place of King Richard III for and for tracing collateral female-line descendants of Richard’s elder sister to establish his mtDNA haplogroup, which matched the mtDNA of the bones found in the Leicester car park. He continues to write about this period of history, and in 2015 he was awarded an MBE ‘for services to historical research and the exhumation and identification of Richard III’.
Table of Contents
Introduction Confronting the problems ix
Chapter 1 Cecily's Family Background 1
Chapter 2 Cecily's Childhood and Marriage 15
Chapter 3 Cecily's List of Children 34
Chapter 4 Wife and Mother in France 42
Chapter 5 Wife and Mother in Ireland 58
Chapter 6 The End of Maternity 72
Chapter 7 Through the Menopause, into Custody 86
Chapter 8 The Blue Velvet Carriage to Bereavement 94
Chapter 9 The First Reign of Edward IV 102
Chapter 10 Cecily's Sons in Conflict 118
Chapter 11 The Blaybourne Bastardy Myth 130
Chapter 12 The Second Reign of Edward IV 139
Chapter 13 The Accession of Richard III 166
Chapter 14 The Reign of Henry VII 177
Chapter 15 Cecily's Bequests, and what they Reveal 188
Chapter 16 Cecily's DNA and her Dental Record 201
Appendix 1 Alphabetical List of the Manors granted by Edward IV to his mother in 1461 208
Appendix 2 Members of the Entourage of Cecily Neville 213
Appendix 3 The Fifteenth-century Abbots of Colchester 228
Appendix 4 Lucy Fraser, 'Synopsis of Cicely; or the Rose of Raby. An Historical Novel (1795)' 229
Appendix 5 The allegiance of Cecily's siblings in the 1450s and beyond 231
Appendix 6 Where Cecily appears to have been living or staying on specific dates 233