Anne O Brien
Discover More ... about Anne Neville and life in England during the Fifteenth century:
Places to visit:
Middleham Castle: North Yorkshire
Where Anne spent much of her childhood, and Richard was raised in Warwick’s household. Today it is an impressive ruined castle, well worth a visit.
Anne and Isabel would have know this well as their home. It is in an excellent state of preservation, a magnificent example of a medieval castle in beautiful surroundings.
Church of St Mary, Warwick
Where the Beauchamp mausoleum is situated, containing one of the finest chantry chapels of medieval England, that of Anne’s grandfather, Richard Beauchamp.
Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire
Containing the mausoleum of Anne’s De Clare and Despenser ancestors. Her grandmother Isabel Despenser has a superbly carved tomb. Isabel and George of Clarence are also buried here. In the chancel floor is a modern plaque commemorating the death of Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales.
Battle of Tewkesbury
The battlefield spreads over the water meadows south of the town and can be followed in a sign posted walk.
Cerne Abbey, in Cerne Abbas, Dorset
Where Anne and the Lancastrians landed in the ill-fated invasion and Anne learned of Warwick’s death at the Battle of Barnet.
Battle of Barnet, Hertfordshire
A Yorkist victory for King Edward IV and Richard of Gloucester. The Earl of Warwick died on the battlefield.
The Final Word...
Anne Neville died in 1485 at the age of twenty eight or twenty nine, less than two years after becoming Queen of England. She had been ill for some months, possibly suffering from cancer. Her son, Edward of Middleham, had already died in 1484 and she had no more children. Richard of Gloucester’s life as Richard III, before and after Anne’s death, is well documented in history and in fiction.
Anne is buried in Westminster Abbey although there is no contemporary memorial to her and the position is in dispute. She was interred either in the presbytery in front of the high altar or by the south door that leads into St Edward's chapel. A more recent memorial was set up in 1960 by the Richard III Society on the wall of the Abbey near to where her grave might have been with the following inscription:
ANNE NEVILL 1456-1485 QUEEN OF ENGLAND YOUNGER DAUGHTER OF RICHARD EARL OF WARWICK CALLED THE KINGMAKER WIFE TO THE LAST PLANTAGENET KING RICHARD III.
"In person she was seemly, amiable and beauteous...And according to the interpretation of her name Anne full gracious" REQUIESCAT IN PACE.
There is no trace of the tombs of Warwick and Richard III. They were both destroyed in the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII. Edward of Middleham has a tomb in the church in Sheriff Hutton in North Yorkshire where he died.
Coldharbour, near Dowgate, the London home of George, Duke of Clarence and Anne’s sister Isabel, and where Anne experienced life in the Clarence kitchens, no longer exists.
Want to read more?
The most recent and detailed historical biography of Anne Neville is:
Anne Neville: Queen of Richard III by Michael Hicks
Published by Tempus Publishing Limited
You might also try:
Warwick the Kingmaker by Michael Hicks