Cracroft's Peerage
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Rivers, Earl (E, 1466 - 1491)


Creation: let.pat. 24 May 1466


Extinct: 6 Mar 1490/1


Family name: Wydville




Garter stall plate of Richard [Wydville], 1st Earl Rivers, KG

An oblong plate of gilt copper, probably representing a banner, with fringed border and field

covered with delicate pounced leafwork. It bears the Knight's shield of arms, with a silver helm

garnished with red and gold and covered with a red mantling sown with gold trefoils, with silver

lining and gold tassels. The crest is a demi-man brandishing a scimitar, issuing from a circlet

of green holly leaves set upright upon a green torse. The man is clad in a tightly fitting red tunic

sown with gold trefoils with standing collar and large hanging sleeves. These are cleverly

arranged as if in continuation of the mantling and are similarly dagged and lined and tasselled.


(Plate LX from W H St John Hope: The Stall Plates of the Knights of the Order of the Garter 1348-1485)



Quarterly, 1st and 4th, quarterly, (i) and (iv), Argent a Fess Gules a Canton of the last (Wydville);  (ii) and (iii), Gules an Eagle displayed Or (Prowse);  2nd and 3rd, Vair Azure and Argent (Beauchamp of Hacche);  over all an Inescutcheon Gules thereon a Griffin Or (Redvers)


Issuing out of a Wreath of Holly Vert a Demi Man crined Or habited Gules semée of Fleur-de-lis of the second holding in the dexter hand a Scimitar proper



Richard [Wydville], 1st Baron Rivers later 1st Earl Rivers, KG

son and heir of Richard Wydville, of Grafton, co. Northampton, by his wife ..... Bedlisgate, dau. and hrss. of John Bedlisgate, by his wife ..... Beauchamp, dau. of William Beauchamp, of Wellington, co. Somerset




betw. 16 Sep 1435 and 23 Mar 1436/7 Jacquetta of Luxembourg (b. c. 1416; widow of John [Plantagenet], 1st Duke of Bedford; d. 30 May 1472), dau. of Peter of Luxembourg, Count of St Pol, by his wife Margaret des Baux, dau. of Francis de Baux, Duke of Andria


1. Anthony Wydville, later 2nd Earl Rivers

2. Sir John Wydville (b. c. 1445; dvp. after the Battle of Edgcote 12 Aug 1469), mar. c. 1464 Lady Katherine Beaumont (widow of (1) John [de Mowbray], 2nd Duke of Norfolk, (2) Sir Thomas Strangeways, and (3) John [Beaumont], 1st Viscount Beaumont; d. after 1483), 2nd dau. of Ralph [Neville], 1st Earl of Westmorland, by his second wife Lady Joan Beaufort, legitimated dau. of John "of Gaunt", 1st Duke of Lancaster (by his mistress and later third wife Katherine Swynford, widow of Sir Hugh Swynford, of Kettlethorpe, co. Lincoln, and 2nd dau. and cohrss. of Sir Payn de Roet, Guienne King of Arms), 4th son of King Edward III

3. Lionel Wydville, later Bishop of Salisbury (b. c. 1446; d. 1484)

4. Edward Wydville (d. 1488)

5. Richard Wydville, later 3rd Earl Rivers

6. Thomas Wydville, mar. Anne Holland

7. John Wydville (d. young)

8. Lewis Wydville (d. young)

1. Lady Elizabeth Wydville (b. c. 1437; d. 8 Jun 1492), mar. (1) c. 1452 Sir John Grey (b. c. 1432; dvm. 17 Feb 1460/1), 1st son and heir of Sir Edward Grey by his wife Elizabeth Ferrers, suo jure Baroness Ferrers of Groby, and (2) 1 May 1464 King Edward IV, and had issue by both husbands

2. Lady Anne Wydville (d. 30 Jul 1489), mar. (1) bef. 15 Aug 1467 Sir William Bourchier, styled Viscount Bourchier (dvp. 14 Apr 1471), 1st son and heir ap. of Henry [Bourchier], 1st Earl of Essex, (2) Sir Edward Wingfield, and (3) as his first wife George [Grey], 2nd Earl of Kent, and had issue by her first and third husbands

3. Lady Margaret Wydville, mar. c. 1464 Thomas [Fitzalan], 17th or 10th Earl of Arundel, and had issue

4. Lady Mary Wydville, mar. Sep 1466 as his first wife William [Herbert], 2nd Earl of Pembroke later 1st Earl of Huntingdon, and had issue

5. Lady Jacquetta Wydville, mar. as his first wife John [le Strange], 8th Baron Strange of Knockyn, and had issue

6. Lady Katherine Wydville (b. bef. 1458 ; d. bef. 1513), mar. (1) c. Feb 1466 Henry [Stafford], 2nd Duke of Buckingham, (2) bef. 7 Nov 1485 Jaspar [Tudor], 1st Duke of Bedford, and (3) Sir Richard Wingfield KG, of Kimbolton Castle, co. Huntingdon (d. 1525), and had issue by her first husband

7. Lady Martha Wydville, mar. Sir John Bromley

8. Lady Eleanor Wydville, mar. Sir Anthony Grey, styled Lord Grey of Ruthin (dvp. and sp. betw. 15 May and 27 Nov 1480), 1st son and heir ap. of Edmund [Grey], 1st Earl of Kent, by his wife Lady Catherine Percy, 2nd dau. of Henry [Percy], 1st Earl of Northumberland


12 Aug 1469


9 May 1448 Baron Rivers

24 May 1466 Earl Rivers

suc. by



knighted 1426; fought in the French wars; Constable of England 1450 (sic?); Knight of the Garter 1450; Privy Councillor 1450; Seneschal of Aquitaine 1450; Lieutenant of Calais 1454 and 1455; Keeper of Rochester Castle for life 1457; Treasurer of England 1465/6 ; Constable of England for life, 1467, with remainder to his son Anthony; there was much discontent at the favours shown to the Wydvilles and in 1469 he retired to Chepstow; following the Yorkist defeat at the Battle of Edgcote he was executed without trial by the Earl of Warwick


Anthony [Wydville], jure uxoris 8th Baron Scales later 2nd Earl Rivers, KG


c. 1440

mar. (1)

bef. 8 Apr 1461 Elizabeth Bourchier (widow of Sir Henry Bourchier, 2nd son of Henry [Bourchier], 1st Earl of Essex; dsp. 2 Sep 1473), only dau. and hrss. of Thomas [Scales], 7th Baron Scales, by his wife Ismania Whalesburgh, dau. of ..... Whalesburgh

mar. (2)

bef. Oct 1480 Mary Lewes (mar. (2) Sir George Nevill), dau. and hrss. of Sir Henry Lewes, of Horndon, co. Essex, by his wife Lady Elizabeth Beaufort, 3rd dau. of Edmund [Beaufort], 1st Duke of Somerset


s.p.legit. 25 Jun 1483

suc. by



fought on the Lancastrian side at the Battle of Towton 1461; sum. to Parliament v.p. 22 Dec 1462 in his wife's Barony of Scales; Knight of the Garter 1466; Captain of Carisbrooke Castle and of the Isle of Wight 1466; Keeper of Porchester Castle 1467; Lieutenant of Calais 1470 ; wounded at the Battle of Barnet 1471; member of the Prince of Wales's Council 1471; Chief Butler of England for life 1473; Governor of the Prince of Wales 1473; after King Edward IV's death he brought the infant King Edward V from Ludlow Castle but was arrested by the Duke of Gloucester (later King Richard III) on a charge of attempting to usurp the government, imprisoned at Pontefract Castle and shortly afterwards executed without trial; he had an illegitimate dau., Margaret, who mar. as his first wife Sir Robert Poyntz, of Iron Acton, co. Gloucester, Chancellor to Queen Catherine of Aragon, and Sheriff of Gloucestershire 1469, 1480, 1484, 1494 and 1500.


Richard [Wydville], 3rd Earl Rivers




s.p. 6 Mar 1490/1


knighted 1465; Justice of the Peace in Bedfordshire and other counties 1473-87


On the death of the 3rd Earl Rivers both his titles became extinct


First written 16 Aug 2003



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