Warwick The Kingmaker: The Backstory.

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Would Warwick The Kingmaker Have Been Any Good at making other chess pieces too?The Backstory for Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (aka Warwick The Kingmaker):


Born Richard Neville on 22 November. It is unknown exactly where he was born but it was likely to have been in the vicinity of his mother in Bush an, Berkshire.


Richard, aged six, betrothed to Anne Beauchamp, daughter of the 13th Earl of Warwick. The best man tells a cracking story at the reception, although Richard confesses that he would’ve preferred the one about the three little pigs.


Anne redesigns the Neville family’s ‘Bear & Ragged Staff’ emblem during needlework class. She calls the new smartened image ‘The Bear & Immaculate Staff’. But Richard is furious and says that he is having none of it. Anne replies that when they’re a fair bit older he can start having some of it then.


Richard is knighted


The Duke of York leads an unsuccessful uprising against Henry VI (House of Lancaster). Richard (Warwick) is on the side of the King. This he considers safer than being in front of him.


Hentry VI becomes insane. Warwick isn’t at the King’s side anymore, mainly because the King thinks himself to be a crab. Henry VI’s wife, Margaret of Anjou, takes the reins with the Duke of Somerset. Despite pulling quite hard on them, they can’t get Henry VI to budge, not even in a sideways direction, as he withdraws into a catatonic state. It is thus decided that Margaret of Anjou and the Duke of Somerset should rule the country and Henry VI just pose for coins.

Warwick is no fan of Somerset, possibly because he endured a soaking at Glastonbury one summer, so sides with the House of York (White Rose) in their dispute with the House of Lancaster (Red Rose) over the claim to the throne.


The first battle of The Wars of the Roses takes place at St Albans. The Duke of Somerset is killed. It’s decided to cancel the 1455 Chelsea Flower Show in case anyone else important gets the chop.


Henry VI becomes a virtual puppet king (aided by his catatonic state), his strings pulled by Margaret of Anjou. This is kept a secret from the people. The truth only emerges in the 1960s when he makes a guest appearance on The Woodentops.


Warwick and Salisbury’s forces capture London for the House of York. Warwick then captures Henry VI at Northampton. Henry VI is allowed to remain king for the rest of his life and the Duke of York act as protector and succeed him upon his death.

The Duke of York is killed at the Battle of Wakefield. Warwick joins forces with his son, Edward of York, the new claimant to the throne of England.


Warwick and Edward march on London and are accepted by the citizens of the capital who are anti-Lancastrian. The Prince is proclaimed King Edward IV. The two head north to engage in battles at Ferrybridge – where Warwick picks up a leg injury – and Towton, rated the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil which Warwick misses due to failing a late fitness test. The Yorkists are triumphant. Margaret of Anjou flees to Scotland.


Warwick repels uprisings in the north orchestrated by Margaret of Anjou. The Last Night of the Proms is cancelled as Warwick doesn’t want to provide her with the chance to orchestrate anything else.

Warwick negotiates with French royalty to marry Edward IV to a princess.


Edward IV marries the widowed commoner Elizabeth Woodville behind Warwick’s back. Warwick only discovers the truth because Elizabeth, in her excitement, says ‘I do,’ too loud which causes Warwick to turn around.

The Woodville family become increasingly powerful at court at the expense of Warwick’s family, the Nevilles.


Prespects look increasingly bleak for Warwick as he receives a Christmas card from Edward IV with the ‘Happy New Year’ bit crossed out.


Warwick devises a plan to install Edward IV’s younger brother, George, Duke of Clarence, as king. George marries Warwick’s daughter, Isabel, to cement the union. Warwick laments the fact there isn’t enough left over to cement his patio as well.

The forces of Edward IV suffer defeats and the King is captured by Warwick’s brother Archbishop Neville of York. To celebrate the Archbishop designs a new range of monastery wear for his monks incorporating a caged white rose motif. Warwick decrees that it will be acceptable for the monks to wear their new outfits occasionally, but not to make a habit of it.

Edward IV is released from captivity. He isn’t that grateful as he thinks he should’ve only got community service anyway.


Warwick and the Duke of Clarence flee to France where they are accepted by King Louis XI.

In the surprise move of transfer deadline day, Warwick moves from the House of York to the House of Lancaster for an undisclosed fee. He promises Margaret of Anjou that he will get her husband, Henry VI, back on the throne.

Warwick and Clarence land in Devon with an army. Lancastrian forces also assemble in the north. Both armies head for London. Edward IV, finding himself surrounded, flees to the Netherlands.

Warwick frees Henry VI and restores him as King, though takes on the responsibilities of ruler himself.


The Royal Mint ask Warwick who he intends to make king next, as they are in the process of designing their coins for the next five years.

Edward IV gathers forces and lands in England. The Duke of Clarence rejoins his brother Edward IV citing lack of opportunity under Warwick. His brother later rewards him by having him drowned in a barrel of wine.

At the Battle of Barnet Warwick The Kingmaker is killed. Henry VI is bumped off in the Tower of London after the Battle of Tewkesbury in which Edward IV is triumphant.

Anne Neville, Warwick’s daughter, widowed at the Battle of Tewkesbury when the Prince of Wales is killed, marries Edward IV’s youngest brother Richard Duke of Gloucester, later to become King Richard III. Thus Warwick was not only a Kingmaker but quite literally a Queen-maker too.

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