Anthony Woodville

Anthony Woodville

Grafton Regis, South Northamptonshire Borough, Northamptonshire, England
Death 26 Jun 1483 (aged 42–43)
Pontefract, Metropolitan Borough of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England
Burial Body lost or destroyed
Memorial ID 89280864 · View Source
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This memorial is dedicated to my ancestor Anthony Woodville. He was the 2nd Earl Rivers 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, fighting on that side at the Battle of Towton, but later became a Yorkist. The Yorkists, fighting for Edward IV, were defeated at the Battle of Edgecote Moor, on July 26, 1469.
Anthony's father Richard Woodville and younger brother John were taken prisoners at Chepstow. After a hasty and controversial trial, they were both beheaded at Kenilworth on August 12, 1469.
Anthony then succeeded his father in the earldom.
Anthony became very influential at the royal court after his sister Elizabeth married Edward IV and was made a Knight of the Garter. He is known to have been a great tournament champion, who once fought a two-day "duel" with Antoine, bastard of Burgundy. He joined the king in his temporary exile in 1470, and returned with him the next year, where he was wounded at the Battle of Barnet.
He was married to Elizabeth de Scales, Baroness Scales in her own right, daughter of Thomas de Scales, 7th Baron Scales, and widow of Henry Bourchier, younger son of Henry Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex. After his wife's death in 1473, Anthony was summoned to Parliament in her right as Baron Scales. He was subsequently married to Mary, daughter of Henry Fitz-Lewis, but both marriages produced no children.
Also in 1473, King Edward IV appointed Anthony Governor of the Prince of Wales' household, and he went with the prince to Ludlow Castle. He was also appointed High Sheriff of Caernarvonshire for life. His duties included the administration of justice throughout the principality.
When the king died suddenly in 1483, Anthony was ordered by his sister to bring the Prince of Wales, now King Edward V, straight back to London under an armed guard. They were intercepted by Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who arrested Anthony, along with his nephew Richard Grey, the young king's half-brother. Both men were imprisoned and then beheaded at Pontefract Castle on June 25, 1483 as part of the duke's path towards kingship (as Richard III).
Anthony was evidently quite learned, and no doubt had learned excellent French from his mother. He had met the English printer William Caxton when in exile in Bruges, and there in 1475-6 Caxton published Cordyale, or Four last thinges, Anthonys' English translation from the French Jean Miélot of Les quattres choses derrenieres. After both of them had returned to England, one of the first, if not the first, books printed in England was Anthonys' translation from French of the Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers, printed by Caxton at Westminster in 1477. Lambeth Palace Library has a manuscript illustration showing Anthony presenting a copy of this book to Edward IV.
Before his removal to Pontefract, he wrote a sad ballad
Somewhat musing
And more mourning,
In remembering
This world being
Of such wheeling,
Me contrarying,
What may I guess?
I fear, doubtless,
Is now to seize
My woeful chance;
For unkindness,
And no redress,
Me doth advance.
With displeasure,
To my grievance,
And no surance
Of remedy;
Lo, in this trance,
Now in substance,
Such is my dance,
Willing to die.
Methinks truly
Bounden am I,
And that greatly,
To be content;
Seeing plainly
Fortune doth wry
All contrary
From mine intent.
My life was lent
Me to one intent.
It is nigh spent.
Welcome, Fortune!
But I ne went [neer thought]
Thus to be shent [ruined]
But she it meant;
Such is her won [custom].
There was no formal burial, the bodies were stripped and thrown into a communal grave. When the earl's body was stripped, they found he was wearing a hair shirt under his elaborate clothes.
Anthony had an illegitimate daughter named Margaret Woodville,(whom I descend from) she married Robert Poyntz.
Anthony was succeeded as earl by his brother, Richard.

Gravesite Details In his will he requested to be buried at Pontefract; the tombs there were however, destroyed (along with the castle) during the English Civil War. Find A Grave contributor Zella

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  • Created by: Mad
  • Added: 29 Apr 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 89280864
  • Jessie Lansdel
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Anthony Woodville (1440–26 Jun 1483), Find a Grave Memorial no. 89280864, ; Maintained by Mad (contributor 47329061) Body lost or destroyed.