Alexander de Neville, Archbishop of York

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About Alexander de Neville, Archbishop of York

Alexander Neville

Alexander Neville (c. 1340–1392) was a late medieval prelate who served as Archbishop of York from 1374 to 1388.

Born in about 1340, Alexander Neville was a younger son of Ralph Neville, 2nd Baron Neville de Raby and Alice de Audley. He was a member of the Neville family, one of the most powerful families in the north of England.[1][2]

Neville's first known ecclesiastical appointment was as a canon of York Minster, holding the prebendary of Bole from 1361 to 1373.[3] He became a claimant to the Archdeaconry of Cornwall from 1361 until it was set aside in 1371,[4] becoming instead Archdeacon of Durham from circa 1371 to 1373.[5] He was appointed Archbishop of York on 3 or 14 April 1374,[6] having been elected by the chapter of York in November 1373 and received royal assent on 1 January 1374.[7] He was consecrated to the episcopate at Westminster on 4 June 1374 and enthroned at York Minster on 18 December 1374.[8]

On the Lords Appellant rising against King Richard II in 1386, however, Neville was accused of treason and it was determined to imprison him for life in Rochester Castle.[1]

Neville fled, and Pope Urban VI, pitying his case, translated him to the Scottish see of St. Andrews on 30 April 1388. However, he never took possession of the see because the Scots acknowledged the Avignon papacy with their own candidate, Walter Trail.[9]

For the remainder of Neville's life he served as a parish priest in Leuven, where he died in May 1392 and was buried there in the Church of the Carmelites.[8][10]



  • Alexander de Neville, Archbishop of York1,2,3
  • M, #44965, b. circa 1332, d. 16 May 1392
  • Father Sir Ralph de Neville, 2nd Baron Nevill of Raby, Sheriff of Hutton, Snape, Sutton in the Forest, & Wells4,5 b. c 1291, d. 5 Aug 1367
  • Mother Alice de Audley4,5 b. c 1300, d. 12 Jan 1374
  • Alexander de Neville, Archbishop of York was born circa 1332 at of Raby, Durham, England; Age 15 in 1347.1,2,3 He died on 16 May 1392; Buried in the Church of the Carmelites, Louvain, Brabant, Belgium.1,2,3
  • Citations
  • [S5] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 538-539.
  • [S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. III, p. 243.
  • [S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. IV, p. 229.
  • [S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. III, p. 242.
  • [S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. IV, p. 227-228.
  • From:


  • Alexander de Neville1
  • M, #14135, b. between 1331 and 1341, d. 16 May 1392
  • Last Edited=18 Jan 2011
  • Consanguinity Index=0.0%
  • Alexander de Neville was born between 1331 and 1341. He was the son of Ralph de Neville, 2nd Lord Neville and Alice Audley.1 He died on 16 May 1392, in exile as a parish priest.1
  • He held the office of Prebendary of York in 1361.1 He held the office of Archbishop of Durham between 1369 and 1371.1 He held the office of Archbishop of York between 1374 and 1388.1 In 1388 he was found guilty by Parliament of treason when King Richard II temporised with the Lords Appellant by sacrificing his closest adherents.1
  • Citations
  • [S8] BP1999 volume 1, page 14. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S8]
  • From:


  • Alexander De NEVILLE (Sir Knight)
  • Born: ABT 1297, Raskelf, Yorkshire, England
  • Died: 15 Mar 1366/7
  • Father: Ralph De NEVILLE (1° B. Neville of Raby)
  • Mother: Euphemia De CLAVERING
  • From: De NEVILLE (Sir Knight)1


  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 40
  • Neville, Alexander (d.1392) by William Hunt
  • NEVILLE, ALEXANDER (d. 1392), archbishop of York, was younger brother of John, fifth lord Neville of Raby [q. v.] (Knighton, c. 2713), and was son of Ralph, fourth lord Neville [q. v.], and his wife Alice, daughter of Hugh, lord Audley (Dugdale, Baronage, i. 295). He received a prebend in York by command of Edward III in 1361, and was archdeacon of Durham from 1369 to 1371. He was elected archbishop in succession to John Thoresby, who died 6 Nov. 1373, and, a bull having been obtained, was consecrated 4 June 1374 at Westminster, and enthroned at York on 18 Dec. On his consecration he presented to his cathedral two massive silver-gilt candlesticks. As soon as he came to York he quarrelled with the dean and chapter, and specially with the treasurer, John Clifford. He also quarrelled with the canons of the collegiate churches of Beverley and Ripon, and by all means in his power endeavoured arbitrarily to override their statutes. At Beverley he met with stout resistance. He seized the revenues of the church, and in 1381 displaced six of the vicars, filling their places with six vicars choral from York, who remained at Beverley more than two years. The Beverley vicars were finally reinstated by order of the king and parliament in 1388. He also quarrelled with the citizens of York. In 1384 he removed his consistory court from York to Beverley, which he made the place of meeting for synods and convocations. When King Richard was in the neighbourhood in 1387 he redressed the grievances of the citizens, but declined to interfere in ecclesiastical quarrels (Knighton, c. 2692; Drake, Eboracum, pp. 435, 436). These Neville had prosecuted with much vigour and harshness, freely using the weapons of suspension and excommunication. Appeals were made to the pope, whose sentence was against the archbishop (Chronica Pontificum Ecclesiæ Ebor. ap. Historians of York, pp. 423, 424). These quarrels are enough to account for the cessation during his primacy of the building of the new choir at York, begun by his predecessor Thoresby (York Fabric Rolls, pp. 13, 187). However, he gave one hundred marks to the fabric, and presented the church with a splendid cope, adorned with gold and precious stones. He also repaired the archiepiscopal castle at Cawood, built new towers to it, and gave two small bells to the chapel, out of which was cast one large bell called Alexander after him.
  • Neville was one of the most trusted friends of Richard II, and was a conspicuous member of the court party. In the autumn of 1386 he was included in the commission appointed to regulate the affairs of the kingdom and the royal household (Rolls of Parliament, iii. 221; Stubbs, Constitutional History, iii. 475, 476). From that time at least he seems to have been constantly at the court, where his presence was displeasing to the lords of Gloucester's party, for he encouraged the king to resist the commissioners, to withdraw himself from their society, and to listen only to the advice of his favourites, telling him that if he yielded to the lords he would have no power left, and that they were making him a merely titular king (Chronicon Angliæ, p. 374). He is said to have been one of those who advised Richard to leave the court in 1387, and join his favourite Robert de Vere, duke of Ireland, in Wales, and to take active measures against the opposition (ib. p. 379; Vita Ricardi, pp. 77, 84). He assisted in placing the king's case against the commission before the judges at Shrewsbury (Knighton, c. 2693), and is said to have advised that Gloucester and the Earl of Arundel should be surprised and arrested. Accompanying the king to Nottingham in his hasty progress through the country, he took part in the council held there, and on 25 Aug. obtained and signed the decision of the judges in the king's favour (ib. c. 2696; Chronicon Angliæ, p. 382). He entered London with the king on 10 Nov., going in front of the procession, with his cross borne before him. On the 12th Gloucester, Arundel, and Warwick, who were advancing with an armed force towards London, sent William Courtenay [q. v.], archbishop of Canterbury, and others to Richard, demanding that Neville, Michael de la Pole, the duke of Ireland, and others should be punished as traitors, and two days later formally appealed them of treason. Richard received the lords at Westminster on the 17th, and promised them that Neville and the four others whom they accused should attend the next parliament and answer for their acts. On the 20th Neville fled, and it was believed went northwards (ib. 2701); he soon, probably, went over to Flanders. In the parliament that met in February 1388 he and the other four were appealed of treason by the lords. He did not appear, and was pronounced guilty. Being a churchman he escaped sentence of death, but was outlawed, all his lands and goods were forfeited, and further proceedings were to be taken (ib. cc. 2713–27; Rolls of Parliament, iii. 229–36). An application was made to Pope Urban VI, who in April issued a bull translating him to the see of St. Andrews. Urban's authority was not acknowledged by the Scots, so this translation was illusory, and had merely the same effect as deprivation. Neville ended his days as a parish priest at Louvain, where he died on 16 May 1392, and was buried in the church of the Carmelites in that city. In 1397 he was declared to have been loyal.
  • [Historians of York, ii. 422–5 (Rolls Ser.); Knighton, cc. 2685–91, 2693–728, ed. Twysden; Vita Ric. II. pp. 77, 84, 89, 97, 100, 106, ed. Hearne; Chron. Angliæ a mon. S. Albani, pp. 374, 379, 382, 384, 386 (Rolls Ser.); T. Walsingham, ii. 152, 163, 164, 166, 172, 179 (Rolls Ser.); Rolls of Parl. iii. 229–36; Fabric Rolls of York, pp. 13, 187 (Surtees Soc.); Le Neve's Fasti, ed. Hardy, iii. 107, 174, 303; Drake's Eboracum, pp. 435, 436; Stubbs's Const. Hist. ed. 1875, ii. 470, 476–81.]
  • From:,_Alexander_(d.1392)_(DNB00)


  • Alexander de Neville
  • Birth: 1332
  • Death: May 16, 1392 Leuven, Flemish Brabant (Vlaams-Brabant), Belgium
  • Younger son of Sir Ralph de Neville and Alice de Audley. King's clerk, Archbishop of York.
  • In 1348 he was granted a license for one year of celebration of mass in an oratory in the hostel in which he and his brother, Thomas, were residing at Oxford. He obtained an M.A. degree before 1357, was appointed Rector of Aysgarth Yorkshire before 1351, became Rector of Kirkby Misperon, Yorkshire in 1357, Master of the Hospital of St Thomas the Matyr in Northumberland before 1361, Archdeacon of Cornwall in 1361, Canon of York and prebendary of Bole in 1361, Canon and prebendary of Darlington, Durham in 1362, Canon of Howden, Yorkshire and prebendary of Skelton in 1362, Archdeacon of Durham before Jan 1371, and Archbishop of York in 1374. In 1386 he was included as a member of the commission appointed to regulate the affairs of the kingdom and the royal household.
  • Alexander became the bitter opponent of Thomas, Duke of Gloucester. In 1387 he was appealed of high treason in Parliament, found guilty, and all his properties were forfeited. He took refuge in Brabant, where he administered as a parish priest in Louvain until his death.
  • Family links:
  • Parents:
  • Ralph de Neville (1291 - 1367)
  • Alice De Audley Neville (____ - 1374)
  • Siblings:
  • William Fitzralph Greystoke (1321 - 1359)**
  • John de Neville (1328 - 1388)*
  • Alexander de Neville (1332 - 1392)
  • Eleanor Neville Scrope (1340 - 1398)*
  • Margaret de Neville Percy (1341 - 1372)*
    • *Calculated relationship
  • **Half-sibling
  • Burial: Carmelite Churchyard, Leuven, Arrondissement Leuven, Flemish Brabant (Vlaams-Brabant), Belgium
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 105282247
  • From:


  • Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 2nd Edition ...
  • Pg.242
  • RALPH DE NEVILLE, Knt., 2nd Lord Neville of Raby, of Raby, Durham, Middleham, Sheriff Hutton, Snape, Sutton in the Forest, Well, etc., Yorkshire, Barford, Norfolk, Blythburgh, Suffolk, etc., Warden of the Scottish Marches, Justice of the Forest North of the Trent, 2nd but 1st surviving son, born about 1291 (aged 40 in 1331). He married by license dated 14 Jan. 1326/7 ALICE DE AUDLEY, widow of Ralph de Greystoke, Knt. (died 14 July 1323, 1st Lord Greystoke, of Greystoke, Cumberland, and daughter of Hugh de Audley, Knt., Lord Audley, by his wife, Iseult. They had six sons, John, K.G. [3rd Lord Neville of Raby], Robert, Knt., Alexander [Archbishop of York], Thomas [Canon of York and Howden], William, Knt., and Ralph, Knt., and four daughters, Margaret, Katherine (wife of William de Dacre, 2nd Lord Dacre), Eleanor (wife of Geoffrey le Scrope, later Abbess of the Minories in London), and Euphame (wife of Robert de Clifford, Reynold de Lucy, and Walter de Heslarton, Knt.). he fought in Scotland in 1311, 1319, 1334, and 1335. he supported the Kings against Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, and was ordered to joind the King with his forces at Coventry 14 Feb. 1322. They received a papal indult for plenary remission in 1333. In 1333 Ralph and his wife, Alice, received a papal indult to choose a confesser to give them plenary remission at the hour of death. In 1340 he was granted a weekly market and yearly fair at Blythburgh, Suffolk. He commanded the English Army against the Scots at Nevill's Cross 17 Oct. 1346 fought on the outskirts of Durham. For the next twenty years he was constantly employed in Scottish affairs, either as Commissioner to treat for, or preserve peace, or as Warden of the Marches. He presented to the church of Barford, Norfolk in 1355, and to the church of Houghton-on-the-Hill, Norfolk in 1361. SIR RALPH DE NEVILLE, 2nd Lord Neville of Raby, died 5 Aug. 1367. Alice, Lady Neville, died 12 Jan. 1373/4. They were buried at Durham Cathedral, their tomb being utterly defaced in 1651 by Scots prisoners imprisoned in the Cathedral.
  • .... etc.
  • Pg.243.
  • Children of Ralph de Neville, Knt., by Alice de Audley:
    • i. JOHN DE NEVILLE, K.G., 3rd Lord Neville of Raby [see next].
    • ii. ALEXANDER DE NEVILLE, King's clerk, younger son, born about 1332 (aged 15 in 1347). In 1248 he was granted a license for one year for the celebration of mass in an oratory in the hostel in which he and his brother Thomas, were residing at Oxford. he obtained a M.A. degree before 1357. He was appointed Rector of Aysgarth, Yorkshire before 1351; Rector of Kirkby Misperton, Yorkshire, 1357; Master of the Hospital of St. Thomas the Martyr, Bolter-in-Allendale, Northumberland before 1361; Archdeacon of Cornwall, 1361; Canon of York and Prebendary of Bole, 1361; Canon and Prebendary of Darlington, Durham, 1362; Canon of Howden, Yorkshire and Prebendary of Skelton, 1362; Archdeacon of Durham, before Jan. 1371. He was made Archbishop of York in 1374. In 1386 he was included as a member of the commission appointed to regulate the affairs of the kingdom and the royal household. he became the most bitter oponent of Thomas, Duke of Gloucester, and his party. In 1387 he was appealed of high treason in Parliament, found guilty, and his property forfeited. he took refuge in Brabant, where he ministered as a parish priest in Louvain until his death. ALEXANDER DE NEVILLE, late Archbishop of York, died 16 May 1392, and was buried in the church of the Carmelites in Louvain. .... etc.
    • iii. THOMAS DE NEVILLE, clerk, born about 1332 (aged 19 in 1351). He was appointed Canon of York and Prebendary of Bole in York Minster, 1350; Rector of Brantingham, Yorkshire before 1351; Canon of howden, Yorkshire and Prebendary of Barnby, 1351; Rector of Patrick Brompton, Yorkshire in 1357; Rector of 2nd portion of Goodmanham, Yorkshire, 1359; Canon and Prebendary of Darlington, Durham. he died at Villeneuve near Avignon before Aug. 1361. .... etc.
    • iv. RALPH DE NEVILLE, Knt., of Thornton Bridge (in Brafferton), Yorkshire, married ELIZABETH DE LEEDS [see THORNTON BRIDGE 7].
    • v. MARGARET DE NEVILLE, married (1st) WILLIAM DE ROOS, Knt., 3rd Lord Roos of Helmsley [see ROOS 5.i]; (2nd) HENRY DE PERCY, K.G., 4th Lord Percy ]see PERCY 9].
  • Pg.244
  • 7. JOHN DE NEVILLE, K.G., 3rd Lord Neville of Raby, of Raby, Brancepeth, and Staindrop, Durham, Middleham, Yorkshire, etc., joint Ambassador to France, Joint Warden of the East marches, Admiral of the Fleet Northwards, Lieutenant of Aquitaine, Joint Warden of the marches, and, in right of his 2nd wife, Sutton, Bedfordshire, Isenhampstead (in Chesham), Buckinghamshire and Great Carbrooke, Norfolk, son and heir, born about 1337-40 (aged 30 in 1367, aged 30-32 in 1368, aged 30 in 1374). He was a captain under his father at the Battle of Neville's Cross in 1346. He was knighted in 1360 when he attended Sir Walter de Mauny in a skirmish at the barriers of Paris. he married (1st) before 1362 MAUD DE PERCY, daughter of Henry de Percy, K.G., 2nd Lord Percy, of Alnwick, Northumberland, Topcliffe, Yorkshire, etc., by Idoine, daughter of Robert de Clifford, Knt., 1st Lord Clifford [see PERCY 7 for her ancestry]. They had two sons, Ralph, K.G. [1st Earl of Westmorland, 4th Lord Neville of Raby], and Thomas, Knt. [Lord Furnival], and five daughters, Alice (wife of William Deincourt, 3rd Lord Deincourt), Maud, Idoine, Eleanor, and Elizabeth (Minoress nun). He fought in France in 1366 and 1373-4. He was repeatedly appointed commissioner to treat with the Scots. His wife, Maud, was a legatee in the 1368 will of her brother, Thomas Percy, Bishop of Norwich. He presented to the church of Houghton-on-the-Hill, Norfolk in 1370. In 1371 he conveyed the manor of Blythburgh, Suffolk to Roger Swillington, Knt. for 40 marks. He was heir in 1374 to his younger brother, Robert Neville, Duke of Brittany. His wife, Maud died before 18 Feb. 1378/9. He married (2nd) before 9 Oct. 1381 ELIZAETH LE LATIMER, daughter and heiress of William le Latimer, K.G., 4th Lord Latimer, by Elizabeth, daughter of Edmund de Arundel, Knt., 9th Earl of Arundel [see FITZ ALAN 5.viii for her ancestry]. They had one son, John, Knt. [6th Lord Latimer], and one daughter, Elizabeth. SIR JOHN DE NEVILLE, 3rd Lord Neville of Raby, died testate at Newcastle-upon-Tyne 17 Oct. 1388. He left a will dated 31 Aug. 1386, requesting burial in Durham Cathedral by his 1st wife, Maud. His widow, Elizabeth, married (2nd) (as his 2nd wife) ROBERT WILLOUGHBY, Knt., 4th Lord Willoughby of Eresby [see WILLOUGHBY 7], son and heir of John Willoughby, Knt., 3rd Lord Willoughby of Eresby, by Cecily, daughter of Robert de Ufford, K.G., 1st Earl of Suffolk, Lord Ufford. He was born about 1348-50 (aged 22 or 24 in 1372). They had one daughter, Margaret. He served in France and Spain with John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. he was summoned to Parliament from 20 Jan. 1375/6, by writs directed Roberto de Wilughby. He was co-heir in 1382 to his uncle, William de Ufford, K.G., 2nd Earl of Suffolk, Lord Ufford [see BLACKMERE7.i: BEAUCHAMP 6.viii]. In 1383-4 he and his cousin, Roger de Scales, Knt., granted the reversion of 2/3rd of the manor of Dalham, Suffolk, together with the advowson, to John Marlere, clerk, William Bateman, and others, which property was then held in dower by Margaret de Haudlo, widow of their cousin, Walter de Norwich, Knt. His wife, Elizabeth, died 5 Nov. 1395. She left a will dated 18 Oct. 1395, proved 10 Nov. 1395, requesting burial at Spilsby, Lincolnshire. SIR ROBERT DE WILLOUGHBY, 4th Lord Willoughby of Eresby, died 9 Aug. 1396, and was buried at Spilsby, Lincolnshire. He left a will dated 5 June 1395.
  • .... etc.


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Alexander de Neville, Archbishop of York's Timeline

Raby, Durham, England
May 16, 1392
Age 51
Parish, Oswego,