George Neville, Archbishop of York (c.1432 - 1476) MP

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Birthplace: Probably Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, (Present UK)
Death: Died in Blyth, Northumberland, England, (Present UK)
Occupation: (Kingmaker)
Managed by: Bianca May Evelyn Brennan
Last Updated:

About George Neville, Archbishop of York

From the English Wikipedia page on George Neville, Archbishop of York,_archbishop_of_York

George Neville (c. 1432 – 8 June 1476), archbishop of York and chancellor of England, was the youngest son of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, and brother of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, known as the "Kingmaker."[1]


He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and was from his childhood destined for the clerical profession, in which through the great influence of his family he obtained rapid advancement, becoming bishop of Exeter in 1458. He was provided to the see on 4 February 1458 and consecrated on 3 December 1458.[2]

From this time forward Neville took a prominent part in the troubled politics of the period. He was present with his brother Warwick at the battle of Northampton in July 1460, immediately after which the great seal was committed to his keeping.[3]

He took part in the proclamation of Edward of York as king, who confirmed his appointment as chancellor.[3][4] In 1463 he was employed on a diplomatic mission in France;[5] and in 1464, after taking part in negotiation with the Scots, Neville became archbishop of York on 15 March 1465.[6]

His enthronement as Archbishop of York took place in Cawood Castle in September 1465 and to demonstrate the riches and power of his family, 28 peers, 59 knights, 10 abbots, seven bishops, numerous lawyers, clergy, esquires, and ladies, together with their attendants and servants came to the castle.

Together with the archbishop's own family and servants there were about 2,500 to be fed at each meal. They consumed 4000 pigeons and 4000 crays, 2000 chickens, 204 cranes, 104 peacocks, 100 dozen quails, 400 swans and 400 herons, 113 oxen, six wild bulls, 608 pikes and bream, 12 porpoises and seals, 1000 sheep, 304 calves, 2000 pigs, 1000 capons, 400 plovers, 200 dozen of a bird called 'rees' (i.e. ruffs), 4000 mallard and teals, 204 kids and 204 bitterns, 200 pheasants, 500 partridges, 400 woodcocks, 100 curlews, 1,000 egrets, over 500 stags, bucks and roes, 4,000 cold and 1,500 hot venison pies, 4,000 dishes of jelly, 4,000 baked tarts, 2,000 hot custards with a proportionate quantity of bread, sugared delicacies and cakes, and 300 tuns of ale and 100 tuns of wine. [7][8]

During the next few years he as well as his brothers fell into disfavour with Edward IV; and in June 1467 Edward took back the Great Seal in person as punishment for Neville's obstruction of the royal plans.[9] In 1469, after a successful rising in Yorkshire secretly fermented by Warwick, the king fell into the hands of the archbishop, by whom, after a short imprisonment, he was permitted to escape.[10]

When Warwick was in turn defeated by the king's forces at Stamford in 1470, Archbishop Neville took the oath of allegiance to Edward, but during the short Lancastrian restoration which compelled Edward to cross to Holland, Neville acted as chancellor to Henry VI;[3] and when the tide once more turned he again trimmed his sails to the favouring breeze, making his peace with Edward, now again triumphant, by surrendering Henry into his hands. The archbishop for a short time shared Henry's captivity in the Tower.[11]

Having been pardoned in April 1471,[12] he was re-arrested on 25 April 1472 on a charge of treason and secretly conveyed to France, where he remained a prisoner at the castle of Hammes near Calais[13] until November of 1474, when he returned to England; he died in the following year, on the 8th of June 1476.[6]

Archbishop Neville was a respectable scholar; and he was a considerable benefactor of the university of Oxford and especially of Balliol College.[14]. He seems also to have shown an interest in learning Greek and to have commissioned at least one Greek manuscript.[15]


  • 1.^ Cokayne Complete Peerage: Volume XI p. 398
  • 2.^ Fryde Handbook of British Chronology p. 247
  • 3.^ Fryde Handbook of British Chronology p. 87
  • 4.^ Ross Edward IV p. 34
  • 5.^ Ross Edward IV p. 56
  • 6.^ Fryde Handbook of British Chronology p. 282
  • 7.^ Christopher Hibbert The English. A Social History, 1066–1945. ISBN 0 246 12181 5 pages 10 and 11
  • 8.^ Mitchell, R.J., and Leys, M.D.R. : A History of the English People (1950) Pages 250 to 257
  • 9.^ Ross Edward IV p. 83
  • 10.^ Ross Edward IV p. 132-135
  • 11.^ Ross Edward IV p. 166
  • 12.^ Ross Edward IV p. 184
  • 13.^ Ross Edward IV p. 191
  • 14.^ Ross Edward IV p. 193
  • 15.^ Weiss, pp. 141–8; Harris, 'Greek scribes in England', p. 125.


Primary Sources

The Historical Collections of a Citizen of London in the 15th century, ed. J Gairdner (London: Camden Society, 1876)

Paston Letters, ed. James Gairdner (London, 1872-5)

Rymer, Thomas, Foedera, &c. (London, 1704)

Warkworth, John, Chronicle of the first Thirteen Years of the Reign of Edward IV., ed. JO Halliwell (London: Camden Society, 1839)

Secondary Works

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

Cokayne, G. E. The Complete Peerage: Volume XI Rickerton to Sisonby reprint edition (Gloucester:Sutton Publishing 2000) ISBN 0-904387-82-8

Harris, Jonathan, 'Greek scribes in England: the evidence of episcopal registers', in Through the Looking Glass: Byzantium through British Eyes, ed. Robin Cormack and Elizabeth Jeffreys (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000), pp. 121–6. ISBN 0 86078 667 6

Powicke, F. Maurice and E. B. Fryde Handbook of British Chronology 2nd. ed. London:Royal Historical Society 1961

Ramsey, Sir James H. Lancaster and York 1399–1485 (Oxford, 1892)

Ross, Charles Edward IV (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974) ISBN 0-520-02781-7

Weiss, Roberto, Humanism in England during the Fifteenth Century (Oxford, 1957, 2nd ed.).


George Neville held the office of Prebendary of York in 1446.

He graduated from Balliol College, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, in 1450 with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.).

He graduated from Balliol College, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, in 1452 with a Master of Arts (M.A.).

He held the office of Chancellor of Oxford University between 1453 and 1457.

He held the office of Prebendary of Lincoln in 1454.

He held the office of Prebendary of Ripon in 1454.

He held the office of Archdeacon of Northampton in 1454.

On 21 December 1454 he was ordained.

He held the office of Bishop of Exeter in 1458.

He held the office of Lord Chancellor between 1460 and 1467.

He held the office of Archdeacon of Carlisle before May 1463.

He held the office of Archbishop of York between 1464 and 1476. He held the office of Lord Chancellor in 1470.

He was the Abbot in 1475 at Westminster Abbey, Westminster, London, England. -------------------- House of Neville.

Bishop of Exeter in 1459.

Born 1433.

Source: The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon K. PENMAN issued by Macmillan, London.

Added by Y. DROST, 19 JUL 2011

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George Neville, Archbishop of York's Timeline

Probably Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, (Present UK)
Age 27
June 8, 1476
Age 44
Blyth, Northumberland, England, (Present UK)
Birling, Kent, England, United Kingdom