Thomas Neville, "The Bastard of Fauconberg"

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Thomas Neville, "The Bastard of Fauconberg"

Also Known As: "Thomas /Faucomberge/"
Birthplace: of, Raby, Durham, England
Death: September 22, 1471 (37-45)
Immediate Family:

Son of William Neville, 1st Earl of Kent and Joan Fauconberg, Countess of Kent
Brother of Elizabeth Neville; Alice Conyers; Ralph Fitzwillliam de Greystoke de Neville and Joan Neville
Half brother of Thomas Brocket de Neville

Managed by: Carole (Erickson) Pomeroy,Vol. C...
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About Thomas Neville, "The Bastard of Fauconberg"

Thomas Neville or Thomas, Viscount Fauconberg (died 1471) was a Lancastrian leader in the Wars of the Roses.

The illegitimate son of Sir William Neville of Fauconberg, Earl of Kent, Thomas Neville was more often referred to as (Thomas) The Bastard of Fauconberg (also Falconberg or Falconbridge), Lord Fauconberg or just Thomas the Bastard. The title was descended from Sir William Neville, 1st lord of Fauconberg, who fought with distinction and vaour during the Hundred Years war alongside Lord Talbot and others. Their association with the duke of York, formed the basis for a 'professional army' corps emergent during the Wars of the Roses.

In his youth Thomas was a notable sailor, receiving, in 1454, the freedom of the City of London for his work in eliminating pirates from the Channel and the North Sea.

Originally a Lancastrian, Thomas switched allegiance in 1460 to support the Yorkists with his cousin Warwick, the Kingmaker. Fauconberg's support for the Yorkist claimant Edward IV was significant enough that, according to the chronicler Jean de Waurin, Edward honoured him as "a friend and a father" shortly before he was crowned in 1461.

1471 found Fauconberg back at sea for the Lancastrians, to whom he returned, when Warwick switched allegiance. He was in Channel, preventing Edward from receiving reinforcements from Burgundy.

In May, 1471 Fauconberg was to lead a force from the south while Margaret of Anjou led one from the west in a two pronged attack on London. To this end, he landed at Sandwich and sent his ships up the Channel to the Thames Estuary. He marched through Kent, received an accession of support from Canterbury and moved on London. Margaret did not make it to London, being defeated in the Battle of Tewkesbury on May 4. May 12 found Fauconberg at Southwark from whence he requested free passage through London. This was refused and the gates were locked against him.

On May 14, Fauconberg assaulted London at Bishopsgate, Aldgate and London Bridge with "shot guns and arrows and fire". While he had some initial success, he was ultimately defeated and forced to retreat across the Thames to his waiting ships. He lost his ships at Sandwich and was ultimately captured and beheaded in September 1471.

Among the occupants of London during the attack was Sir Thomas Malory imprisoned in Newgate Prison either for Lancastrian sympathies or common crimes. There is a literary parallel between Fauconberg's attack on London, with Edward's queen in the tower, and Mordred's assault on Arthur's queen Guinevere in the tower in Chapter 1 of Book XXI of Mallory's Le Morte d'Arthur.

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Thomas Neville, "The Bastard of Fauconberg"'s Timeline

of, Raby, Durham, England
September 22, 1471
Age 41