Lady Cicely Plantagenet (née Neville)
1415 - 1495

 Relationship to me: Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandmother Gen -18
 Born: 1415
 Died: 1495
 Age 80  
 Father:      Ralph Neville
 Mother: Joan Beaufort c1379 - 1440
 Brothers: None known
 Sisters:   None known
 Married: Richard Duke of York 1411 - 1460
 Children: Anne 1439 - 1476

According to information passed on to me by Ian Caldwell, in Dec 2001: "Lady Cicely Neville (1415-1495), daughter of Joan Beaufort and Ralph Neville, married Richard, Duke of York (1411-1460), the son of Richard Earl of Cambridge, (son of Edmund, Duke of York and grandson of Edward III).

In 1454 Richard was appointed Protector of England during the mental incapacity of Henry VI. In 1455 he was dismissed by Somerset when the king recovered but when his entreaties to the king were ignored he raised an army and defeated the king's Lancastrian forces at the first Battle of St.Albans, which marked the start of the Wars of the Roses. The Lancastrian leader, the duke of Somerset, was killed and Richard now seemed to be reconciled with the King. When another bout of madness struck Henry in November 1455, Richard was again made Protector, but was again dismissed in February 1456.

Since Henry was still incapable of governing, his Queen, Margaret, now took charge. She despised the haughtiness of York and encouraged the new Duke of Somerset, Henry Beaufort, against him. Now the two houses of York and Lancaster were set against each other in deadly earnest, with Richard Neville Earl of Salisbury and his son, Richard Neville, earl of Warwick on the Yorkist side, against the Lancastrians under the figurehead of Henry VI, but really led by Margaret of Anjou, supported by Somerset and Henry Percy, the third Earl of Northumberland. With the battle of Ludlow the war began in earnest. At the battle the Yorkists were routed and Richard fled to Wales and then to Ireland, while his supporters sought refuge in Calais.

The following year the supporters in Calais returned and defeated the Lancastrians at Northampton and Richard of York returned to England. He formally placed his claim to the throne before parliament in September 1460. The following month his right was acknowledged and he was declared heir to the throne in place of Henry's son, Edward. Henry, his mind failing rapidly, agreed, but his Queen, Margaret of Anjou, did not. She raised a further army in the north and met the Yorkists at Wakefield on 30th December. Richard, Duke of York, was killed in the battle, while Salisbury was captured and murdered. Richard's head was put up on the gates of York with a paper crown.

Margaret then marched on London, defeating the Earl of Warwick at St.Albans early in 1461, but Warwick managed to recruit another army, together with Richard's son, Edward, and they marched on London in triumph in March 1461. Here Edward declared himself King (Edward IV). His forces marched north, following the retreating army of Henry and Margaret, and the two clashed at Towton, near Tadcaster in Yorkshire. There, in the middle of a snowstorm, the Lancastrian army was defeated. Henry and Margaret fled to Scotland, where they were given refuge by the young king, James III. Edward was soon after crowned King of England.

Lady Cicely Neville long outlived her husband, spending much of her time at Fotheringay and contributing generously to its buildings. When she married she was known as "The Rose of Raby". Dame Cicely died in 1495 and was buried in the Fotheringay Chapel, next to her husband. She was a devout lady who liked, even while eating, to listen to devotional works, one of which was a treatise by Walter Hilton, the English mystic, on the contrasting merits of the active and the devotional life. The duchess was the benefactor of the Carthusians and also has a special interest in the Bridgettines of Syon, naming a grandchild (as godmother), Bridgit, after their founder, St.Bridgit of Sweden".