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Ralph Neville Westmorland, 1st earl of

Westmorland, Ralph Neville, 1st earl of, 1364–1425, English nobleman. His family was one of the most powerful in England and shared domination of the northern counties with the Percy family, with whom the Nevilles were closely allied. Neville succeeded his father as Baron Neville of Raby in 1388 and supported Richard II against the baronial party. In 1397 he was created earl of Westmorland. His second wife was Joan Beaufort, daughter of John of Gaunt and half-sister of Henry of Lancaster (later Henry IV). When, in 1399, Henry revolted against Richard, Westmorland supported Lancaster. He continued to support Henry as king and helped to put down the Percy revolt in 1403. When a new anti-Lancastrian revolt broke out in 1405, Westmorland captured two of the leaders, Archbishop Richard Le Scrope and the earl marshal of England, by trickery, but he had nothing to do with their quick execution. He was the father of a large family, many of whom made advantageous marriages. His daughter Cecily Neville married Richard, duke of York, and became the mother of Edward IV and Richard III; another of his grandsons was Richard Neville, earl of Warwick, called the Kingmaker.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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