Anne Neville, wife of Richard III
Anne was the younger daughter of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and Salisbury ('the King-Maker'), and his wife Anne Beauchamp. She was born at Warwick Castle on 11th June 1456.
On 12th July 1472 she was married to Richard, Duke of Gloucester (who became Richard III). Their son Edward, Prince of Wales, died in 1484 and is buried at Sheriff Hutton in Yorkshire near lands the Neville's owned.
When Richard came to the throne in 1483 Anne was crowned with him in the Abbey on 6th July. The couple walked barefoot on a ribbon of red cloth from Westminster Hall to the Abbey.
Anne died at the Palace of Westminster on 16th March 1485 during an eclipse of the sun. She had a magnificent funeral and was buried on the southern side of the Abbey's High Altar, in front of the Sedilia (seats for the priests). No gravestone or monument marked her grave, possibly because Richard was killed that year at the battle of Bosworth. (The lead coffin of an adult was seen close to the Sedilia when Sir George Gilbert Scott was preparing the new High Altar in the late 19th century but it was not disturbed - this may have been that of the queen).
A brass plate and coat of arms, designed by J. Sebastian Comper, was erected in 1960 on the wall of the south ambulatory (the nearest area that was possible to the grave site), with the inscription:
ANNE NEVILL 1456-1485 QUEEN OF ENGLAND YOUNGER DAUGHTER OF RICHARD EARL OF WARWICK CALLED THE KINGMAKER WIFE TO THE LAST PLANTAGENET KING RICHARD III. "In person she was seemly, amiable and beauteous...And according to the interpretation of her name Anne full gracious" REQUIESCAT IN PACE.
The quotation is taken from the Rous Roll in the British Library. The heraldic shield is enamelled and surmounted by a coronet.
The coronation of Richard III… edited by A. Sutton and P.W. Hammond, 1983
Richard III by Charles Ross, 1981
Richard the Third by P.M. Kendall, 1955
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004
© National Portrait Gallery, London [Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0]
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