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Northumberland, John Neville, 1st earl of

Northumberland, John Neville, 1st earl of (c.1431–71). The third son of Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury, John led family retainers in a private war with Percy followers headed by Thomas, Lord Egremont, which concluded with the Neville victory at Stamford Bridge (Yorks.) in 1454. He fought alongside his father at Blore Heath and was attainted in 1459, but was restored, created Baron Montagu, and appointed Henry VI's chamberlain after the Yorkists won control of government in 1460. Taken prisoner in the second battle of St Albans, he was freed after Edward IV's victory at Towton. Thereafter he was Edward's chief lieutenant in the north. He broke the Scottish siege of Carlisle in 1463 and was warden of the east march from 1463, defeating Lancastrian forces at Hedgeley Moor and Hexham in 1464. In reward, and to support his responsibilities, he was granted the forfeited title and estates of the Percy earls of Northumberland. Although John did not take part in his brother Warwick's machinations in 1469–70, Edward's design to reduce the Nevilles' power included restoring a Percy as earl of Northumberland and warden of the east march. John was created marquis of Montagu, a hollow promotion which threatened impoverishment. He consequently supported Warwick's restoration of Henry VI and was killed at the battle of Barnet.

R. L. Storey

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