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Clarence, George, 1st duke of

Clarence, George, 1st duke of (1449–78). Reputed to have been drowned in a butt of malmsey, Clarence was the younger brother of Edward IV. As an impressionable youth he was enticed by a promise of the crown to support Warwick the Kingmaker (whose daughter Isabel he married) against his brother. In the event Henry VI was restored and in 1471 Clarence abandoned Warwick to help Edward IV recover the throne. In the early 1470s he was high in Edward's favour, lavishly rewarded with half of the Warwick inheritance. But his truculence (he quarrelled with Richard of Gloucester over the division of the spoils), incompetence, and insubordination exasperated the king. Arrested in 1477, and condemned for treason in a show trial before his peers, he was executed secretly in the Tower, by means never officially revealed.

Anthony James Pollard

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Clarence, George, duke of

George Clarence, duke of, 1449–78, son of Richard, duke of York, and brother of Edward IV. In defiance of Edward, Clarence married Isabel Neville and joined her father, Richard Neville, earl of Warwick, in rebellion against the king in 1469–70. He deserted that party in 1471, however, and was reconciled with Edward. In 1478, exasperated by Clarence's continued factiousness, Edward had him attainted for treason by Parliament. He was sent to the Tower of London, where he was secretly executed. It was rumored that he was drowned in a butt of malmsey wine.

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