Ralph NEVILLE

(4th E. Westmoreland)

Born: 21 Feb 1497

Acceded: 1499

Died: 24 Apr 1550/14 May 1549/55, Holywell House, Shoreditch, Middlesex, England

Buried: 17 May 1555, St Leonard's, Shoreditch, Middlesex, England

Notes: Knight of the Garter. The Complete Peerage v.XIIpII,p.553.

Father: Ralph NEVILLE (B. Neville)

Mother: Elizabeth (Edith) SANDYS

Married: Catherine STAFFORD (C. Westmoreland) BEF Jun 1520, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales

Children:

1. Henry NEVILLE (5 E. Westmoreland)

2. Margaret NEVILLE (C. Rutland)

3. Dorothy NEVILLE (C. Oxford)

4. Ralph NEVILLE (d. 1565)

5. Thomas NEVILLE

6. Christopher NEVILLE (Sir)

7. George NEVILLE

8. Edward NEVILLE

9. Elizabeth NEVILLE

10. Cuthbert NEVILLE

11. Eleanor NEVILLE

12. Mary NEVILLE

13. Eleanor NEVILLE

14. Anne NEVILLE

15. Ursula NEVILLE

16. William NEVILLE (Sir)?


Born 21 Feb 1497, was styled as Lord Neville from 1498 to 1499. His grandfather, Ralph, third earl (b, 1456 - d. 1523), who was nephew of Ralph, second earl (d. 1484), was captain in the army which invaded Scotland in 1497 to oppose the alliance between James IV and Perkin Warbeck. He was father of Ralph, called Lord Neville (d. 1498), who married, first, a daughter of William Paston (she died in 1489), and, secondly, Editha, daughter of Sir William Sandys of the Vine, sister of Sir William Sandys. Ralph, lord Neville, was father of the fourth earl by his second wife. After Lord Neville's death his widow married Thomas Darcy (afterwards Lord Darcy). Her daughter by Lord Darcy married Sir Marmaduke Constable of Flamborough, Yorkshire.

He succeeded to the title of 4th Lord Neville [E., 1459]; 4th Earl of Westmorland [E., 1397]; 7th Lord Neville of Raby [E., 1295] on 6 Feb 1498/99. On 9 Jul 1510 he was made a ward of Edward Stafford, third duke of Buckingham. Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland was to have married one of the Duke's daughters, Elizabeth Stafford, at Christmas 1512, but shortly before that she acquired a new suitor, Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey. Westmorland finally married Catherine, second daughter of Buckingham. By her he had seven sons, included Henry, Christopher and Cuthbert, and eleven daughters. 

In 1520 Ralph was at the Field of the Cloth of Gold and at the reception of the Emperor at Calais, and the same year he received livery of his lands, at which time he is said to have been under age. He took part in the reception of Carlos V in England in 1522. He was a vigorous commander on the borders, and is spoken of as being carried when ill in a horse litter over from Durham to Brough. He fought in the campaigns against the Scots from 1522 to 1523. He was invested as a Knight in 1523 at Scotland, by the Earl of Surrey. He was invested as a Knight of the Garter on 25 Jun 1525. He held the office of Chief Commissioner to treat with the Scots on 27 Aug 1525. He held the office of Vice Warden of the East and Middle Marches, under the Duke of Richmond between Oct 1525 and Sep 1526. He held the office of Deputy Captain of Berwick between Oct 1525 and Sep 1526. On 15 Jan 1525/6 at Berwick, he concluded, with Thomas Magnus and Brian Higden, a truce with the Earl of Angus which followed Henry VIII's change of policy of 1525. He was invested as a Privy Counsellor (P.C.) before 5 Feb 1525/6. He held the office of Commissioner to enquire into treasons in Cumberland on 23 May 1534. In May 1534 Westmorland, the Earl of Cumberland, and Sir Thomas Clifford made a search at Auckland Castle among the effects of Tunstal, but they found very little of a traitorous nature (ib. v. 986, vii. App. 18). He held the office of Commissioner to suppress disorders in Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorland between Jun 1535 and Jul 1535. On 15 May 1536 he was one of the Peers who tried Queen Anne Boleyn.

Westmorland remained loyal during the Pilgrimage of Grace, which is surprising considering his family connections. He was captured by the rebels in his castle, took the Pilgrim oath under pressure from a large rebel presence and sent his thirteen yearl old son to represent him at the taking of Pontefract castle. He said of the pilgrims that he preserved himself from the infection of their traitorous poison. In the years after the rebellion he remained deeply traumatized by the disloyalty of his household and tenants.

He was in command of the East and Middle Marches, while Hertford invaded Scotland in May 1544, and member of the council of the north in 1545.

He died on 24 Apr 1550, and was buried at Staindrop, Durham.

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