Middleham Castle a ruined castle in Middleham in Wensleydale, in the county of North Yorkshire, was built by Robert Fitzrandolph, 3rd Lord of Middleham and Spennithorne, commencing in 1190. The castle is most famous for being the childhood home of King Richard III, though he spent little of his adulthood there; the castle was built to defend the road from Richmond to Skipton, though some have suggested the original site of the castle was far better to achieve this than the location. After the death of King Richard III the castle remained in royal hands until it was allowed to go to ruin in the 17th century. Many of the stones from the castle were used in other buildings in the village of Middleham. Middleham Castle was built near the site of an earlier motte and bailey castle, called William's Hill, the site of which can still be seen nearby, although there is no evidence of stonework or defensive structures to the former castle site. Historians believe. In 1270 the new Middleham Castle came into the hands of the Neville family, the most notable member of, Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, known to history as the "Kingmaker", a leading figure in the Wars of the Roses.
Following the death of Richard, Duke of York, at Wakefield in December 1460, his younger sons, Duke of Clarence, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, came into Warwick's care, both lived at Middleham with Warwick's own family. Their brother King Edward IV was imprisoned at Middleham for a short time, having been captured by Warwick in 1469. Following Warwick's death at Barnet in 1471 and Edward's restoration to the throne, his brother Richard married Anne Neville, Warwick's younger daughter, made Middleham his main home, their son Edward, was born at the castle around 1473 and also died there in 1484 aged ten. Richard ascended to the throne as King Richard III, but spent little or no time at Middleham in his two-year reign. After Richard's death at Bosworth in 1485 the castle was seized by Henry VII and remained in royal hands until the reign of James I, when it was sold. During the reign of Elizabeth I, the castle was proposed for full demolition by Lord Huntingdon and eventual conversion into a Manor House.
A letter was written by Huntingdon to the Lord Treasurer outlining the plan and its possible use by the Queen when on her royal duties. The castle fell into disrepair during the 17th century. In 1644, a parliamentary Committee sitting in Yorkshire ordered that it was "untenable and no garrison should be kept there". Still, some of the castle's walls were blown away and the stones of the castle became a public quarry by which many of the buildings in Middleham were created from, it was garrisoned during the Civil War in 1654 and 1655, when it was host to thirty men and capable of housing prisoners. There was it put under siege. In 1604, the castle was passed to Sir Henry Linley and sold to the Wood family in 1662 who held onto the property until 1889; the ruins are now in the care of English Heritage who are grade I listed. The castle is a compact, massive structure, though ruinous, most of the walls are intact. A simple rectangle in plan, the castle consists of a massive Norman keep surrounded by a curtain wall, to which were added extensive, palatial residential ranges.
The location of the castle was as a safe refuge on the road from Richmond to Skipton, in this respect it guarded the road and the area of Coverdale. Pevsner comments that the site of the original castle which had a motte of 40 feet was far better placed to defend the road than the latter castle of 1190; the keep is similar to other large square keeps, but had only two storeys so, at 105 feet from north to south and 78 feet west to east, is one of the largest in England. It is divided on both levels by an internal wall, there are turrets at each corner and midway along each wall; the ground floor has two large vaulted and above are two grand halls surrounded by high windows. The entrance is by staircase to the first floor—as was common—and a chapel outbuilding defends that approach. A repaired spiral staircase leads up to the top of the south-east corner tower, affording views of the surrounding town and countryside, including the original castle motte to the south-west; the south-west tower is sometimes referred to as the Prince's Tower on account of Richard III's son, having been born in the tower, though there is no documentary evidence of this.
The 13th-century curtain wall surrounds the keep concentrically, making the castle into a compact and effective defensive structure, though it was built more for comfort than security. In the 15th century the Nevilles constructed an impressive range of halls and outbuildings against these walls, turning the castle into a magnificent residence, fit for nobles of their stature. Bridges at first-floor level were built to connect these to the keep, the ceiling above the great hall was raised, either to provide a clerestory or space for another chamber; the entrance to the castle is through a tower in the north-east corner, though this was a 15th-century modification. Only foundations remain of the original gatehouse; the gatehouse was flanked by an arch. Spaces in the stonework were provided. Apart from this east wall, the circuit of the walls is complete, though the walls of the residential buildings are go
Battle of Hexham
The Battle of Hexham marked the end of significant Lancastrian resistance in the north of England during the early part of the reign of Edward IV. The battle was fought near the town of Hexham in Northumberland. John Neville to be 1st Marquess of Montagu, led a modest force of 3,000-4,000 men, routed the rebel Lancastrians. Most of the rebel leaders were captured and executed, including Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, Lord Hungerford. Henry VI, was kept safely away, escaped to the north. With their leadership gone, only a few castles remained in rebel hands. After these fell in the year, Edward IV was not challenged until the Earl of Warwick changed his allegiance from the Yorkist to the Lancastrian cause in 1469. After the Battle of Hedgeley Moor, the Lancastrians failed to prevent the Yorkists from concluding peace negotiations with Scotland in 1463, soon found that their northern base of operations was now threatened, it was decided to mount a campaign in the north of England to gather Lancastrian support before a huge force under Edward IV could muster in Leicester and move north to crush the rebellion.
The Lancastrian army moved through Northumberland in late April 1464 under the Duke of Somerset, gathered support from Lancastrian garrisons until it camped near to Hexham in early May. A Yorkist force under John Neville raced north as vanguard of Edward's larger force, the two sides met outside Hexham on 14 May 1464. Details of the site of the battle, the composition and number of combatants and the events are sketchy but it is thought that the battle was bloodless; the Lancastrian camp was near Linnels Bridge over the Devil's Water found to the south of Hexham. The Yorkists crossed onto the south bank of the Tyne on the night of 12–13 May and were, by the morning of the 14th, in a position to attack Hexham; the Yorkist advance was at speed, as despite warnings by their own scouts the Lancastrians had little time to prepare for battle. It is thought that Somerset rushed his forces to a site near Linnels Bridge and deployed his troops in three detachments in a meadow near the Devil's Water, there he hoped he could engage the Yorkist army before it moved past him into Hexham.
No sooner had the Lancastrians taken their positions than the Yorkists charged down from their positions on higher ground. Upon seeing the Yorkist advance the right detachment of the Lancastrian army, commanded by Lord Roos and fled across the Devil's Water and into Hexham, before a single blow had been struck; the remnants of Somerset's force were in a hopeless situation, unable to manoeuvre. Lancastrian morale collapsed, after some token resistance the remains of Somerset's army was pushed into the Devil's Water by the Yorkist infantry. A chaotic rout followed, men either drowned in the river or were crushed as they tried to climb the steep banks of the Devil's Water in the retreat towards Hexham. Most, were trapped in West Dipton Wood on the north bank of the river and were forced to surrender when the Yorkists approached. Neville showed little of Edward's conciliatory spirit, had thirty leading Lancastrians executed in Hexham on the evening following the battle, including Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset, Lord Roos.
Sir William Tailboys was captured and executed shortly after he tried to flee north with £2,000 of Henry's war chest. Upon the loss of its leadership and bankroll, the Lancastrian resistance in the North of England collapsed; the capture of Henry at Waddington, near Clitheroe, meant that the rebellion was over. There followed a relative period of peace until the Earl of Warwick's defection to the Lancastrian cause in 1469 and the wars started anew
John Sutton, 1st Baron Dudley
John Sutton VI, 1st Baron Dudley, Knight of the Garter, was an English nobleman, a diplomat, councillor of King Henry VI. He fought in several battles during the Hundred Years War and the Wars of the Roses, in addition, he acted as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1428 to 1430. Born on 25 December 1400, John Sutton was baptised at Barton-under-Needwood, became 1st Baron Dudley and a Knight of the Garter, died at Stafford, Staffordshire, his father was Sir John de Sutton V and his mother was Constance Blount, daughter of Sir Walter Blount. John 1st Baron Dudley married Elizabeth de Berkeley, of Beverstone, widow of Edward Charleton, 5th Baron Cherleton and daughter of Sir John Berkeley, of Beverstone and Elizabeth Bettershorne and sister of Eleanor FitzAlan, wife of John FitzAlan, 13th Earl of Arundel, sometime after 14 March 1420; the sons of Dudley by this marriage were: Sir Edmund Sutton John Sutton Dudley, Knt. of Atherington, whose son was Henry VII's minister Edmund Dudley, whose grandson was John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland.
William Dudley, Bishop of Durham, 1476–1483. Oliver Dudley. Dudley was summoned to Parliament from 15 February 1440, by writs directed to "Johanni de Sutton de Duddeley militi", whereby he obtained a Barony by writ as Lord Dudley, he was the first of his family to adopt the surname of Dudley as an alias for Sutton. "John Dudley, Lord Dudley" died testate in his 87th year. His will is dated 17 August 1487; the barony was inherited by his grandson, Edward Sutton, 2nd Baron Dudley, son of Sir Edmund Sutton, the heir but died after 6 July 1483 but before his father. As Lord Steward in 1422 Sutton brought home the body of King Henry V to England, was chief mourner and standard bearer at his funeral. From 1428–1430 he served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Dudley fought in several campaigns throughout the period of the wars with France, on several occasions acted as a diplomat in the mid-1440s, when he met Charles VII of France. In 1443 he was made a king's councillor and became one of the favourite companions of King Henry VI.
In 1451 he became a Knight of the Garter. Early on in the Wars of the Roses he was a resolute defender of the House of Lancaster, but changed his allegiance to York before the Battle of Towton in 1461. At the Battle of St Albans in 1455, Lord Dudley took part with his son Edmund, where he was taken prisoner along with Henry VI. At the Battle of Blore Heath on 23 September 1459 he was again present with his son Edmund Sutton, commanding a wing under Lord Audley. Dudley was again captured. At Towton he was rewarded after the battle for his participation on the side of Edward, Earl of March, son of Richard, Duke of York. On 28 June that year, Edward IV was proclaimed King in London; the Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Edited by Vicary Gibbs Wilson, Derek: The Uncrowned Kings of England: The Black History of the Dudleys and the Tudor Throne Carroll & Graf ISBN 0-7867-1469-7 Wolffe, Bertram: Henry VI, Yale University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-300-08926-0
Market Drayton is a market town and electoral ward in north Shropshire, close to the Welsh and Staffordshire borders. It is on the River Tern, between Shrewsbury and Stoke-on-Trent, was known as "Drayton in Hales" and earlier as "Drayton". Market Drayton is on the Shropshire Union Canal and on Regional Cycle Route 75; the A53 road by-passes the town. The counties of Staffordshire and Cheshire are both close by. In 1245 King Henry III granted a charter for a weekly Wednesday market, giving the town its current name; the market is still held every Wednesday. Ancient local sites include Blore Heath and several Neolithic standing stones. "The Devil's Ring and Finger" is a notable site 3 miles from the town at Mucklestone. These are across the county boundary in neighbouring Staffordshire; the Old Grammar School, in St. Mary's Hall, directly to the east of the church, was founded in 1555 by Rowland Hill, the first Protestant Mayor of London. Former pupils include Robert Clive, a school desk with the initials "RC" may still be seen in the town.
The great fire of Drayton destroyed 70% of the town in 1651. It was started at a bakery, spread through the timber buildings; the buttercross in the centre of the town still has a bell at the top for people to ring if there was another fire. Other notable landmarks in the area include: Pell Wall Hall, Adderley Hall, Buntingsdale Hall, Salisbury Hill, Tyrley Locks on the Shropshire Union Canal and the Thomas Telford designed aqueduct. Fordhall Farm has 140 acres of community-owned organic farmland located off the A53 between the Müller and Tern Hill roundabouts; the farm trail is open to the public during farm shop opening hours, on the path is the site of Fordhall Castle, an ancient motte and bailey structure which overlooks the River Tern valley. To the south-east near the A529 an 18th-century farmhouse stands on the site of Tyrley Castle, built soon after 1066 and rebuilt in stone in the 13th century. Nantwich & Market Drayton Railway Society - Meeting in Market Drayton. Details http://www.the-gingerbread-line.co.uk/ In 1965, sausage maker Palethorpe's built a new factory employing 400 people in the town.
Purchased by Northern Foods in 1990, the company was merged with Bowyers of Trowbridge and Pork Farms of Nottingham to form Pork Farms Bowyers. The sausage brand was sold in 2001 to Kerry Group, but the factory remains open to this day as the town's largest employer, it produces various meat based and chilled food products, under both the Pork Farms brand and for third parties, including Asda. Müller Dairy have a factory making yogurts; the town is the home of Tern Press, a respected and collectible small press publisher of poetry. Image on Food makes local gingerbread. Recent developments in the local service industry include the retailers Argos, Wilko and B & M which have all brought new employment to the town, it is considered to be the "Home of Gingerbread". Supplied by a pure water source running under the town, two breweries operated in the town during the early 20th century. In 2000, Steve Nuttall started a microbrewery, Joule's Brewery Ltd, a revival of a previous Joule's Brewery at Stone, Staffordshire, discontinued in 1974.
The new company bought the 16th century Red Lion, a pub that belonged to the earlier company, where the brewery was built, completed in 2010. It produces three core ales on the site as well as a number of seasonal beers. Market Drayton has four schools: Longlands Primary School Market Drayton Infant School Market Drayton Junior School Grove School and sixth form collegeGrove School is a large secondary school of about 1,100 pupils, all of whom live within 12 miles of the town; the town has a active arts and culture scene organised through Drayton Festival Centre. This centre is run by volunteers. Over 30 years it has expanded and now includes a cinema and theatre, an art gallery and a range of meeting rooms, it hosts a wide range of events and has been the recipient of many awards. The Drayton Arts Festival is held every year in October. Market Drayton Town F. C. play on Greenfields Sports Ground in Market Drayton. Market Drayton Tennis Club is based at Greenfields and has three all weather floodlit courts.
Arriva provides a local bus service to Shrewsbury, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Hanley. Beginning on 7 September 2012 Bennett's Travel Cranberry Ltd run an evening service 164 to Hanley on Fridays and Saturdays with a day service to Newcastle under Lyme on Sunday. Arriva used to provide services 341/342 to Wellington from Monday to Saturday, but this was stopped in August 2016, due to the council withdrawing funds. Shropshire Council run a number of bus services under the'ShropshireLink' brand in addition to the 301 and 302 Market Drayton Town Services. Market Drayton had a railway station which opened in 1863 and closed during the Beeching cuts in 1963; the railway station was located on the Nantwich to Wellington line of the Great Western Railway network and was the terminus of the Newcastle-under-Lyme line of the North Staffordshire Railway network. Market Drayton was struck by an F1/T3 tornado on 23 November 1981, as part of the record-breaking nationwide tornado outbreak on that day; the town has five churches The largest is St. Mary's Anglican parish church which dates from 1150 although it was rebuilt in 1881-1889.
There is the RC Church of St. Thomas and St. Stephen which dates from 1886. There is a Methodist church, an Orthodox church and a church which meets in the community cen
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. The only child of Henry V, he succeeded to the English throne at the age of nine months upon his father's death, succeeded to the French throne on the death of his maternal grandfather Charles VI shortly afterwards. Henry inherited the long-running Hundred Years' War, in which his uncle Charles VII contested his claim to the French throne, he is the only English monarch to have been crowned King of France, in 1431. His early reign, when several people were ruling for him, saw the pinnacle of English power in France, but subsequent military and economic problems had endangered the English cause by the time Henry was declared fit to rule in 1437, he found his realm in a difficult position, faced with setbacks in France and divisions among the nobility at home. Unlike his father, Henry is described as timid, passive, well-intentioned, averse to warfare and violence, his ineffective reign saw the gradual loss of the English lands in France.
In the hope of achieving peace, in 1445 Henry married Charles VII's niece, the ambitious and strong-willed Margaret of Anjou. The peace policy failed, leading to the murder of one of Henry's key advisers, the war recommenced, with France taking the upper hand; as the situation in France worsened, there was a related increase in political instability in England. With Henry unfit to rule, power was exercised by quarrelsome nobles, while factions and favourites encouraged the rise of disorder in the country. Regional magnates and soldiers returning from France formed and maintained increasing numbers of private armed retainers, with which they fought one another, terrorised their neighbors, paralysed the courts, dominated the government. Queen Margaret did not remain unpartisan, took advantage of the situation to make herself an effective power behind the throne. Amidst military disasters in France and a collapse of law and order in England, the queen and her clique came under criticism, coming from Henry VI's popular cousin Richard of the House of York, of misconduct of the war in France and misrule of the country.
Starting in 1453, Henry began suffering a series of mental breakdowns, tensions mounted between Margaret and Richard of York over control of the incapacitated king's government, over the question of succession to the throne. Civil war broke out in 1455, leading to a long period of dynastic conflict known as the Wars of the Roses. Henry was deposed on 29 March 1461 after a crushing defeat at the Battle of Towton by Richard's son, who took the throne as Edward IV. Despite Margaret continuing to lead a resistance to Edward, he was captured by Edward's forces in 1465 and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Henry was restored to the throne in 1470, but Edward retook power in 1471, killing Henry's only son and heir in battle and imprisoning Henry once again. Having "lost his wits, his two kingdoms, his only son", Henry died in the Tower during the night of 21 May killed on the orders of Edward. Miracles were attributed to Henry after his death, he was informally regarded as a saint and martyr until the 16th century.
He left a legacy of educational institutions, having founded Eton College, King's College and All Souls College, Oxford. Shakespeare wrote a trilogy of plays about his life, depicting him as weak-willed and influenced by his wife, Margaret. Henry was the only child and heir of King Henry V, he was born on 6 December 1421 at Windsor Castle. He succeeded to the throne as King of England at the age of nine months on 1 September 1422, the day after his father's death. A few weeks on 21 October 1422 in accordance with the Treaty of Troyes of 1420, he became titular King of France upon his grandfather Charles VI's death, his mother, Catherine of Valois, was 20 years old. As Charles VI's daughter, she was viewed with considerable suspicion by English nobles and was prevented from playing a full role in her son's upbringing. On 28 September 1423, the nobles swore loyalty to Henry VI, not yet two years old, they summoned Parliament in the King's name and established a regency council to govern until the King should come of age.
One of Henry V's surviving brothers, Duke of Bedford, was appointed senior regent of the realm and was in charge of the ongoing war in France. During Bedford's absence, the government of England was headed by Henry V's other surviving brother, Duke of Gloucester, appointed Lord Protector and Defender of the Realm, his duties were limited to summoning Parliament. Henry V's half-uncle Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, had an important place on the Council. After the Duke of Bedford died in 1435, the Duke of Gloucester claimed the Regency himself, but was contested in this by the other members of the Council. From 1428, Henry's tutor was Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, whose father had been instrumental in the opposition to Richard II's reign. Henry's half-brothers and Jasper, the sons of his widowed mother and Owen Tudor, were given earldoms. Edmund Tudor was the father of Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII. In reaction to Charles VII's coronation as French King in Reims Cathedral on 17 July 1429, Henry was soon crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey on 6 November 1429, followed by his own coronation as King of France at Notre Dame de Paris on 16 December 1431, at age 10.
He was the only English king to be crow
Margaret of Anjou
Margaret of Anjou was the Queen of England by marriage to King Henry VI from 1445 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471. Born in the Duchy of Lorraine into the House of Valois-Anjou, Margaret was the second eldest daughter of René, King of Naples, Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine, she was one of the principal figures in the series of dynastic civil wars known as the Wars of the Roses and at times led the Lancastrian faction. Owing to her husband's frequent bouts of insanity, Margaret ruled the kingdom in his place, it was she who called for a Great Council in May 1455 that excluded the Yorkist faction headed by Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York, this provided the spark that ignited a civil conflict that lasted for more than 30 years, decimated the old nobility of England, caused the deaths of thousands of men, including her only son Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, at the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471. Margaret was taken prisoner by the victorious Yorkists after the Lancastrian defeat at Tewkesbury.
In 1475, she was ransomed by King Louis XI of France. She went to live in France as a poor relation of the French king, she died there at the age of 52. Margaret was born on 23 March 1430 at Pont-à-Mousson in Lorraine, a fief of the Holy Roman Empire east of France ruled by a cadet branch of the French kings, the House of Valois-Anjou. Margaret was King of Naples and of Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine, she had five brothers and four sisters, as well as three half-siblings from her father's relationships with mistresses. Her father, popularly known as "Good King René", was duke of Anjou and titular king of Naples and Jerusalem. Margaret was baptised at Toul in Lorraine and, in the care of her father's old nurse Theophanie la Magine, she spent her early years at the castle at Tarascon on the River Rhône in Provence and in the old royal palace at Capua, near Naples in the Kingdom of Sicily, her mother took care of her education and may have arranged for her to have lessons with the scholar Antoine de la Sale, who taught her brothers.
In childhood Margaret was known as la petite créature. On 23 April 1445, Margaret married King Henry VI of England, eight years her senior, at Titchfield Abbey in Hampshire; the king and queen of France were the uncle and aunt of the groom and the bride respectively: Henry's late mother, had been the sister of King Charles VII, whose wife Marie of Anjou was a sister of Margaret's father René. Further, Henry claimed for himself the Kingdom of France, controlled various parts of northern France. Due to all this, the French king agreed to the marriage of Margaret to his rival on the condition that he would not have to provide the customary dowry and instead would receive the lands of Maine and Anjou from the English; the English government, fearing a negative reaction, kept this provision secret from the English public. Margaret was crowned Queen Consort of England on 30 May 1445 at Westminster Abbey by John Stafford, Archbishop of Canterbury at the age of fifteen, she was described as beautiful, furthermore "already a woman: passionate and proud and strong-willed".
Those that anticipated the future return of English claims to French territory believed that she understood her duty to protect the interests of the Crown fervently. She seems to have inherited this indomitability from her mother, who fought to establish her husband's claim to the Kingdom of Naples, from her paternal grandmother Yolande of Aragon, who governed Anjou "with a man's hand", putting the province in order and keeping out the English, thus by family example and her own forceful personality, she was capable of becoming the "champion of the Crown". Henry, more interested in religion and learning than in military matters, was not a successful king, he had reigned since he was only a few months old and his actions had been controlled by protectors, magnates who were regents. When he married Margaret, his mental condition was unstable and by the time of the birth of their only son, Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, he had suffered a complete breakdown. Rumours were rife that he was incapable of begetting a child and that the new Prince of Wales was the result of an adulterous liaison.
Many have speculated that either Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, or James Butler, 5th Earl of Ormond, both staunch allies of Margaret, was the young prince's actual father. Although Margaret was aggressively partisan and had a volatile temperament, she shared her husband's love of learning by dint of her cultured upbringing and gave her patronage to the founding of Queens' College, Cambridge. Elizabeth Woodville Queen of England as future wife of her husband's rival, King Edward IV, purportedly served Margaret of Anjou as a maid of honour. However, the evidence is too scanty to permit historians to establish this with absolute certainty: several women at Margaret's court bore the name Elizabeth or Isabella Grey. After retiring from London to live in lavish state at Greenwich, Margaret was occupied with the care of her young son and did not display any signs of political will until she believed her husband was threatened with deposition by the ambitious Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York, who, to her consternation, had been appointed Lord Protector while Henry was mentally incapacitated from 1453 to 1454.
The duke was a credible claimant to the English throne and by the end of his protectorship there were many powerful nobles and relatives prepared to back his claim. The Duke of York was powerful.
Thomas Neville (died 1460)
Sir Thomas Neville was the second son of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, a major nobleman and magnate in the north of England during the fifteenth-century Wars of the Roses, a younger brother to the more famous Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, the'Kingmaker'. Thomas worked with them both in administering the region for the Crown, became a significant player in the turbulent regional politics of northern England in the early 1450s in the Neville family's growing local rivalry with the House of Percy, his wedding in August 1453 is said to have marked the beginning of the armed feud between both houses, in which Thomas and his brother John led a series of raids and skirmishes across Yorkshire against the Percy family. Historians describe the feud as setting the stage for the Wars of the Roses, the dynastic struggle between the houses of Lancaster and York for the English throne, Thomas played a large role in the Neville family's alliance with his uncle, Duke of York. Thomas took part in his father's battles, being present at the Battle of Blore Heath in September 1459, where he was captured with his younger brother John by the Lancastrians.
As a result, he was imprisoned and attainted along with his father and the Yorkists at the 1459 Parliament of Devils. Being imprisoned, he did not share Warwick's exile in Calais. On their return, the following year, he was released when Warwick and the future Edward IV together won the Battle of Northampton; when the Duke of York returned from his exile and claimed the throne from Henry VI, it appears that it was Thomas, responsible for informing the duke of the Neville's collective disapproval of his plans. Joining his father Salisbury, York's army, which travelled to Yorkshire in December 1460 with the purpose of suppressing Lancastrian-inspired disorder, he took part in the disastrous Battle of Wakefield; the Yorkists went down to a crushing defeat. Thomas Neville was the second son of Richard Neville and his wife Alice Montagu, 5th Countess of Salisbury, was born soon after his elder brother Richard in 1428, by 1431. By this time, so historian Michael Hicks says, his parents had had a further two more sons after Thomas: John, George, to have a career in the Church.
His first mention in government records is in 1448 when he was appointed steward of the Bishopric of Durham by his uncle, the Bishop, receiving £20 per annum from diocesan revenues. He became Sheriff of Glamorgan, on 24 March 1450, in which capacity he witnessed a charter of his brother, Warwick the'Kingmaker', 12 March the next year, during the latter's dispute over the Despenser inheritance. Warwick appointed Thomas to assist in the management of his Warwickshire estates, for which he received an annuity. Thomas Neville was knighted by King Henry VI, alongside the King's two half-brothers and Jasper Tudor, on 5 January 1453 in the Tower of London, an occasion that Griffiths has called "an attempt to retain a loyalty, strained". Thomas Neville was licensed by the King on 1 May 1453 to marry Maud Stanhope, the widow of Robert, Lord Willoughby and as such a wealthy heiress. Ralph A. Griffiths has suggested that the announcement of Neville's marriage was the immediate cause of the feud with the Percys.
Maud was niece and joint-heiress of Ralph, Lord Cromwell, one of the richest men in the kingdom, and, involved in at least two feuds with powerful men at this time. Connecting his family to the Nevilles, it has been said, provided "a counterbalance to Cromwell's enemies", it was a marriage which cost him the massive sum of nearly £2,000 in loans to Salisbury, "the price the Nevilles could extract was a measure of Cromwell's desperation". Not only, says Griffiths, was any further Neville aggrandisement anathema to the Percys, but the new Cromwell connection gave the Nevilles access to the ex-Percy manors of Wressle and Burwell, which doubtless they still hoped to reclaim; the Nevilles were one of four major landowners in the north, along with Richard, 3rd Duke of York, the Crown, the Percy family, who were the earls of Northumberland. York and the King, were absentee landlords so any tension would have existed between the Percys and the Nevilles. By 1453, this tension seems to have spilled over into outright violence, with Thomas and his brother John seeking out the younger sons of the Earl of Northumberland and their retainers.
It was Thomas Neville's wedding party, returning from Cromwell's Tattershall Castle, attacked by Egremont at Heworth, York on 24 August 1453 as the Nevilles returned to Yorkshire with his new bride, by a Percy force of 5,000 men. There were to be further encounters before the Percys were defeated at Stamford Bridge on 31 October 1454, when the Percy brothers and Sir Richard, were ambushed by Thomas and John Neville and subsequently imprisoned in Newgate. In 1457, Neville was appointed Chamberlain of the Exchequer, along with a co-heir of Ralph, Lord Cromwell; that year his father and brother appointed Thomas their deputy on the West March, where they were joint Wardens. For this he received a salary of 500 marks – which, R. L. Storey points out, was "less than a quarter of their official salary". A few months he stood as surety for his uncle William, Lord Fauconberg's good behaviour. By 1