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The Arms of Robert Neville as Bishop of Durham

Robert Neville, Bishop of Salisbury and Durham (1404-1457)

ROBERT NEVILLE (1404-1457), Bishop of Salisbury and Durham, born in 1404, was the fifth son of Ralph, first Earl of Westmorland, by his second marriage in 1897 with Joan Beaufort, daughter of John of Gaunt; and was brother of Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, Edward, Lord Bergavenny, and William, Lord Fauconberg.

In 1413 he was presented to the prebend of Eldon in the collegiate church of St. Andrew, Auckland, by Bishop Langley;1 in 1414 he was collated to the prebend of Grindall, and in 1416 to that of Laughton in York Cathedral;2 and in 1423 he was prebendary of Milton Ecclesia in Lincoln Cathedral.3 He is said to have studied at Oxford,4 and is described as M.A. in the Vatican records.5 About 1421 he was made provost of Beverley;6 here he built a tower 'in Bederna,' that is, on the Beddern or ancient site of the minster, at that time the provost's house.7

In 1427 he was made twenty-sixth Bishop of Salisbury by papal provision (bull of Martin V, dated 10 July), and received a special dispensation 'super defectum ætatis.' being only twenty-three;8 he had the temporalities restored 10 Oct., and was consecrated at Lambeth by Chichele 26 Oct.9 His episcopal register is preserved, and one of his charters, given to the dean and chapter, is printed in Benson and Hatcher's 'Salisbury,'p. 760. In 1433 (18 and 20 Feb.) he received the royal license to take £1,00010 to the Council of Basle and a safe-conduct;11 but it does not appear likely that he ever attended the council, as his name is not in the lists of 'incorporati' in 'Monumenta Conciliorum Generalium sæculi xv.,' vol. ii.

Godwin states that Neville founded a 'Cœnobium Sunningense," of which the annual value at the dissolution was 682l. 14s.d.;12 and this statement is copied by Fuller13 and by many later writers, though it is declared erroneous by Tanner.14 The bishops of Salisbury had a palace at Sunning; and Sherborne Abbey, valued at the dissolution at 682l. 14s.d., was in their diocese; so Godwin has probably made some confusion between these places and the almshouse of St. John Baptist and St. John the Evangelist at Sherborne, which is usually said to have been founded by Neville in 1448, and, though partially despoiled, still flourishes and bears his name.15 A license dated 1436 to Robert Nevyll, Bishop of Salisbury, Sir Humphry Stafford, and three others, to found such an institution is printed by Dugdale;16 but it is not clear that Neville contributed anything besides his patronage to the work.

In 1437, on the vacancy of the see of Durham by the death of Cardinal Langley, Henry VI recommended Neville, 'consanguineum nostrum charissimum,' to Eugenius IV, as a suitable bishop for that diocese, 'unde ex præclarissima quidem et illustri prosapia exstitit oriundus';17 he was translated by a bull dated 27 Jan. 1438 to Durham as twenty-seventh bishop. His brother Richard had been appointed guardian of the temporalities, which were restored 8 April 1438. Surtees says that he was enthroned on the 11th of the same month; but it is clear from a record of the ceremony printed by Surtees himself from Neville's 'Register',18 as well as from some letters discussing the date and form of the enthronisation,19 that he was really installed by Prior John Wessyngton on 11 April 1441, in presence of his brothers and a large assembly of nobles and ecclesiastics, including his suffragan, Thomas Radcliffe, Bishop of Dromore.

Neville, who seems not to have shared the ambitious and intriguing spirit of his family, did not distinguish himself as bishop, except by building the 'Exchequer' (now part of the University Library), near the gate of Durham Castle, to provide courts for various officials of the palatinate. Over the entrance are his arms, the Neville saltire differenced by two annulets innected [see Palace Green Library], not (as Fuller, loc. cit.) in memory of his two bishoprics, since the annulets appear on the Salisbury seal. He created the new offices of chamberlain, vicechamberlain, master of the horse, and armourer, apparently for the benefit of his relations.20 Surtees preserves two instances of his generosity to the tenants of the see, to whom he restored lands escheated by the misconduct of their ancestors. In 1448 Henry VI paid him a four days' visit (26-30 Sept.), and afterwards expressed his gratification at the character of the services in the cathedral in a letter to 'Mr. John Somerset'.21

In 1449 English and Scottish commissioners met twice at Durham, and in 1457 at Newcastle, to renew the truces disturbed by border raids, and Neville's name stands first on the English commission.22 He had previously (16 May 1442) had powers to receive the oaths of the wardens of the East Marches.23 Some unimportant official letters are printed by Surtees,24 Raine,25 and Hutchinson.26

Neville died 8 or 9 July 1457, and was buried in the south aisle of the cathedral, where the marble slab, despoiled of his brass effigy by the Scottish prisoners after the battle of Dunbar, may be seen near the second pillar from the cloister door.27 In his will, dated 8 July 1457, but 'nunquam approbatum,'28 and presumably invalid29, he had desired burial near the Venerable Bede in the Galilee. Sequestration of his goods was granted to Sir John Neville, afterwards Marquis of Montagu, his nephew by the half-blood. He intended to leave a hundred marks to Thomas Neville, 'scolari in tenera ætate constituto ad exhibicionem suam', the same to Ralph, and the same to their sister Alice for her portion; these three can hardly be the children of the Earl of Salisbury, and, as they do not occur elsewhere in the Neville pedigree, may possibly be offspring of his own.



1. Madox, Formulare Anglicanum, DLXXXIII. ex. autogr.
2. Willis, A Survey of the Cathedrals of York, Durham, &c., i. 161.
3. Le Neve, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae, ed. Hardy, 1854.
4. Godwin, De Praesulibus Angliae, ed. Richardson, 1743, p. 850.
5. Brady, The Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland, and Ireland, i. 30.
6. Willis, Mitred Abbies, ii. 267.
7. Oliver, The History and Antiquities of the Town and Minster of Beverley, p. 392.
8. Brady.
9. Le Neve.
10. £1,000 in 1433 was roughly equivalent in purchasing power to £559,000 in 2010.
Source: Measuring Worth.
11. Rymer, Foedera, x. 588-9.
12. 682l. 14s.d. in 1536 was roughly equivalent in purchasing power to £312,000 in 2010.
Source: Measuring Worth.
13. Fuller, The History of the Worthies of England, p. 293, with a naive comment.
14. Tanner, Notitia Monastica, 'Berkshire,' p. xxii, note t.
15. Hutchins, History of Dorset, 3rd ed. iv. 294.
More than 100 years after this article was written, the almshouse still flourishes: see Almshouse of St John the Baptist & St John the Evangelist. 16. Dugdale, Monasticon, ed. Ellis, vi. 717.
17. Correspondence of Bekynton, Rolls Series, i. 92.
18. Surtees, History of Durham, vol i. p. cxxxii.
19. Raine, Historia Dunelmensis Scriptores Tres, Appendices ccxvii. ccxix. ccxxi.
20. See lists in Hutchinson, The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, i. 338-341.
21. ib. i. 837.
22. Rymer, Foedera, xi. 244-88; his name does not occur in the documents on pp. 231-8, which alone are cited by Surtees.
23. Rymer, xi. 4.
24. Surtees, Durham, vol. i. p. cxxxiii.
25. Raine, App. ccxxix. ccxxx.
26. Hutchinson, The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, i. 338-341.
27. cf. Surtees, Durham, vol. iv., cathedral plates, No. 3.
28. i.e., never approved.
29. It is printed in Raine, App. cclv.




Dictionary of National Biography. Vol XL. Sidney Lee, Ed.
New York: Macmillan and Co., 1894. 300-302.




Other Local Resources:




Books for further study:

Richardson, Geoffrey. The Lordly Ones: A History of the Neville Family
           and Their Part in the Wars of the Roses.
           Baildon Books, 1998.

Swallow, H. J. De Nova Villa: or, The House of Nevill in Sunshine and Shade.
           Newcastle-on-Tyne: Andrew Reid, 1885.





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Prices of Items in Medieval England

Edward II
Piers Gaveston
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster
Roger Mortimer, Earl of March

Hundred Years' War (1337-1453)

Edward III
The Battle of Crécy, 1346
Edward, Black Prince of Wales
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Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March
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Richard II
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Thomas de Beauchamp, E. Warwick
Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford
Ralph Neville, E. of Westmorland
Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk
Edmund Mortimer, 3. Earl of March
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John Holland, Duke of Exeter
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Sir Henry Percy, "Harry Hotspur"
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Henry V
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Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury
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Henry, Baron Scrope of Masham
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Richard Beauchamp, E. of Warwick
Henry Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick
Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter
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Sir John Fastolf
John Holland, 2. Duke of Exeter
Archbishop John Stafford
Archbishop John Kemp
Catherine of Valois
Owen Tudor
John Fitzalan, 7. Earl of Arundel
John, Lord Tiptoft

Charles VII, King of France
Joan of Arc
Louis XI, King of France
Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy
The Battle of Castillon, 1453



The Wars of the Roses 1455-1485
Causes of the Wars of the Roses
The House of Lancaster
The House of York
The House of Beaufort
The House of Neville

The First Battle of St. Albans, 1455
The Battle of Blore Heath, 1459
The Rout of Ludford, 1459
The Battle of Northampton, 1460
The Battle of Wakefield, 1460
The Battle of Mortimer's Cross, 1461
The 2nd Battle of St. Albans, 1461
The Battle of Towton, 1461
The Battle of Hedgeley Moor, 1464
The Battle of Hexham, 1464
The Battle of Edgecote, 1469
The Battle of Losecoat Field, 1470
The Battle of Barnet, 1471
The Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471
The Treaty of Pecquigny, 1475
The Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485
The Battle of Stoke Field, 1487

Henry VI
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Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York
Edward IV
Elizabeth Woodville
Richard Woodville, 1. Earl Rivers
Anthony Woodville, 2. Earl Rivers
Jane Shore
Edward V
Richard III
George, Duke of Clarence

Ralph Neville, 2. Earl of Westmorland
Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury
Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick
Edward Neville, Baron Bergavenny
William Neville, Lord Fauconberg
Robert Neville, Bishop of Salisbury
John Neville, Marquis of Montagu
George Neville, Archbishop of York
John Beaufort, 1. Duke Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 2. Duke Somerset
Henry Beaufort, 3. Duke of Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 4. Duke Somerset
Margaret Beaufort
Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond
Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke
Humphrey Stafford, D. Buckingham
Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham
Humphrey Stafford, E. of Devon
Thomas, Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby
Sir William Stanley
Archbishop Thomas Bourchier
Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex
John Mowbray, 3. Duke of Norfolk
John Mowbray, 4. Duke of Norfolk
John Howard, Duke of Norfolk
Henry Percy, 2. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 3. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 4. E. Northumberland
William, Lord Hastings
Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter
William Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford
Thomas de Clifford, 8. Baron Clifford
John de Clifford, 9. Baron Clifford
John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester
Thomas Grey, 1. Marquis Dorset
Sir Andrew Trollop
Archbishop John Morton
Edward Plantagenet, E. of Warwick
John Talbot, 2. E. Shrewsbury
John Talbot, 3. E. Shrewsbury
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Richard de la Pole
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Sir James Tyrell
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James Touchet, 7th Baron Audley
Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy
Robert Hungerford, Lord Moleyns
Thomas, Lord Scales
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Francis Lovell, Viscount Lovell
Sir Richard Ratcliffe
William Catesby
Ralph, 4th Lord Cromwell
Jack Cade's Rebellion, 1450


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Lambert Simnel
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Mary Tudor, Queen of France
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Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
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The Siege of Boulogne, 1544

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
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Thomas, Lord Audley
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Sir Richard Rich

Edward Stafford, D. of Buckingham
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John Russell, Earl of Bedford
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Charles Somerset, Earl of Worcester
George Talbot, 4. E. Shrewsbury
Francis Talbot, 5. E. Shrewsbury
Henry Algernon Percy,
     5th Earl of Northumberland
Henry Algernon Percy,
     6th Earl of Northumberland
Ralph Neville, 4. E. Westmorland
Henry Neville, 5. E. Westmorland
William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester
Sir Francis Bryan
Sir Nicholas Carew
John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford
Thomas Seymour, Lord Admiral
Edward Seymour, Protector Somerset
Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury
Henry Pole, Lord Montague
Sir Geoffrey Pole
Thomas Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Bourchier, 2. Earl of Essex
Robert Radcliffe, 1. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 2. Earl of Sussex
George Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon
Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter
George Neville, Baron Bergavenny
Sir Edward Neville
William, Lord Paget
William Sandys, Baron Sandys
William Fitzwilliam, E. Southampton
Sir Anthony Browne
Sir Thomas Wriothesley
Sir William Kingston
George Brooke, Lord Cobham
Sir Richard Southwell
Thomas Fiennes, 9th Lord Dacre
Sir Francis Weston
Henry Norris
Lady Jane Grey
Sir Thomas Arundel
Sir Richard Sackville
Sir William Petre
Sir John Cheke
Walter Haddon, L.L.D
Sir Peter Carew
Sir John Mason
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John Taylor
Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Younger

Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester
Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London
Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London
John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester
John Aylmer, Bishop of London
Thomas Linacre
William Grocyn
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Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester
Edward Fox, Bishop of Hereford

Pope Julius II
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Pope Paul III
Pope Pius V

Pico della Mirandola
Desiderius Erasmus
Martin Bucer
Richard Pace
Christopher Saint-German
Thomas Tallis
Elizabeth Barton, the Nun of Kent
Hans Holbein, the Younger
The Sweating Sickness

Dissolution of the Monasteries
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
Robert Aske
Anne Askew
Lord Thomas Darcy
Sir Robert Constable

Oath of Supremacy
The Act of Supremacy, 1534
The First Act of Succession, 1534
The Third Act of Succession, 1544
The Ten Articles, 1536
The Six Articles, 1539
The Second Statute of Repeal, 1555
The Act of Supremacy, 1559
Articles Touching Preachers, 1583

Queen Elizabeth I
William Cecil, Lord Burghley
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Sir Francis Walsingham
Sir Nicholas Bacon
Sir Thomas Bromley

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick
Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon
Sir Thomas Egerton, Viscount Brackley
Sir Francis Knollys
Katherine "Kat" Ashley
Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester
George Talbot, 6. E. of Shrewsbury
Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury
Gilbert Talbot, 7. E. of Shrewsbury
Sir Henry Sidney
Sir Robert Sidney
Archbishop Matthew Parker
Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich
Sir Christopher Hatton
Edward Courtenay, E. Devonshire
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Thomas Radcliffe, 3. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 4. Earl of Sussex
Robert Radcliffe, 5. Earl of Sussex
William Parr, Marquis of Northampton
Henry Wriothesley, 2. Southampton
Henry Wriothesley, 3. Southampton
Charles Neville, 6. E. Westmorland
Thomas Percy, 7. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 8. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 9. E. Nothumberland
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham
Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
Henry Howard, 1. Earl of Northampton
Thomas Howard, 1. Earl of Suffolk
Henry Hastings, 3. E. of Huntingdon
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland
Francis Manners, 6th Earl of Rutland
Henry FitzAlan, 12. Earl of Arundel
Thomas, Earl Arundell of Wardour
Edward Somerset, E. of Worcester
William Davison
Sir Walter Mildmay
Sir Ralph Sadler
Sir Amyas Paulet
Gilbert Gifford
Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague
François, Duke of Alençon & Anjou

Mary, Queen of Scots
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell
Anthony Babington and the Babington Plot
John Knox

Philip II of Spain
The Spanish Armada, 1588
Sir Francis Drake
Sir John Hawkins

William Camden
Archbishop Whitgift
Martin Marprelate Controversy
John Penry (Martin Marprelate)
Richard Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury
John Dee, Alchemist

Philip Henslowe
Edward Alleyn
The Blackfriars Theatre
The Fortune Theatre
The Rose Theatre
The Swan Theatre
Children's Companies
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Citizen Comedy
The Isle of Dogs, 1597

Common Law
Court of Common Pleas
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Council of the North
Fleet Prison
Assize
Attainder
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Livery and Maintenance
Oyer and terminer
Praemunire


The Stuarts

King James I of England
Anne of Denmark
Henry, Prince of Wales
The Gunpowder Plot, 1605
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset
Arabella Stuart, Lady Lennox

William Alabaster
Bishop Hall
Bishop Thomas Morton
Archbishop William Laud
John Selden
Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford
Henry Lawes

King Charles I
Queen Henrietta Maria

Long Parliament
Rump Parliament
Kentish Petition, 1642

Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford
John Digby, Earl of Bristol
George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol
Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax
Robert Devereux, 3rd E. of Essex
Robert Sidney, 2. E. of Leicester
Algernon Percy, E. of Northumberland
Henry Montagu, Earl of Manchester
Edward Montagu, 2. Earl of Manchester

The Restoration

King Charles II
King James II
Test Acts

Greenwich Palace
Hatfield House
Richmond Palace
Windsor Palace
Woodstock Manor

The Cinque Ports
Mermaid Tavern
Malmsey Wine
Great Fire of London, 1666
Merchant Taylors' School
Westminster School
The Sanctuary at Westminster
"Sanctuary"


Images:

Chart of the English Succession from William I through Henry VII

Medieval English Drama

London c1480, MS Royal 16
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR
c. 1690. View of London Churches, after the Great Fire
The Yard of the Tabard Inn from Thornbury, Old and New London




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