Birth: 1405, Maidstone, Kent, England;
Death: Aug 12, 1469; Kenilworth, England; Beheaded
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- Baron of Rivers - Dates: 1448-1469
- 1st Earl of Rivers - Dates: 1466-1469
- Lord High Treasurer - Dates: 1459-1460/1466-1469
- Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports - Dates: 1459-1460
Richard Woodville (or Wydeville), 1st Earl Rivers (1405 - August 12, 1469), was an English nobleman, best remembered as the father of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of King of England Edward IV.
Born at Maidstone, Kent, he was the son of another Sir Richard Wydevill, chamberlain to the Duke of Bedford. After the duke died the younger Richard married the widowed duchess, Jacquetta of Luxembourg, 1416-1472. This was initially a secret marriage for which the couple were fined.
Originally a mere squire from Grafton, Richard was considered "the handsomest man in England" and rose to become the squire of Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt in which the house of Lancaster conquered France. He managed to keep the king's lucky totem of a squirrel's tail tied to a lance "always within sight of the king" during the battle and was knighted afterwards.
He was created Baron Rivers by Henry VI on May 9, 1448. Initially he was on the Lancastrian side in the Wars of the Roses, but he later switched and became a Yorkist, once he was convinced that the Lancaster cause was lost and reconciled himself to the new king. After the marriage of his daughter Elizabeth, widow of Sir John Grey of Forby, to Edward IV on May 1, 1464, he was created Earl Rivers (1466) and appointed Lord Treasurer by his new son-in-law.
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