25 February 1475: THE BIRTH of Edward, Earl of Warwick

Coat of arms of Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick, the last male Plantagenet.
Coat of arms of Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick, the last male Plantagenet. European Heraldry: War of the Roses

Today, 25 February, in 1475, birth of Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick and Salisbury, son of George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence and Lady Isabel Neville. Edward was a potential claimant to the English throne during the reigns of both Richard III and his successor, Henry VII. Edward was a double 2nd cousin to Queen Katherine Parr’s father. He was also a younger brother of Lady Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury, Governess to Princess Mary, daughter of King Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon.

Edward was born at Warwick, ancestral home to his mother, the Duchess of Clarence. His paternal grandparents were Richard, Duke of York and Lady Cecily Neville, great-aunt to his mother. His maternal grandparents were Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (known as “Warwick, the Kingmaker”) and Lady Anne Beauchamp, suo jure 16th Countess of Warwick.

He succeeded to the title of Earl of Salisbury on 12 December 1476. He was created Earl of Warwick in 1478 shortly after the attainder and execution of his father for treason. With the title, he received Warwick Castle which had belonged to his grandfather. His potential claim to the throne following the deposition of his cousin Edward V in 1483 was overlooked because of the argument that the attainder of his father also barred Warwick from the succession, although an Act of Parliament could have reversed that.

Edward (Plantagenet), Earl of Warwick and Salisbury by Edward Harding, published by  E. & S. Harding, after  Sylvester Harding, stipple engraving, published 26 March 1793.
Edward (Plantagenet), Earl of Warwick and Salisbury by Edward Harding, published by E. & S. Harding, after Sylvester Harding, stipple engraving, published 26 March 1793. © National Portrait Gallery, London

Edward, at the age of only ten years old, was kept as prisoner in the Tower of London by Henry VII. He remained a prisoner until 1499 when a plot between Warwick and Warbeck (pretender of Edward of Shrewsbury and claimant to the throne) for Warwick’s escape was alleged. Warwick didn’t escape, was brought to trial on 21 November, plead guilty, and was executed. He was in his early 20s.

King Richard III, Queen Anne, Edward, Prince of Wales, Margaret, Countess of Salisbury and Edward, Earl of Warwick after Unknown artist
(L to R) Lord Edward, Earl of Warwick; Lady Margaret, Countess of Salisbury; Queen Anne (Neville); King Richard III; and Edward, Prince of Wales after Unknown artist. © National Portrait Gallery, London

Author: tudorqueen6

Meg McGath is the author behind the articles on tudorqueen6; she has been studying the history and genealogy of the Parr family since 2007. Now, a decade later, she is still writing about her favorite Tudor queen, Kateryn Parr. Meg studied Women's Studies with an emphasis on English Women's History at the University of Maryland. One of her goals is to end the myth that Kateryn Parr was nothing more than a nursemaid to the aging King Henry VIII. "It simply isn't true, she did so much more for the Royal Family and her country," says Meg. And, of course, to educate Tudor enthusiasts on the prestigious lineage and connections of the Parr family. "Kateryn was related to everyone at court by blood or marriage. She was a descendant of the Beaufort line of John of Gaunt, son of Edward III, and Katherine Swynford. She shared this line with two of her husbands, Lord Latimer and the King," Meg states. A book is always her end game with Parr, but Meg has yet to put all the information together and send it to a publisher. "I've been told by many, including Professors, that I am a good writer..." says Meg. "The book, would focus on the generations before the Queen and how the Parr family became courtiers and relatives of The Crown." Meg has also done extensive research on the massive jewels and tiara collection of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty's collection was built starting with Queen consort Charlotte of Mecklenberg, wife of King George III, and grandmother of Queen Victoria. Meg is now putting together a separate blog that coincides with her Tudor Wiki contributions which started in 2007.

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