Meet the New Salisbury and Warwick

Remember when we were discussing Act One, Scene One of The Second Part of Henry the Sixth, and I commented on Salisbury and Warwick:

Both Salisbury and Warwick (father and son) bemoan the loss of territories won in war (and here Shakespearean history falters again: these two speak as if they were the military Salisbury and Warwick of The First Part… only they are NOT: they are the sons-in-law of their respective title-holders in the first play… remember THAT Salisbury was killed in Act One of the play, and THAT Warwick (in reality) died before the end of the play… THIS Warwick was only 17 years old at the time of Henry and Margaret’s wedding (so in no possible way did he “win them both” [I.i.116] himself).

Let’s explain how all of this went down.

First, Salisbury:  The Salisbury from both Henry the Fifth and The First Part of Henry the Sixth is 4th Earl of Salisbury, Thomas Montacute. Montacute’s father, John Montacute 3rd Earl of Salisbury, was killed while plotting against Henry IV in 1400; Thomas was 12 at the time.  He was granted back some of this father’s lands nine years later (age 21); at age 27, he was part of the tribunal that tried and convicted Richard, Earl of Cambridge, of capital treason against Henry V.  (Remember, Richard, Earl of Cambridge was the father of Richard, Duke of York.)  Montacute, now fully the 4th Earl of Salisbury, then went to France to fight alongside Henry at both Harfleur and Agincourt (as depicted in Henry the Fifth).  He continued fighting in France where we was killed (remember the French Gunner’s Boy, and the cannon shot?) at the Siege of Orleans in 1428 (age 40).  Though he was married twice, his only offspring was a daughter, Alice, who inherited the title of 5th Countess of Salisbury.

Second, Warwick: The Warwick from Henry the Fifth and The First Part of Henry the Sixth (partially) is the 13th Earl of Warwick, Richard de Beauchamp.  de Beauchamp’s father, Thomas de Beauchamp 12th Earl of Warwick, had been in conflict with Richard II (he was part of the Lords Appellant, which seized political control from the King; for this he was imprisoned and had his lands and titles taken away); under Henry IV, however, he was reinstated.  After the father died in 1401, 19 year-old Richard, took on the title of 13th Earl of Warwick.  He fought for Henry IV against Owen Glendower, and for Henry V in France (as depicted in The First Part of Henry the Fourth and Henry the Fifth, respectively).  After the death of Henry V, Warwick spent much of his time divided between overseeing the education of the infant king and fighting in France, where he died at Rouen in 1439.

Some, but not all (not even a majority), of the depiction of Warwick in The First Part of Henry the Sixth is of this Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick.

are you following this?

Richard de Beauchamp married twice, the first to Elizabeth de Berkeley, then Isabel le Despenser.  From the first marriage, there were three daughters, of which two are of note: the first, Margaret, was the second wife to Lord Talbot, the badass general from 1HVI (and they begat Young Talbot, who died side-by-side with his father at the Battle of Castillon); the second, Eleanor, married twice, the second time to Somerset (who is killed at the end of this month’s play at the Battle of St. Albans).  From the second marriage, there was a son Henry (who succeeded his father as Earl of Warwick), and a daughter Anne.  After Richard 13th Earl of Warwick died, this son Henry became 14th Earl of Warwick (and later 1st Duke or Warwick, and I’m thinking the rest of the depiction of Warwick in 1HVI is of this Henry, 1st Duke of Warwick).  Henry died just seven years later in 1446; Henry’s daughter Ann (age 3) became the 15th Countess of Warwick, but she, too, died soon, three years later in 1449.  With no offspring, her title went to her aunt, Anne (from Richard, 13th Earl of Warwick’s second marriage).  Now, Anne became the 16th Countess of Warwick.

like you have a choice…

Let’s take a tangent, shall we?

Remember good ol’ (and really potent [read: 15 children by four women–one mistress, and three really hard-working wives]) John of Gaunt?  You know, the one whose second wife help him generate that whole line of Beaufort boys (including Thomas [1HVI’s Exeter], Henry [1+2HVI‘s Bishop then Cardinal Winchester]… and their nephew Thomas [1+2HVI‘s Somerset… yeah, the same Somerset who married Richard 13th Earl of Warwick’s first marriage’s second daughter, Eleanor])… well, those Beaufort boys had a sister, Joan, and she married Ralph de Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland (who appeared in Henry the Fifth).  They had 14 children (hell, Ralphie-boy had additional nine children by his first wife… 23 kids… and we thought John of Gaunt was a stud).  Two of these offspring are of import to us in 2HVI:  the first son to Joan (third son overall) is Richard Neville, and the eighth child to Joan is Cecily Neville.

Tangent over:  but don’t worry, all will become clear in a minute.

Remember Thomas Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury, and his daughter Alice?  Well, Alice marries Richard Neville.  By marriage, Richard Neville now becomes 5th Earl of Salisbury, and the Salisbury we see in The Second Part of Henry the Sixth.  Richard and Alice have ten children (Richard must have inherited papa Ralph’s high sperm count), one of whom is Richard Neville.

Remember Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick, and his daughter Anne?  Well, Anne marries Salisbury’s son, Richard Neville.  And by marriage, the younger Richard Neville becomes the 16th Earl of Warwick, and the Warwick we see in The Second Part of Henry the Sixth.

This is how we get from The First Part’s Salisbury and Warwick to The Second Part’s Salisbury and Warwick.

Oh, yeah… almost forgot: remember that other Neville child of import, Cecily?  She marries, too… and her husband?  None other than Richard, Duke of York.  So is it any surprise that Salisbury and Warwick join forces with York (who is Salisbury’s brother-in-lay and Warwick’s uncle)?

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