- George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence
Sir George of York Plantagenet Duke of Clarence
Earl of Warwick
Earl of Salisbury
Spouse Isabella Neville Issue Anne of York
Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury
Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick
Richard of York
House House of York Father Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York Mother Cecily Neville, Duchess of York Born 21 October 1449
Dublin Castle, Ireland
Died 18 February 1478(aged 28)
Tower of London, London
George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, 1st Earl of Salisbury, 1st Earl of Warwick, KG (21 October 1449 – 18 February 1478) was the third son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville, and the brother of kings Edward IV and Richard III. He played an important role in the dynastic struggle known as the Wars of the Roses. He is also remembered as the character in William Shakespeare's play Richard III who was drowned in a vat of Malmsey wine.
George was born on 21 October 1449 in Dublin, at a time when his father was beginning to challenge Henry VI for the crown, and his godfather was James FitzGerald, 6th Earl of Desmond. He was the third of the four sons of Richard and Cecily who survived to adulthood. Following his father's death and the accession of his elder brother, Edward, to the throne, George was created Duke of Clarence in 1461.
On 11 July 1469, George married Isabel Neville, elder daughter of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick.
Clarence had actively supported his elder brother's claim to the throne, but, following his marriage, he began to play a dangerous game. When his father-in-law, the Earl of Warwick, became discontented and jealous, and deserted Edward to ally himself with Margaret of Anjou, consort of the deposed King Henry, Clarence joined him in France, taking his pregnant wife, Isabel. She gave birth to their first child, Anne on 16 April 1470, in a ship off Calais. The child died shortly afterward. Henry VI rewarded Clarence by making him next in line to the throne after Edward of Westminster, justifying the exclusion of Edward IV either by attainder for his treason against Henry or on the grounds of his alleged illegitimacy.
After a short time, Clarence realized that his loyalty to his father-in-law was misplaced: Warwick had his younger daughter, Anne, marry Edward of Westminster, King Henry VI's heir. Since it now seemed unlikely that Warwick would replace Edward IV with Clarence, Clarence changed sides.
Warwick's efforts to return Henry VI to the throne ultimately failed and Warwick was killed in battle. George was restored to royal favour by his brother King Edward. As his father-in-law was dead, George became jure uxoris Earl of Warwick but did not inherit the entire Warwick estate as his younger brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, married the widowed younger sister of his wife, Anne Neville, for which George resented his brother. George was created 1st Earl of Warwick [England] on 25 March 1472.
The Neville sisters were heiresses to their mother's considerable estates, and their husbands vied with one another for pride of place, with Richard eventually winning out. Clarence, who had made the mistake of plotting against his brother Edward IV, was imprisoned in the Tower of London and put on trial for treason. (In Shakespeare's Richard III, he is framed for treason by Richard.) Following his conviction, he was "privately executed" at the Tower on 18 February 1478, and the tradition grew up that he had been drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine. The tradition may have originated in a joke, based on his reputation as a heavy drinker. However, a butt was equal to three hogsheads — 105 imperial gallons (477.3 litres) — enough to easily drown in. A body, believed to be that of Clarence, which was later exhumed, showed no indications of beheading, the normal method of execution for those of noble birth at that time. Another possibility is that George's remains were sent to the abbey in a barrel of Malmsey, as Horatio Nelson's were sent home in a barrel of brandy. In Shakespeare's Richard III he is stabbed by one of the Murderers after he convinces the other not to stab him, and then drowned in a vat of Malmsey, though off-stage. In the 1955 film of "Richard III", after he is clubbed over the head into unconsciousness by the murderers, the drowning is shown, but in the 1995 version his throat is slit while in the bath.
Clarence's wife, Isabel, had died in 1476, two months after giving birth to a short-lived son, Richard (6 October 1476 – 1 January 1477), and they are buried together at Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire. Their surviving children, Margaret and Edward, were cared for by their aunt, Anne Neville, until she died in 1485, when Edward was 10 years old.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
As a royal duke, George had use of the coat of arms of the kingdom, differenced by a label argent of three points, on each point a canton gules.
England's Real Monarch
It is claimed on Britain's Real Monarch that Clarence was the true claimant to the throne as Edward IV was possibly illegitimate.
- Anne of York (in a ship off Calais, 16 April 1470 - in a ship off Calais, c. 17 April 1470), either at birth or soon after.
- Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury (14 August 1473 – 27 May 1541). Married Sir Richard Pole; executed by Henry VIII.
- Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick (25 February 1475 – 28 November 1499). Executed by Henry VII for attempting to escape from the Tower of London.
- Richard of York (Tewkesbury Abbey, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, 6 October 1476 – Warwick Castle, Warwick, Warwickshire, 1 January 1477, buried there).
Ancestors of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence 16. Edward III of England 8. Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York 17. Philippa of Hainault 4. Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge 18. Peter of Castile 9. Infanta Isabella of Castile 19. María de Padilla 2. Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York 20. Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March 10. Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March 21. Philippa Plantagenet, 5th Countess of Ulster 5. Anne de Mortimer 22. Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent 11. Alianore de Holland 23. Alice FitzAlan 1. George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence 24. Ralph Neville, 2nd Baron Neville de Raby 12. John Neville, 3rd Baron Neville de Raby 25. Alice de Audley 6. Ralph de Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland 26. Henry de Percy, 2nd Baron Percy 13. Maud Percy 27. Idoine de Clifford 3. Cecily Neville 28. = 16. Edward III of England 14. John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster 29. = 17. Philippa of Hainault 7. Joan Beaufort 30. Paen de Roet 15. Katherine Swynford
- George was portrayed by the actor Gerard Cooke in the British TV series Monarchy (TV series)
- He was portrayed by John Gielgud in Richard III (1955 film)
- He was portrayed by Nigel Hawthorne in the 1995 version of the Shakespeare play
- He was portrayed by Vincent Price in 1939 horror film Tower of London.
- ^ Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 136.
- ^ http://www.thepeerage.com/p10164.htm#i101637
- ^ Hicks (1992), pp. 184–6.
- ^ Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family
George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of ClarenceCadet branch of the House of PlantagenetBorn: 21 October 1449 Died: 18 February 1478
- Hicks, Michael (1992). False, Fleeting, Perjur'd Clarence: George, Duke of Clarence 1449-78 (rev. ed.). Bangor: Headstart History. ISBN 187304108X.
- Weir, Alison (2002). Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy. Bodley Head. pp. 136–7. ISBN 0-7126-4286-2.
- Pollard, A.J. (1991). Richard III and the Princes in the Tower. Bramley Books. p. 65. ISBN 1-85833-772.
English royalty Preceded by
Edward of Westminster
Heir to the English Throne
as heir presumptive
4 March 1461 – 11 February 1466
Elizabeth of York
Peerage of England New creation Duke of Clarence
Forfeit Earl of Salisbury
Earl of Warwick
Wars of the Roses Key figuresMargaret of Anjou, Queen of England · Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland · Henry Percy, 3rd Earl of Northumberland · Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick · Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset · Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset · Edmund Beaufort, 4th Duke of Somerset · George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence BattlesLancastrian victoriesYorkist victories See also
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