Richard Woodville, 3rd Earl Rivers

Richard Woodville
3rd Earl Rivers
Earl Rivers
Tenure 1483-1491
Predecessor Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers
Successor none
Father Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers
Mother Jacquetta of Luxembourg
Born 1453
Died 6 March 1491

Richard Woodville, 3rd Earl Rivers (1453 – 6 March 1491) succeeded his brother, Anthony Woodville, as the third Earl Rivers. He was the son of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers and Jacquetta of Luxembourg, and was the brother of Elizabeth Woodville, wife and queen of King Edward IV of England.


Richard was born in 1453. During the Readeption of Henry VI in 1470 he might have accommodated himself to the short-lived restoration of the Lancastrian regime, as Richard was pardoned by Edward IV on his return to power in 1471.[1] Unlike his older brother Anthony, however, he was not given any special favours under Edward.[2] J. R. Lander states that he was employed in a minor capacity on "various embassies and commissions".[3]

As Earl Rivers

When Richard III executed Richard's brother Anthony and seized the throne, Richard Woodville became Earl Rivers. The king confiscated Richard's lands but did not otherwise persecute him. Richard seems to have participated in some way in Buckingham's rebellion in 1483, as he was attainted in that year. However, he was later pardoned. It is not known whether or not he joined Henry Tudor in 1485, but after Henry's victory his estates were restored. He served in a local capacity in Hereford, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, but never held any major office.

Richard Woodville was the last of his family to hold the title of Earl Rivers. He died unmarried and the Earldom became extinct.[4] The estates attached to the Earldom reverted to the crown.[5] His personal lands were bequeathed to his nephew Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset.


  1. Schofield, Cora, The Life and Reign of Edward IV, Routledge, 2005.
  2. J. L. Laynesmith, The Last Medieval Queens: English Queenship 1445-1503, Oxford University Press, 2004, p.203.
  3. Lander, J.R, Marriage and Politics in the Fifteenth Century: The Nevilles and the Wydevilles, Athlone Press, 1963; Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, Volumes 36-37, Longmans, p.132
  4. White, Geoffrey H., ed. (1949). The Complete Peerage, Volume XI. St Catherine's Press. p. 25.
  5. Michael Van Cleave Alexander, The First of the Tudors: A Study of Henry VII and His Reign, Croom Helm, 1981, p. 74.
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Anthony Woodville
Earl Rivers
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