by the promotion of her
numerous relatives to honour,30 including the marriage
her sisters Eleanor to Anthony, the heir of the earldom of Kent (1466).31
A Kentish mob showed its resentment by devastating one of Lord
Rivers’ estates in the county on New Year’s day, 1468. In the spring
of next year Warwick retired to Calais, where he was joined by his
brother the archbishop and by the king’s brother George, duke of
Clarence, who married his daughter Isabel, and on 16 July the three
confederates crossed to Sandwich, gathered a force in Kent, and moved
into the Midlands to join the northern insurgents, whose victory at
Edgecote, 26 July, threw Edward into Warwick’s hands. A fortnight
later Warwick executed Rivers and his son John at Kenilworth, and in
November he and Clarence were granted an amnesty for their rebellion.
But in the spring of 1470 a fresh Lancastrian rising broke out in Lincolnshire. Warwick’s and Clarence’s movement was highly
suspicious, and ‘when the king summoned them to his presence they fled
once more to France,32 ‘where they were publicly reconciled
to Queen Margaret, and before long ‘Warwick’s manifestoes were
being secretly passed from hand to hand in Kent, where he was assured
his friends were ready to rise.
When Warwick landed, not in Kent but in Dartmouth, and proceeded to make
himself master of England, his cousin ‘the Bastard of Fauconberg made
a diversion in his favour in the Straits of Dover, where with a large
fleet he prepared to make a descent upon Kent. Warwick’s death at
Barnet, and the ruin of the Lancastrian cause at Tewkesbury, did not
quench the courage of the Bastard, who landed the crews of his fleet at
Sandwich, called over the garrison of Calais, and after raising the
Kentishmen to arms, on 12 May 1471 made a dash on London with a large
following from the county, always loyal to the name of Warwick. But the
news of Tewkesbury came to break the spirits of the Kentishmen, and
after a fruitless bombardment and assault the host dispersed, and the
Bastard retired to Sandwich.
Edward himself hastened into Kent; Nicholas Faunt, the mayor of Canterbury, and other leaders were
The Bastard, who had remained at
Sandwich with his ships, offered to surrender on receiving an amnesty,
but failed to come to terms with the Duke of Gloucester who was sent
down to receive his submission; he put to sea and took to piracy,
hovering about the coasts till he was finally apprehended and beheaded
some months later.
The county had to pay heavily for its rising. The Duke of Norfolk and
the Earl of Essex ‘satte uppone all Kent, Sussex and Essex that were
at the Blakhethe, and uppone many other that were noght there . . and so
the Kynge hadde out of Kent myche goode and lytelle luff.’34
Quiet reigned in Kent for the remainder of the reign of Edward IV, but
on the usurpation of Richard III plotting at once began on behalf of
Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, and premature riots in Kent roused
Richard’s suspicions and hastened the preparations that frustrated
Buckingham’s insurrection, which
Her father was the Lord Rivers who had been captured at Sandwich by
31 Lord Grey of Ruthyn, promoted to the title in 1465.
32 Warwick was succeeded as lieutenant of Dover Castle and Warden of the
Cinque Ports by Sir John Scott, of Scotts Hall, a consistent Yorkist,
sheriff of Kent in 1460, and knighted on the accession of Edward IV, ‘when
he was made Controller of the Household. He had been given the castle
and manor of Wilderton and Nolash, with life interest in the manor
and castle of Chilham, on the attainder of James Butler, Earl of
Wiltshire in 1461, and was returned to Parliament for Kent in 1467.
33 Hasted, Kent, iv, 433.
34 J. Warkworth, Chron. 21.