Neville, Christopher (DNB00)

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NEVILLE, CHRISTOPHER (fl. 1569), rebel, was fourth son of Ralph, fourth earl of Westmorland [q. v.], by Catherine, daughter of Edward Stafford, duke of Buckingham. He was of violent temper, and in youth he went to a horse race at Gatherly Moor in Yorkshire to assault one Christopher Rokeby. He was an ardent catholic, and had much influence over his nephew Charles, sixth earl of Westmorland [q. v.] He was a leader in the northern rebellion of 1569, and was doubtless largely responsible for the share taken in it by his nephew (cf. Memorials of the Rebellion of 1569, p. 34). In the proclamation against the rebels issued by the Earl of Sussex, the commander for the queen, on 19 Nov. 1569, Christopher Neville was one of those exempted from the benefits of the pardon offered. When the main body of the rebels went south to capture and release Mary Queen of Scots, about the end of November, Neville with a small force turned aside and secured Hartlepool, hoping probably to welcome there reinforcements from abroad. The rebels held the town as late as 17 Dec.; but Neville did not reside there regularly, and was at the siege of Barnard Castle on 1 Dec., when he issued an order for a muster there. When the rebels broke up their forces he remained for some time at the head of a small troop of horse, but soon fled across the border to Scotland, and was received either at Ferniehurst, Roxburghshire, by the Kers, or at Branxholm by the Scotts of Buccleugh. But he seems to have returned to England early in February 1569–70. Sir George Bowes wrote to Sir Thomas Gargrave in February that Neville had been in hiding near Brancepeth Castle. He soon afterwards escaped to Flanders. He was living at Louvain in 1571, and at Brussels in 1575. Like the other exiles, he enjoyed a small pension from the King of Spain. He died in exile. His estates, on his attainder in 1569, were of course forfeited. He is always described as of Kirby Moorside. Neville married Annie, daughter of John Fulthorpe of Hipswell, Yorkshire, widow of Francis Wandisford of Kirklington, in the same county. By her he left no issue; a son by her first husband, Christopher Wandisford, married Sir George Bowes's daughter.

Much of Neville's forfeited estate came to him through his wife, and in 1570 the Earl of Sussex sent to Cecil to ask for some help for her. He stated at the time that Neville had treated her badly. From an inquiry held in 1574, it appears that Neville had given the rectory of Kirby Moorside to William Barkley, alias Smith, whose wife Katherine was reputed to be his mistress. While he was at Ferniehurst this woman twice sent him a ring, and he in answer desired her to live according to the laws, and said that he would never think well of them that were not good to her.

Christopher's brother, Cuthbert Neville (fl. 1569), also took a prominent part in the rebellion. He lived at Brancepeth, helped to restore the altars at Durham, fled with his brother to the Low Countries, and was pensioned, and, like him, died in exile.

Christopher Neville the rebel must be carefully distinguished from Christopher Neville, the son of Richard Neville, second lord Latimer [q. v.], by Anne, daughter of Sir Humphrey Stafford.

[The three authorities for the rebellion, Sharp's Memorials, The Sadler Papers (ed. Clifford), Stoney's Life of Sadleir, all notice both Christopher and Cuthbert Neville; Letters and Papers, Hen. VIII, v. 1679; Cal. of State Papers Dom. 1547–80; Cal. of State Papers, For. Ser. 1569–71, p. 735; Rowland's Account of the Family of Nevill, 1830; Surtees's Durham, iv. 162; Saywell's Northallerton, p. 60; Froude's Hist. of England, vol. ix.]

W. A. J. A.