Neville, Robert de (DNB00)

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NEVILLE, ROBERT de, second Baron Neville of Raby (d. 1282), was the eldest son of Geoffrey Fitz-Robert or Neville (d. 1249), and his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir John de Longvillers. His younger brother, Geoffrey (d. 1285), is separately noticed. Robert was only a Neville on the mother's side; his grandfather, Robert Fitz-Maldred, lord of Raby, who was descended from Uchtred, son-in-law of Ethelred II, and fourth son of Gospatrick, earl of Northumberland, married Isabella, daughter and, after the death of her brother Henry, sole heiress of Geoffrey de Neville (d. 1194) and his wife Emma. Their son Geoffrey Fitz-Robert assumed the name Neville on account of the great possessions he inherited from his mother, including Brancepeth and Sheriff-Hutton; and became first Baron Neville of Raby (Foster, Yorkshire Pedigrees, vol. i; Surtees, Stock of Nevill, pp. 2–6).

Robert succeeded to his father's lands in 1254; in 1258 he was made warden of the castles of Bamborough and Newcastle-on-Tyne; was commanded to rescue the king of Scots from the hands of his barons; and was also appointed governor of Norham and Werk castles. In 1260, being then at Chichester, he was summoned to serve against the Welsh, and in the following year became justice of forests beyond the Trent (Cal. Rot. Pat. p. 32b). In 1263 Neville was one of those who guaranteed the observance of the provisions of Oxford, and in the same year was made sheriff of Yorkshire, and as ‘capitaneus regis’ general commander of the king's forces beyond the Trent. He signed the declaration agreeing to submit all points of dispute to Louis IX, and in the struggle that broke out sided with the king. He was chief justice of forests in 1264, and wrote to Henry asking that Robert Bruce and others should be directed to assist him in the defence of the northern counties (Shirley, Royal and Hist. Letters, ii. 252; Pauli, Geschichte Englands, iii. 761; Blaauw, Barons' War, p. 88). In the same year he was summoned to London, and in December to Woodstock, to deliberate about the release of Prince Edward. He visited the king in his captivity the next year, but is said to have for a while sided with the barons. On the final defeat of the barons, however, Neville was again made chief justice of forests beyond the Trent, and received the governorship of various castles. In 1275 he was chief assessor in the northern counties, and was present at Westminster in November 1276 when judgment was given against Llywelyn. In 1277 he was summoned to serve against the Welsh, but his son John proffered on his behalf the service of two knights' fees (Parl. Writs, i. 758), and Neville received the custody of Scarborough Castle (Rot. Origin. Abb. p. 27). On 2 Aug. 1282 he was summoned to Rhuddlan, but pleaded infirmity. He died the same year, and was buried in the church of the Friars Minor at York, and not, as Leland states, in Staindrop Church.

Neville married Ida, or Isabella, widow of Roger de Bertram, baron of Mitford. By her he had two sons, Robert and John; Robert, the elder, predeceased his father in 1271, and his son, Ranulf or Ralph, third baron, was father of Ralph de Neville (1291?–1367) [q. v.]; from him were descended the earls of Salisbury and Westmorland and barons of Abergavenny, who were thus in the male line of Anglo-Saxon descent. A charter of Neville's, with his seal, is preserved in the British Museum (MSS. Index of Seals).

[Parl. Writs, i. 758; Rotul. Origin. Abbreviatio; Placitorum Abbreviatio; Placita de Quo Warranto; Rymer's Fœdera (Record ed.); Annales Monastici (Rolls Ser.), i. 453; Shirley's Royal and Hist. Letters (Rolls Ser.), ii. 252, &c.; Roberts's Excerpta e Rot. Fin. passim; Dugdale's Baronage, i. 291; Madox's Exchequer passim; Nicholas's Historic Peerage; Segar's Baronagium Genealogicum, ed. Edmondson, iv. 350; Foss's Judges of England; Rowland's Hist. of the Nevills; Swallow's De Nova Villa; Drake's Eboracum; Surtees's Sketch of the Stock of Nevill; Todd's Sheriff-Hutton; Battle Abbey Roll, ed. Duchess of Cleveland, ii. 343–4; Foster's Yorkshire Pedigrees, vol. i.; Harrison's Hist. of Yorkshire; Clarkson's Richmond, App. iii.; Hunter's South Yorkshire; Surtees's Hist. of Durham, iv. 158–9, &c.; Selby's Genealogist, iii. 32–5.]

A. F. P.