brought them safely to Newcastle. Hearing that Somerset had rallied his forces and brought King Henry down to the neighbourhood of Hexham, Montagu left Newcastle on 14 May and found the enemy encamped in a position described by Hall, writing under Henry VIII, as being on the south side of the Tyne, two or three miles from Hexham, in a meadow called the Linnels. With the river on one side and in their rear, and high ground on the other flank, the Lancastrians were caught in a trap, and, after a sharp fight, driven over the stream into a wood, where most of them were taken prisoners (Hall). King Henry, who had been left at Bywell Castle lower down the river, effected his escape into Westmoreland; but Somerset and the other principal captives were executed, either on the spot or at Newcastle, Middleham, and York, in the course of the next ten days (Fabyan, p. 654; Gregory, p. 225). For this merciless proscription Montagu must be held responsible, though he may have been acting under orders, and the later executions took place in Edward's presence. He had given the coup de grâce to Lancastrianism in its last English stronghold, and received his reward at York on Trinity Sunday (27 May) in a grant of the earldom of Northumberland and its estates, forfeited by Henry Percy (VII), who had been slain at Towton (Doyle, Official Baronage). He and Warwick reduced the Northumbrian castles in the course of the summer (Gregory, p. 227). But the ascendency of the Neville brothers was already seriously threatened by the king's secret marriage with Elizabeth Wydeville. Northumberland, being kept pretty constantly employed in the north, did not come into such continual collision with the Wydevilles as his brothers, but one of the many marriages which Edward secured for his wife's relations touched him personally. The heiress of the Duke of Exeter, who had been designed for his son George, was married, in October 1466, to Thomas Grey, the king's stepson (Worcester, p. 786).
To what extent Neville was engaged in the intrigues of Warwick and Clarence is not clear. He certainly did not lend any open countenance to the Neville rising in Yorkshire in the summer of 1469, which went under the name of Robin of Redesdale [q. v.], and his destruction of the force which Robert Hillyard or Robin of Holderness led to the gates of York and execution of its leader would no doubt confirm the confidence which Edward, who ‘loved him entirely,’ placed in him. On the other hand, the latter movement would appear to have been quite distinct from the other, the rebels having a grievance against the hospital of St. Leonard at York, and calling for the restoration of the earldom of Northumberland to the Percies (Three Fifteenth-Century Chronicles, p. 183). So far as is known, he made no special effort to prevent the southward march of Robin of Redesdale, which ended in the battle of Edgecote and the temporary detention of the king by Warwick. But he escaped or avoided being compromised in these latter events, and the king evidently thought that he was not fully committed to his brother's policy. The betrothal of Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Edward, as yet without a son, to Northumberland's son George, who was forthwith (5 Jan. 1470) created Duke of Bedford, gave him an interest opposed to that of Clarence, the heir-presumptive, whom Warwick had married to his elder daughter (Rep. on Dignity of a Peer, v. 377).
But the release and pardon of Henry Percy (1449?–1487) [q. v.], whose earldom he held, perhaps made him uneasy; and, though he did not join Warwick and Clarence when the king drove them out of the country in March after the suppression of the Lincolnshire rebellion, he seems to have been compromised. He had brought no assistance to the king against the rebels, and Chastellain states (v. 500) that Edward only pardoned him on receiving the strongest assurances of repentance and future fidelity. He could not any longer be trusted with the safeguard of the royal interests in the north, and the earldom of Northumberland, with its great estates, was restored to Henry Percy, who also superseded him as warden of the east march (Rep. on Dignity of a Peer, v. 378; Doyle). The empty title of Marquis of Montagu, ‘with a pye's nest to maintain it,’ only increased his resentment, and when the news of Warwick's landing reached the north in September, Montagu, who had assembled six thousand men at Pontefract, declared for king Henry and moved on Doncaster, where the king was lying (Warkworth, p. 10; Croyland Cont., p. 554; Chron. of White Rose, p. 29; Chastellain, v. 501; Wavrin, iii. 47, ed. Dupont). Montagu's desertion drove Edward out of England, and, Henry VI being restored, he was reappointed warden of the east march (Doyle). But under a Lancastrian government he could not recover the earldom of Northumberland. Warwick, however, entrusted him with the defence of the north against the exiled Edward, and one of his last acts before leaving London after Edward's landing was to have a grant made to his brother of the old Percy castle of Wressel on the Yorkshire Derwent, which Jacquetta, duchess of Luxemburg, the Duke of Bedford's widow, had hitherto held as part of