Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 40.djvu/286

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were restored to the Earl of Northumberland on the old conditions, and the attempt to put the administration of the borders on a better footing was abandoned. The failure must doubtless be ascribed to the removal of Bedford's influence. When Bedford died, and the Duke of York, who had married Cecily Neville, Salisbury's sister, went out to France as his successor in May 1436, he took his brother-in-law with him (Gregory, p. 178; Dugdale, i. 302). On his return he entered the privy council in November 1437 (Ord. Privy Council, v. 71).

When in London in attendance at the council he lived in ‘the Harbour,’ a Neville residence in Dowgate. But he must have often been drawn into the north by the duties of his wardenship, which was periodically renewed to him, and by his inheritance of the Yorkshire estates of his father round Middleham and Sheriff-Hutton Castles on the death (13 Nov. 1440) of his mother, who had held them in jointure since the Earl of Westmorland's death in 1425 (Dugdale, i. 302; Swallow, p. 137). Middleham Castle, in Wensleydale, became his chief residence. Westmorland's grandson by his first wife, Margaret, daughter of Hugh, earl of Stafford, and successor in the earldom, had for some years been vainly endeavouring to prevent the diversion of these lands to the younger branch. The two families had made open war upon each other in the north, Westmorland being supported by his brothers Sir John, afterwards Lord Neville, and Sir Thomas Neville, and the Dowager Countess by Salisbury and his younger brother, George Neville, lord Latimer of Danby, in Cleveland; bloodshed had ensued, and the government had had to interfere (Excerpta Historica, pp. 1–3; Ord. Privy Council, v. 90, 92; cf. 282). Salisbury had the advantage of being connected both with the opposition through York and with the court party through the Beauforts. This double connection is reflected in the somewhat undecided position which for a time he took up between the court and the opposition parties. He helped to arrest Humphrey duke of Gloucester, at Bury St. Edmunds in 1447, and, though Suffolk's peace policy endangered his interests in France, held aloof from the Duke of York when he resorted to an armed demonstration in February 1452 (Ramsay, ii. 74, 81). Along with his eldest son, now Earl of Warwick and his colleague as warden of the western marches of Scotland, Salisbury helped to persuade York at Dartford to lay down his arms (Paston Letters, i. cxlviii). But the continuance of Somerset in power, in defiance of the arrangement Salisbury had helped to mediate, must have irritated him, and he seems to have ignored the orders of the government in regard to the war which now broke out between the Neville and Percy clans in Yorkshire.

William Worcester (p. 770) dates the beginning of all the subsequent troubles from an incident which was a sequel to the marriage of Salisbury's second son, Sir Thomas Neville, to Maud Stanhope, niece of Ralph, lord Cromwell, and widow of Lord Willoughby de Eresby, at Tattershall, Cromwell's Lincolnshire seat. As Salisbury was returning to Middleham his followers came into collision with those of Thomas Percy, lord Egremont, third son of the Earl of Northumberland, and his brother Richard, and a pitched battle ensued. If, as seems most probable, this took place in August 1453, it only brought to a head a quarrel which had already broken out between the two families. For as early as 7 June the privy council had ordered Egremont and Salisbury's second son, Sir John Neville (afterwards Marquis of Montagu), to keep the peace and come at once to court (Ramsay, ii. 165; Ord. Privy Council, v. 140–1). Parliament less than a month later passed a statute enacting that any lord persisting in refusing to appear at the royal summons should lose estate, name, and place in parliament (Rot. Parl. v. 266). Nevertheless the offending parties ignored repeated summonses, and Salisbury, who had been called upon to keep his sons in order, was strongly reproached in October with conniving at these ‘great assemblies’ and ‘riotous gatherings’ (Ord. Privy Council, v. 146–61). The king's seizure with madness in August supplied York with an opportunity of getting control of the government without the use of force against the king, and Salisbury and Warwick definitely gave him their support, while Egremont and the Percies were adherents of the queen (Paston Letters, i. cxlviii. 264). When the lords came up to London early in 1454 with great retinues, Salisbury brought ‘seven score knights and squires besides other meyny’ (ib.) An indenture has been preserved by which Salisbury in September 1449 had retained the services of Sir Walter Strickland and 290 men for the term of his life against all folk, saving his allegiance to the king.

As soon as he became protector, the Duke of York on 1 April gave the great seal vacated by the death of Archbishop Kemp to Salisbury (Fœdera, xi. 344; Ord. Privy Council, vi. 168). Salisbury appears to have asked for the vacant bishopric of Ely for his son George, and the council promised to recom-