NEVILLE, Sir John II (by 1488-1541), of Chevet, Yorks. and Mile End, Stepney, Mdx.
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Family and Education
b. by 1488, 3rd s. of Sir John Neville (d. 22 Oct. 1502) of Liversedge, Yorks, by Maud, da. of Sir Ralph Rither of Rither, Yorks. m. by Aug. 1509, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of William Bosvile of Chevet, wid. of Sir Thomas Tempest (d.1507) of Bracewell Yorks., at least 4s. 4da. Kntd. 25 Sept. 1513.2
Yeoman of the horse by 1509; keeper, Old park, Wakefield, Yorks. 1509, Cotescue Park, lordship of Middleham, Yorks. 1532; warden, Selwood forest, Som. 1515; numerous other forestry offices; constable, Tintagel castle, Cornw. 1516; sheriff, Yorks. 1518-19, 1523-4, 1527-8; receiver and surveyor, forfeited lands of 3rd Duke of Buckingham 1522, Holderness, Yorks. 1522, jt. 1527; commr. subsidy Yorks. (W. Riding) 1523, 1524, offences against clothing statutes Yorks. 1533, tenths of spiritualities, Leics. 1535, for survey of monasteries, Leics. 1536, j.p. Yorks. (N. Riding) 1532, (W. Riding) 1538-d.; knight of the body by 1533; steward and feodary, duchy of Lancaster, honor of Leicester, 1534; steward, forfeited lands of Lord Darcy 1538; gent. pens. 1540-d.3
John Neville was a courtier, soldier and administrator. He belonged to the prolific and powerful northern family but as a younger son of a cadet branch his early prospects cannot have been good. He presumably gained his footing in the Household through his relatives in the royal service.
The first traces of Neville date from 1509: he attended the funeral of Henry VII and obtained the wardship of his own stepdaughter. His marriage with a Yorkshire heiress, which had taken place by August 1509, established him in the West Riding, where he came to occupy the position once enjoyed by her forbears: to point his ascendancy he undertook the rebuilding of Chevet, which he was to boast made him no man’s debtor. His local progress was matched by his advance at court. In 1513 he was in the army which besieged Tournai and on the city’s fall he was knighted. His skill in arms served him not only on the battlefield but also at the lists, and in 1520 he was chosen to joust both at the Field of Cloth of Gold and at Gravelines. Three years later it was put to a severer test against the Scots, and the second shrievalty which followed shows that it had come through satisfactorily. This was an office which Neville prized, but after he had held it for the third time in 1527-8 his request for a fourth term was denied.4
Neville may have entered Parliament before 1529, the names of the Members of the earlier Parliaments of the century being mostly lost, but the addition of a proviso to the Act of 1523 (14 and 15 Hen. VIII, c.20) attainting the 3rd Duke of Buckingham which protected his receivership of the duke’s forfeited Yorkshire lands, does not of itself imply that he sat in the Parliament which passed that measure. He was not one of the original Members of the next Parliament, but the succession of his kinsman and namesake as the 3rd Lord Latimer left vacant one of the knighthoods for Yorkshire. Latimer perhaps helped Neville to fill it on 3 Feb. 1533, but what probably settled the matter was his nomination by Cromwell and the suitability of his residence in the West Riding, Latimer being a man from the North Riding and the other knight Sir Marmaduke Constable I from the East. Nothing has come to light about Neville’s part in the work of this Parliament. Presumably he served for Yorkshire again in the following one, that of 1536, when the King asked for the re-election of the previous Members.5
When the Pilgrimage of Grace began, Neville was with the 4th Earl of Shrewsbury surveying monastic houses in Leicestershire. Three of his sons and two of his sons-in-law helped to restore order but his sister, who was married to Christopher Stapleton of Wighill, openly supported the insurgents. Neville assured Cromwell of his own loyalty and the minister approved his selection as a juror to try the rebels. His friendship with Cromwell did not yield him the monastic property that he coveted but equally the catastrophe of 1540 did not harm him. Neville’s undoing was his failure in the next year to report a conspiracy in the West Riding: in April 1541 he was arrested, committed to the Tower and arraigned for treason. The Privy Council decided against his execution at the same time as the Countess of Salisbury’s, which the conspiracy had precipated, and on 3 June ordered his removal to York, where he was put to death twelve days later. The French ambassador described Neville as ‘a man well known at the court but of mediocre ability and wit’. His wife and heir sued out pardons in the month of his death, but it was not until 1552 that his children were restored in blood by a private Act (5 and 6 Edw. VI, no.29). His descendants continued to live at Chevet until the 18th century when the family died out.6
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Authors: L. M. Kirk / Alan Davidson
- 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
- 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Yorks. (Harl. Soc. xvi), 228-9; Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Clay, ii. 155, 157; Test. Ebor. iv. (Surtees Soc. liii), 198-9; LP Hen. VIII, i.
- 3. LP Hen. VIII, i-xvi; Somerville, Duchy, i. 508, 564, 568, 570; Statutes, iii. 256.
- 4. LP Hen. VIII, i-iv; Hunter, S. Yorks., ii. 394-5; Yorks. Arch. Jnl. xxxii. 326-30; J. Croft, Excerpta Antiqua (1797); 78-91.
- 5. LP Hen. VIII, vii. 56 citing SP1/82, ff. 59-62.
- 6. LP Hen. VIII, v-vi, xi-xvi; Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. xlviii. 26-27, 60-62, 65, 71-72, 74-75; R. B. Smith, Land and Politics, 227; Yorks. Arch. Jnl. xxxiv. 379-98; J. T. Cliffe, Yorks. Gentry, 170-1.