What if Anne Neville had survived Richard…?


Here is an interesting thought. What might have happened to Anne Neville had she outlived Richard? I quote:

“A question that arises is what would have happened to Anne had she lived? It is unlikely that her survival would have affected the result of Richard’s loss at Bosworth in any way and it is highly doubtful that she would have produced anymore children. Perhaps she would have become Elizabeth of York’s lady-in-waiting, or sought sanctuary until she was financially able to support herself or re-marry. Anne has remained an enigma, with her thoughts and opinions never heard.”

Yes, she is, was and probably ever will be, an enigma. And heaven knows how Henry “Tudor” would have treated her – by shoving her in Bermondsey with Elizabeth Woodville? Probably.

The quote is taken from here and regardless of its source being The “Tudor” Society, it is not biased against Richard. If it raises those vile rumours of his intention to marry his niece and poisoning Anne, it also argues against them. The real quibble I have is the statement that Richard would never have married Elizabeth because of “opposition in the North”. No mention is made of the Bible and Church forbidding uncles and nieces to marry, or of the fact that Elizabeth’s illegitimacy was rather a large obstacle too. Interesting for all that.

And here’s another thought. Mine, this time. On the assumption that Anne not only survived Richard, but was also in good health. Would she have been drawn into any Yorkist plotting against Henry? After the apocalypse of Bosworth, would she have been tempted to support the Earl of Lincoln and the Earl of Warwick? Maybe even, at a push, Perkin Warbeck? Would she even have been in contact with Elizabeth Woodville, who was, after all, part of the House of York? It’s all an intriguing scenario.


  1. Surely a more likely scenario would have been along the lines of what happened with her mother. Anne would be regarded by Henry as the widow of a traitor, who was Attainted. Her claim to any lands may have been forfeit or, perhaps more likely, allowed, on the understanding that she would surrender them to the Crown – just like Henry treated her mother. Then she would probably been encouraged to take the veil. If she were allowed to marry, that would give her husband ideas about recovering her inheritance – unless Henry found another aged relative somewhere.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Reblogged this on The Order of the White Boar and commented:
    On the day that we commemorate the death of King Richard’s wife, Queen Anne Neville, some thoughts on what might have happened had she survived longer.
    A comment posted below the original post suggests that she would have been treated similarly to the way her mother (the widow of Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick, the Kingmaker, King Richard’s cousin) was treated. I suspect that’s most likely – but it wouldn’t necessarily have precluded contact with her sister-in-law in Flanders, Margaret of Burgundy, or support for so-called ‘Lambert Simnel’ and ‘Perkin Warbeck’.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. She’d probably either go to sanctuary or hey sent to a convent to live out the rest of her days. Though, I highly doubt a former queen, such as Anne Neville, would suddenly become a lady-in-waiting.


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