Sir Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland

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Sir Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland

Birthplace: Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, England (United Kingdom)
Death: May 22, 1455 (62)
St Albans, Hertfordshire, England (United Kingdom)
Place of Burial: Abbey Church, St Albans, Hertfordshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Henry "Hotspur" Percy and Elizabeth Mortimer, Baroness Camoys
Husband of Eleanor Neville, Countess of Northumberland
Father of Joan Percy, Nun; Henry Percy; John Percy; John Percy; Henry Percy, 3rd Earl of Northumberland and 7 others
Brother of Elizabeth Percy, Countess of Westmoreland

Managed by: Anne Brannen
Last Updated:

About Sir Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland

Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland

Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland (3 February 1393[a] – 22 May 1455) was an English nobleman and military commander in the lead up to the Wars of the Roses. He was the son of Henry "Hotspur" Percy, and the grandson of Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland. His father and grandfather were killed in different rebellions against Henry IV in 1403 and 1408 respectively, and the young Henry spent his minority in exile in Scotland. Only after the death of Henry IV in 1413 was he reconciled with the Crown, and in 1416 he was created Earl of Northumberland.

In the following years, Northumberland occasionally served with the king in France, but his main occupation was the protection of the border to Scotland. At the same time, a feud with the Neville family was developing, particularly with Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury. This feud became entangled with the conflict between the Duke of York and the Duke of Somerset over control of national government. The conflict culminated in the first battle of the Wars of the Roses, at St Albans, where both Somerset and Northumberland were killed.

Henry Percy was the son of another Henry Percy, known as "Hotspur", and Elizabeth Mortimer. Elizabeth was the daughter of Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March and Philippa, granddaughter of Edward III. Hotspur's father – the young Henry's grandfather – was also called Henry Percy, and in 1377 became the first of the Percy family to hold the title of Earl of Northumberland.[2] Both Hotspur and his father were early and active supporters of Henry Bolingbroke, who usurped the throne from Richard II in 1399, and became King Henry IV. They were initially richly rewarded, but soon grew disillusioned with the new regime. Hotspur rose up in rebellion, and was killed at Shrewsbury on 21 July 1403.[3]

Earl Henry was not present at the battle, but there is little doubt that he participated in the rebellion.[4] After a short imprisonment, he was pardoned, and in June 1404 he delivered his grandson into the king's custody at Doncaster.[5] By May 1405, however, the earl was involved in another rebellion. His plans failed, and he was forced to flee to Scotland, taking his grandson with him.[6] The following years were marked by an itinerant life and further plotting, while the young Henry remained in the custody of the Duke of Albany.[4] On 19 February 1408, the first earl of Northumberland was killed in the Battle of Bramham Moor, leaving the young Henry Percy as heir apparent to the earldom.[7] Henry remained in Scotland until the accession of Henry V in 1413, when he tried to claim his grandfather's title. His cause was aided by the king's aunt, Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmorland, who arranged his marriage to her daughter Eleanor.[8] It was in Henry V's interest to reconcile with the Percys, with their vast network in the north of England; in 1416 Henry Percy was created Earl of Northumberland.[b]

Northumberland served occasionally in Henry V's wars in France over the following years. He joined the king on an expedition to the Continent in 1416, and sent a minor contingent of soldiers the next year.[5] His main task, however, was the defence of the Scottish Borders, and on 16 December 1416 he was appointed Warden of the East March.[9] In late August 1417, the Scots invaded northern England; while Albany laid siege to Berwick Castle, the Earl of Douglas attempted to take Roxburgh Castle. Percy lifted the siege of Berwick, and forced both Albany and Douglas across the border.[9] At the same time, he was also involved in national political affairs, and acted as steward at the coronation of Henry's queen Catherine on 24 February 1421.[5]

When Henry V died in 1422, Northumberland was appointed member of the council appointed to govern during the minority of Henry VI. He might have been involved in an embassy to the Council of Siena in 1423, but still his main area of responsibility lay in the border region.[5] In the council, he seems to have belonged to the circle around Bishop Henry Beaufort, and he followed Beaufort – now cardinal – to peace negotiations at Berwick in 1429.[5] As Warden of the East March, he was constantly occupied with peace negotiations and defence of northern England, but his efforts were constantly frustrated, and in 1434 he resigned his commission.[10][11] The next year, Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, equally exasperated by the lack of royal support, gave up his commission as Warden of the West March. Northumberland was appointed joint warden with the earl of Huntingdon of both marches for one year, during which time, although suffering defeat by the Earl of Angus at the Battle of Piperdean,[12][13] he was able to repel a siege on Roxburgh by James I of Scotland.[14] In 1440 he was once more appointed Warden of the West March, and this time held the position until his death.[15]

Initially, Northumberland's relations with the other great northern family, the Nevilles, were friendly. He was already connected to the Neville earls of Westmorland through his marriage with Eleanor Neville, and in 1426 he married his sister Elizabeth to the young Ralph Neville, 2nd Earl of Westmorland.[5] In the early 1440s, Northumberland was involved in other disputes. A conflict over land with the archbishop of York escalated into open violence.[16] The king intervened on the archbishop's side, though Northumberland remained in favour at court. Nevertheless, he spent less time involved in central affairs at Westminster in the later 1440s.[5]

In the early 1450s, the relationship between the Percy family and Salisbury – who belonged to a cadet branch of the Westmorland Neville family – started to deteriorate.[17] What triggered the conflict was the marriage between Salisbury's son Thomas and Maud Stanhope, niece and heiress of Lord Cromwell.[18] By this marriage Wressle Castle, which had traditionally been in the possession of the Percy family, would pass to the Nevilles.[19] At the same time, the Neville-Cromwell wedding had led Huntingdon (now Duke of Exeter) to join the cause of the Percys, because of a territorial dispute with Cromwell. Northumberland himself, who was nearing sixty, did not take action at the time, but one of his younger sons did. Thomas Percy had been created Baron Egremont in 1449, relating to his possessions in the Neville-dominated county of Cumberland.[20] On 24 August 1453, Thomas attacked the Neville-Cromwell wedding party at Heworth near York with a force of over 700 men.[18] No one was killed in the skirmish, and the wedding party escaped intact.[21]

The conflict, however, continued over the following years. On 8 October, Northumberland and Salisbury were summoned to court and ordered to end the conflict, but the warnings were ignored.[5] Instead, the collective forces of the Percy and Neville families gathered at their Yorkshire strongholds of Topcliffe and Sand Hutton respectively, only a few miles apart.[22] Both sides had ignored royal commands to disband, and battle seemed inevitable, but eventually a truce ensued and the forces withdrew.[5] Then, in October 1454, Thomas Percy and his brother Richard were captured by the Nevilles in a battle at Stamford Bridge.[20][23] The conflict was escalating, and converging with events in national politics.

Discontent was brewing in England against the personal rule of Henry VI, who had been declared of age in 1437. The main antagonists were Richard, Duke of York, and Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset. Somerset enjoyed great influence over the king, but after Henry had been incapacitated by mental illness in 1453, York was appointed protector in 1454.[24] The Nevilles were by this time closely associated with York, so the natural option for Northumberland was to side with Somerset and the king.[5] Attempts were made to reconcile Northumberland and Salisbury in the north, but little was accomplished. In December, the king rallied sufficiently to resume control of government, and York's protectorate was terminated.[25] With Somerset back at the centre of power, civil war seemed imminent.

In May 1455, Northumberland was travelling with the king and Somerset to a great council at Leicester, when the party was intercepted by York and the Nevilles.[26] On 22 May 1455, at the First Battle of St Albans, the royal forces clashed with the forces loyal to the Duke of York, in what has been described as the first battle of the Wars of the Roses.[27] The battle was a complete victory for the Yorkist side, and led to another reversal of the political situation.[28] The king was taken captive, and Somerset was killed. Northumberland was also among the casualties, and was buried at the nearby St Albans Abbey.[5] A suggestion made by a contemporary chronicler, and supported by modern-day historians, said that the true purpose of the battle was to settle personal scores.[5][29] Once York and Salisbury had killed Somerset and Northumberland respectively, the battle was effectively over.[30][31]

The Percy estates were primarily located in the northern counties of Yorkshire, Northumberland, and Cumberland.[5] Even though the title was restored in 1416, and the Percy estates were officially regranted, this did not mean the immediate return of all the family possessions. Protracted legal battles followed, particularly with John, Duke of Bedford.[15] Even at the time of his death, Northumberland had not recovered all the estates once held by his grandfather.[1]

Northumberland's marriage to Eleanor Neville produced at least ten children. Henry Percy was succeeded by his son Henry Percy, 3rd Earl of Northumberland, who himself died fighting in the Wars of the Roses, at the Battle of Towton on 29 March 1461.[32]

  • John Percy 8 July 1418 –
  • Henry Percy, 3rd Earl of Northumberland 25 July 1421 29 March 1461 Killed at the Battle of Towton
  • Thomas Percy, 1st Baron Egremont 29 November 1422 10 July 1460 Killed at the Battle of Northampton
  • Lady Katherine Percy 28 May 1423 Aft. 1475 Married Lord Edmund Grey, 1st Earl of Kent
  • George Percy 24 July 1424 14 November 1474
  • Sir Ralph Percy 1425 25 April 1464 Killed at the Battle of Hedgeley Moor
  • Sir Richard Percy 1426/27 29 March 1461 Killed at the Battle of Towton
  • William Percy 7 April 1428 26 April 1462 Bishop of Carlisle
  • Joan Percy 1430 1482 Married Lord Edmund d'Aganet, 8th Baron of Blyth|
  • Anne Percy 1436 1522 Married Thomas Hungerford of Rowden



  • Sir Henry Percy, 5th Lord Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland, Constable of England1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20
  • M, #12913, b. 3 February 1393, d. 22 May 1455
  • Father Sir Henry 'Harry Hotspur' Percy, Justice of Chester, North Wales, & Flintshire21,22,23 b. 20 May 1364, d. 21 Jul 1403
  • Mother Elizabeth Mortimer21,22,23 b. 12 Feb 1371, d. 20 Apr 1417
  • Sir Henry Percy, 5th Lord Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland, Constable of England Warden of the Marches of Scotland. He was born on 3 February 1393 at of Warkworth, Northumberland, England; Age 22 in 1417.3,11,19 He married Eleanor Neville, daughter of Sir Ralph Neville, 1st Earl Westmoreland, 4th Baron Neville and Joan Beaufort, between 28 February 1416 and 18 March 1416 at Berwick, Northumberland, England; They had 9 sons (Sir Henry, 6th Earl of Northumberland, 6th Lord Percy; William, Bishop of Carlisle; Sir Richard; George, Rector of Rothbury; John; Sir Thomas, Lord Egremont; Sir Ralph; John; & Henry) and 3 daughters (Joan; Katherine, wife of Sir Edmund, 4th Lord Grey of Ruthin & 1st Earl of Kent; & Anne, wife of Sir Thomas Hungerford, of Sir Laurence Raynesford, & of Sir Hugh Vaughan).24,3,5,6,9,10,11,13,14,15,17,18,19 Sir Henry Percy, 5th Lord Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland, Constable of England died on 22 May 1455 at 1st Battle of St. Albans, St. Albans, at age 62; Buried in the Lady Chapel, St. Albans Abbey, Hertfordshire.3,11,19
  • Family Eleanor Neville b. 1398, d. c 1473
  • Children
    • Sir Ralph Percy, Seneschal at Alnwick+ d. 25 Apr 1464
    • Eleanor Percy
    • Sir Henry Percy, 3rd Earl Northumberland, 6th Lord Percy+3,11,19 b. 25 Jul 1421, d. 29 Mar 1461
    • Sir Thomas Percy, 1st Baron Egremont b. 29 Nov 1422, d. 10 Jul 1460
    • Katherine Percy+3,25,6,7,11,12,15,16,19,20 b. 28 May 1423, d. bt 2 May 1493 - 17 Oct 1493
    • Sir Richard Percy b. c 1427, d. 29 Mar 1461
    • Anne Percy+26,3,4,8,9,11,13,17,19 b. c 1440, d. 5 Jul 1522
  • Citations
  • 1.[S3638] Unknown author, Magna Charta Sureties, 1215, by F. L. Weis, 4th Ed., p. 55; Burke's Peerage, 1938, p. 1875.
  • 2.[S11568] The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, by George Edward Cokayne, Vol. IX, p. 715.
  • 3.[S5] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 578-579.
  • 4.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. I, p. 564.
  • 5.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. II, p. 78.
  • 6.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. II, p. 278-279.
  • 7.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. II, p. 285.
  • 8.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. II, p. 372-373.
  • 9.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. II, p. 431-432.
  • 10.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. III, p. 249.
  • 11.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. III, p. 343-344.
  • 12.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. IV, p. 348-349.
  • 13.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. II, p. 349-351.
  • 14.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. II, p. 455.
  • 15.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. III, p. 130-131.
  • 16.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. III, p. 140.
  • 17.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. III, p. 362-363.
  • 18.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. IV, p. 236.
  • 19.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. IV, p. 356.
  • 20.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. V, p. 374-375.
  • 21.[S5] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 577-578.
  • 22.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. III, p. 341-342.
  • 23.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. IV, p. 354-355.
  • 24.[S5] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 540-544.
  • 25.[S5] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 622.
  • 26.[S5] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 409.
  • From: _______________________
  • Henry de Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland1
  • M, #107252, b. 3 February 1392/93, d. 22 May 1455
  • Last Edited=3 Apr 2013
  • Henry de Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland was born on 3 February 1392/93 at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, England.2 He was the son of Sir Henry Percy, Lord Percy and Elizabeth de Mortimer.1 He married Lady Eleanor de Neville, daughter of Ralph de Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland and Lady Joan de Beaufort, after October 1414 at Alnwick, Northumberland, England.3 He died on 22 May 1455 at age 62 at St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England, killed in action. He was buried at Abbey of St. Albans, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England.4
  • He held the office of Lord High Constable [England]. He was created 1st Earl of Northumberland [England] on 16 March 1415/16.5,6 He fought in the First Battle of St. Albans on 22 May 1455.
  • Children of Henry de Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland and Lady Eleanor de Neville
    • 1.Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland+ b. 25 Jul 1421, d. 29 Mar 1461
    • 2.Thomas Percy, 1st Baron Egremont7 b. 29 Nov 1422, d. 10 Jul 1460
    • 3.Lady Catherine Percy+8 b. 28 May 1423
  • Citations
  • 1.[S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 95. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Families.
  • 2.[S125] Richard Glanville-Brown, online <e-mail address>, Richard Glanville-Brown (RR 2, Milton, Ontario, Canada), downloaded 17 August 2005.
  • 3.[S8] BP1999 volume 1, page 17. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S8]
  • 4.[S1545] Mitchell Adams, "re: West Ancestors," e-mail message to Darryl Roger Lundy, 6 December 2005 - 19 June 2009. Hereinafter cited as "re: West Ancestors."
  • 5.[S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families, page 96.
  • 6.[S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume IX, page 715. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  • 7.[S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume V, page 33.
  • 8.[S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume VI, page 180.
  • From: ____________________
  • Henry PERCY (2º E. Northumberland)
  • Born: 3 Feb 1393, Alnwick, Northumberland, England
  • Died: 22 May 1455, St. Albans, Kent, England
  • Buried: Abbey Church, St. Albans
  • Notes: Killed in battle.
  • Father: Henry "Hotspur" PERCY (B. Percy)
  • Mother: Elizabeth MORTIMER
  • Married: Eleanor NEVILLE (C. Northumberland) AFT Oct 1414, Berwick, Wiltshire, England
  • Children:
    • 1. Henry PERCY (3º E. Northumberland)
    • 2. Thomas PERCY (1º B. Egremont)
    • 3. Catherine PERCY (C. Kent)
    • 4. Richard PERCY
    • 5. Anne PERCY
    • 6. Joan PERCY
    • 7. Ralph PERCY (Sir)
    • 8. William PERCY (Bishop of Carlisle)
    • 9. John PERCY (b. 8 Jul 1418)
    • 10. George PERCY
  • From: PERCY (2º E. Northumberland) _________________________________
  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 44
  • Percy, Henry (1394-1455) by William Hunt
  • PERCY, HENRY, second Earl of Northumberland (1394–1455), son and heir of Sir Henry Percy [q. v.], called Hotspur, was born on 3 Feb. 1394. His father fell at Shrewsbury on 21 July 1403, and Henry was presented to Henry IV by his grandfather, Henry de Percy, first earl of Northumberland [q. v.], at York in the following August. When the earl fled to Scotland in 1405, young Percy also took shelter there, arriving shortly before his grandfather (Scotichronicon, p. 1166), and after the earl's death was detained by the Scots as though a prisoner of war, but was treated with honour by them (ib. p. 1184). Henry V pitying him, and being solicited on his behalf by Joan, countess of Westmorland, the king's aunt, whose daughter Eleanor Percy married at Berwick in that year, restored him in blood, and on 11 Nov. 1414 assented to a petition from him, presented in parliament, for the restoration of his dignities and estates (Rolls of Parliament, iv. 36–7; Walsingham, ii. 300; Collins, Peerage, iii. 273; this marriage is celebrated in Bishop Percy's ballad ‘The Hermit of Warkworth’). The king desired that he should be exchanged for Murdoch Stewart, eldest son of the Duke of Albany. Some delay took place, and the Earl of Cambridge, who made a conspiracy against the king, plotted to bring Percy into England with an army of Scots (Fœdera, ix. 260). It is evident that Percy had nothing to do with this scheme, and his exchange, which was arranged for on 1 July 1415, took place soon after (Proceedings of the Privy Council, ii. 162–4, 188–90). His hereditary possessions were restored, and on 16 March 1416 he did homage in parliament for his earldom, receiving a new patent of creation (Rot. Parl. iv. 71–2). In April 1417 he was appointed warden of the east marches towards Scotland, and captain of Berwick. He commanded a contingent of the army mustered in July for the king's second invasion of France, but, if he actually sailed, must have shortly afterwards returned, for the Scots under Archibald, fourth earl of Douglas [q. v.], and the Duke of Albany, having invaded England in October, and made attempts on Berwick and Roxburgh, he, with other lords and with Henry Bowet [q. v.], archbishop of York, raised a force which mustered on Barmoor, near Wooler in Northumberland. The Scots retreated, and the English ravaged the southern border of Scotland (Gesta Henrici V, pp. 121, 272; Otterbourne, p. 279; Scotichronicon, p. 1186). The earl did some service in the French war, and on 24 Feb. 1421 officiated as a steward at the coronation of Queen Catherine [see Catherine of Valois]. In June he was reappointed warden of the east marches with a salary of 5,000l. in time of war and 2,500l. in peace (Fœdera, x. 126).
  • On the death of Henry V Northumberland attended the council that met on 16 Nov. 1422 to decide on Gloucester's claim to be regent, and was appointed a member of the council of regency (Proceedings of the Privy Council, iii. 6, 157). He was appointed ambassador to the council of Pavia on 22 Feb. 1423 with a salary of 66s. 8d. a day (ib. pp. 42, 61), and on 6 July was appointed joint ambassador to Scotland, his commission being renewed on 14 Feb. following. He constantly attended the meetings of the council, and on 24 Nov. 1426 assisted in drawing up ordinances for its government (ib. p. 213). In 1429 and 1430 he was a joint ambassador to Scotland, and on 18 Feb. 1434 the council decided that he should be paid 50l. in consideration of his labour and expenses in attending courts for the settlement of disputes between the English and the Scots. Part of the town of Alnwick having lately been burnt by the Scots, he obtained license in June that he and the burgesses might wall it round. As the five years' truce with Scotland was to expire in May 1436, he made great preparations for war, dubbed many new knights, and probably crossed the border in connection with the raid of Sir Robert Ogle, who was defeated in September at Piperden [see Douglas, William, second Earl of Angus], but did not effect anything. On his return King James [see James I of Scotland] laid siege to Roxburgh in October. The earl promptly advanced to meet him at the head of the local forces, and the king broke up the siege and departed (Hardyng, p. 397; Chronicle of Henry VI, p. 16, ed. Giles; Three Chronicles, p. 166; Gregory, p. 179). In return for his services he received a grant of 100l. a year for life. He was reappointed a member of the council on 12 Nov. 1437, and the next year was a joint commissioner to treat with the Scots. In common with the other lords of the council, he was appointed in 1441 to inquire into all treason and sorcery against the king's person in connection with the accusation brought against the Duchess of Gloucester (Devon Issues, p. 444). In 1442–3 he had a quarrel with John Kemp [q. v.], archbishop of York, and his men did injury to the property of the see at Ripon and Bishopthorpe. The dispute was finally settled in the council, the king deciding that the earl was to repair the damage (Proceedings, v. 269–70, 309; Plumpton Correspondence, Introd. pp. liv–lxxii). He is said to have had a personal share in his son's campaign against the Scots in October 1448, to have been unhorsed at the battle by the river Sark in Annandale, and to have been saved by his son, who remounted him; but this seems untrue (Holinshed, i. 273; comp. Auchinleck Chronicle, p. 18). In the summer his two castles of Alnwick and Warkworth had been set on fire by the Earl of Douglas. On 25 May 1450 Northumberland was made constable of England, but resigned on 11 Sept. in favour of the Duke of Somerset [see Beaufort, Edmund].
  • The old feud between the Percys and the Nevilles again broke out, was heightened by political dissension, and caused serious disorder in the north. In July 1453 the king in council wrote to the Earls of Northumberland and Westmorland, charging them to see that the peace was kept (Proceedings of Privy Council, vi. 147). A battle was fought between two of Northumberland's sons, Lord Egremont and Sir Richard Percy, and Westmorland's son, the Earl of Salisbury [see Neville, Richard, 1400–1460], and on 8 Oct. another letter was sent to Northumberland urging him to do his duty by preserving order (ib. pp. 159–64). The north remained disturbed, and on 10 May 1454 both the earls were specially bidden to attend the council on 12 June to provide means for preventing the continuance of disorder (ib. p. 178). The Duke of York having taken up arms in May 1455, the earl marched with the royal army against him, and was slain in the battle of St. Albans on the 23rd; his body was buried in the lady-chapel of the abbey. The earl was a benefactor to University College, Oxford (Wood, Colleges and Halls, p. 47), and to Eton College. By his wife Eleanor, daughter of Ralph, first earl of Westmorland [q. v.], previously married, or contracted, to Richard le Despenser, son of Thomas, earl of Gloucester, who died in 1414 at the age of fourteen, he had twelve children: Henry (see below), who succeeded him; Thomas, lord Egremont; George, a prebendary of Beverley, born 1424; Sir Ralph [q. v.]; Sir Richard, slain at Towton on 29 March 1461; William, who was born in 1428, graduated D.D. from Cambridge, where he was chancellor 1451–5, was pro- vided to the see of Carlisle in 1452, called to the privy council (cf. Nicholas, Proceedings, vi. 185 et seq.), and died in 1462 (three other sons died in infancy). Northumberland's three daughters were: Joan, a nun, buried at Whitby Abbey; Catherine, born in 1423, married Edmund Grey, lord Grey of Ruthin [q. v.], created earl of Kent; and Anne, married (1) Sir Thomas Hungerford, (2) Sir Laurence Rainsford, (3) Sir Hugh Vaughan, and died in 1522 (Collins).
  • Percy, Henry, third Earl of Northumberland (1421–1461), son of Henry, second earl (see above), was born at Leconfield, Yorkshire, on 25 July 1421, and was knighted by Henry VI on 19 May 1426, being the day on which the little king was himself knighted (Fœdera, x. 356). In July 1439 he was appointed warden of the east marches and Berwick. By his marriage with Eleanor, granddaughter and heiress of Robert, lord Poynings, he in 1446 acquired the baronies of Poynings, Fitzpaine, and Bryan, with estates in Kent, Sussex, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Somerset, and was in December summoned to parliament as Baron de Poynings. In May 1448 he invaded Scotland in company with Sir Robert Ogle, afterwards first Baron Ogle [q. v.], and burnt Dunbar. The Scots retaliated by setting fire to his father's castles, at Alnwick in June and at Warkworth in July, and doing other damage. Accordingly, in October the king, having advanced into the north, sent him to invade Scotland. He was met by Hugh Douglas, earl of Ormond, forced to retreat, and defeated and taken prisoner near the river Sark (Auchinleck Chronicle, p. 18). He regained his freedom, and was recompensed by the king with the grant of half the goods of Sir Robert Ogle, then outlawed. In April 1451 he was a joint commissioner to treat with the ambassadors of James II of Scotland, and was one of the conservators of the truce made at Newcastle in August (Fœdera, xi. 299). On the death of his father on 23 May 1455 he succeeded him as Earl of Northumberland, the king allowing him relief of his lands without payment, the new earl having on 3 July foiled by his careful preparations an attack of Scots on Berwick, for which he received the king's thanks. This attack on Berwick was probably connected with the war between King James and James, ninth earl of Douglas [q. v.], in alliance with whom Percy seems to have acted against Scotland about this time. The feud between the Percys and the Nevilles still disturbed the north, and in January 1458 a great council was held at London to pacify that and other quarrels. To this council the earl came up at the head of a large armed force, and the Londoners, who admitted the Yorkists within their city, refused to admit him and the other Lancastrian lords, ‘because they came against the peace,’ so they lodged outside the walls. After much debate a general reconciliation, in which the earl was included, was effected on 25 March (Political Poems, ii. 254). Northumberland attended the parliament at Coventry in November 1459, when the Duke of York was accused of the death of the old earl, and the Yorkist leaders were attainted, and he took the oath to maintain the succession in the king's line. He was appointed chief justice of the forests north of Trent, and constable of Scarborough Castle (Doyle), and the king is said to have committed the government of the north to him and Lord Clifford as ‘his trusty and most faithful friends’ (Hall, p. 242). In November 1460 he held a meeting at York with Lords Clifford, Dacres, and others, and plundered the tenants of the Yorkist lords. York went north against them, and on 29 Dec. they defeated him at Wakefield, in which battle Northumberland was engaged (Will. Worc. Annals; Gregory, p. 210; Lancaster and York, ii. 236). After helping to raise an army for the queen, he marched southwards with her and the forces of the north, their army plundering and destroying as it marched, and on 17 Feb. 1461 defeated Warwick at St. Albans. The earl then marched to York with the king and queen, and was, in conjunction with Somerset and Clifford, in command of the royal army which marched to oppose the advance of the new king, Edward IV. At the battle of Towton on 29 March the earl commanded the van of the Lancastrian army. Seeing that his archers, who were blinded by a snowstorm, were unable to stand against the arrows of the Yorkists, he hastened to come to close quarters, and was slain. By his wife Eleanor, who survived him, he left among other sons Henry, afterwards fourth Earl of Northumberland [q. v.], and Sir Ralph Percy [q. v.], and three daughters: Eleanor, married Lord De la Warr; Margaret, married Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorp, Yorkshire; and Elizabeth, married Henry, lord Scrope of Bolton. He was, it is believed, buried in the church of St. Dionys at York, the church of the parish in which stood Percy's Inn, the York town house of his family. In this church there was a painted window with effigies of the Percys; it was taken down in 1590 (figured in Drake, Eboracum, p. 306).
  • [Engl. Chron., ed. Davies, Gregory's Chron. (Collections of a Citizen, &c.) ed. Gairdner, Three Fifteenth-Cent. Chron. ed. Gairdner, Plumpton Corr., Introd. (all four Camden Soc.); Engl. Chron. ed. Giles; Hardyng's Chron., Fabyan's Chron., Hall's Chron. (all ed. Ellis); Holinshed's Chron. ed. Hooker, fo.; Stow's Annals, ed. Howes; Paston Letters, ed. Gairdner; Rolls of Parl., Rymer's Fœdera, Proc. of Privy Council (all three Record publ.); Fordun's Scotichronicon, ed. Hearne; Chron. of Auchinleck, in ‘Ane Addicioun, &c.,’ ed. Thomson; Ramsay's Lanc. and York; Tytler's Hist. of Scotland; De Fonblanque's Annals of House of Percy; Collins's Engl. Peerage, ed. 1810; Doyle's Official Baronage; Dugdale's Baronage.]
  • From:,_Henry_(1394-1455)_(DNB00)
  • to _______________________
  • Sir Henry de Percy
  • Birth: Feb. 3, 1391 Alnwick, Northumberland, England
  • Death: May 22, 1455 St Albans, Hertfordshire, England
  • Henry de Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland was the son of Sir Henry Percy, Lord Percy and Elizabeth de Mortimer. He married Lady Eleanor de Neville, daughter of Sir Ralph de Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland and Lady Joan de Beaufort, after October 1414 Alnwick, Northumberland, England. He died on 22 May 1455 at age 63 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England, killed in action. He was buried St. Albans Abbey, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England.
  • Henry held the office of Lord High Constable . He was created 1st Earl of Northumberland on 16 March 1415/16.
  • Family links:
  • Parents:
  • Henry Percy (1364 - 1403)
  • Elizabeth Mortimer De Camoys (1371 - 1417)
  • Spouse:
  • Eleanor de Neville de Percy (1398 - 1472)*
  • Children:
    • Henry Percy (1421 - 1461)*
    • George Percy (1424 - 1474)*
    • Ann Percy Vaughan (1428 - 1522)*
  • Siblings:
  • Alice Phillippa Camoys Hastings (____ - 1455)**
  • Henry de Percy (1391 - 1455)
  • Elizabeth de Percy Clifford (1395 - 1436)*
  • **Half-sibling
  • Burial: Saint Albans Cathedral , St Albans, St Albans District, Hertfordshire, England
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 86133703
  • From: ___________________________________
  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 44
  • Percy, Ralph by William Arthur Jobson Archbold
  • PERCY, Sir RALPH (1425–1464), soldier, was seventh son of Henry Percy, second earl of Northumberland [q. v.], by Eleanor, daughter of Ralph, first earl of Westmorland, and widow of Ralph, lord Spencer. He took the Lancastrian side throughout the wars of the roses, and was the leader of the Percys in their inter-tribal warfare with the Nevilles during the latter part of Henry VI's reign. He was with Queen Margaret in her march south after the battle of Wakefield; and when Edward IV had been proclaimed king, he occupied Bamborough Castle for her, but he surrendered it on 24 Dec. 1462, and swore fealty to Edward. Early in 1463 he changed sides again, and allowed the Scots to retake Bamborough; he held to the Lancastrian cause for the rest of his life, even though the queen sailed that summer to the Low Countries. He very nearly captured Edward as he marched north to Newcastle early in 1464, and was the captain in the battle of Hedgely Moor on 25 April 1464. Here he was killed fighting, and just before his death was heard to say, ‘I have saved the bird in my bosom,’ meaning his loyalty to Henry (Oman, Warwick, p. 154). A rudely carved column, called ‘Percy's Cross,’ marks the spot where he fell. He was unmarried.
  • [Ramsay's Lancaster and York, ii. 302 &c.; De Fonblanque's Annals of the House of Percy, i. 283–6; Three Fifteenth-Century Chronicles, pp. 156, 158, 176, 178.]
  • From:,_Ralph_(DNB00)
  • ___________________
  • Pearce genealogy, being the record of the posterity of Richard Pearce, an early inhabitant of Portsmouth, in Rhode Island, who came from England, and whose genealogy is traced back to 972. With an introduction of the male descendants of Josceline de Louvaine .. (1888)
  • From the foregoing historical sketch of the English branch of the Percies it will be seen that Peter17 Percy* was son of Ralph16 Percy; he (Peter17) was born in 1447 and his descent is as follows from the first ancestor: Galfred1, William2, Alan3, William4, William5, Agnes6, Henry7, William8, Henry9, Henry10, Henry11, Henry12, Henry13, Henry14, Henry15, Ralph16.
  • Peter17 Percy had a son Richard18. The father was standard bearer to Richard the Third at the battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.
  • .... etc. _____________________________________



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Sir Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland's Timeline

February 3, 1393
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, England (United Kingdom)
Warkworth, Northumberland
July 8, 1418
Warkworth, Northumberland
July 25, 1421
Leconfield, East Riding of Yorkshire, England (United Kingdom)
November 29, 1422
Leckonfield, Yorkshire, England (United Kingdom)
May 28, 1423
Alnwick, Northumberland, England
July 24, 1424
Alnwick, Northumberland