Henry de Beauchamp, 1st Duke of Warwick

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Henry de Beauchamp, 14th Earl and 1st Duke of Warwick (21 March 1425 – 11 June 1446) was an English nobleman.

He was the son of Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick, and Isabel le Despenser. In 1434, Henry married Cecily Neville, the eldest daughter of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, and Alice Montagu, Countess of Salisbury.

He became 14th Earl of Warwick on his father's death in 1439. His boyhood friendship with King Henry VI and his father's military services placed him high in the King's favour, and he was loaded with titles. In 1444, he was made premier Earl of the realm, and on 14 April 1445, was created Duke of Warwick, preceded only by the Duke of Norfolk. This precedence was disputed by the Duke of Buckingham, whom it displaced. However, the issue was rendered moot by his death in June, at which time the dukedom expired for lack of heirs-male. He is said to have been crowned King of the Isle of Wight in 1444[1] by Henry VI, to place his playmate on a more equal standing with him.

On his death, the earldom was inherited by his two-year old daughter, Anne (4 February 1443/4 – 3 January 1448/9), suo jure Countess of Warwick. She, however, died three years later, and there was some question regarding who, if any, of her father's sisters (or their heirs) should succeed.[2] In the end, his full sister Anne (who was married to Richard Neville, eldest son of Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, and brother to Beauchamp's widow) was declared the heir, due to the English common law principle that "possession by the brother makes the sister the heir", which denies relatives of the half-blood from inheriting when full-blood relatives are available to inherit. The three half-sisters from their father's first marriage contested this decision, but to no avail.

Ancestry[edit]

Peerage of England
Preceded by
Richard de Beauchamp
Earl of Warwick
1439–1446
Succeeded by
Anne Beauchamp
New title Duke of Warwick
1st creation
1445–1446
Extinct

References[edit]