ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Marriage of George, Duke of Clarence and Isabel Neville: A Marriage of Politics

Updated on July 20, 2014
George, Duke of Clarence, was the brother of Edward IV and heir presumptive, but he wanted to be king.
George, Duke of Clarence, was the brother of Edward IV and heir presumptive, but he wanted to be king.

On July 11, 1469 George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence and Isabel Neville married. The marriage was really one of politics more than anything else for both George and his father-in-law, Richard, Earl of Warwick. It set up the initial attempt for the brother of Edward IV to take the throne.

Edward IV Against the Marriage

The king was against the idea of the marriage. While he wanted the best political marriage for his brother, he also wanted to keep his cousin, Richard, as far away from the throne as possible. He was too close after helping Edward IV win the throne back in 1460, and feared a rebellion. This was likely considering Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville in 1464.

At the time, George was still the heir presumptive as Edward had not had any sons. Should Edward die, George would become the King of England, and that would mean Isabel would be the queen consort. Richard would have a lot more power than he currently had as the king’s father-in-law rather than just the king’s cousin.

Isabel Neville was the heiress to a large estate, which worked in George's favor.
Isabel Neville was the heiress to a large estate, which worked in George's favor.

The Secret Marriage of George, Duke of Clarence and Isabel Neville

George and Richard wanted the marriage to go ahead, so it happened in secret. They reached Calais and on July 11, 1469, George and Isabel were married.

The main reason for the marriage was for the political alliance between the two. By this point, the Woodvilles had become extremely powerful in court. The Nevilles were losing their influence over the king, and Richard didn’t like that. He knew that he would be able to keep the influence over George if he was his son-in-law.

The marriage would also work out for George. As the heir presumptive he was so close to the throne, but still so far. One son for Edward would push him further away from the throne, and he didn’t want that. There was also the rumor that he was the eldest legitimate son of Richard, Duke of York, due to the questions surrounding Edward IV’s conception. George knew that he needed help to get the throne, and the best person was the one who helped Edward take the throne nine years earlier.

Something else George would have been happy about was the prospect of the lands and titles he would have gained after Richard’s death. As Isabel’s husband, he would have gained everything she would have inherited. It would have made him one of the most wealthiest men in the country.

The Alliance With the Lancastrians

It was just after this that an alliance with the Lancastrian forces was developed. Richard, Earl of Warwick turned to Margaret of Anjou with a promise to put Henry VI back on the throne. To do that his younger daughter, Anne Neville, would marry Edward of Westminster, Margaret and Henry’s only son.

It wouldn’t work out for George with this alliance happening. He was pushed further away from the throne, as Edward was the heir presumptive. With some help from Cecily Neville, George was allowed back at the English court and rejoined his brother. Isabel left her family and joined George as she was now his wife.

Margaret Pole is the most well-known of George and Isabel's four children. She was executed at the age of 67.
Margaret Pole is the most well-known of George and Isabel's four children. She was executed at the age of 67.

The Children of George and Isabel

The couple had four children, but only two of those survived infancy. The first child was born onboard a ship just off the coast of Calais. The gender of the child is debated, with some claiming it was a boy. However, many sources state that the child was given the name Anne, and she died just a day after her birth.

Three years later, their second child was born. This was another girl, and they named her Margaret. She would grow up and live until she was 67-years-old. Many know Margaret Plantagenet as Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury. She managed to live a fairly decent life despite her mother dying young and her father being executed. However, she found herself on the chopping block because of Henry VIII.

The third child was finally a son, and one who did outlive his parents. Edward, 17th Earl of Warwick was born 18 months after Margaret, but spent much of his life in the Tower of London. Henry VII saw him as a threat, despite George’s execution in 1478. Edward tried to escape the Tower of London and ended up being executed in 1499.

Finally, the couple had a second son, Richard. This child lived for three months, and died just 10 days after his mother. Isabel Neville died of either consumption or childbed fever two and a half months after Richard’s birth. They were buried together, as was customary at the time.

Fanmade Video of Isabel Neville From The White Queen

Did George, Duke of Clarence Love Isabel Neville?

It is a common question when it comes to marriages in the 15th century. Considering the marriage was mainly for politics and power, did the two love each other?

Much of the marriage was about money and power for George, but that does not mean he did not come to love his wife. He was certainly upset at the time of her death, and in his grief accused one of her ladies of witchcraft.

George is often viewed as a mentally unstable man, and it seems that Isabel was the calming force that was needed. It was only after her death that he went off the rails, so to speak, and started his next and final attempt for the throne. The rebellion was enough to have him tried for treason and executed.

Before his attempts for the throne, though, George made sure his wife had the funeral she deserved. He wanted her to be remembered. It was just a month later that marriages were proposed for him, but Edward declined them. George may have opted for them, as he did want power, money and titles. This doesn’t mean he never loved or cared for his wife though. It was a sign of the times they lived in.

Do you think George loved Isabel? Is there something you find interesting or sad about their marriage?


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • TrixieShi profile image

      Diana Strenka 

      4 years ago from North Carolina

      I never knew Margaret Pole was their daughter! Thank you for teaching me!

    • aingham86 profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexandria Ingham 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Thanks, Lee Cloak. Really glad you found it interest. The Tower and people connected to it really interest me. I find some of the mysteries and theories fascinating. Yet, it is one place in London that I still haven't visited properly. I keep trying to get my husband to agree to a trip there, but he isn't a fan of London. I guess I'll just have to find others who are interested in the same history as me. Living in Glasgow, though, it's not so easy.

    • aingham86 profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexandria Ingham 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Thanks, Lions44. Yes, it can be difficult to name the ones before Henry VIII because they're not as popular on television programs. Of course, Henry VIII is popular because of his six wives! Some of my favorite mysteries come from before Henry VIII, like the Princes in the Tower and Richard II's death. Thanks for sharing and voting up. I appreciate it.

    • profile image

      Lee Cloak 

      5 years ago

      Fascinating history lesson, a great hub, really well put together, I've always had a big interest in the Tower and anything or anybody connected with it, thanks for the education, voted up, Lee

    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 

      5 years ago from the PNW

      Great article. If you asked me to name some British royals prior to Henry the VIII, I might have a hard time (other than Alfred and Harold). Learned a lot. Thx. Voted up and shared.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)