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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 385 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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RIVERS, ANTHONY WOODVILLE, or WYDEVILLE, 2ND EARL (c. 1442—1483), statesman and patron of literature, and author of the first book printed on English soil, was born probably in 1442. He was the son of Richard de Wydeville and his wife, Jacquetta de Luxemburg, duchess of Bedford. His father was raised to the peerage in his son's infancy, and was made earl of Rivers in 1466. Anthony, who was knighted before he became of age, and fought at Towton in 1461, married the daughter of Lord Scales, and became a peer jure uxoris in 1462, two years after the death of that nobleman. Being lord of the Isle of Wight at the time, he was in 1467 appointed one of the ambassadors to treat with the duke of ' Rivers and Canals, 2nd ed. pp. 327—342, and plate to.
End of Article: RIVERS, ANTHONY WOODVILLE, or WYDEVILLE, 2ND EARL (c. 1442—1483)

Additional information and Comments

Earl Rivers accompanied Edward IV to France during his exile and returned with him when he triumphantly took the crown of England. In that year (1471) he was appointed governor to the new Prince of Wales, Edward's son, the future Edward V. Earl Rivers was a devout man who made many trips to shrines in Southern Italy. At the beginning of 1483 Edward nominated his brother of Gloucester as Protector. When Edward died, Richard ordered the arrest of Earl Rivers and several other high ranking knights and sent them to Sheriff Hutton under guard. They were all executed in June of that year, some say victims of Richard of Gloucester's usurpation of the English throne. It may well transpire, in future years, that the truth of the arrests and subsequent executions, without trial, will become known, as more historians find more documentation which has long since been hidden. For now all that can be said is that Earl Rivers lived the life of a courtier and knight but with his pious nature showing through his many pilgrimages to the sites of saints. His book, The Cordyal, is a translation of a French work based entirely on religious theories.
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