Ralph de Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland
(c. 1364 – 21 October 1425
) was born in Raby Castle
, County Durham
, the son of John de Neville
and Maud Percy.
He was created 1st Earl of Westmorland in 1397. He had become the fifth Baron Neville de Raby in 1388. He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1402, taking the place left vacant by the death of Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York. Neville was a supporter of King Henry IV of England.
In the later part of his career, Neville was mainly engaged with defense of the northern border in his capacity as warden of the west march. In 1415, for example, he decisively defeated an invading Scottish army at the Battle of Yeavering.
Like the first lords of Richmond and Peter II of Savoy before him, Ralph was endowed with the lordship of Richmondshire but without the peerage.
- Margaret de Stafford, 1382, daughter of Hugh de Stafford, 2nd Earl of Stafford and Philippa de Beauchamp. Her paternal grandparents were Margaret de Audley and Hugh de Audley, 1st Earl of Gloucester.
- Joan Beaufort, 29 November 1396, daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and his third wife, Katherine Swynford. Joan was a half-sister of Henry IV of England. Her paternal grandparents were Edward III of England and his Queen consort, Philippa of Hainault.
Family and children
He had nine children by Margaret Stafford:
- Maud Neville (d. October 1438), married Piers de Mauley, 5th Baron Mauley
- Alice Neville, married first Sir Thomas Grey of Heton; married second Sir Gilbert Lancaster
- Philippa de Neville, married Thomas Dacre, 6th Baron Dacre
- John Neville, Lord Neville (d. 1420)
- Sir Ralph Neville (d. 25 February 1458), married Mary Ferrers, daughter of Sir Robert Ferrers and had issue
- Elizabeth Neville, a nun
- Anne Neville, married Sir Gilbert Umfraville
- Margaret Neville (d. c. 1465), married first Richard Scrope, 3rd Baron Scrope of Bolton; married second William Cressoner
- Anastasia Neville
He had fourteen children by Joan Beaufort:
- Lady Katherine Neville, married first on 12 January 1411 John Mowbray, 2nd Duke of Norfolk; married second Sir Thomas Strangways; married third John Beaumont, 1st Viscount Beaumont; married fourth Sir John Woodville (d. 12 August 1469).
- Lady Eleanor Neville (1398-1472), married first Richard le Despencer, 4th Baron Burghersh, married second Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland
- Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury (1400-1460)
- Robert Neville (d. 1457), Bishop of Durham
- William Neville, 1st Earl of Kent (d. 1463)
- Edward Neville, 1st Lord Bergavenny (d. 1476)
- Anne Neville (1414-1480), married Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham
- Cecily Neville (1415-1495) ("Proud Cis"), married Richard, 3rd Duke of York; mother of Kings Edward IV of England and Richard III of England
- George Neville, 1st Baron Latymer (d. 1469)
- John Neville, died young
- Cuthbert Neville, died young
- Thomas Neville, died young
- Henry Neville, died young
- Joan Neville, a nun
The character of Westmorland in William Shakespeare's play Henry V is based on Neville. It has been claimed by Brenda James and Professor William Rubinstein that Neville's great-great-grandson, Sir Henry Neville wrote the works of William Shakespeare