Spotlight: George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence

Name: George Plantagenet

Title/s: Duke of Clarence / Earl of Warwick / Earl of Salisbury

Birth / Death: 21 October 1449 – 18 February 1478

Spouse: Isabel Neville 1451-1476

Children: Anne 1470 / Margaret 1473-1541 / Edward 1475-1499 / Richard 1476-1477

Parents: Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York 1411-1460 & Cecily Neville 1415-1495

Siblings: Henry 1438 / Anne, Duchess of Exeter 1439-1476 / Henry 1441 / Edward IV 1442-1483 / Edmund, Earl of Rutland 1443-1460 / Elizabeth, Duchess of Suffolk 1444-1503 / Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy 1446-1503 / William 1447 / John 1448 / Thomas 1450-1451 / Richard III 1452-1485 / Ursula 1455

Noble Connections: George was the brother of both Edward IV and Richard III. His father was the Duke of York, descended directly from Edward III. His mother was descended from the Earls of Warwick, and George himself was the cousin of Warwick the Kingmaker.

Events of their Lifetime: Battle of Towton 1461, Battle of Barnet 1471, death of the Earl of Warwick 1471, marriage of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville 1464, death of his wife Isabel 1476, birth of Edward V 1470

Controversy: Did George really believe that Elizabeth Woodville was a witch, and would he really have ousted his brother from the throne? What kind of king would George have been had he taken the throne?

Works of Fiction:
Philippa Gregory, The White Queen (2009)
Philippa Gregory, The Kingmaker’s Daughter (2012)
William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 3 (1591)
William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of King Richard III (1592)

Portrayals on Screen:
Alec Baldwin, Looking for Richard, 1996, directed by Al Pacino
David Oakes, The White Queen, 2013, 7 episodes
Richard Tyson, Richard III, 2008, directed by Scott Anderson

Further Reading:
John Ashdown-Hill, The Third Plantagenet: George, Duke of Clarence, Richard III’s Brother (2014)
Michael Hicks, False Fleeting Perjur’d Clarence: George Duke of Clarence 1449-1478 (1980)
Amy Licence, Cecily Neville: Mother of Kings (2014)


Arms of George Plantagenet Duke of Clarence
Arms of George Plantagenet Duke of Clarence


George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, 1700s, by Richard Godfrey
George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, 1700s, by Richard Godfrey

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