The Story of Kingmaker

Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, was born in 1428.

He was an English nobleman who was one of the most powerful and wealthy English peers of his age. Originally on the Yorkist side and then later switching to the Lancastrian side, he was instrumental in the deposition of two kings, which led to his nickname, ‘The Kingmaker.’

Through fortunes of marriage and inheritance, Warwick emerged in the 1450s at the centre of English politics. In 1453 The Earl of Warwick sided with his father and the Yorkists against Henry VI. He was instrumental in winning the Battle of St Albans in 1455, the first half of the War of the Roses (1455–85.) Later in 1461 he obtained the crown for the Yorkist King Edward IV.

Warwick wielded the real power for the first three years of Edward’s reign. He worked tirelessly to arrange a marriage between King Edward IV and a French noblewoman, which would secure France as an important ally. Meanwhile, the then 19-year-old King Edward IV who was enjoying the trappings of being king, began to assert his independence and would not be used as a political pawn. Edward spoiled Warwick’s plans by secretly marrying Elizabeth Woodville for love.

In May 1464 tensions between the two men mounted and The Earl of Warwick began losing favour with King Edward and so he began to fall sympathetic to the Lancastrian cause. In August 1469 his plot to crown Edward's brother, George, Duke of Clarence, failed. Incredibly the Kingmaker defeated Edwards army, captured and executed the queen’s father and one of her brothers. King Edward IV was imprisoned for a period at Warwick Castle and was released in September 1469.

Warwick and Clarence both fled to France and there Warwick was reconciled with his former formidable enemy, Margaret of Anjou, Henry VI’s wife. Returning to England with Margaret of Anjou in September 1470, they drove Edward into exile in France and restored Henry VI on the throne.

Once more The Kingmaker was master of England. However, the triumph was short-lived and less than a year later The Kingmaker was defeated by Edward IV at the Battle of Barnet and killed when he was knocked from his horse. 

To celebrate The Kingmaker we have used fruits of the forest, which would have been accessible and growing freely in the hedgerows of England at the time of his power. Fruits such as blackberries, elderberries, raspberries and raspberry leaf, come together to create a refined, classic gin, which we introduced Frankincense, to enhance the regal superiority of the gin.

Serve Suggestions

Our Award Wining Kingmaker Dry Gin has won a Silver award for Gin and Tonic Serve, and Bronze for Contemporary Gin, in the IWSC 2021 Awards.

Serve with Indian tonic water & frozen mixed berries.