John Tiptoft, 1st Earl of Worcester (Eversden, 8 May 1427 – 18 October 1470) was an English nobleman and scholar, Lord High Treasurer, Lord High Constable and Deputy Governor of Ireland. He was known as the Butcher of England.

Early lifeEdit

He was the son of John Tiptoft, 1st Baron Tiptoft], and Joyce Cherleton, co-heiress of Edward Charleton, 5th Baron Cherleton. He was notable for his education, studying at Oxford University.

Marriages & progenyEdit

He married thrice:

  • Cecily Neville, daughter of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, in 1449, by whom he had no issue. She died 28 July 1450.
  • Elizabeth Greyndour (d.1452), daughter and sole heiress of Robert Greyndour (d.1443) of Clearwell, Gloucestershire. They had one son, John, who died the year of his birth, 1452.
  • Elizabeth, née Hopton, by whom he had a son, Edward, who died unmarried in 1485.


He enjoyed a brilliant early career. After being created Earl of Worcester on 16 July 1449, he was employed in a number of official posts, first as Lord High Treasurer between 1452–1454 and then as Lord Deputy of Ireland, between 1456 and 1457. He then departed on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and returned by way of Italy, where he stayed for two years, studying in Padua. There he gained a considerable reputation as a scholar of Latin.

He returned to England in 1461 and was received with favour by Edward IV, receiving the Order of the Garter and being appointed to a number of posts, including in 1461, Constable of the Tower of London for life and in 1463, Lord Steward of the Household. Most notably, as Lord High Constable in 1462, he presided over trials which resulted in the attainders and executions of Lancastrians, an office which he carried out with exceptional cruelty, having them beheaded, quartered, and impaled. In 1464 he was appointed Chancellor of Ireland for life and in 1467 he again became Lord Deputy of Ireland, and brought about the execution of Thomas Fitzgerald, 7th Earl of Desmond .


Upon the Redemption of Henry VI in 1470, Tiptoft was unable to escape with Edward IV and his supporters. He was captured by the Lancastrians and beheaded at the Tower of London, but, contrary to some accounts, was not attainted and his son Edward succeeded to his titles. His last act was to ask the executioner to chop off his head with three blows, for the sake of the Trinity. [1].

His son Edward died in 1485, while still a minor, and without issue. The titles thus became extinct on his death [2], or in abeyance between his aunts as co-heiresses.

Notes Edit

  1. Kendall, Paul (1956). Richard the Third. New York: The Norton Library. p. 516.
  2. M. C. Jones, 'Feudal lords of Powys' Montgomeryshire Collections I (1868)