Earl Rivers (Anthony Woodvile) is Queen Elizabeth’s brother, the same as the Rivers of Henry VI, Part Three.
Ennobled following his sister’s marriage, he is one of the chief irritants to the old nobility at the court of England, who regard him as an upstart. Though he tries to keep in his place, he will defend his sisters against all comers, including Richard Duke of Gloucester, one of their chief enemies. He fought on the Yorkist side in the wars and was present at the killing of Queen Margaret’s son Edward. He dislikes Lord Hastings and was responsible for having him sent to the Tower. He attempts to comfort his sister after King Edward’s death, and questions why his nephew should only have a small escort to come to London, though he agrees with Buckingham’s explanation that a large escort might frighten the country. He is mistrusted by the common people as well as by the nobility, and no-one other than his sister weeps for him when he is taken and executed on Richard’s orders. He meets his death well, though remembering the curse Queen Margaret put on him for not saving her son at his murder. His ghost returns to haunt Richard before the battle of Bosworth and to bless Richard’s opponent Richmond.