Nisha Rathode

Michael de la Pole, 1st Earl of Suffolk

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Occupation  Lord Chancellor
Siblings  Edmund de la Pole
Parents  William de la Pole
Spouse  Catherine Wingfield
Name  Michael la

Michael de la Pole, 1st Earl of Suffolk
Died  September 5, 1389, Paris, France
Children  Michael de la Pole, 2nd Earl of Suffolk
Grandchildren  William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk

Michael de la Pole, 1st Baron de la Pole, later 1st Earl of Suffolk (c. 1330 – 5 September 1389) was an English financier and Lord Chancellor of England.


Michael de la Pole, 1st Earl of Suffolk Michael de la Pole 1st Earl of Suffolk Wikipedia


He was the eldest son of Sir William de la Pole (d. 1366) and Catherine Norwich, daughter of Sir Walter Norwich. His younger brother was Edmund de la Pole.

His father was a wool merchant from Hull who became a key figure during the reign of Edward III: after the collapse of the Bardi and Peruzzi families, he emerged as Edward's chief financier. Michael enjoyed even greater popularity at court than his father, becoming one of the most trusted and intimate friends of Edward's successor, Richard II.

He was appointed Chancellor in 1383, and created Earl of Suffolk in 1385, the first of his family to hold any such title. However, in the late 1380s his fortunes radically altered, in step with those of the king. During the Wonderful Parliament of 1386 he was impeached on charges of embezzlement and negligence, a victim of increasing tensions between Parliament and Richard. He was the first official in English history to be removed from office by the process of impeachment. Even after this disgrace, he remained in royal favour, although soon fell foul of the Lords Appellant. He was one of a number of Richard's associates accused of treason by the Appellants in November 1387. After the Appellants' victory at Radcot Bridge (December 1387) and before the so-called Merciless Parliament met in February 1388, De La Pole shrewdly fled to Paris, thus escaping the fate of Sir Nicholas Brembre and Chief Justice Robert Tresilian. He remained in France for the remainder of his life. Sentenced in his absence, his title was stripped from him.

Jean Froissart's references to de la Pole in the Chroniques (II.173) portray a devious and ineffectual counsellor, who dissuaded Richard from pursuing a certain victory against French and Scottish forces in Cumberland, and fomented undue suspicion of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster.


De la Pole and his wife Katherine Wingfield (1340 - 1386) daughter of Sir John de Wingfield, had eight children:

  • Michael de la Pole, 2nd Earl of Suffolk (1361 - 1415),
  • Thomas de la Pole (1363 - 1415),
  • William de la Pole (1365 - ),
  • Richard de la Pole (c. 1367- 1402), ancestor of Cardinal Reginald Pole (1500-1558),
  • John de la Pole (c. 1369 - 1415),
  • Anne de la Pole (c. 1373 - ), widow of Sir Gerard de Lisle. Anne married secondly Robert Thorley, esq. and their daughter, Margaret Thorley, married Reginald West, 6th Baron De La Warr. Thus, De la Pole was ancestor to Richard West, 7th Baron De La Warr who fought on the Lancastrian side in the Wars of the Roses and his son Thomas West, 8th Baron De La Warr (c.1457 – 11 October 1525), a courtier and military commander during the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII.
  • Elizabeth de la Pole (c. 1377 - )
  • Margaret de la Pole (c. 1386 - )

  • De la Pole's descendants were key players in the political life of the next two centuries at Wingfield Castle in Suffolk:

  • His son Michael de la Pole, 2nd Earl of Suffolk was a supporter of Henry IV and opponent of Richard. He regained his father's title on Henry's accession in 1399, and died at the Siege of Harfleur.
  • His eldest grandson Michael de la Pole, 3rd Earl of Suffolk died at the Battle of Agincourt.
  • His younger grandson William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk was appointed Lord Chamberlain under Henry VI, before being murdered in exile.
  • His great-grandson was John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk served Henry VII loyally, even though three of his sons rebelled.
  • His great-great grandson was Edmund de la Pole, 3rd Duke of Suffolk, who led a failed rebellion against Henry VII in 1501.
  • References

    Michael de la Pole, 1st Earl of Suffolk Wikipedia

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