Nielsen Hayden genealogy

William de la Pole

Male 1396 - 1450  (53 years)

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  • Name William de la Pole  [1
    Born 16 Oct 1396  Cotton, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Died 2 May 1450  On an open boat in the English Channel Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Siblings 1 sibling 
    Person ID I19010  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of JTS
    Last Modified 3 Oct 2020 

    Father Michael de la Pole,   b. Bef 1368,   d. 18 Sep 1415, Harfleur, Normandy, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 47 years) 
    Mother Katherine Stafford,   d. 8 Apr 1419 
    Married Abt 13 Apr 1383  [2
    Family ID F11788  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Malyne de Cay 
    +1. Jane de la Pole,   b. 1430, Normandy, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Feb 1494  (Age 64 years)
    Last Modified 10 Nov 2017 
    Family ID F11787  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Alice Chaucer,   b. Between 1404 and 1405,   d. 20 May 1475  (Age ~ 71 years) 
    Married Between 11 Nov 1430 and 21 May 1432  [3
    Last Modified 8 May 2020 
    Family ID F16644  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • From Wikipedia:

      Almost continually engaged in the wars in France, he was seriously wounded during the Siege of Harfleur (1415), where his father died from dysentery. Later that year his older brother Michael, 3rd Earl of Suffolk, was killed at the Battle of Agincourt, and William succeeded as 4th Earl. He became co-commander of the English forces at the Siege of Orléans (1429), after the death of Thomas, Earl of Salisbury. When that city was relieved by Joan of Arc in 1429, he managed a retreat to Jargeau where he was forced to surrender on 12 June. He remained a prisoner of Charles VII of France for three years, and was ransomed in 1431.

      After his return to the Kingdom of England in 1434 he was made Constable of Wallingford Castle. He became a courtier and close ally of Cardinal Henry Beaufort. His most notable accomplishment in this period was negotiating the marriage of King Henry VI with Margaret of Anjou in 1444. This earned him a promotion from Earl to Marquess of Suffolk. However, a secret clause was put in the agreement which gave Maine and Anjou back to France, which was partly to cause his downfall. His own marriage took place on 11 November 1430, (date of licence), to (as her third husband) Alice Chaucer (1404–1475), daughter of Thomas Chaucer of Ewelme, Oxfordshire, and granddaughter of the notable poet Geoffrey Chaucer and his wife, Philippa Roet.

      With the deaths in 1447 of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester and Cardinal Beaufort, Suffolk became the principal power behind the throne of the weak and compliant Henry VI. In short order he was appointed Chamberlain, Admiral of England, and to several other important offices. He was created Earl of Pembroke in 1447, and Duke of Suffolk in 1448. However, Suffolk was later suspected of being a traitor. On 16 July he met in secret with Jean, Count de Dunois, at his mansion of the Rose in Candlewick street, the first of several meetings in London at which they planned a French invasion. Suffolk passed Council minutes to Dunois, the French hero of the Siege of Orleans. It was rumoured that Suffolk never paid his ransom of £20,000 owed to Dunois. Lord Treasurer, Ralph Cromwell, wanted heavy taxes from Suffolk; the duke's powerful enemies included John Paston and Sir John Fastolf. Many blamed Suffolk's retainers for lawlessness in East Anglia.

      The following three years saw the near-complete loss of the English possessions in northern France. Suffolk could not avoid taking the blame for these failures, partly because of the loss of Maine and Anjou through his marriage negotiations regarding Henry VI. On 28 January 1450 he was arrested, imprisoned in the Tower of London and impeached in parliament by the commons. The king intervened to protect his favourite, who was banished for five years, but on his journey to Calais his ship was intercepted by the Nicholas of the Tower. Suffolk was captured, subjected to a mock trial, and executed by beheading. He was later found on the sands near Dover, and the body was probably brought to a church in Suffolk, possibly Wingfield.

      Suffolk was interred in the Carthusian Priory in Hull by his widow Alice, as was his wish, and not in the church at Wingfield, as is often stated. The Priory, founded in 1377 by his grandfather the first Earl of Suffolk, was dissolved in 1539, and most of the original buildings did not survive the two Civil War sieges of Hull in 1642 and 1643.

  • Sources 
    1. [S4454] "Additions to Dugdale's Baronage; From the MS. Collections of Francis Townsend, Esq. Windsor Herald." Collecteana Topographica et Genealogica 8:67, 1843.

    2. [S142] Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families by Douglas Richardson. Salt Lake City, 2013.

    3. [S76] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004-ongoing.