1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pole, Richard de la

POLE, RICHARD DE LA (d. 1525), pretender to the English crown, was the fifth son of John de la Pole (1442–1491), 2nd duke of Suffolk, and Elizabeth, second daughter of Richard, duke of York and sister of Edward IV. His eldest brother John de la Pole, earl of Lincoln (c. 1464–1487), is said to have been named heir to the throne by his uncle Richard III., who gave him a pension and the reversion of the estates of Lady Margaret Beaufort. On the accession of Henry VII., however, Lincoln took the oath of allegiance, but in 1487 he joined the rebellion of Lambert Simnel, and was killed at the battle of Stoke. The second brother Edmund (c. 1472–1513), succeeded his father while still in his minority. His estates suffered under the attainder of his brother, and he was compelled to pay large sums to Henry VII. for the recovery of part of the forfeited lands, and also to exchange his title of duke for that of earl. In 1501 he sought the German King Maximilian in Tirol, and received from him a promise of substantial assistance in case of an attempt on the English crown. In consequence of these treasonable proceedings Henry seized his brother William de la Pole, with four other Yorkist noblemen. Two of them, Sir James Tyrell and Sir John Wyndham, were executed, William de la Pole was imprisoned and Suffolk outlawed. Then in July 1502 Henry concluded a treaty with Maximilian by which the king bound himself not to countenance English rebels. Presently Suffolk fell into the hands of Philip, king of Castile, who imprisoned him at Namur, and in 1506 surrendered him to Henry VII. on condition that his life was spared. He remained a prisoner until 1513, when he was beheaded at the time his brother Richard took up arms with the French king Richard de la Pole joined Edmund abroad in 1504, and remained at Aix as surety for his elder brother’s debts. The creditors threatened to surrender him to Henry VII., but, more fortunate than his brother, he found a safe refuge at Buda with King Ladislas VI. of Hungary. He was excepted from the general pardon proclaimed at the accession of Henry VIII., and when Louis XII. went to war with England in 1512 he recognized Pole’s pretensions to the English crown, and gave him a command in the French army. In 1513, after the execution of Edmund, he assumed the title of earl of Suffolk. In 1514 he was given 12,000 German mercenaries ostensibly for the defence of Brittany, but really for an invasion of England. These he led to St Malo, but the conclusion of peace with England prevented their embarkation. Pole was required to leave France, and he established himself at Metz, in Lorraine, built a palace at La Haute Pierre, near St Simphorien. He had numerous interviews with Francis I., and in 1523 he was permitted, in concert with John Stewart, duke of Albany, the Scottish regent, to arrange an invasion of England, which never carried out. He was with Francis I. at Pavia and killed on the field on the 24th of February 1525.

See Letters and Papers Illustrative of the Reigns of Richard III. and Henry VII., edited by J. Gairdner (2 vols., “Rolls Series,” 24, 1861); Calendar of Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Re1gn of Henry VIII.; and Sir William Dugdale, The Baronage of England (London, 1675).