where his imprudence culminated in making his favourite, Robert de Vere, duke of Ireland. Lords and commons now united to demand the dismissal of the chancellor. Richard told the parliament that he would not, at their request, dismiss a scullion from his kitchen. Gloucester and Bishop Arundel visited the king at Eltham, and hinted at deposition.
On 24 Oct. Pole was dismissed from the chancellorship, and his old enemy, Bishop Arundel, put in his place. The commons now drew up formal articles of impeachment against the minister: (1) He had received grants of great estates from the king, or had purchased or exchanged royal lands at prices below their value; (2) he had not carried out the ordinances of the nine lords appointed in 1385 for the reform of the royal household; (3) he had misappropriated the supplies granted in the last parliament for the guard of the seas; (4) he had fraudulently appropriated to himself a charge on the customs of Hull previously granted to one Tydeman, a Limburg merchant; (5) he had taken for his own uses the revenue of the schismatic master of St. Anthony, which ought to have gone to the king; (6) he had sealed charters, especially a grant of franchises to Dover Castle, contrary to the king's interest; and (7) his remissness in conducting the war had led to the loss of Ghent and a large sum of treasure stored up within its walls (Rot. Parl. iii. 216; Stubbs's Const. Hist. ii. 474–5, cf. Wallon, Richard II, livre vi., Knighton, cc. 2680–5). Suffolk spoke shortly but with dignity in his own defence, but left the burden of a detailed answer to his brother-in-law, Sir Richard le Scrope, who appealed indignantly to his thirty years of service in the field and in the council chamber, denied the ordinary allegations of his mean origin and estate, and gave what seem to be satisfactory answers to the seven heads of accusation (Rot. Parl. iii. 216–18). The commons then made a replication, in which, while silently dropping the third charge—of misappropriation of the supplies—they pressed for a conviction on the other six, and brought forward some fresh evidence against Suffolk. The earl was committed to the custody of the constable, but released on bail. The lords soon gave judgment. Suffolk was convicted on three of the charges brought against him—namely, the first, fifth, and sixth. On the other four charges the lords declared that he ought not to be impeached alone, since his guilt was shared by other members of the council. Sentence was pronounced at the same time in the name of the king. Suffolk was to forfeit all the lands and grants which he had received contrary to his oath, and was committed to prison, to remain there until he had paid an adequate fine. But it was expressly declared that the judgment was not to involve the loss of the name and title of earl, nor the 20l. a year which the king had granted him from the issues of Suffolk for the aforesaid name and title (ib. iii. 219–20). The fine is estimated in the chronicles at various large sums (Chron. Angliæ, 1328–88, and Otterbourne, p. 166, say twenty thousand marks, adding, quite incorrectly, that Suffolk was adjudged worthy of death). The paltry character of the charges, the insignificant offences regarded as proved by the hostile lords, show that the only real complaint against the fallen minister was his attachment to an unpopular policy.
Parliament ordered Suffolk to be imprisoned at Corfe Castle (Cont. Eulogium Hist. iii. 360; cf. Knighton, c. 2683), but Richard sent him to Windsor. As soon as the ‘Wonderful’ parliament came to an end, Richard remitted his fine and ransom, released him from custody, and listened to his advice. If not the boldest spirit, Suffolk was certainly the wisest head of the royalist party now formed against the new ministers and council set up by parliament. He dwelt in the king's household, and seems to have accompanied Richard on his hasty progress through the land to win support for the civil war which was seen to be imminent. At one time Pole was in Wales with Richard and the Duke of Ireland (Capgrave, Chron. Engl. pp. 246–8). On 25 Aug. 1387 five of the judges declared at Nottingham that the existence of the new perpetual council contravened the king's prerogative, and that the sentence on Suffolk ought to be reversed. The name of Suffolk appears among the witnesses to this declaration of war against the parliamentary government. But his enemies were resolute in their attack. He was accused of labouring to prevent a reconciliation between Richard and Gloucester when Bishop William Courtenay [q. v.] of London went to promote peace between them. ‘Hold thy peace, Michael,’ said the bishop to Suffolk, who was denouncing Gloucester to the king; ‘it becometh thee right evil to say such words, thou that art damned for thy falsehood both by the lords and by the parliament.’ Richard dismissed the bishop in anger (Chron. Angl. 1378–88, p. 383; Capgrave's Chron. of England, p. 248), but was unprepared to push things to extremities. On 17 Nov. he was forced to promise the hated council that Suffolk and his other bad advisers should be compelled to answer for their conduct before the next parliament. Thereupon