Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 46.djvu/39

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


Suffolk hastily fled the realm. On 27 Dec. the five baronial leaders solemnly appealed him and his associates of treason. On 3 Feb. 1388 the five lords appellant laid before the newly assembled estates a long list of accusations against Suffolk and his four chief associates (Rot. Parl. iii. 229–38). No special charges were brought against Suffolk; but he was associated with the others in such general accusations as having withdrawn the king from the society of the barons, as having conspired to rule him for their own purposes, incited civil war, corresponded with the French, and attempted to pack parliament. The declaration of the judges that the form of the appeal was illegal was brushed aside, on the ground that parliament itself was the supreme judge in matters of this sort. On 13 Feb. sentence was passed on the four absent offenders. Suffolk was condemned to be hanged. His estates and title were necessarily forfeited.

A knight named William atte Hoo helped Suffolk to escape over the Channel. He disguised himself by shaving his beard and head and putting on shabby clothes. In this plight he presented himself before Calais Castle, dressed like a Flemish poulterer. His brother was captain of Calais Castle, and acquainted the governor of Calais, William Beauchamp, with his arrival. The governor sent him back to the king, who was very angry at his officiousness (Knighton, c. 2702; Capgrave, Chron. of Engl. p. 249; Otterbourne, p. 170; Chron. Angl. 1328–88, p. 386; Monk of Evesham, pp. 96–7). For a second time Pole made his escape. This time he went to Hull, whither, on 20 Dec., the king's sergeant-at-arms was despatched to arrest him ({sc|Devon}}, Issues of the Exchequer, p. 234). But Michael escaped a second time, sailing, if Froissart can be trusted, over the North Sea and along the coasts of Friesland, and ultimately landing at Dordrecht (Froissart, xii. 286, ed. Kervyn de Lettenhove). Anyhow, he ultimately found his way to Paris. In May 1389 Richard suddenly took over the government; but he made no attempt to help Pole, who died at Paris on 5 Sept. 1389 (Monk of Evesham, p. 113). The chroniclers exhaust their powers of abuse in rejoicing over his death. The popular poets were not less vehement in their reproaches (Gower, Political Poems, i. 421, Rolls Ser.)

By his wife, Catherine Wingfield, Suffolk left three sons: Michael de la Pole, second earl of Suffolk [q. v.], Thomas and Richard (Foss, ii. 76.) He left a daughter Anne, who married Gerard de l'Isle (Dugdale, Baronage, ii. 185).

Besides his building operations in Suffolk, Pole did not neglect his original home. He completed his father's foundation at Hull [see Pole, William de la, d. 1366]. In 1377 he procured royal license to change his father's plan and establish a small Carthusian monastery, with hospitals for men and women attached. The charter of foundation, by ‘Michael de la Pole, lord of Wingfield,’ is dated 18 Feb. 1379, and printed in the ‘Monasticon’ (vi. 20–1, cf. vi. 781 for Pole's hospital). Pole also built at Hull, for his own use, ‘a goodly house of brick, like a palace, with fair orchards and gardens,’ opposite the west end of St. Mary's Church. He built three other houses in Hull, each with a brick tower, like the palace of an Italian civic noble. He also built a fine house in London, near the Thames.

[The English chroniclers give a prejudiced account of Suffolk. The most important of them is Chronicon Angliæ, 1328–88, ed. Thompson, Rolls Ser., which is copied by Walsingham, Hist. Anglicana, Rolls Ser., and the Monk of Evesham, ed. Hearne. Otterbourne, ed. Hearne, Knighton in Twysden's Decem Scriptores, Continuation of the Eulogium Historiarum, Capgrave's Chronicle of England are also useful. Less trustworthy are Froissart's scattered notices, vols. vii. viii. xi. xii. ed. Kervyn de Lettenhove, vols. vii. and viii. ed. Luce. Rolls of Parliament, vol. iii., Rymer's Fœdera, vols. iii. and iv. Record edit. and vol. vii. orig. edit., contain the chief documentary evidence; Doyle's Official Baronage, iii. 433–4; G. E. C[okayne's] Complete Peerage, iii. 43. The best biographies are in Dugdale's Baronage, ii. 181–5, and Foss's Judges of England, iv. 70–6. That in Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors, i. 248–51, is valueless. Stubbs's Const. Hist. vol. ii., Wallon's Richard II, and Pauli's Geschichte von England, vol. iv. are the best authorities for the period.]

T. F. T.

POLE, MICHAEL de la, second Earl of Suffolk (1361?–1415), was eldest son of Michael de la Pole, earl of Suffolk [q. v.], and was born about 1361. He was knighted by Richard II on 15 July 1377 (Fœdera, iv. 79, Record edit.). On 30 April 1386 he is mentioned as captain of men-at-arms for Calais, of which town his uncle, Sir Edmund de la Pole, was then captain. In the following year the Earl of Suffolk was disgraced, and, owing to his subsequent condemnation, his son did not succeed to the earldom at his death in 1389. Before September 1385 (cf. Testamenta Vetusta, p. 119) Pole had married Catherine Stafford, daughter of Hugh, earl of Stafford, and in 1391 obtained for his support a grant of 50l. a year from the customs of Hull. On 23 Sept. 1391 he had letters of attorney during his intended absence on the crusade in Prussia, being then styled Sir Michael de la Pole (Fœdera, vii. 706, orig. edit.) In