a night to shrive him. Then, on 2 May, he was drawn out into a little boat, and a knave of Ireland, ‘one of the lewdest men on board,’ took a rusty sword and smote off his head with half a dozen strokes. Some accounts alleged that Suffolk was given a sort of mock trial, and it was also stated that he spent his last hours in writing to the king (ib. i. 124–127; Three Fifteenth-Century Chronicles, p. 66; Davies, English Chronicle, pp. 68–9). His body was taken to land, and thrown upon the beach near Dover, whence, by Henry's orders, it was removed for burial at Wingfield (Giles, Chron. p. 38). The circumstances of Suffolk's murder must remain somewhat of a mystery. But the Nicholas was a royal ship, and probably the crime was instigated by persons of influence, possibly by Richard of York, or some of his supporters (cf. Ramsay, ii. 121; cf. Paston Letters, i. 125; Gascoigne, p. 7). It is sometimes said that Suffolk was attainted after his death. But the petition of the commons to this effect in November 1451 was refused by the king (Rolls of Parliament, v. 226).
The general opinion of the time regarded Suffolk's murder as the worthy end of a traitor (Croyland Chron. p. 525). Public indignation expressed itself in a host of satirical verses (Political Poems and Songs, ii. 222–34). In these verses all the formal charges of the impeachment are repeated, and the hatred for Suffolk continued as a popular tradition; it inspired one of William Baldwin's contributions to the ‘Mirror for Magistrates,’ and two of Drayton's ‘Heroical Epistles.’ By later writers Suffolk is even charged with having been the paramour of Queen Margaret (cf. Hall, p. 219; Holinshed, iii. 220; Drayton, Heroical Epistles). The charge is absurd and baseless, but has gained currency from its adoption by Shakespeare (Henry VI, pt. ii. act v. sc. 2). But the popular verdict on Suffolk's private and public character is not to be accepted without serious qualification. The very indictment of the commons ‘proves that nothing tangible could be adduced against him’ (Ramsay, ii. 117). Lingard (Hist. England, v. 179) well says of his farewell to his son that it is ‘difficult to believe that the writer could have been either a false subject or a bad man’ (see also Gairdner, Paston Letters, vol. i. p. xlvii). The same spirit of unaffected piety and simple loyalty which inspires this letter appears in Suffolk's speech in parliament on 22 Jan. 1450. The two documents reveal their author as a man who had made it the rule of his life to fear God and honour the king. Suffolk may have been headstrong and overbearing, but his patriotism and sincerity appear beyond question. The policy of peace which he adopted and endeavoured to carry through was a just and sensible one. It was not a policy which would have appealed to selfish motives. Whatever its ultimate wisdom, it was sure to incur immediate odium. Suffolk himself foresaw and endeavoured to forestall the dangers before he embarked on his embassy in February 1444; his conduct at that time shows that he was ‘throughout open and straightforward in his behaviour’ (Stubbs).
Suffolk's tomb, with a stone effigy, still exists in his collegiate church at Wingfield. It is figured in Napier's ‘History of Swyncombe and Ewelme’ (plates before p. 81). Walpole gave an engraving of a picture in his possession, representing the marriage of Henry VI, one of the figures in which he takes for Suffolk (Anecdotes of Painting, i. 34, ed. 1762). Suffolk's will, dated 17 Jan. 1448, is given in Kennett's ‘Parochial Antiquities,’ ii. 376, and in Napier's ‘History of Swyncombe and Ewelme,’ p. 82. His seals and autograph are figured in the latter work (p. 89), and his badge—the ape's clog—in Doyle's ‘Official Baronage.’ Suffolk was the founder of a hospital at Ewelme, Oxfordshire, in 1437. This charity still continues, the mastership having been long annexed to the regius professorship of medicine at Oxford. He also refounded another hospital at Donnington, Berkshire, in 1448, and intended to refound Snape Priory in Suffolk (Napier, pp. 54, 63; Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum, iv. 557, vi. 715–17; Archæologia, xliv. 464).
Suffolk's wife was Alice, daughter of Thomas Chaucer [q. v.] of Ewelme. She was therefore in all likelihood a granddaughter of the poet, and through her grandmother, Philippa Roet, a cousin of the Beauforts. As a child she had married Sir John Philip or Phelip (d. 1415), and afterwards was second wife of Thomas de Montacute, fourth earl of Salisbury [q. v.] Her license to marry Suffolk was granted on 11 Nov. 1430 (Napier, p. 66). Robes were provided for Alice, countess of Suffolk, as a lady of the Garter on 21 May 1432 (Nicolas, Proc. Privy Council, iv. 116). After her husband's death she was, during Jack Cade's rebellion, indicted for treason at the Guildhall (Worcester ). The charge was more formally repeated in the parliament of November 1451 (ib. ; Rolls of Parliament, v. 216). Subsequently Alice made her peace with the Duke of York and his party, her stepdaughter by her second husband being the mother of Warwick ‘the kingmaker.’ She was specially excepted from