Pole, Ralph (DNB00)

POLE or DE LA POLE, RALPH (fl. 1452), judge, was the eldest of three sons of Peter De la Pole of Radborne, near Derby, and knight of the shire for Derbyshire in 1400–1. Foss wrongly makes him a younger son of Thomas Pole or Poole of Poole Hall in Wirral or Wirrell, who did not marry until 1425. The De la Poles were a Derbyshire and Staffordshire family seated at Hartington and Newborough, who for three generations had married heiresses in those counties. Pole's father acquired the Radborne estate, which had belonged to Sir John Chandos [q. v.], through his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Lawton and Alianore, one of Chandos's sisters and ultimate heir.

Pole became serjeant-at-law in the Michaelmas term of 1442, and a justice of the king's bench on 3 July 1452, and occurs in the latter capacity until Michaelmas 1459. He was probably the Radulphus de la Pole appointed one of the Derbyshire commissioners to raise money for the defence of Calais in May 1455, and he presided with Justice Bingham at the York assizes in 1457, when the Nevilles got the Percys muleted in a huge fine.

His altar-tomb, on the slab of which are engraved the figures of the judge and his wife and a fragment of inscription, remains in the north aisle of Radborne church. By his wife Joan, daughter of Sir Thomas Grosvenor of Hulme, co. Chester, Pole, according to Lysons, had three sons: Ralph, who married the heiress of Motton, John and Henry. Pole's descendants in direct male line held Radborne until the death of German Pole in 1683, when it passed to a younger branch, now represented by Mr. Chandos-Pole.

[Foss's Judges of England; Proceedings and Ordinances of the Privy Council, ed. Nicolas, vi. 243; Topographer and Genealogist, i. 176; Whethamstede's Registrum, Rolls Ser. i. 206, 208, 303; Lysons's Magna Britannia, vol. v. pp. xciv–v, 91, 232; Ormerod's Cheshire, ii. 423, iii. 351; Newcome's Hist. of St. Albans, p. 361; Burke's Landed Gentry; Official Returns of Members of Parliament, 1878.]

J. T-t.