John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln

POLE, JOHN de la, Earl of Lincoln (1464?–1487), born about 1464, was eldest son of John de la Pole, second duke of Suffolk [q. v.], by Elizabeth, sister to Edward IV. He was created Earl of Lincoln on 13 March 1466–7, and knight of the Bath on 18 April 1475, and attended Edward IV’s funeral in April 1483. Richard III seems to have secured him firmly to his party. He bore the orb at Richard’s coronation, 7 July 1483, and the same month he was made president of the council of the north (cf. Letters and Papers of Richard III and Henry VII, ed. Gairdner, i. 56). Richard’s son Edward died on 9 April 1484, and one of his offices, that of lord lieutenant of Ireland, was conferred upon the Earl of Lincoln on the following 21 Aug. He continued to hold this office for the rest of the reign, the duties being performed, or neglected, by the Earl of Kildare. It now became necessary for Richard III to find an heir to the throne. Edward, earl of Warwick (1475–1499) [q. v.], son of the Duke of Clarence, had a strong claim, and he was certainly allowed to take precedence of the Earl of Lincoln after the death of the Prince of Wales. But, on the other hand, Warwick was a mere boy, and if he had any claim to be heir, he had an equally valid claim to be king. Hence, after some deliberation, Lincoln was selected as the heir to the throne. Richard was very generous to him. He gave him the reversion to the estates of Lady Margaret Beaufort [q. v.], subject to the life interest of her third husband, Lord Stanley; and in the meantime he was to have a pension of 176l. a year. He was with Richard at Bosworth; but Henry VII had no wish to alienate his family, and Lincoln, after Richard’s defeat and death, took an oath with others in 1485 not to maintain felons. On 5 July 1486 he was appointed a justice of oyer and terminer. None the less he seems to have cherished the ambition to succeed Richard, and he was the real centre of the plot of Lambert Simnel. Suddenly he fled in the early part of 1487 to Brabant, and thence went to Ireland, where he joined Simnel’s army, and, crossing to England, was killed at the battle of Stoke on 16 June 1487. He was attainted. He had married, first, Margaret Fitzalan, daughter of Thomas, twelfth earl of Arundel; and, secondly, the daughter and heiress of Sir John Golafre, but left no children. His brothers Edmund and Richard are noticed separately.

[Doyle’s Official Baronage, ii. 379; Letters, &c., Richard III and Henry VII, ed. Gairdner, i. 6, &c.; Rot. Parl. vi. 288, 436, 474; Memorials of Henry VII, ed. Gairdner, pp. 50, 52, 139, 314 (Bernard Andreas in his ‘Douze Triomphes’ probably alludes to him under the name le Comte de Licaon); Materials for the Hist. of Hen. VII, i. 482; Cal. of the Patent Rolls of Richard III (Rep. Dep.-Keep. Publ. Records, 9th Rep. App. ii.; Busch’s England under the Tudors (Engl. transl.), i. 32–3; Gairdner’s Richard III; Ramsay’s Lancaster and York, ii. 453, 522, 523, 534, 545; Gairdner’s Henry VII; Burke’s Extinct and Dormant Peerage.]

Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 46
Pole, John de la (1464?-1487) by William Arthur Jobson Archbold

Leave a Reply