Michael de la Pole, 2nd Earl of Suffolk

Michael de la Pole, 3rd Earl of Suffolk
William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk
Sir Alexander de la Pole
Sir John de la Pole
Sir Thomas de la Pole
Katherine de la Pole
Isabel de la Pole

Michael de la Pole, 2nd Earl of Suffolk (1367 – 17 September 1415), an English nobleman, supported Henry IV (reigned 1399-1413) against Richard II (reigned 1377-1399). He died during the Siege of Harfleur in 1415. He was a son of Michael de la Pole, 1st Earl of Suffolk and Katherine Wingfield, daughter of Sir John Wingfield.

His father fled abroad amid accusations of treason during the Merciless Parliament in 1388, forfeiting the title of Earl of Suffolk and the family estates. Over the next decade the younger Michael de la Pole made vigorous attempts to recover these lands, and obtained most of them piecemeal between 1389 and 1392, following his father’s death. However, his close association with the Lords Appellant, particularly the Earl of Warwick and the Duke of Gloucester prejudiced Richard II against him. He finally obtained the restoration of the earldom in January 1398.

While he obeyed the summons of the Duke of York to defend the kingdom against Henry Bolingbroke in July 1399, Suffolk did not object to the disbandment of York’s army and consented to the deposition of Richard II in the summer of 1399. While the first Parliament of Henry IV technically upheld the forfeitures of the Merciless Parliament, Henry IV immediately restored de la Pole’s estates and title in recognition of his support. However, he would spend the remainder of his life trying to obtain possession of the remaining estates which had not been restored.

He played a relatively small role in national politics, although he regularly attended Parliament. He took part in the campaign in Scotland in 1400, in naval operations around 1405, and served as the senior English diplomat at the Council of Pisa (1409). Suffolk also acted as a lieutenant of the Duke of Clarence during his campaign of 1412–1413. However, he devoted most of his energies to re-establishing de la Pole influence in East Anglia. He took the role of a justice of the peace in Norfolk and Suffolk from 1399, and assembled a considerable following among the local gentry. He completed his father’s building plans at Wingfield, Suffolk and enlarged the local church.

Suffolk brought 40 men-at-arms and 120 archers with him on the 1415 campaign of Henry V in France. He died of dysentery at Harfleur, and was succeeded by his eldest son Michael, who later died at Agincourt.

Michael married Katherine de Stafford, daughter of Hugh de Stafford, 2nd Earl of Stafford. They were parents to at least eight children: