|John de la Pole, 1st Earl of Lincoln|
16 June 1487|
East Stoke, Nottinghamshire
|Children||Edward de la Pole|
|Relatives||Edmund de la Pole, 3rd Duke of Suffolk, Richard de la Pole|
John de la Pole, 1st Earl of Lincoln (1462/1464 – 16 June 1487) was a leading figure in the Yorkist aristocracy during the Wars of the Roses. He was de facto heir to the thone under the reign of his uncle Richard III of England, following the attainter that excluded Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick.
After the death of Richard, de la Pole reconciled with the new Tudor regime, but two years later he organised a major Yorkist rebellion. He sought to place Lambert Simnel on the throne, claiming that Simnel was in fact Edward, Earl of Warwick. Whether or not de la Pole intended to take the throne for himself if he were successful is not known, but has been widely suspected by historians. He was defeated and killed at the Battle of Stoke in 1487.
Early life[edit | edit source]
John de la Pole was the eldest son of John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk and Elizabeth of York, Duchess of Suffolk. His mother was the sixth child and third daughter born to Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville. He was thus the nephew of the Yorkist kings Edward IV of England and his successor Richard III of England.
John's uncle Edward IV made him Earl of Lincoln in 1467.
Heir to the throne[edit | edit source]
After King Edward's death, de la Pole became a firm supporter of his uncle Richard III. He was given revenues of about 500 pounds a year, and was appointed president of the Council of the North. After the death of Richard's son and heir, Edward of Middleham, he was appointed to replace him as the king's lieutenant in Ireland, though this was a nominal position as the government of Ireland was locally administered by Gerald FitzGerald, 8th Earl of Kildare.
During the last year of Richard's reign, Lincoln seems to have been designated heir to the throne, though he was never publicly proclaimed as such. Edward, Earl of Warwick would have had a superior claim but was attainted under the provisions of the Titulus Regius, the act by which Richard had seized the throne. Richard made important land grants to Lincoln and, significantly, granted him the revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall, traditionally given to the heir.
Rebellion[edit | edit source]
After Richard's defeat at the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485, Lincoln was reconciled with the new king, Henry VII, but soon became impatient with the new rule. A clergyman named Symonds introduced him to his protegé, Lambert Simnel, who bore a resemblance to Edward, Earl of Warwick. The real Edward had been imprisoned in the Tower of London by King Henry. Lincoln decided to promote Edward as the "true" Yorkist heir, while using Simnel to represent him, thus allowing Lincoln to become the actual leader of the Yorkists. Lincoln travelled to Burgundy to persuade his aunt Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy to finance a military expedition to take the throne from Henry. While nominally supporting Simnel, "in private, he probably saw his own accession as the ultimate goal of the enterprise". With an army of mercenaries, Lincoln sailed to Ireland, where he was supported by Gerald FitzGerald, Earl of Kildare, who was keen to see a return of Yorkist rule in England. This was mainly because the Yorkist kings had allowed Irish self-government with FitzGerald as almost the "uncrowned king of Ireland". Simnel was proclaimed king in Ireland as "Edward VI".
With his army swelled by Irish recruits led by FitzGerld's brother Thomas FitzGerald of Laccagh, Lincoln landed at Piel Island in Lancashire and proceeded to march towards York, formerly a stronghold of Richard III's supporters. However, the town refused to surrender to Lincoln. The Yorkists secured a victory over a small Lancastrian force at Bramham moor, and Lincoln managed to avoid Henry's main northern forces, which moved away when they received news that York was under attack. This may have been a diversion planned by the Yorkists. Lincoln's army was, however, repeatedly harassed by Lancastrian cavalry under Lord Scales. The Yorkists then crossed the river Trent and set up their position at the top of a hill near the village of East Stoke. Soon the vanguard of the main Lancastrian army under John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford caught up with them. In the subsequent Battle of Stoke Field on 16 June 1487, the Yorkist army was conclusively defeated. Lincoln himself was killed in the battle along with most of the other Yorkist leaders with him. In November 1487, he was posthumously attainted.
His death did not end the de la Pole claim to the throne. His younger brother Edmund de la Pole, 3rd Duke of Suffolk became the leading Yorkist claimant to the throne until his execution by orders of Henry VIII of England in 1513. Their younger brother Richard de la Pole continued their claim until his own death at the Battle of Pavia (24 February 1525).
Marriage and issue[edit | edit source]
Lincoln married, perhaps by the late 1470s, Margaret FitzAlan, daughter of Thomas FitzAlan, 17th Earl of Arundel, and Margaret Woodville, sister of Elizabeth Woodville, by whom he is said to have had a son, Edward de la Pole, who died young; however according to Horrox, there were no children of the marriage. In October 1524 Margaret's father, Thomas FitzAlan, bequeathed her a 'great ring with a turquoise'. She appears not to have remarried, and the date of her death is unknown.
Footnotes[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Cokayne, George Edward (1910). The Complete Peerage, edited by H.A. Doubleday. I. London: St. Catherine Press. pp. 249–50.
- Horrox, Rosemary (2004). Pole, John de la, earl of Lincoln (c.1460–1487). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/22449. Retrieved 24 July 2013. (subscription required) The first edition of this text is available as an article on Wikisource: "Pole, John de la (1464?-1487)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- Kendall, Paul Murray (1955). Richard the Third. New York: Norton. ISBN 0-393-00785-5.
- Ross, Charles (1981). Richard III. Methuen. ISBN 0-413-29530-3.
Ancestors[edit | edit source]
John de la Pole, 1st Earl of Lincoln
House of YorkBorn: c. 1462 1487
Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick
|Heir to the English Throne
as heir presumptive
March, 1485 - 22 August 1485
Title next held byArthur, Prince of Wales
|Peerage of England|
Vacant, last held by Henry of Grosmont
|Earl of Lincoln
1467 - 1487
Vacant, next held by Henry Brandon
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