John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk

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John de la Pole
Duke of Suffolk
The Tomb of 2nd Duke of Suffolk.jpg
The Tomb of 2nd Duke of Suffolk and his wife in Wingfield Church
Duke of Suffolk
Reign 1463-1492
Born (1442-09-27)27 September 1442
Died 27 October 1492(1492-10-27) (aged 50)
Burial Wingfield, Suffolk
Spouse Lady Margaret Beaufort
(1450-1453; annulled)
Elizabeth of York
Father William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk
Mother Alice Chaucer
Arms of De la Pole: Azure, a fess between three leopard's faces or
Quartered arms of Sir John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, KG
St Mary the Virgin Church, Iffley, Oxfordshire, 15th-century stained glass of the arms of John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk (1442-1491/2), KG. Arms: Quarterly, 1st & 4th: Azure a fess between three leopard's faces or (de la Pole, (here shown with six leopard's faces)); 2nd & 3rd: Argent, a chief gules over all a lion rampant double queued or (Burghersh of Ewelme); Impaling the royal arms of England with label of three points argent, the arms of his 2nd wife Elizabeth of York. Crest: A Saracen's head gules, beard and hair gold, with a jewelled fillet about the brows

John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, KG (27 September 1442 – between 29 October 1491 and 27 October 1492), known as "the Trimming Duke". He was the son of William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk and Alice Chaucer, daughter of Thomas Chaucer, and a great-grandson of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer.


On 7 February 1450, when still a small child, he was married to the six-year-old Lady Margaret Beaufort, though the Papal dispensation to marry was not signed until 18 August 1450,[1] and later this marriage was annulled in February 1453.[2]

Richard, Duke of York had been a bitter enemy of John's father (executed in 1450), but John supported the House of York in the Wars of the Roses.

Sometime before February 1458, John married Elizabeth, the second surviving daughter of Richard of York and Cecily Neville. She was the sister of Edward IV and Richard III.[3] John was thus brother-in-law of two Kings of England.

The Dukedom of Suffolk had been forfeited when John's father was executed. The title was restored by Edward IV, and John was created Duke of Suffolk by Letters Patent on 23 March 1463.[4] He was Constable of Wallingford Castle and held the Honour of Wallingford. In 1472 he was made a Knight of the Garter and appointed High Steward of Oxford University. He was also sometime Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

He submitted to Henry VII after Bosworth Field. He served Henry loyally, even though three of his sons later rebelled.

He was buried at Wingfield, Suffolk.


He had eleven known children, all by Elizabeth:


  1. ^ Michael K. Jones, The King's Mother: Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, (Cambridge University Press, 1992), 37.
  2. ^ Ralph A. Griffiths, King and Country: England and Wales in the Fifteenth Century, (Hambledon Press, 1991), 91.
  3. ^ Stanley B. Chrimes, Henry VII, (Yale University Press, 1999), 13.
  4. ^ Handbook of British Chronology, ed. E. B. Pryde, D. E. Greenway, (Cambridge University Press, 2003), 484.
  5. ^ "William de la Pole". Retrieved 2008-03-21. 


  • Burke's General Armorie, London, 1844, gives the Duke's arms as: "Az. a fesse between three leopards or."
  • Burke, John, and John Bernard, The Royal Families of England, Scotland, and Wales, with their Descendants, Sovereigns and Subjects, London, 1851, vol. 2, pedigrees CLXIX and CCI.
  • Burke, Sir Bernard, Ulster King of Arms, Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire, London, 1883, p. 441.
  • Richardson, Douglas, Plantagenet Ancestry, Baltimore, Md., 2004, p. 690.
  • Richardson, Douglas, Magna Carta Ancestry, Baltimore, Md., 2005, p. 268-9.
Peerage of England
Preceded by
William de la Pole
Duke of Suffolk Succeeded by
Edmund de la Pole