Sir Michael de la Pole Knt., 2nd Earl of Suffolk, Lord de la Pole

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Sir Michael de la Pole Knt., 2nd Earl of Suffolk, Lord de la Pole, son of Michael de la Pole, 1st Earl of Suffolk and Katherine Wingfield, was born about 1367.1,2 He died of dysentery at the seige of Harfleur, Normandy, France, 18 September 1415.3,2 Both he and his wife were buried at Wingfield, Suffolk, England.3

Michael married Katherine Stafford, daughter of Sir Hugh de Stafford, K.G., 2nd Earl of Stafford, 3rd Lord Stafford, Lord Audley and Philippe de Beauchamp, before 23 November 1383.1,2

Sir Michael de la Pole Knt., 2nd Earl of Suffolk, Lord de la Pole was knighted in 1377, had livery of his lands in 1389, restored as earl in 1398 and 1399. He was described as "a knight of the most excellent and gracious reputation," and represented England at the Council of Pisa in April 1409. In the Agincourt campaign, he led a contingent of two knights, 36 men-at-amrs, and 120 archers before he was struck down by the flux at the siege of Harfleur.

The siege of Harfleur, Normandy, France began 18 August 1415 and ended on 22 September when Harfleur surrendered to the English.

On Tuesday 13 August, 1415 Henry V of England landed at Chef-en-Caux in the Seine estuary. Then he attacked Harfleur with 2000 men of arms and 6000 bowmen. The garrison of 100 men was reinforced by two experienced knights, the Sieur d-Estouteville and the Sieur de Gaucourt, who arrived with a further 300 men-at-arms and took command.

On the 18 August, Thomas of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Clarence, led part of the army to set-up camp on the far, east side of the town. This meant that the town was invested and a French relief convoy, bearing supplies of guns, powder, arrows and crossbows was captured.

Details of the siege are not well known but seem to have followed the standard pattern of siege warfare in the Late Middle Ages. After the walls had been seriously damaged by the twelve great guns in the English siege train, Henry planned a general assault one month to the day that the town had been enveloped. But the town's commanders asked for a parley and terms were agreed that if the French army did not arrive before the 23nd then the town would surrender to the English. Harfleur yielded to the invaders on September 22. The knights were released on parole to gather ransom, and the town's people who were prepared to swear allegiance to Henry were allowed to remain, while the rest were ordered to depart.

During the siege the English army had been hard hit by dysentery which continued to affect them after the siege ended. Henry left a small garrison in the town and on Monday, 8 October, set out with the rest of his army to go to Calais. He searched for an undefended or weakly defended bridge or ford on the Somme river hoping to slip past the French army but although he crossed the Somme he failed to evade the French army and was forced to fight the Battle of Agincourt.4,2,5

Family

Katherine Stafford d. 8 Apr 1419
Children

Citations

  1. [S1947] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, Five vols. (Salt Lake City, Utah: s.p., 2013), 2:416 (de la Pole 9), further cited as Richardson, Royal Ancestry.
  2. [S1972] Neil D. Thompson and Charles M. Hansen, The Ancestry of Charles II, King of England: A Medieval Heritage [Twelve Generations] (Saline, Michigan: McNaughton & Gunn, 2012), #1014, further cited as Thompson and Hansen, The Ancestry of Charles II.
  3. [S1947] Richardson, Royal Ancestry, 2:417 (de la Pole 9).
  4. [S732] Siege of Harfleur, online http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Seige+of+Harfleur
  5. [S1947] Richardson, Royal Ancestry, 2:416-7 (de la Pole 9).
  6. [S1972] Thompson and Hansen, The Ancestry of Charles II, #507.