1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Suffolk, Earls and Dukes of
SUFFOLK, EARLS AND DUKES OF. These English titles were borne in turn by the families of Ufford, Pole, Brandon, Grey and Howard. A certain holder of land in Suffolk, named John de Peyton, had a younger son Robert, who acquired the lordship of Ufford in that county and was known as Robert de Ufford. He held an important place in the government of Ireland under Edward I. and died in 1298; his son Robert (1279–1316) was created Baron Ufford by a writ of summons to parliament in 1309, and increased his possessions by marriage with Cicely, daughter and heiress of Robert de Valoines. This Robert had several sons, one of whom was Sir Ralph de Ufford (d. 1346), justiciar of Ireland, who married Maud, widow of William de Burgh, earl of Ulster, and daughter of Henry Plantagenet, earl of Lancaster. Robert’s eldest surviving son, another Robert (c. 1298–1369), was an associate of the young king Edward III., and was one of the nobles who arrested Roger Mortimer in 1330. In 1337 he was created earl of Suffolk. The earl was employed by Edward III. on high military and diplomatic duties and was present at the battles of Creçy and Poitiers. His son William, the 2nd earl (c. 1339–1382), held important appointments under Edward III. and Richard II. He played a leading part in the suppression of the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381, but in the same year he supported the popular party in parliament in the attack on the misgovernment of Richard II. Although twice married he left no sons, and his earldom became extinct, his extensive estates reverting to the Crown.
In 1385 the earldom of Suffolk and the lands of the Uffords were granted by Richard II. to his friend Michael Pole (c. 1330–1389), a son of Sir William atte Pole, a baron of the exchequer and a merchant (see Pole Family). After an active public life as the trusted adviser of Richard II. Pole was dismissed from his office of chancellor, was impeached and sentenced to death, but escaped to France, where he died. His titles and estates were forfeited, but in 1399 the earldom of Suffolk and most of the estates were restored to his son Michael (c. 1361–1415). Michael, the 3rd earl (1394–1415), was killed at the battle of Agincourt, and the earldom passed to his brother William (1396–1450), who was created earl of Pembroke in 1443, marquess of Suffolk in 1444, and duke of Suffolk in 1448 (see Suffolk, William de la Pole, Duke of). The duke’s son, John, 2nd duke of Suffolk (1442–1491), married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard, duke of York, and sister of King Edward IV., by whom he had six sons. The eldest, John (c. 1464–1487), was created earl of Lincoln, and was named heir to the throne by Richard III. He was killed fighting against Henry VII. at the battle of Stoke, and was attainted. His brother Edmund (c. 1472–1513) should have succeeded his father in the dukedom in 1491, but he surrendered this to Henry VII. in return for some of the estates forfeited by the earl of Lincoln, and was known simply as earl of Suffolk. Having incurred the displeasure of the king, he left his own country in 1501 and sought help for an invasion of England. Consequently he was attainted in 1504 and was handed over in 1506 to Henry. He was kept in prison until 1513, when he was beheaded by Henry VIII. His brother Richard now called himself duke of Suffolk, and put forward a claim to the English crown. Known as the “white rose,” he lived abroad until 1525, when he was killed at the battle of Pavia.
In 1514 the title of duke of Suffolk was granted by Henry VIII. to his friend, Charles Brandon (see Suffolk, Charles Brandon, Duke of) and it was borne successively by his two sons, Henry and Charles, becoming extinct when Charles died in July 1551. In the same year it was revived in favour of Henry Grey, marquess of Dorset, who had married Frances, a daughter of the first Brandon duke. Grey, who became marquess of Dorset in 1530, was a prominent member of the reforming party during the reign of Edward VI. He took part in the attempt to make his daughter, Jane, queen of England in 1553, but as he quickly made his peace with Mary he was not seriously punished. In 1554, however, he took part in the rising headed by Sir Thomas Wyat; he was captured, tried for treason and beheaded in February 1554, when the dukedom again became extinct. In 1603 Thomas Howard, Lord Howard de Walden, son of Thomas Howard, 4th duke of Norfolk, was created earl of Suffolk, and the earldom has been held by his descendants to the present day (see Suffolk, Thomas Howard, 1st earl of).