Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 46.djvu/55

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


shire, was buried in the Trinity Chapel at Hull. His will is printed in ‘Testamenta Eboracensia,’ i. 7–9. By his wife Joan he had two sons, William and John, and three daughters: Joan, wife of Ralph Basset of Weldon, Northamptonshire; Elizabeth, a nun; and Margaret. His son William (1316–1366), who is carefully to be distinguished from his uncle, married Margaret, daughter of Edmund Peverel, and held property at Brington and Ashby, Northamptonshire. He died on 26 June 1366, leaving a son John, who married Joan, daughter of John, lord Cobham; by her he was father of Joan, baroness Cobham and wife of Sir John Oldcastle [q. v.] (Napier, Hist. Notices of Swyncombe and Ewelme, pp. 262–70). The arms of this branch of the family were azure, two bars wavy, or.

Sir William de la Pole, the baron of the exchequer, first learnt the business of a merchant at Ravenser Odd, but afterwards moved to Hull, and is mentioned as a merchant of that town in 1319 and 1322 (Cal. Close Rolls, Edward II, 1318–23, pp. 136–551). He was associated with his elder brother as gauger of wines in 1327, and in supplying money for the royal service. During the regency of Mortimer and Isabella they advanced large sums to the government: 4,000l. on 12 July 1327 for the abortive Scots campaign, and 2,000l. six weeks later as wages for the Netherland mercenaries, who had landed to effect Edward II's deposition. As repayment they received the issues of customs in London and other principal ports. They also received a grant of the manor of Myton in Yorkshire for their good services in 1330, and on 2 Aug. were appointed joint wardens of Hull. On the fall of Mortimer their position was endangered, and they lost the office of gaugers of wine. But they kept aloof from politics, and their wealth insured their pardon. On 15 July 1331 William de la Pole, then described as the king's yeoman and butler, was granted repayment for his advances to Queen Philippa out of the customs of Hull (Cal. Patent Rolls, Edward III, p. 107). In 1332 he entertained the king at Hull, and obtained from Edward the title of mayor for the chief magistrate of the town, being himself the first to fill the office, which he retained for four years till 1335. Pole represented Hull in the parliaments of March 1332, September 1334, May and September 1336, and February 1338 (Return of Members of Parliament). During 1333 and the two following years he was employed on various negotiations with Flanders, with which, as a wool merchant, he had commercial relations (Fœdera, ii. 862, 872, 875, 907–908; Cal. Patent Rolls, Edward III, 1330–4, p. 479).

On 29 Sept. 1335 he was appointed custos of the tables of exchange, established to prevent the export of gold and silver, and receiver of the old and new customs of Hull and Boston. In consideration of the latter appointment he undertook to pay the expenses of the royal household at 10l. a day (Abbrev. Rot. Orig. ii. 97, 100; Fœdera, ii. 922). In 1337 he was charged to build a galley for the king at Hull, and on 1 Sept. of this year was associated with Reginald de Conduit in purchasing wool to be sent abroad for the king (ib. ii. 958, 988). On 14 Nov. 1338 Edward gave him an acknowledgment for 11,000l. advanced, and for 7,500l. for which he had become bound; and this same year, in consideration of other moneys advanced by Pole, granted him various manors in Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire, including the lordship of Holderness, together with the rank of knight-banneret, the reversion of one thousand marks in rent in France when the king recovered his rights there, and the houses in Lombard Street, London, which had belonged to the ‘Societas Bardorum’ (ib. ii. 1065; Abbrev. Rot. Orig. ii. 123, 128, 142; Chron. de Melsa, iii. 48).

The ‘Chronicle of Meaux’ also states that Pole's appointment as baron of the exchequer was in reward for the same services. The date of his appointment as second baron was 26 Sept. 1339, and as one of the judges he was present in the parliaments of October 1339 and April 1340 (Rolls of Parliament, ii. 103, 112b). He was a commissioner of array for Yorkshire in 1339. During this and the following year he was much employed by the king in commercial and financial business. In 1339 he was a hostage for the payment of the king's expenses at Antwerp (Knighton, col. 2573). In 1340 he undertook to obtain wool for the king's aid, and to advance three thousand marks (Rolls of Parliament, ii. 110 a, 118 b, 121 b; Fœdera, ii. 1072, 1085). But his conduct of affairs did not satisfy the king, and when Edward returned in haste to London on 30 Nov. 1340, William de la Pole, his brother Richard, and Sir John de Pulteney [q. v.] were among the merchants who were arrested (Murimuth, p. 117). Pole's lands were taken into the king's hands and he was for a short time imprisoned at Devizes Castle (Aungier, French Chron. of London, pp. 84–5, Camden Soc.; Chron. de Melsa, iii. 48). The particular charge against Pole arose out of his commission with Reginald de Conduit three years before; but though judgment was