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William Pole



[Source: North Country Wills, published by The Surtees Society]


William de la Pole wrote his will on January 17, 1450, in the expectation that he would be facing charges of treason connected to the disastrous reversals in France that had recently befallen England and for which much
of the blame fell on Suffolk. His expectations proved correct, and he was imprisoned in the Tower on January 28, 1450. Banished by Henry VI in an attempt to save him from the wrath of the people, he took ship overseas but was murdered en route on May 2, 1450.




In the name of ye Fader Son & Holy Goost, oon God in three persones. Be it knowen to al Crysten men that these presentez shal hereafter here or see, that y, William de la pole, Due, Marques, and Erle of Suffolk, in good hele of my body and in my good mynde ye xvij day of Janyner, the xxvij yere of kynge Henry the vj'0 (1448-9), and of oure lord m'ccccxlviij, make my testament in the wyse that folweth. First y bequethe my soule to ye hieghnesse and mercy of Hym that made it and that so mervousely bought it with his preciouse blode, and my wretched body to be beryed in my Charterhouse at Hulle, where y wol my ymage and stone be made and the ymage of my best beloved wyf by me, she to be there with me yf she lust, my said sepulture to be made by her discretion in ye said Charterhouse where she shal thinke best, in caas be yat in my dayes it be not made nor begonne; desiringe, yf it may, to lye so as the masses that y have perpetuelly founded there for my said best beloved wyf and me may be daily songen over me. And also ye day of my funeraIx, the day of my berieng, that ye charge thereof be bysette upon pore creatures to pray for me, and in no pompes nor pryile of ye world. Also y wol yat my londes and goodes be disposed after that that y have disposed them in my last wille of ye date of these presentez, and only ordeyne my said best beloved wyfe my sole executrice, beseching her at ye reverence of God to take ye charge upon her for the wele of my soule, for above al the erthe my singuler trust is moost in her, and y wol for her ease, yf she wol and elles nought, that she may take unto her such on personne as she lust to name, to helpe her in yexecution yerof for her ease, to laboure under her as she wold commande hym. And last of al with the blessing of God and of me, as hertely as y can yeve it to my dere and trew son, y bequethe betwene hym and his moder love and al good accorde and yeve hym her hoolly, and for a remembraunce my gret balays to my said son. Writen and singned with myn hande and name, and sealed with ye sealle of myn armez, ye xvij day of Janyuere ye regne of kyng Henry ye Sixte, and ye yere of oure Lord abovesaid.


[3 June, 1450. Commission issued to Robert Wode, bachelor of law, rector of Ewelme, and Robert Takyll, M.A., rector of Merssh, to prove the above will.


Certificate of such proof in Ewelme Parish Church, 23 June, and grant of administration to Alice, the relict and executrix named, under the seal of John Stokes, archdeacon of Ely, dated 30 June, 1450.]





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