The Plantagenet-De La Pole-Mullenax Royal Connection
The Plantagenet and De La Pole lines, which eventually connect with our Mullenax Irish branch, has a lengthy pedigree, and includes Welsh, French, English, and Irish lineages:
Note about Welsh names: “Ap” is used to identify a man as “son of” the surname, so Caradog was the son of Lles. Likewise, Caradog’s son Gwrydr is called Gwrydr Ap Caradog. For women, the term used for daughter is “Verch” or “Ferch,” so Gwrydr’s wife Morfydd is the daughter of Owain Ynyr.
Note on Ddu or Dhu: This is a nickname meaning ‘black’ or ‘dark’ and referred to someone either with dark hair or complexion.
Note on dates: For centuries, people of Europe paid particular attention to the date of death while being unconcerned about details of birth (except to verify legitimacy in the case of nobles and royals). The reason for this is simple: to Christians, the day a person dies and goes home to God is far more important than when s/he was born. The focus was on one’s spiritual journey, not the vagaries of birth. We begin with my 31st great-grandfather:
31. CARADOG Ap LLES was born about 874, in Montgomeryshire, Wales, son of 32. LLES LLAWDDEOG Ap CEIDO, brother of Gwynnog Farfsych Ap Lles. He married Unknown in Wales. They had one child during their marriage. He died in 1000 in Picardie, France, at the impressive age of 100. This is our oldest ancestor in this line and he and his family are shrouded in myth and mystery. Caradog’s son was:
30. KING GWRYDR Ap CARADOG, born about 920-5 in Gwent, Glamorgan, Powys, Montgomeryshire, Wales and died 1038 in Crickpowell, Wales. He married 30a. MORFYDD (Ddu) Verch (OWAIN) YNYR about 933, in Wales. She was the daughter of 31. Ynyr ‘Fychan’ Ap Meurig of Gwent and 31a. Joyce De Baladon. She died 9 Jan 1019 in Wales. They had three children during their marriage: Neiniad Ap Gwaethfoed (another form of Gwrydr) died 1027, Cydrych Ap Gwaithfoed born 1019, and
29.Gwaithfoed Ap Gwynnan (Gwrydr), Lord of Powys born 933-940 in Llangynyw, Montgomeryshire, Wales, died 1038 Wales. He married 29a. Morfydd Verch Ynyr (born 925 in Gwent, Glamorgan, Wales; died 9 Jan 1019 in Powys Castle, Montgomeryshire, Wales. They also had 3 sons, 2 named for his brothers and one for himself: Neiniad Gwaethfoed (1000-1057), Cydrych Ap Gwaithfoed (1019-1076), and
28.Gwerystan Ap Gwaithfoed, Lord of Cibwyr in Gwent born about 954-8 in Powys, Wales and died in 1005 in Wales. When GWERYSTAN Ap GWAITHFOED was born, his father, GWAITHFOED, was 25 and his mother, MORFYDD, was 33. He married 28a. NEST Verch CADELL and they had six children together between 976 and 1005. Nest Verch Cadell was born in 960 in Powys and died after 1005, leaving children: Nest Verch Gwerystan (976-1005), Elinor Verch Gwerystan (987-1002), Letitia Nest Ferch Gwerystan (1005-1041), Annesta Verch Gwerystan (1004-1063), and
27. Cynfyn Ap Gwerystan, (Interim) King of Powys born 978 in Powys and died 1023 in Powys. He married 27a. Angharad Verch Maredydd (born 982 in Deheubarth, Wales, died 1058 in Rhuddlan, Wales) and they had 5 children: Angharad Verch Cynfyn (1000-1094), Caradoc Ap Cynfyn (1018-), Iwerydd Verch Cynfyn (1024-1048), Gwenwyn Verch Cynfyn (1025-), and
26. Bleddyn Ap Cynfyn, King of Gwynedd, born 1025 in Montgomeryshire, Wales, died 1075 in Powys Castle, Welshpool, Montgomeryshire, Wales. He married 26a. Haer Verch Cynyllyn born in 1025 in Gest, Dolbenmaen, Caernarvonshire, Wales, and died 1050 in Caernarvonshire. She was the daughter of 27. Cynyllyn Ap Blaidd, Lord of Gestyn. They had 8 children: Cadwgan Nannau Ap Bleddyn (1050-1112), Rhirid Ap Bleddyn (1052-1088), Gwladys Cynfyn (1054-), Gwenllian Verch Bleddyn (1056-), Efa Verch Bleddyn (1058-), Hunydd Verch Bleddyn (1067-), Mael Ap Bleddyn (1067-), and
25. Maredudd Ap Bleddyn, Prince of Powys born 1047 in Montgomeryshire and died 9 Feb 1132 in Powys. He married Cristin Verch Bledrus (1062-) and had Cadwgon Ap Maredudd (1081-1163) and Madoc Madog (1091-1160). He then married 25a. Hunydd Verch Einudd (born 1063 in Dyffryn Clwyd, Denbighshire, Wales, died 1132), daughter of 26. Einudd Ap Morien, Lord of Duffryn & 26a. Efa (Eva) Verch Llywelyn and they had 3 children: Iorwerth Ap Maredudd (1080-1109), Madog Ap Maredudd (1091-1160), and
24. Gruffudd (Griffyd, Gruffydd) Ap Maredudd born 1093 and died 1128, both in Montgomeryshire. He married 24a. Gwerful Verch Gwrgeneu born 1097 in Radnorshire, Wales, daughter of 25. Gwrgeneu Ap Hywel (1082-1125) & 25a. Margred Verch Rhys (1075-1130). She died 7 March 1137 at Powys Castle. and they had 3 children: Margred Verch Gruffudd (1119-), Rhird Ap Gruffudd (1120-), and
[Somewhere in these next generations, the family surname became Atte Pool or De La Pole, for reasons yet to surface. Still looking! It is striking that the new surname appears at about the same time that this family begins marrying women from England. I suspect that the Welsh family began to settle on one surname rather than the confusing “ap” or “verch” someone, following the British custom of identification.]
23. Owain Ap Gruffudd (Griffyd) born 1117 in Montgomeryshire, Wales, died 1197 in Stratta Marcella, Montgomeryshire. He married 23a. Gwenllian Verch Owain born 1130, died 1197, and they had 15 children, of whom the family connection is 22. Gwenwynwyn Ap Owain, born 1151 in Montgomeryshire, Wales and died 1216. He married 22a. Margred Corbet (born 1170 in Cause, Shropshire, England, died in Wales) and they had Rhys Gryg Gwenwynwyn (?-1253), Madog Ap Gwenwynwyn (1183-1270), Jane Verch Gwenwynwyn (1210-1255), and
Gruffudd Ap Gwenwynwyn (De La Pole) born 1200 in Montgomeryshire, Wales and died 21 Feb 1286. He married Margaret Verch Howel but had no children. He married 21a. Hawise Le Strange who was born 1234 in Cheswardine, Shropshire, England and died 1310 in Montgomeryshire. They had 8 children, of whom our ancestor was 20. Owain Ap Griffith De La Pole (atte Pool), Prince of Upper Powys, born 1257 in Montgomeryshire and died 15 Oct 1293 in Powys Castle, Montgomeryshire, Wales. He married 20a. Joan or Johanna, Lady De Corbet who was born about 1274 in Castle Moreton Corbet, Wern, Shropshire, England and died 29 Sept 1348 in Castle Harley, Shropshire. Their children: Lewis De La Pole (?-1294), Hawyse Gadarn (1290-1349), Griffin Ap Owen De La Pole (1293-1309), unknown De La Pole (1295-?) and
William Ap Gruffyd De La Pole (Atte Pool) born 1275 in Ravenser Odd, Yorkshire, England and died 13 Dec 1328 in Hull, Yorkshire. The Welsh family, now using the surname De La Pole, has left Wales and now resides in Yorkshire, England. In 1300 William married 19a. Elena Rotenhering (Rotenheryng) who was born in 1280 in Hull and died 20 Apr 1338 in Hull. Their children are John De La Pole (1298-1318), Richard De La Pole (1300-1345), Catherine De La Pole (1314-1366), Joan De La Pole (1322-), and
18. Sir William De La Pole (Atte Pool), Baron of the Exchequer, Mayor of Hull who was born 21 June 1302 in Ravenser Odd, Yorkshire and who died 21 June 1366 in Hull. According to tudorplace.com, he is buried at the Carthusian Priory in Hull. He is listed in The Complete Peerage XII p. 1, 434-7. He was a wool merchant from Hull who became a key figure during the reign of Edward III after the collapse of the Bardi and Peruzzi families, when he emerged as Edward’s chief financier. He married 18a. Margaret (Catherine) De Norwich, daughter of 19. Walter De Norwich and 19a. Catherine De Hadersete, born 1306 in Stoke, Norfolk, England and died 28 Jan 1382 in Hull, Yorkshire. They had 10 children, of whom our ancestor is
17. Michael De La Pole (Atte Pool), 1st Baron De La Pole and 1st Earl of Suffolk, born 1331 in Hull Castle, Kingston-upon-Hull, East Riding, Yorkshire and died 5 Sept 1389 in Paris, Seine-et-Marne, Ile-de-France, France. Burial in the Carthusian Priory, Kingston upon Hull, East Riding, Yorkshire, England (findagrave.com). He was an English financier and Lord Chancellor of England. He was the oldest son of Sir William De La Pole of Hull and Catherine Norwich, daughter of Sir Walter Norwich. His younger brother was Edmund de la Pole (Captain of Calais). Michael enjoyed even greater popularity at court than his father, becoming one of the most trusted and intimate friends of Edward’s successor, Richard II. He was appointed Chancellor in 1383, and created Earl of Suffolk in 1385, the first of his family to hold any such title. However, in the late 1380s his fortunes radically altered, in step with those of the king.
During the Wonderful Parliament of 1386 he was impeached on charges of embezzlement and negligence, a victim of increasing tensions between Parliament and Richard II. Even after this disgrace, he remained in royal favor, although soon fell foul of the Lords Appellant. He was one of a number of Richard’s associates accused of treason by the Appellants in November 1387. After the Appellants’ victory at Radcott Bridge (December 1387) and before the Merciless Parliament met in February 1388, De La Pole shrewdly fled to Paris, thus escaping the fate of Sir Nicholas Brembre and Chief Justice Robert Tresilian. He remained in France for the remainder of his life. Sentenced in his absence, his title was stripped from him. Jean Froissart’s references to De La Pole in the Chroniques (II.173) portray a devious and ineffectual counsellor, who dissuaded Richard from pursuing a certain victory against French and Scottish forces in Cumberland, and fomented undue suspicion of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster (who is the ancestor of the York and Lancastrian families who fought for the crown in the War of the Roses until Henry Tudor usurped the throne of Richard III and established the Tudor Dynasty, whose most notable descendants were Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth). De la Pole’s descendants by Catherine Wingfield were key players in the political life of the next two centuries at Wingfield Castle in Suffolk:
His son Michael de la Pole, 2nd Earl of Suffolk (my 16th great grandfather) was a supporter of Henry IV and opponent of Richard. He regained his father’s title on Henry’s
accession in 1399, and died at the Siege of Harfleur. His eldest grandson Michael de la Pole, 3rd Earl of Suffolk died at the Battle of Agincourt. His younger grandson William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk was appointed Lord Chamberlain under Henry VI, before being murdered in exile. His great-great grandson was Edmund de la Pole, 3rd Duke of Suffolk, who led a botched rebellion against Henry VII (the Henry Tudor who usurped the throne) in 1501.
He married 17a. Katherine Wingfield, who was born 1349 in Wingfield, Suffolk, England and died 10 Oct 1386 and is buried in the Church of Carthusians, Kingston upon Hull, England. They had about 18 children! The family ancestor is 16. Sir Michael De La Pole, 2nd Earl of Suffolk, born 1361 in Wingfield, Suffolk and died 14-17 Sept 1415 in Harfleur, Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France at the Siege of Harfleur. He was an English nobleman who supported Henry IV against Richard II. For over a decade, Michael made vigorous attempts to recover the lands confiscated from his father, and obtained most of them piecemeal between 1389 and 1392, following his father’s death. However, his close association with the Lords Appellant, particularly the Earl of Warwick and the Duke of Gloucester, prejudiced Richard II against him. He finally obtained the restoration of the earldom in January 1398.
Michael married Katharine de Stafford, daughter of Hugh de Stafford, 2nd Earl of Stafford. They were parents to at least eight children:
Michael de la Pole, 3rd Earl of Suffolk (1394–1415)
William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk (1396–1450)
Alexander de la Pole (d. 1429), killed at the Battle of Jargeau
Sir John de la Pole (d. 1429), died a prisoner in France
Thomas de la Pole (d. 1433), a clerk, died in France while a hostage for his brother William
Katherine de la Pole, abbess at Barking Abbey
Isabel de la Pole (d. 1466), married Thomas 5th Lord Morley.
Elizabeth de la Pole, married first Edward Burnell, son of Hugh 2nd Lord Burnell, second Sir Thomas Kerdeston.
While Michael De La Pole obeyed the summons of the Duke of York to defend the kingdom against Henry Bolingbroke in July 1399, he did not object to the disbandment of York’s army and consented to the deposition of Richard II. While the first Parliament of Henry IV technically upheld the forfeitures of the Merciless Parliament, Michael’s estates and title were immediately restored by Henry IV for his support. However, he would spend the remainder of his life trying to obtain possession of the estates which had not been restored.
He played a relatively small role in national politics, although he regularly attended Parliament. He took part in the campaign in Scotland in 1400, naval operations around 1405, and was the senior English diplomat at the Council of Pisa. Suffolk (Michael De La Pole) was also a lieutenant of the Duke of Clarence during his campaign of 1412–1413. However, most of his energies were spent on re-establishing De La Pole influence in East Anglia. He was a justice of the peace in Norfolk and Suffolk from 1399, and assembled a considerable following among the local gentry. He completed his father’s building plans at Wingfield, Suffolk and enlarged the local church. Suffolk brought 40 men-at-arms and 120 archers with him on the 1415 campaign of Henry V. He died of dysentery before Harfleur, and was succeeded by his eldest son Michael, who was also present there. (Sources: Walker, Simon (2004). “Pole, Michael de la, second earl of Suffolk (1367/8–1415);” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press; wikipedia).
On 23 Nov 1391, he married 16a. Lady Catharine Stafford (born 1376 in Staffordshire, England and died 8 April 1419 in Wingfield, Suffolk, England). She was the daughter of 17.Hugo 2nd Earl Stafford and 17a.Philippa Beauchamp. They had 12-13 children, of whom the following is our ancestor:
Sir Richard Pole (De La Pole) born 1400 in Southampton, Cheshire, England and died 2 May 1450 in Dover, Kent, England. Sources show him marrying a Catharine Stafford, but there must be some mistake, unless she’s a cousin or something to his mother (Catharine Stafford!). In any case, he had Isabel De La Pole (1395-1467) and his heir, 14. Sir Geoffrey De La Pole (Pole) who was born 1431 in Worrell, Cheshire, England and who died 1474 in the Monastery at Bisham Priory, Berkshire, England. He is said to have married Bona Danvers (1440-?) but had no offspring. In 1461, he married 14a. Edith St John, daughter of 15. Oliver St John (1400-1440) and 15a.Margaret Beauchamp (1410-1482). They had Eleanor Pole (1463-1481), Michael De La Pole (1466-1487), Suffolk (1470-1541) and
Sir Richard De La Pole born 1462 in Isleworth, Middlesex, England and died 18 Dec 1501 in London, Middlesex, England. Sir Richard was a Welsh supporter of Henry Tudor (Henry VII) who created him Knight of the Garter and gave him Margaret Plantagenet, 8th Countess of Salisbury, as a wife to reinforce the Tudor/Plantagenet alliance. On 22 Sept 1494 he married 13a. Margaret Plantagenet, daughter of 14. George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, and 14a. Isabel Neville. As a Member of the Garter, Richard’s title was the King’s Butler, as he and others helped take care of the King’s rooms, clothing, etc. Margaret Plantagenet, 8th Countess Salisbury, is my 13th great-grandmother and was caught up in the machinations at the court of Henry VIII during his many marriages, losing most of her sons and finally her own life to the cruel tyrant who feared that the White Rose of the Plantagenets could rally the people against the Tudor usurpers. Margaret was born 14 Aug 1473 in Farleigh Hungerford Castle, Bath, Somerset, England and died 28 May 1541, executed for treason at the Tower of London. She had been threatened and alternately praised or vilified, depending upon the King’s whim. Finally, after two years in the tower, she was to be beheaded. However, she refused to be still as other prisoners had done; instead, the headsman had to strike her about 11 times before she died. She is buried at St Peter ad Vincula within the Tower. (more on this in a separate article).
To be continued…
© 2015 Dr Linda L Labin