William de la Pole

Statue at the Pier, Nelson Street, HU1 1XE. Grid D4; also site of Suffolk Palace, Lowgate HU1 1AA. Grid D5.

William de la Pole was born between 1290 and 1295, in or near Hull. By the 1310s, he and his brother Richard had moved to Hull and had become notable wool merchants. By 1317, they were both deputies of the Royal Chief Butler and from 1321 to 1324, Chamberlains of Hull. During this period, William began providing war finance to Edward II and subsequently to Edward III, in his wars with Scotland. In return for this, the de la Poles obtained the Manor of Myton in 1330 and in 1332, William became the first Mayor of Hull, a position he held until 1335. He was also a Member of Parliament for Hull in this period and in 1339, was made Baron of the Exchequer. In 1350, William founded a hospital in Hull (later the Charterhouse) and shortly before he died in 1366, he obtained the King’s permission to found a religious house. This was eventually established by his son, Michael.

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