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I am always confused about the de la Poles- yes they were merchants, but how did a merchant become that rich, and was there no noble blood? Also, weren't the de Veres an older nobles than you said, being enobled by the Conq and not henry III????

The History of England

Hi Liam; yes you are right about the de Vere's; they do indeed come over with the Conq, though as a family don't have the vast tracks of land needed to be in the first rank of magnates. With de la Pole; we don't know much of the origin of the first de la Pole - William. But he could have been a bailiff or reeve; a Franklin (better off peasant), anything really, who got into service. Or could indeed have been a minor landowner, who became a merchant...


thanks! i cant even begin to explain how much I have learned from your podCast.

The History of England

Oh lord. Hopefully some of it's true...


as a loyal follower of the House of York (not because I am from the state of New York, but because of good governance and a true claim to the throne via the Mortimor) , I cant wait for the episode on the Battle of Towton. I came to follow the Falcon and the Fetterlock after reading Allison Weir's "The Wars of the Roses". I cant wait for that episode. Thanks again David.


Love the podcast!- and I'm a first-time commenter.
Question: it seems to me that because of the exigencies of male-preference primogeniture, and the violent and pestilential conditions of life in these middle ages, many of the great and not- so- great families- as political and land-owning entities- lasted only a few generations. Were any of the families that you mention here still around by Elizabeth I's time? The Nevilles perhaps (they were fecund)?
How long before the average "line" petered out?

The History of England

Hi all..Liam, delighted to hear from a fellow Yorkist! Wayhay the White Rose! Hppe Towton wasn't a disappointment...

MP, someone else asked me this. And yes, generally they seem to last at best 2-300 years - though that's not bad. But there are some still around. Lords saye and Sele for example, start 14th C with a rogue called James Fiennes - they are still around in an old castle and nothing else I think. The Percies are still around to boot, still kings of the North!

Can't give you an average though sadly...there's a podcast in that though!

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