John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, KG, was a major magnate in 15th-century England. He was the son of William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk, and Alice Chaucer, the daughter of Thomas Chaucer. His youth was blighted, in 1450, by the political fall and subsequent murder of his father, who had been a favourite of the king, Henry VI, but was increasingly distrusted by the rest of the nobility. Although the first duke of Suffolk had made himself rich through trade and – particularly – royal grants, this source of income dried up on his death, so John de la Pole was among the poorest of English dukes on his accession to the title in 1463. This was a circumstance which John felt acutely; on more than one occasion, he refused to come to London due to his impoverishment being such that he could not afford the costs of maintaining a retinue.