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Cardinal Reginald Pole
Birth: Mar. 12, 1500
Staffordshire, England
Death: Nov. 17, 1558
Greater London, England

Roman Catholic Cardinal. He was the last Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury, during the Counter Reformation or Catholic Reformation, serving in office from March 1556 until his death. He was born the 3rd son of Sir Richard Pole and Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury and last descendant of the House of Plantagenet (the former English royal dynasty), and was a grandnephew of English Kings Edward IV and Richard III, and a great-grandson of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick. In 1512 he attended Magdalen College at the University of Oxford, graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in June 1515 and was elected a fellow of Corpus Christi College in Oxford. In February 1518, King Henry VIII granted him the deanery of Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England after which he was Prebendary of Salisbury and Dean of Exeter in 1527. He was also a canon in York, and had several other livings, although he had not been ordained a priest. In 1521 he attended the University of Padua in Padua, Italy and continued to study abroad until July 1526, when he went to France. King Henry VIII offered him the Archbishopric of York or the Diocese of Winchester if he would support his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. He withheld his support and went into self-imposed exile in France and Italy in 1532, continuing his studies in Padua and Paris, France. After his return, he became Vicar of Piddletown in Dorset, England between December 1532 until about January 1535/1536. In May 1536 he broke with Henry VIII and left England, and with Pole out of Henry's reach, he took a terrible revenge on his family, including the botched execution of his mother at the Tower of London in 1541. In 1537, although still not ordained, he was created a Cardinal (over his objections) as well as Papal Legate to England, and Pope Paul III put him in charge of organizing assistance for the Pilgrimage of Grace (and related movements), an effort to organize a march on London to install a Roman Catholic government. Neither King Francis I of France nor the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V supported this effort, and the English government tried to have him assassinated. In 1542 he was appointed as one of the three Papal Legates to preside over the Council of Trent, and in 1549 he was appointed by Pope Paul III as Abbot of Gavello in Northern Italy. After the Pope's death in 1549 he, at one point, had nearly the two-thirds of the vote he needed to become Pope himself at the Papal conclave in 1549, extending to 1550. The death of King Edward VI in July 1553 and the accession of Mary I to the throne of England hastened his return from exile, as Papal Legate to England (which he served as until 1557). In 1554 he prepared to return to England to receive the kingdom back into the Roman Catholic fold. However, Mary and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V delayed him until November 1554, due to apprehension that he might oppose Queen Mary's forthcoming marriage to Charles's son, Philip of Spain. Under Mary's rule, he was finally ordained as a priest on March 20, 1556 and consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury two days later. He also served as Chancellor of both Oxford and Cambridge Universities in 1555 and 1555/1556 respectively. In addition to his religious duties, he was in effect Queen Mary's chief minister and adviser. In 1555 Queen Mary began permitting the burning of Anglicans for heresy, and around 280 people were executed before her death in 1558. He shared responsibility for these persecutions which, despite his intention, contributed to the ultimate victory of the English Reformation. In failing health during the last years of his life, he died during an influenza epidemic less than 24 hours after the death of Queen Mary. In Season 3 of television Showtime series "The Tudors," he is portrayed by actor Mark Hildreth. He is a major character in Alison MacLeod's historical novel "The Trusted Servant" (1972) and is a character in Lucy Beckett's historical novel "The Time Before You Die - A Novel of the Reformation" (1999) and is also a major character in Peter Walker's novel, "The Courier's Tale" (2010). (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
   Countess of Salisbury (1473 - 1541)
 
Burial:
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury
City of Canterbury
Kent, England
Plot: Corona Chapel
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: julia&keld
Record added: Mar 10, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 49520293
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Added by: julia&keld
 
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Added by: julia&keld
 
Cardinal Reginald Pole
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Added by: julia&keld
 
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- karl anglin
 Added: May. 25, 2017
In memory of a cousin and brother priest +
- widowsson
 Added: Apr. 19, 2017

- In Memory of You
 Added: Mar. 12, 2017
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