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Salisbury, Margaret Pole, countess of

Salisbury, Margaret Pole, countess of (1473–1541). Margaret Plantagenet was a daughter of George, duke of Clarence, and a niece of Richard III. She married Sir Richard Pole who died in 1505. After the execution of her brother the earl of Warwick in 1499, she was sole heiress to the dukedom of Clarence and the earldoms of Salisbury and of Warwick, and was granted the title countess of Salisbury in 1513. From 1520 until 1533 she was governess to Princess Mary and subsequently offered to continue at her own expense. But after her son Reginald Pole was made a cardinal in 1536, Henry VIII moved against the Pole family. Her eldest son Lord Montagu was executed in 1539 and her younger son Geoffrey sentenced to death. The countess was attainted in 1539 and executed in the Tower two years later, the executioner bungling the beheading. She was the last of the Plantagenets.

J. A. Cannon

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