Skip to main content
Select Source:

Pole, Reginald

Pole, Reginald (1500–58). Cardinal and archbishop of Canterbury. Pole was a younger son of Margaret, countess of Salisbury, daughter of George, duke of Clarence: he was therefore of the blood royal and his mother was governess and companion of Princess Mary. Intended from the beginning for the church, he spent 1521–7 on the continent in study. On his return he was made dean of Windsor and on Wolsey's death seems to have declined the archbishopric of York. Increasingly opposed to the king's divorce policy, he went abroad again in 1532. Asked for his opinion by the king, Pole produced in 1536 a strong counter-statement, placing his relatives in England in acute danger. His nomination as cardinal increased their peril: his eldest brother was executed, his nephew died in the Tower, his mother was beheaded in 1541. Pole remained on the continent in constant fear of assassination. On Mary's accession in 1553 he was anxious to return to England at once and found it hard to understand why there should be delay. He came back as legate in November 1554 and in March 1556 succeeded Cranmer as archbishop of Canterbury. But the return of England to the faith—the object of Pole's life—was fraught with problems. The burning of protestants caused great outrage; the nobility were most reluctant to return church lands; Mary's husband Philip found himself at war with the papacy and Pole's legatine authority was revoked. He died on the same day as Mary in November 1558. Pole's dedication to his church was beyond question, but his long absence from England and the terrible fate that had overcome his family rendered his judgement questionable.

J. A. Cannon

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Pole, Reginald." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Pole, Reginald." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pole-reginald

"Pole, Reginald." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved July 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pole-reginald

Pole, Reginald

Reginald Pole, 1500–1558, English churchman, archbishop of Canterbury (1556–58), cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was a cousin of the Tudors, being the son of Sir Richard Pole and of Margaret, countess of Salisbury, who was the daughter of George, duke of Clarence, and the niece of kings Edward IV and Richard III. Although he did not take priestly orders until late in life, he was devout from the first and received many church benefices from Henry VIII. When his benefactor broke with the pope, Pole went abroad. In 1536 he made a formal statement of his views on the king's divorce, attacking the doctrine of royal supremacy. In the same year he accepted Pope Paul III's summons to sit on the commission to reform the pontifical administration and was created cardinal. In 1537 and again in 1538–39, Pole was active in trying to organize a league against Henry, who now was setting out to destroy the Pole family. However, Pole was unsuccessful in this endeavor, and he returned to Rome and received the legatine governorship of Viterbo. He was one of the legates appointed to open the Council of Trent (1545). In 1553, on Edward VI's death, Pope Julius III made him legate to England, and he and Mary I set about restoring the Roman Catholic Church. However, he ran afoul of Mary's husband, Philip II of Spain, and then of Pope Paul IV, and his difficulties were multiplied. He was always a mild man and would have nothing to do with the burning of heretics. In 1556 he was ordained priest and consecrated archbishop of Canterbury. He died the same day as Mary.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Pole, Reginald." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Pole, Reginald." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pole-reginald

"Pole, Reginald." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pole-reginald

Pole, Reginald

Pole, Reginald (1500–58). Cardinal and last archbishop of Canterbury (to date) in communion with Rome. After the accession of Mary Tudor to the English throne, Pole was sent as papal legate. He arrived in 1554, received the country back into communion with Rome, and instituted a number of reforms, though his desire to restore church lands aroused great hostility. In 1556 he was appointed to Canterbury. He died just twelve hours after the death of Queen Mary.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Pole, Reginald." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Pole, Reginald." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pole-reginald

"Pole, Reginald." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved July 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pole-reginald

Pole, Reginald

Pole, Reginald (1500–58) English cardinal, the last Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury. A grand-nephew of Edward IV, in 1527 he was made Dean of Exeter by Henry VIII, who was his cousin. He opposed Henry's divorce of Catherine of Aragon and moved to Italy during the Reformation, returning to England in 1554 as papal legate to the Mary I. She made him Archbishop of Canterbury in 1556.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Pole, Reginald." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Pole, Reginald." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pole-reginald

"Pole, Reginald." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved July 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pole-reginald