Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Pole Reginald

Pole, Reginald (1500-58), Cardinal, was of royal descent, and was born at Stourton Castle, in Staffordshire. After a preliminary education at Sheen monastery, he entered Magdalen College, Oxford, and, after graduating, took holy orders. He was immediately invested with various offices by Henry VIII., who clearly destined him for the highest positions in the Church. Pole went to Italy, where he stayed some time, and on his return to England lived mostly in seclusion till 1529, when he was entrusted with the mission to Paris to obtain the sanction of the university there for the proposed divorce of Katharine of Aragon. Pole, however, was strongly opposed to the project, and all relations between him and the king were broken by the publication, in 1536, of his De Tfnitate Ecelesice, in which he attacked the king and condemned the threatened separation of England from Rome. He was deprived by Henry of all his preferments, but received the cardinal's hat from Rome, and was appointed to rouse the Continental powers against the English reformation. Henry, meanwhile, executed his brother; and later his mother, the Countess of Salisbury, was also led to the block.

Pole tried to return to England after Henry's death, but was prevented. He is said to have been offered and to have declined the Papal throne in succession to Paul III. Not until the marriage of Queen Mary with Philip was he enabled to come to England as Papal legate. He arrived in 1554, and the day after Cranmer was burnt was made Archbishop of Canterbury. He ruthlessly persecuted the Protestants, and exercised his power unsparingly. His support of Philip against France, the Papal ally, led to his quarrel with Paul IV., who deprived him of his office as legate and treated him very harshly. His death on November 18th, 1558 - sixteen hours after Queen Mary - is said to have been caused by this severity.