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UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTER QUOTES
DEFINING EPISODES | MEMORABLE SCENES
Cardinal Reginald Pole as played by Mark Hildreth
| Born March 1500 died November 17, 1558 |
Character's backstory: 3rd Son of Margaret Pole, Lady Salisbury (the last Plantagenet) and Sir Richard Pole. From the beginning of his reign King Henry VIII recognized him as a near kinsman and showed him special favour, even financed Pole's education. Pole left England in 1521 to pursue his studies in Paris and later in Italy during the time of The King's Great Matter, in order to avoid taking sides. In 1526, he had been offered the post of Archbishop of York following Cardinal Wolsey's fall. However, he saw this as a bribe; in an audience with the King, he expressed his feelings against the divorce so boldly that the King put his hand on his dagger. As he had not made his stance public, the King allowed him to withdraw to the continent. He published his most blistering attack against the King in a treatise entitled, "Defense of the Unity of the Church" which answered questions regarding the King's supremacy. After this, relations between Pole and the King had been irrecoverably severed. After that, Pole remained in self-imposed exile in Italy. In 1535 Pole was considered by Ambassador Chapuys as a possible husband for Princess Mary Tudor.
By 1536, he was lodged in the Vatican and Pope Paul III had made him a Cardinal and papal legate to England. In 1537, he undertook his first legation to aid the Pilgrimage of Grace. After being recalled to Rome, he was present in the spring of 1538 at the meeting between Charles V and Francis I at Nice. Meanwhile Pole's brothers, Henry Pole, Lord Montagu and Sir Geoffrey Pole, had been arrested in England. There was good reason to believe that his own life was in danger, even in Venetian territory, from King Henry VIII's hired assassins. He then set himself with the Pope's approval to organize a European league against Henry. He met Charles V at Toledo in February 1539, but was politely excluded from French territory. After learning the sad news of his mother Lady Salisbury's martyrdom, he was recalled to Rome. He said 'I am now the son of a martyr. This is the king's reward for her care of his daughter's education,' but added calmly, 'Let us be of good cheer. We have now one patron more in heaven.'
Gentility: Great-nephew to both King Edward IV and Richard III through his mother, a Plantagenet cousin of King Henry VIII
Margaret Pole was the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, who was brother to both Yorkist Kings -- Edward IV and Richard III.
Position: Was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by Mary I (succeeded Thomas Cranmer; Pole was the last Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury); was also Papal Legate to England, and Cardinal
Missed being elected Pope by a small margin.
Personality type: Studious and pious
Signature look: Red cardinal robes and long beard
Endearing traits: He was always a mild man and would have nothing to do with the burning of heretics.
'Throughout his life Pole's moral conduct was above reproach, his sincere piety and ascetical habits were the admiration of all. As compared with the majority of his contemporaries, Pole was conspicuously gentle, both in his opinions and in his language. He had the gift of inspiring warm friendships and he was most generous and charitable in the administration of his revenues."[source: tudorplace.com.ar]
Annoying trait: Some say he was a bigot
"Seldom has any life been animated
by a more single-minded purpose"
- Dr. James Gairdner
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Maternal Grandfather: George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence
Mother: Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury (Lady Salisbury)
Father: Sir Richard Pole
Brother: Henry Pole,1st Baron Montagu
Brother: Sir Geoffrey Pole
Brother: Sir Arthur Pole
Sister: Ursula Pole
Pole was a celibate clergyman most of his life, but before he became a priest he was considered as a possible husband for King Henry's daughter, Princess Mary.
Sir Thomas More
Bishop Stephen Gardiner
Princess Mary Tudor - he and Queen 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; his difficulties were thereby multiplied. He died the same day as Mary.
King Henry VIII
DEFINING EPISODES | MEMORABLE SCENES
Reginald Pole (left) speaks with Cardinal von Waldburg
Cardinal Pole by Sebastino del Piombo
currently hangs at the Hermitage, St. Petersburg
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17th Century Painting of Reginald Pole
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Cardinal Pole learns of the execution of his mother Lady Salisbury and his brother Henry Pole