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Reginald Cardinal Pole

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Reginald Pole, cardinal
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Reginald Pole, cardinal

Reginald Pole (1500 - 1558) Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, was the son of Margaret Pole who was the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence.

The last Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Pole was born in Staffordshire, England in March 1500. Educated at Oxford and Padua, Pole's kinsman Henry VIII offered him the archbishopric of York or the diocese of Winchester if he would support his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Pole withheld his support and went into self-imposed exile in France and Italy in 1532, continuing his studies in Padua and Paris.

Pole was made cardinal under Pope Paul III in 1536 over Pole's own objections. In 1542 he was appointed as one of the three legates to preside over the Council of Trent, and after the death of Pope Paul III in 1549 Pole missed being elected pope by only one vote.

The death of Edward VI on 6 July 1553 and the accession of Mary Tudor to the throne of England hastened Pole's return from exile, first as a papal legate; however Mary and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, deliberately delayed him until 20 November 1554. Under Mary I's rule, Pole was finally ordained as a priest on 20 March 1557 and raised as Archbishop of Canterbury, an office he would hold until his death in London on 17 November 1558, a few hours after Queen Mary.


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