The Tudor Society
  • May 27 – Cardinal Pole makes an enemy and his mother, Margaret Pole, suffers a botched execution

    On 27th May 1536, Cardinal Reginald Pole, who was in Venice, wrote to King Henry VIII. It was a very polite letter but what he sent with it brought Pole and his family trouble. He made the mistake of making an enemy of King Henry VIII.

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  • 27 May – Cardinal Pole makes an enemy

    On 27th May 1536, Cardinal Reginald Pole, who was in Venice, wrote to King Henry VIII.

    It was a very polite letter but what he sent with it brought Pole and his family trouble. He made the mistake of making an enemy of King Henry VIII.

    [Read More...]
  • A heretic cardinal, the other Tudor Drake, and a plotting baron

    In part two of This Week in Tudor History for the week beginning 5th April, I talk about why Pope Paul IV branded Cardinal Pole a heretic and took away his legatine powers, before introducing you to a sea captain named Drake, but not Sir Francis Drake, and telling you about John Lumley, a baron who was involved with the Ridolfi Plot but kept his head, and a man who was recorded as owning a full-length portrait of Anne Boleyn.

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  • 4 November – A cardinal’s actions lead to his family’s undoing

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th November 1538, Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu, his brother-in-law, Sir Edward Neville; Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter; Courtenay’s wife, Gertrude Blount, and the couple’s son, Edward Courtenay, were all arrested for treason and imprisoned in the Tower of London.

    Montagu, Neville and Exeter, along with Montagu’s brother, Geoffrey Pole, were accused of plotting with Cardinal Reginald Pole against the king. Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, was also arrested, accused of the same.

    But how had it come to this, when Henry VIII had sought Cardinal Pole’s opinion on his marriage and the papacy?

    Find out what Cardinal Pole had done to upset the king, and what happened to his family and friends as a result, in today’s talk.

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  • 5 May – Can’t kill him for heresy, let’s try treason…

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th May 1543, religious radical, Adam Damplip, also known as George Bucker, was hanged, drawn and quartered in Calais, which was an English territory at the time.

    Although it was his heretical preaching that had got him into trouble, he couldn’t be executed as a heretic, so he was condemned as a traitor instead – clever, but nasty!

    Let me explain more in today’s talk.

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  • 15 December – Cardinal Pole is laid to rest

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th December 1558, Cardinal Reginald Pole, Mary I’s Archbishop of Canterbury and her chief advisor, was buried at Canterbury Cathedral. Coincidentally, Cardinal Pole had died the same day as his queen, on 17th November 1558.

    Find out a bit more about Cardinal Pole, his background, death and burial, in today’s talk.

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  • 9 January

    Warning: In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, I do describe what being hanged, drawn and quartered involved so feel free to fast forward that bit!

    Today’s “on this day” is about the executions of two of the men involved in the alleged Exeter Conspiracy of 1538. I hope you enjoy it.

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  • 17 November 1558 – The death of Reginald Pole, Archbishop of Canterbury

    Did you know that 17th November 1558 was the death date of not only Queen Mary I, but also of Reginald Pole, Mary’s Archbishop of Canterbury? Strange, isn’t it?

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  • 15 December 1558 – The burial of Cardinal Reginald Pole

    Cardinal Pole

    Cardinal Pole

    On this day in history, 15th December 1558, Cardinal Reginald Pole, Mary I's Archbishop of Canterbury, was buried at Canterbury Cathedral. His rather plain tomb can be found on the north side of the Corona (or Becket's Crown) in the cathedral. Pole was the last prelate to be buried in the cathedral.

    Cardinal Pole died on the very same day as his beloved queen, Mary I. Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles record his death:

    Leauing queene Marie being dead & gone, you are to vnderstand and note, that the same euening, or (as some haue written) the next daie after the said queens death,The death of [...]rdinall Poole. Cardinall Poole the bishop of Romes legat departed out of this life, hauing beene not long afore made archbishop of Canturburie: he died at his house ouer against Westminster commonlie called Lambe [...]h, and was buried in Christs church at Can|turburie.

    The Chronicles go on to give a not so flattering account of Cardinal Pole's life, accusing him of "barbarous" behaviour and blemishing "the honour of his descent. You can read this account in the 1587 version of The Chronicles at The Holinshed Project.

    Diarist and merchant Henry Machyn records how Cardinal Pole's remains were taken on 10th December from Lambeth to Canterbury in preparation for his burial:

    The sam mornyng my lord cardenall was [removed from] Lambeth, and cared toward Canturbery with grett [company in] blake; and he was cared in a charett with [banner-]rolles wroth [wrought] with fyne gold and grett baners [of arms,] and iiij baners of santes in owllo [oil].

    In Ecclesiastical Memorials, John Strype writes:

    Cardinal Pole died the same day that Queen Mary did; and not many hours after her. His last will may be seen in Holinshed's History. Therein he desired his successor would not sue his executors for dilapidations, seeing he had bestowed more than a thousand pounds within these few years in repairing and making such houses as belonged to the see, since he came to it. The overseers of his will were Nicholas Archbishop of York, lord chancellor; Thomas Bishop of Ely; Ed. Lord Hastings, lord chamberlain; Sir John Boxal, the Queen's secretary; Sir Edward Cordal, master of the rolls; Henry Cole, vicar general of the spiritualities.

    Strype goes on to describe how there was "a secret report among Papists, abroad soon after, that both Queen Mary and Cardinal Pole, came to their ends by poison but that Dr. Haddon, "a knowing man", put their deaths down to "an infectious fever that the nation then laboured under [...] an outrageous burning fever [...]".


    Notes and Sources

    Images: Cardinal Reginald Pole, Archbishop of Canterbury, by Sebastian del Piombo, and tomb of Cardinal Reginald Pole from Wikimedia Commons.

    • Britton, John (1836) Cathedral Antiquities: Historical and Descriptive Accounts, with 311 Illustration, of the Following English Cathedrals...
    • Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 1587 edition, The Holinshed Project.
    • 'Diary: 1558 (Aug - Dec)', in The Diary of Henry Machyn Citizen and Merchant-Taylor of London (1550-1563), ed. J G Nichols (London, 1848), pp. 169-184 http://www.british-history.ac.uk/camden-record-soc/vol42/pp169-184 [accessed 10 December 2015].
    • Strype, John (1822) Ecclesiastical memorials; relating chiefly to religion, and the reformation of it..., p. 143. This can be read on Google Books.