Reginald Pole

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Reginald Pole (12 March 1500 – 17 November 1558) was an English Cardinal in the Catholic Church, and the last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury, holding the office during the Counter Reformation.


To the reign of Queen Mary I

Pole was born at Stourton Castle, Staffordshire, on 12 March 1500.[1][2] to Sir Richard Pole and Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury. His maternal grandparents were George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence and Isabella Neville, Duchess of Clarence; thus he was a grandnephew of kings Edward IV and Richard III and a great-grandson of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick.

His nursery is said to have been at Sheen Priory.[3] He matriculated at Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1512, and at Oxford was taught by William Latimer and Thomas Linacre, graduating BA on 27 June 1515. In February 1518, King Henry VIII granted him the deanery of Wimborne Minster, Dorset; after which he was Dean of Exeter.[4]

In 1521, Pole went to Padua, where he met leading Renaissance figures, including Pietro Bembo, Gianmatteo Giberti (formerly pope Leo X's datary and chief minister), Jacopo Sadoleto, Gianpietro Carafa (the future Pope Paul IV), Rodolfo Pio, Otto Truchsess, Stanislaus Hosius, Cristoforo Madruzzo, Giovanni Morone, Pier Paolo Vergerio the younger, Peter Martyr (Vermigli) and Vettor Soranzo. The last three were eventually condemned as heretics by the Roman Catholic Church, with Vermigli - as a well-known Protestant theologian - having a significant share in the Reformation in Pole's native England.

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