POLE, Cardinal REGINALD, b. in Staffordshire in the year 1503, was the son of sir Richard Pole, lord Montactite, by Margaret, countess of Salisbury. daughter of the duke of Clarence, the brother of Edward IV. His early education was received from the Carthusians at Sheen, whence, being liberally provided for by the king his relative, he passed to Magdalen college, Oxford, and having received deacon's orders, was advanced to several valuable preferments, through the favor of the king, Henry VIII. For the future prosecution of his studies, he went to the university of Paris, and thence to Padua, where he formed the friendship of a distinguished group of scholars and friends, i all of whom subsequently took a leading part in public affairs—Contareni, Bembo, Sadoleto, and others. In 152:5 he returned to England, where the highest ecclesiastical dignities awaited his acceptance. But it was about this time that Henry had resolved upon the divorce from his queen Catharine, and Pole not only withheld his assistance ire carrying out the project, 'but provoked the undying resentment of the king by his well known treatise, Dc Unitate Eeelesiastiea . His preferments:tad pension were withdrawn, and preparations were made for his impeachment. This, and probably still more extreme measures, he evaded by withdrawing from England. The king's resentment fell instead upon his elder brother, and upon his aged mother, the countess of Salisbury. During the rest of Henry's reign, Pole remained in exile. The pope, lor the mainte nance of whose authority, in the cause of the injured Catharine, Pole was regarded as a martyr, treated him with distinguished favor, and elevated him to the cardinalate. He was employed in many affairs of the highest importance, hieing sent as legate, in 1537. to France and the Low Countries, from both which states Henry VIII. in vain demanded his extradition. He also took an active part in the discussion on the interim, and when
the council of Trent was opened, he was appointed one of the three legate-presidents who acted in the name of the pope, Paul III. (q.v.). On this pontiff's death in 1549, Pole was all but elected to succeed. For some time after Paul's death, he resided chiefly in a monastery neat Verona, in comparative retirement, until the accession of Mary called him back to active life, as the main instrument of the reconciliation of England with the papacy. On Nov. 24, 1554, Pole solemnly entered London as legate and plenipo tentiary of the Roman see, possessing in an equal degree the confidence of the queen. In the arduous charge thus intrusted to him, he acquitted himself with much prudence, and, considering the circumstances of the time, with singular moderation. In the religious or politico-religions severities which marked the later history of Mary's reign, it is all but certain that Pole had no share. He was created archbishop of Canterbury, and chancellor of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. On the difficult and criti cal question of the disposal of the church property confiscated in the former reign, Pole, wino saw the necessity of moderation, was for a time at issue with the pope; but his rep resentations were successful in producing a more moderate policy, and the work of reunion appeared to proceed with every prospect of a complete permanent issue, when i it was interrupted by the death of the queen in 1558. Pole died within less than twenty four hours afterward. Besides the treatise De Unitate, already mentioned, he is also the author of a book De Coneilfo, and of other treatises on the authority of the Roman pontiff and the reformation of England, and of very many most important letters, full of interest for the history of the time.