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Reginald Pole
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Reginald Pole

(1500 - 1558)

Archbishop of Canterbury (1555 - 1558) and cardinal. [DNB] Papal legate (1554 - 1557) [Hillerbrand, Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation; T. F. Mayer, Reginald Pole, Prince and Prophet (2000)]

On 7 November 1554, two ambassadors were sent abroad. The rumour was that they were sent to escort Pole to England (1570, p. 1645; 1576, p. 1403; 1583, p. 1473).

Pole landed at Dover on 21 November 1554 and on the same day an act was passed in parliament repealing the act of attainder passed against him in Henry VIII's reign (1570, p. 1647; 1576, p. 1405; 1583, p. 1475; cf. the account of this in 1563, p. 1008). Another notice of the act of attainder against Pole being repealed (1570, p. 1654; 1576, p. 1411; 1583, p. 1481).

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Pole arrived at Lambeth on 24 November 1554 (1570, p. 1647; 1576, p. 1405; 1583, p. 1475).

He arrived at parliament on 27 November 1554 and made an oration there, praising England's previous catholic fidelity, deploring the reformation and extolling papal power (1563, pp. 1008-10; 1570, pp. 1647-49; 1576, pp. 1405-7; 1583, pp. 1476-78).

He pronounced a papal absolution in parliament on 28 November 1554 (1563, pp. 1010-11; 1570, p. 1649; 1576, p. 1407; 1583, pp. 1477-78).

Reginald Pole sent a letter to Pope Julius III on 30 November 1554 announcing the restoration of catholicism in England. 1563, pp. 1013-14 [in Latin, only in this edition, pp. 1012-13] ; 1570, pp. 1650-51; 1576, p. 1408; 1583, pp. 1478-79; also see 1570, p. 1729; 1576, p. 1476; 1583, p. 1559.

He was present at Stephen Gardiner's Paul's Cross sermon of 2 December 1554 (1563, p. 1018; 1570, p. 1651; 1576, p. 1408; 1583, p. 4179 [recte 1479]).

He absolved convocation on 6 December 1554 for their perjuries, heresies and schisms (1570, p. 1652; 1576, p. 1409; 1583, p. 4179 [recte 1479]).

As legate to Julius III, Pole reconciled England to Rome and absolved the English. 1563, pp. 1083-84; 1570, p. 1707; 1576, p. 1457; 1583, p. 1531.

In an attempt to reinstate catholicism at the University of Cambridge, a commission under the direction of Cardinal Pole ordered the condemning and burning of the bones and books of Phagius and Martin Bucer. Members of the commission were Cuthbert Scott, Nicholas Ormanet, Thomas Watson, John Christopherson and Henry Cole. Ormanet was chosen because he had the trust of Pope Julius III. 1563, pp. 1537 [recte 1549]-1558 [recte 1570]

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Thomas Causton appealed his conviction to Pole. 1563, p. 1107; 1570, p. 1719; 1576, p. 1468; 1583, p. 1541.

Robert Ferrar appealed his conviction to Pole. 1563, p. 1099; 1570, p. 1724; 1576, p. 1472; 1583, p. 1555.

The examination of Ridley and Latimer by White (Lincoln) and Brookes (Gloucester) was held on 30 September 1555. White and Brookes received their commission from 'Cardinall Poole'. 1563, pp. 1297-98, 1570, pp. 1903-09, 1576, pp. 1631-39, 1583, pp. 1757-60.

William Stannard, Thomas Freeman and William Adams were condemned to be burned 13 June 1556 but Cardinal Pole sent dispensation for their lives. 1563, pp. 1525-26, 1570, p. 2097, 1576, p. 1798, 1583, p. 1916.

Pole chose Cuthbert Scot, Nicholas Ormanet, Thomas Watson, John Christopherson and Henry Cole to be a persecutors of the University of Cambridge. 1563, p. 1537, 1570, p. 2142, 1576, p. 1862, 1583, p. 1956.

Peter Martyr's wife was reburied in Richard Marshall's dunghill after Cardinal Pole ordered him to oversee the exhumation of her body. 1563, p1559., 1570, p. 2153, 1576, p. 1859, 1583, p. 1968.

Reginald Pole died the day after Queen Mary. 1563, p. 1707, 1570, p. 2298, 1576, p. 1990, 1583, p. 2136.

[Not related to David Pole.]

1501 [1477]

Queene Mary. Cardinall Pooles Oration to the Parliament. Submission to the Pope.

MarginaliaAnno 1554. Nouember.semed by these chaūges to rise a great face of riches & gayn which in proofe came to great misery and lacke. See how God then can confound the wisedome of the wise, & turne vniust pollicy to meere folly, & that thing that seemed to be done for reliefe, was cause of playne ruine & decay. Yet see that goodnes of God, which at no time fayled vs, but most beningly offred his grace, when it was of our partes least sought, and worse deserued.

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And when all light of true religion seemed vtterly extinct, as the churches defaced, the aultars ouerthrown, the Ministers corrupted: euen like as in a lampe the light being couered, yet it is not quenched, euen so in a few remained the coufession of Christes fayth, namely in the brest of the Queenes excellency, of whom to speake without adulation, the saying of the prophet may be verefied: Ecce quasi derelicta.

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And see how miraculously God of his goodnes preserued her highnes, contrary to the expectatiō of man, þt whē numbers conspired against her, and pollicies were deuised to disherite her, and armed power prepared to destroy her yet she being a virgine helpeles, naked and vnarmed, preuayled, & had the victory of tyrants, which is not to be ascribed to any MarginaliaWhat policy is this, to make promise to get strength and to breake it as the Queene did?* pollicy of man, but to þe almighty great goodnes and prouidēce of God, to whom the honor is to be geuen. And therefore it may be sayd, Da gloriam Deo. For in mans iudgement, on her graces part, was nothing in appearaunce, but despayre.

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And yet for all these practises and deuises of ill menne here you see her Grace established in her estate being your lawfull Queene and Gouernesse, borne among you, whō God hath appointed to raigne ouer you for the restitution of true religion, and extirpation of all errours and sectes. And to confirme her grace the more strongly in this enterprise, loe how the prouidēce of God hath ioyned her in mariage with a Prince of like religion, who being a King of great might, armor & force, yet vseth towards you neither armor nor force, but seeketh you by the way of loue and amity: in which respect great cause you haue to geue thākes to almighty God, that hath sent you such a catholicke Gouernesse. It shall be therefore your part agayne to loue, obey and serue them.

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And as it was a singuler fauor of God to conioyne thē in mariage, so it is not to be doubted but that he shall send them Marginalia* The Cardinall here appeareth to be a false prophet.* issue, for the comfort & surety of this commō wealth. Of all Princes in Europe, the Emperour hath trauayled most in the cause of Religion, as it appeareth by his actes in germany: yet happely by some secret iudgement of god, he hath not atchiued the end. With whom in my iourny hitherwardes I had conferēce touching my legation, wherof whē he had vnderstanding, he shewed great appearance of most earnest ioy & gladnesse, saying that it reioyced him no lesse of þe recōcilemēt of this realme vnto christiā vnity, thē that his sonne was placed by mariage in þe kingdome, and most glad he was of al, that the occasion therof should come by me, being an English man borne, which is, (as it were) to call home our selues. MarginaliaCharles the Emperour cōpared to Dauid.I can well compare hym to Dauid, which though he were a man elect of God, yet for that he was contaminate with bloud and warre, he could not build the temple of Ierusalē, but left the finishing ther of to Salomon, whiche was Rex pacificus. So may it bee thought that the appeasing of controuersies of religion in christianity, is not appoynted to this Emperor, but rather to his sonne, who shall performe the building that his Father hath begonne. Which church can not be perfectly builded, without vniuersally in all Realmes we adhere to one head, and doe acknowledge him to be the Vicare of God, and to haue power frō aboue. For al power is of God, according to the saying, Non est potestas nisi a Deo. And therefore I consider that all power, beyng in God, yet for the conseruation of quiet & godly life in the world, he hath deriued that power frō aboue into two partes here in earth: MarginaliaTwo powers in earth: Ecclesiasticall and Imperiall.whiche is into the power Imperiall and Ecclesiasticall. And these two powers, as they be seuerall and distinct, so haue they two seuerell effectes and operations. For secular Princes to whome the temporall sword is committed, be ministers of god to execute vengeance vpon transgressors and euill liuers, and to preserue the wel doers and Innocentes from iniury and violence. Which power is represēted in these two most excellent persōs, the king & Queenes Maiesties here present, who haue this power committed vnto them immediately from God, without any superior in that behalfe.

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MarginaliaThe power of the keyes clarkely declared.The other power is of ministratiō, which is the power of the keies, and order in the ecclesiasticall state, which is by the authority of gods word, & examples of the apostles, and of all old holy fathers from Christ hitherto, attributed and geuen to the Apostolick sea of Rome by speciall prero-

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gatiue. From which sea I am here deputed Legate & Embassador, hauing full and ample cōmissiō from thence, and haue the keyes committed to my handes. MarginaliaThe Popes keyes sent by the Cardinall.I confesse to you that I haue the keyes, not as mine owne keies, but as the keyes of him that sent me: and yet cannot opē, not for wāt of power in me to geue, but for certain impedimēts in you to receiue, which must be taken away before my commission can take effect. This I protest before you, my Commission is not of preiudice to any persō. I come not to destroy but to build, I come to reconcile, not to condemne, I come not to compell, but to call agayne, I am not come to call any thing in question already done, but my Commission is of grace and clemency, to such as will receiue it. For touching al matters that be past, they shalbe as things cast into the sea of forgetfulnes.

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MarginaliaThe Popes keyes cannot worke in England, before the locke of good lawes be chaūged.But the meane whereby you shall receiue this benefit, is to reuoke and repeal those lawes and statutes, which be impediments, blocks, and barres to the executiō of my cōmission. For like as I my selfe had neither place nor voyce to speake here among you, but was in all respectes a banished man, till suche time as ye had repealed those lawes, that lay in my way: euen so cannot you receiue the benefite and grace offred from the apostolick sea, vntill the abrogation of such lawes, wherby you haue disioined and disseuered your selues from the vnity of Christes Church.

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It remayneth therefore, that you like true christians & prouident men for the weale of your soules & bodyes, ponder what is to be done in this so weighty a cause, and so to frame your actes and procedings, as they may tend first to the glory of God, and next to the conseruation of your cōmon wealth, surety and quietnes.

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The next day after, the 3. Estates assembled agayne in the great chamber of the Court at Westminster: where the king and queenes maiesties, and the Cardinall being present, they did exhibite (sitting all on theyr knees) a supplication to theyr highnesses, the tenor wherof ensueth.

The Copy of the supplication and submission exhibited to the king and Queenes maiesties, by the Lordes and Commons of the Parliament. 
Commentary  *  Close
Block 34: From the Supplication to Gardiner's Sermon

The supplication of parliament to Philip and Mary for permission to present their submission to Pole together with an account of Pole's receiving that submission are reprinted from Elder (cf. Copie of a letter, sigs. E3r-E5r with 1563, p. 1010; 1570, p. 1649; 1576, p. 1407; 1583, p. 1477).


Commentary on the Glosses  *  Close
From the Supplication to Gardiner's Sermon

A comparison of Glosses points up a problem Foxe faces here. In the latter gloss it is easy for Foxe to argue against Pole that the nobility were not keen on the return of papal power, but in the former he has to satisfy himself with suggesting that the professed repentance of the Lords and Commons was only skin deep. As with the disruptions in London, the implication of discontent beneath the surface was useful, although in this case there was the danger of portraying the nobility as hypocritical: that Foxe was willing to risk this shows the strong desire to work against the idea of catholic loyalty in the nobility (perhaps a particular fear after the 1569 rebellion). Foxe also adds a procedural thrust, noting that the pope's absolution had to come via the monarchs. The historic moment of absolution is subverted by glosses which contrast the pope's absolution with Christ's. The repeated accusation of flattery hurled at Pole continues the portrayal of him as the consummate politician begun in the previous section.

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MarginaliaThe supplicatiō & submission of the Lordes and Commons, to the king & Queenes maiesties.WE the Lordes spirituall, and temporall, and the commōs of this present parliament, assembled, representing the whole body of the realme of England, and dominions of the same, in our own names particularly, and also of the sayd body vniuersally in this supplicatiō directed to your maiestyes, with most hūble sute, that it may by your gracious intercession and meane be exhibited to the most reuerend father in God, the Lord Cardinall Poole Legate, sent specially hither from our most holy father Pope Iulius the third, and the Sea Apostolick of Rome, do declare our selues MarginaliaO great sorow and deepe repentaunce.very sorye and repentaunt for the schisme and disobedience committed in this realme and the dominions of the same, against the sayd sea Apostolicke, either by making, agreing, or executing any lawes, ordinaunces, or commaundementes agaynst the supremacye of the sayde sea, or otherwise doing or speaking, that might impugne the same: Offring our selues & promising by this our supplication, that for a token and knowledge of our sayd repentance, we be, and shalbe alway ready, vnder and with the authorities of your Maiesties, to the vttermost of our power, to doe that shalbe in vs, for the abrogation and repealing of the sayd lawes and ordinaunces in this present parliament, as well for our selues, as for the whole body, whom we represent.Whereupon we most humbly beseech your maiesties, as persons vndefiled in the offence of his body towardes the sayde Sea, which neuerthelesse God by his prouidence hath made subiecte to your maiesties MarginaliaThe Popes absolution cānot come, but by intercession of kinges & to set forth this our moste humble sute, that we may obteine from the sea Apostolicke, by the sayd most reuerent father, as wel particularly as vniuersally, Absolution, release and discharge from all daunger of such Censures, and sentences, as by the lawes of the church we be fallen in, and that we may, as children repentant, be receiued into the bosome & vnity of Christes church, so as this noble Realme, with all the members therof, may in vnity and perfect obedience to the Sea Apostolicke, and Popes for the time being, serue GOD and your Maiesties to the furtheraunce and aduauncement of his Honour and Glorye. Amen.

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MarginaliaThe supplication geuē vp by the king and Queene to the Cardinall.The Supplication being read, 

Cattley Pratt  *  Close
Cattley/Pratt, VI, Addenda: ref page 572, line 17

But the actual reconciliation, as it should have been made plainer, took place on the 30th, St. Andrew's day: see Phillips' Life of Cardinal Pole, vol. ii. p. 129, and Pol. Ep. v. 315.
Several of these letters and small documents are reprinted from the original publications in Cardinal Quirini's collection of Pole's Epistolæ, tom. v. Brixiæ, 1757, pp. 293-324. The sermon of Bishop Gardiner is given in Latin from notes taken by Harpesfield, archdeacon of Canterbury, and of course more at length than in Foxe. At the close, where Foxe (p. 578) has "for the Bishop of London," the reprint in Pole gives "et reverendissimo Legato Polo," p. 299.

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the king and Queene deliuered the same vnto the Cardinall, who (perceiuing þe effect thereof to aunswere his expectation) did receiue the same most gladly from theyr Maiesties: and after he had in fewe wordes geuen thankes to God, and declared what great cause he had to reioyce aboue all others, that his cōming from Rome into England had takē most happy successe: He by the Popes authority, did geue them this absolution folowing.

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