Sir Richard Pole

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Sir Richard Pole
Coat of arms of Sir Richard Pole, KG.png
Arms of Sir Richard Pole, KG
Born 1462
Died 1505
Spouse(s) Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury
Children Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu
Reginald Pole
Sir Geoffrey Pole of Lordington
Sir Arthur Pole of Broadhurst
Ursula Pole
Parents Sir Geoffrey Pole of Worrell and of Wythurn
Edith St John

Sir Richard Pole, KG (1462 - bef. 18 December 1505) was a Welsh supporter and close relation of King Henry VII created Knight of the Garter and married to Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury, a member of the Plantagenet dynasty, to reinforce the Tudor alliance between the houses of Lancaster and York.


A descendant of an ancient Welsh family, Sir Richard was a landed gentleman of Buckinghamshire, the son of Sir Geoffrey Pole of Worrell, Cheshire, and of Wythurn in Medmenham, Buckinghamshire (1431 - 1474 / 4 January 1479, interred in Bisham Abbey).[1] His mother was Edith St John, daughter of Sir Oliver St John of Bletso, Bedfordshire (d. 1437) and the half-sister of Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. They both shared the same mother, Margaret Beauchamp of Bletso, who had married three times. He was thus first cousin of Alice St John, wife of Henry Parker, 10th Baron Morley and mother of Jane Parker, wife of George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford.

Tudor Rule[edit]

Henry VII gave him various offices in Wales including the constableship of Harlech and Montgomery castles and the High Sheriff of Merionethshire. In 1495 Pole raised men against the rebellion of Perkin Warbeck.

Sir Richard Pole was "a valiant and expert commander" first retained to serve Henry VII in the wars of Scotland in 1497 with five demi-lances and 200 archers, and shortly afterwards with 600 men-at-arms, 60 demilances, and 540 bows and bills.[2]

King Henry later made him Chief Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to Arthur, Prince of Wales. Pole was invested as a Knight of the Garter on April 1499. After Prince Arthur married Catherine of Aragon in 1501 Pole accompanied them to Ludlow Castle where Arthur took his role as President of The Council of Wales and Marches. Pole was later given responsibility for the Welsh Marches. He also had the daunting task of meeting with the council of Wales and Marches on how best to inform the King of his much loved eldest son's death on the 2 April 1502.


He married Margaret Plantagenet, daughter of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence and Isabella Plantagenet, Duchess of Clarence, between 1491 and 1494, or on 22 September 1494.[3] On the topic of the marriage William Shakespeare wrote "His [The Duke of Clarence's] daughter meanly have I match'd in marriage."[4] and Horace Walpole wrote in his correspondence "Henry had married her to the insignificant Sir Richard Pole who is called a Welsh Knight".[5] Sir Richard Pole may have been chosen by King Henry VII as husband for his wife's cousin Margaret on the basis that he was 'safe' because his mother was a half-sister of Henry's own mother, Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond - that is, one of the St Johns, and her mother in turn, was a Beauchamp.

He died before 18 December 1505. Stammtafeln says he died in 1525.


He and his wife were parents to five children:[6]



  1. ^ Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), p. 103.
  2. ^  Gairdner, James (1896). "Pole, Margaret". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 46. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 28–29. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Shak., Rich. III., iv. 3. 37.
  5. ^ The Yale edition of Horace Walpole's correspondence, Volume 2 By Horace Walpole, Wilmarth Sheldon Lewis
  6. ^ Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), p. 136.