Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu

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Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu (also written Montague or Montacute; born circa 1492 – died 9 January 1539), the only holder of the title Baron Montagu under its 1514 creation, was one of the relatives King Henry VIII of England had executed for treason.

Family[edit]

Henry Pole was the oldest son of Sir Richard Pole and Lady Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury, daughter of George of York, Duke of Clarence and his wife Lady Isabel, Duchess of Clarence. His maternal grandfather, George of York, was a brother of the York Kings Edward IV and Richard III. His maternal grandmother, Isabel, was daughter to one of the most powerful men of his time, Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick. Warwick was cousin to the York brothers by his paternal aunt, Cecily, Duchess of York. The 16th Earl and Countess of Warwick were, in their own right, both descendants of King Edward III.

Life[edit]

He was invested as a knight by King Henry VIII in 1513 and summoned to Parliament as Baron Montagu in the Peerage of England on 12 October 1514. He was appointed steward of manors belonging to the Tewkesbury Abbey in 1526. From 1530 on he became justice of the peace for Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire and Sussex.[1][2] In May 1536, Henry was one of the peers in the trial of Anne Boleyn.

Imprisonment and execution[edit]

On 4 November 1538, Montagu along with his wife's brother,[3] Edward Neville and other relatives were arrested on a charge of treason by King Henry VIII, although Thomas Cromwell had previously written that they had "little offended save that he is of their kin." Montagu's brother Reginald was not among them, in exile at the time, due to his opposition of King Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon. They were committed to the Tower of London and Lord Montagu was attainted and his honours forfeited on 2 December 1538. On 9 January 1539, with the exception of Sir Geoffrey Pole, Henry's brother, all the arrestees were beheaded. (Neville had been beheaded earlier on 8 December 1538). Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter, was arrested along with his wife and 11-year-old son (his wife would be released two years later while their son spent 15 years in the Tower until his release by Queen Mary I on 3 August 1553).

Ten days after Montagu's arrest, his mother was arrested and questioned by William Fitzwilliam, and Thomas Goodrich, Bishop of Ely. They reported to Thomas Cromwell that although they had "travailed with her" for many hours she would "nothing utter," and they were forced to conclude that either her sons had not included her in their plans for "treason," or she was "the most arrant traitress that ever lived." On 27 May 1541, the 67-year-old Lady Salisbury was beheaded in the Tower of London. Lord Montagu's son Henry was committed to the Tower at the same time as his father. It was expected that he would follow his grandmother to the block, but the king did not want to risk unfavorable public opinion and so he was deprived of a tutor and imprisoned in the Tower until his death, possibly from starvation, in 1542 or later.[4]

Marriage and issue[edit]

In May 1510 or before May 1520, Pole married Jane Neville, daughter of George Nevill, 5th Baron Bergavenny, and Joan Arundel. They had the following children:

Ancestors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), p. 136
  2. ^ Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition, 2 volumes (Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 1999), volume 1, pp. 16, 18.
  3. ^ According to Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition, 2 volumes (Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 1999), volume 1, p. 18, his wife had already died, before 26 October 1538.
  4. ^ The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir (New York, 1992) pgs. 250-251
  5. ^ Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition, 2 volumes (Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 1999), volume 1, p.–16.