survived his elevation only three weeks, dying on 30 April, and at the second vacancy both Queen Mary and the court of France bestirred themselves in Pole's favour. But on 23 May Cardinal Caraffa became pope as Paul IV. Pole himself, meanwhile, was more concerned about the re-establishment of peace in Europe. Peace conferences were presently arranged to take place at Marck, near Calais, on the borders of the two hostile countries of France and the empire, and he crossed to Calais in the middle of May to act as president. The prospect, however, did not improve, and within a month the conferences were broken off, and he returned to England.
On 10 June Paul IV held his first consistory at Rome, when English ambassadors declared their nation's repentance for past errors. Paul ratified all that Pole had done, and said no honour could be paid to him which would not fall short of his merits. After a month's stay in Rome the ambassadors returned to England with various bulls, one among them being directed against the alienation of church property. The bull might perhaps have been construed not to apply to the owners of church property in England, whose rights had already been recognised both .by the legate and by the holy see. But it was felt at once to be contrary to the spirit of the compromise which Pole had accepted. He therefore insisted on the necessity of excepting England by name from its operation. A new bull to that effect was issued without hesitation, and was read at Paul's Cross in September (Tyyler, Edward VI and Mary, ii. 483).
Before Philip left England for Brussels in October he placed the queen specially under the care of the cardinal, who thereupon took up his abode in Greenwich Palace ; and he paid a private visit to Pole himself to induce him to undertake a supervision of the council's proceedings. Pole acquiesced, apparently so far as to receive reports of what was done in the council, and to be a referee when matters of dispute arose ; but otherwise he declined to interfere with secular business (Cal of State Papers, Venetian, vi. 178-9; comp. Noailles, v. 126). He seems never to have attended the council.
The church's affairs were all-absorbing. Cranmer, the imprisoned archbishop of Canterbury, wished to confer with Pole personally. This the legate declined, as inconsistent with his office; but he wrote to Cranmer twice, in answer to letters to himself and to the queen. The proceedings taken in England against Cranmer were sent to Rome for judgment, where sentence of deprivation being pronounced against him, the administration of the see of Canterbury was committed on 11 Dec. to Pole. At the same time Pole was raised from the dignity of cardinal-deacon to that of cardinal-priest. The queen designed him to succeed Cranmer as archbishop. Though he felt it a serious additional responsibility, he agreed to accept the primacy, on the understanding that he should not be compelled again to go to Rome. With the bull appointing him to Canterbury, Pole received a brief confirming him in his old office of legate for the negotiation of peace. Immediately afterwards Pole rejoiced to find that, without his intervention, a five years' truce was arranged between the French king and Philip, now king of Spain, at Vaucelles (5 Feb. 1556).
On 4 Nov. 1555 Pole, having a warrant under the great seal for his protection, had caused a synod of both the convocations to assemble before him as legate in the chapel royal at Westminster. Gardiner's death on the 12th deprived Pole of very powerful aid in that reform and settlement of the affairs of the church which was the great object of this synod. It continued sitting till February following, when it was prorogued till November, the results of its deliberations being meanwhile published on 10 Feb. 1556, under the title 'Reformatio Angliæ ex decretis Reginaldi Poli, Cardinalis, Sedis Apostolicæ Legati.' In the first of these decrees it was enjoined that sermons and processions through the streets should take place yearly on the feast of St. Andrew, to celebrate the reconciliation of the realm to Rome.
On 20 March 1557, at Greenwich, he was ordained a priest at the Grey Friars church, and there next day, when Cranmer was burnt at Oxford, he celebrated mass for the first time. On Sunday the 22nd he was consecrated at the same church archbishop of Canterbury, by Heath, archbishop of York, assisted by Bonner and five other bishops of the province of Canterbury (Strype, Eccl. Mem. iii. 287, 1st ed.) He would have gone to Canterbury to be enthroned, but as the queen desired his presence in London, he deputed one of the canons to act as his proxy there, and received the pallium in great state on Ladyday at the church of St. Mary-le-Bow. On entering the church a paper was handed to him by the parishioners, requesting that he would favour them with a discourse, which he did extempore and with great fluency at the close of the proceedings.
After Gardiner's death Pole was elected chancellor of the university of Cambridge. He acknowledged the compliment in a graceful letter, dated from Greenwich 1 April 1556 (which the editor of his letters, Epp.