Pole, Arthur (DNB00)

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POLE, ARTHUR (1531–1570?), conspirator, born in 1531, was the eldest son of Sir Geoffrey Pole [q. v.] and his wife Constance, daughter of Sir John Pakenham. He has been commonly confused with his uncle Arthur, probably second son of Margaret Pole, countess of Salisbury [q. v.], and brother of Cardinal Pole. He was educated under the care of Gentian Hervet, a friend of Thomas Lupset [q. v.], and of Geoffrey and Reginald Pole. His father and his uncle the cardinal died within a few days of each other in November 1558, and in December 1559 Arthur wrote, apparently to Cecil, complaining that his uncle had done nothing for him, and offering his services to Queen Elizabeth. This offer was not accepted, and Pole was soon entangled in treasonable proceedings. Before the end of the year the attentions paid to Pole by the English catholics irritated Elizabeth, and in September 1562 De Quadra wrote to Philip that Pole was about to leave England on the pretext of religion, ‘but the truth is that he is going to try his fortune, and pretend to the crown.’ He was persuaded that, as a descendant of Edward IV's brother, the Duke of Clarence, his claim to the English throne was as good as that of Mary Queen of Scots. Through one Fortescue, who had married his sister, he proposed to De Quadra to enter the Spanish service, but the Spanish ambassador thought little of his capacity or his claims, and Pole next applied to the French ambassador, De Foix. But France was not likely to support a rival to Mary, and Pole agreed to forego his claim to the crown on condition that he was created Duke of Clarence. It was wildly suggested that Mary might marry his younger brother Edmund (1541–1570?).

Arthur and Edmund were encouraged in their project by the prediction of one Prestal, an astrologer, that Queen Elizabeth would die in 1563, and they plotted to raise a force in the Welsh marches to support Mary's claim. They also applied to the Duke of Guise for aid. He apparently held out hopes to them, and they were on the point of taking ship for France in October 1562 when they were arrested near the Tower. They were examined by the council, but no further steps were taken until after the meeting of parliament in the following January. On 26 Feb. 1562–3 they were found guilty of treason; but, in consideration of their youth and the futility of the plot, they were not executed. They were imprisoned in the Beauchamp Tower, Edmund in the upper, and Arthur in the lower room. They both carved inscriptions on the walls, which still remain. Edmund's is signed ‘Æt. 21 E. Poole, 1562,’ and Arthur's ‘A.D. 1568, Arthur Poole, Æ suae 37, A. P.’ Both died in the Tower, probably in 1570. They were alive in January of that year, but both are omitted from their mother's will, dated 12 Aug. 1570, where Thomas, the second son, is described as the eldest. Froude, on the authority of one of De Quadra's letters, states that Arthur married a daughter of the Earl of Northumberland, but no reference to this match is to be found in the peerages.

[Cal. of Papers preserved at Simancas, passim; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1541–80, p. 145, For. 1562 No. 970, 1563 No. 44; Harl. MS. 421; Strype's Annals, I. i. 546, 555; Eccl. Mem. II. ii. 67; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. i. 146; Sandford's Genealog. Hist. p. 445; Dugdale's Baronage; Phillips's Life of Cardinal Pole; Bloxam's Reg. Magdalen Coll. Oxford, iv. 152; Aikin's Court of Eliz. i. 354; Hepworth Dixon's Her Majesty's Tower, ed. 1869, pp. 2. 241–4; Pike's Hist. of Crime, ii. 37–9; Froude and Lingard's Histories; Sussex Archæol. Collections, xxi. 86–7; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. viii. 49.]

A. F. P.