Margaret was born into the House of York and was the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV.
Margaret was born in 1473 during the Wars of the Roses in the first 12 years of her life would come the death of Edward IV, the disappearance of his sons Edward V and Richard Duke of York, Richard III taking control of the crown and the Battle of Bosworth Field which brought Henry VII to the throne.
After Henry Tudor came to power, the remaining members of the House of York were systematically dealt with through marriage, imprisonment or execution.
Henry VII arranged for Margaret to be married to Sir Richard Pole, whose mother was a half-sister to Henry’s own mother, Margaret Beaufort.
When Henry VIII became king in 1509 Margaret attended on Queen Catherine of Aragon, whom she had also served in her short time as Princess of Wales before the death of Prince Arthur. In 1512 Margaret was granted the title of Countess of Salisbury in her own right, restoring her to a title that was previously held in her family. The restoration brought a good income from the Salisbury estates and lands, eventually making Margaret one of the wealthiest peers in England.
In the 1520s and 30s, Margaret’s relationship with the crown became strained because of Margaret’s support of Catherine of Aragon and the Princess Mary, as well as her sons’ relationship with Edward Stafford, the Duke of Buckingham, who was executed for treason.
Margaret’s son Reginald spoke out against the Royal Supremacy – an act of treason, although from the safety of Italy. Some of the members of the family closer to the King’s wrath weren’t so lucky. Geoffrey Pole was arrested and Margaret was kept in custody, first at her interrogator William Fitzwilliam’s residence, but was later transferred to the Tower of London.
In May 1539, an act of attainder was passed against her for aiding and abetting her sons Henry and Reginald and having ‘committed and perpetrated diverse and sundry other detestable and abominable treasons’. Although imprisoned in the Tower, Margaret was fairly well-appointed and even had new clothes made by the Queen Kathryn’s tailor in March 1541.
However, a rising in the north may have been the tipping point and at 7 o’clock in the morning on May 27th 1541, Margaret was executed.
She was laid to rest, like many others executed before and after her, in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula in the Tower of London. In 1886 she was beatified by Pope Leo XIII.
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Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "Margaret Pole" https://englishhistory.net/tudor/citizens/margaret-pole/, February 2, 2022