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Margaret Pole
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    (August 14, 1473-May 27, 1541)
    Born in Somerset, England, United Kingdom
    Countess of Salisbury
    Daughter of George, Duke of Clarence
    Niece of Kings Edward IV and Richard III
    Lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon
    Governess of Princess Mary
    Arrested for treason against Henry VIII (1539)
    Executed by beheading
    Beatified by the Roman Catholic Church as a martyr (1886)
    Because she was one of the last Plantagenets, King Henry VII forced her to marry one of his relatives, Sir Richard Pole.
    King Henry VIII called her 'a fool, of no experience.'
    She denounced her son Reginald as a traitor and regretted giving birth to him. (However, those statements were more an attempt to save her neck than her actual feelings.)
    She was one of two women in 16th-century England to be a peeress in her own right with no titled husband.
    She managed her lands well enough to become the fifth richest peer in England.
    She was dismissed as Mary's governess after refusing to hand over Mary's jewels to a courtier who was to deliver them to the newly favored Princess Elizabeth.
    She was arrested mainly because her son Reginald vociferously denounced Henry VIII's marital and religious views from the safety of continental Europe.
    A sympathetic Catherine Howard sent warm clothes to her Tower of London cell in the winter.
    After two years in the Tower, she as executed largely because of a rebellion in Yorkshire led by John Neville, a distant relative of her mother.
    Her execution was performed by a 'blundering youth' whose first swing of the axe made a gash in her shoulder and required an additional ten blows to complete the execution.

Credit: C. Fishel

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