Cardinal Pole (1500-1558) was a cousin of Henry VIII and an English Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Having been sponsored by his boyhood friend, Henry, Reginal Pole completed his higher education at the university of Padua. Pole assisted Henry in his negotiations to get his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled. However, Pole disagreed with Henry's further actions, in particular his break with papal authority; in return Henry denounced him as a traitor and he became an exile, unable to return to England until the succession of the Roman Catholic Mary I, who authorised the reversal of his condemnation as a traitor. Shortly after his return, the Revival of the Heresy Act of November 1554 was passed, precipitating the burnings (about 300 in total), which were to follow during Mary's reign.
In the same month, Thomas Cranmer was officially deprived of the see of Canterbury and Thomas Pole was made Archbishop of Canterbury in 1955. He held this position until his death in 1558, outliving Mary by a mere twelve hours. He is buried in Canterbury Cathedral in Kent.