Catherine POLE

(C. Huntingdon)

Born: 1508

Died: 23 Sep 1576

Father: Henry POLE (1° B. Montagu)

Mother: Jane NEVILLE

Married: Francis HASTINGS (2º E. Huntingdon) 25 Jun 1532, Ashby, Leicestershire, England

Children:

1. Henry HASTINGS (3º E. Huntingdon)

2. George HASTINGS (4º E. Huntingdon)

3. Edward HASTINGS (Sir)

4. Catherine HASTINGS (C. Lincoln)

5. Frances Anne HASTINGS (B. Compton)

6. Walter HASTINGS

7. Elizabeth HASTINGS (C. Worcester)

8. Anne HASTINGS

9. Francis HASTINGS

10. Mary HASTINGS

11. William HASTINGS


Catherine Pole was the daughter of Henry Pole, baron Montagu, and Jane Neville; and married Francis Hastings, son and heir of George Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon, in 1532, at the same time her sister, Winifred, married his brother, Thomas. Dispensation for the marriages were needed, because they were related in the 3rd and 4th degrees of kindred. In 1538, Catherine’s father was executed for treason. Her grandmother, Lord Montagu’s mother, Margaret Plantagenet, Countess of Salisbury, was executed on the same charge in 1541. Their only crime was having a claim to the throne. Although Catherine’s husband was under suspicion for a time, he was careful to stay out of politics. He succeeded his father, becoming 2nd Earl of Huntingdon in 1544.

Their oldest boy, Henry, was a schoolmate of the future Edward VI and the family fortunes improved during Edward’s short reign. When Mary Tudor became Queen, Catherine promptly contacted her uncle, Cardinal Reginald Pole, who had been in exile since 1538, and upon his return to England asked him to be the godfather of her youngest son, Walter. In 1554/55 she was restored in blood after the reversal of her father's attainder by Parliament.

When Catherine’s husband died, he left her with five sons and five daughters: Catherine, Frances, Elizabeth, Anne and Mary; all but the oldest boy and girl under age. It was her oldest son, Henry, the new Earl, however, who had the responsibility for supporting them and arranging their marriages. Catherine assisted in this financially. In 1562 she leased him all her lands except the manor of Lubbesthorpe, where she lived until her death, for an annuity of £960 and his promise to double his sisters’ dowries. This lease was cancelled in 1564. In exchange Catherine granted him the lease of the manor of Stokenham in Devon and gave him permission to sell some of her lands in Cornwall. In 1574, she assigned the park of Ware, Hertfordshire to him (he needed to pledge property for his debts to the crown) and received in return an annuity of £33. 6s. 8d. Most of her estates, however, remained in her possession. She remained a Catholic sympathizer, if not actively a recusant, even though her oldest son was a staunch protestant. Her youngest son, Walter, shared her beliefs.
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