Margaret PLANTAGENET

Female 1473 - 1541  (67 years)


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  • Name Margaret PLANTAGENET  [1, 2, 3
    • On the death of her brother Richard Plantagenent , Earl of Warwick, on 28 Nov 1499, she became sole heiress, not only to her father, but to the Earls of Warwick and Earls of Salisbury. She was Lady of the Chamber to Queen Katherine of Aragon in 1509. Sir Richard de le Pole died before 18 Dec 1505. In 1538 King Henry VIII struck at the family of Pole, on account both of their descent from King Edward IV's brother George, Duke of Clarence, and of the action of Cardinal Reginald Pole, who hoped that Paul III would publish a Bull of deprivation. Their youngest son, Sir Geoffrey Pole, was sent to the Tower on 29 Aug 1538, followed on 4 November, by their first son Henry, Lord Montagu. Margaret Plantagenet, Countess of Salisbury, was sent to the Tower of London, attainted, and beheaded at the Tower on 28 May 1541. She was the last surviving member of the royal House of Anjou (usually known as the Plantagenets). [1]
    Born 14 Aug 1473  Castle Farley near Bath, Somerset Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Gender Female 
    Fact Countess of Salisbury Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Died 27 May 1541  Executed at Tower Hill Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Buried Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula in the Tower Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Notes 
    • Excerpt from Blood Royal: Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, was the devoted governess of the young Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII, King of England, and was considered by the Princess as a second mother. Margaret was mother of Reginald Pole, Cardinal and Archbishop of Canterbury, who refused to support Henry VIII in his break with Rome. Henry VIII has her imprisoned in the Tower where she would remain about two years, suffering "by the severity of the weather and the insufficiency of her clothing." Early on the morning of 27 May 1541, she was beheaded, despite the fact she was nearing the age of seventy. "The executioner was a clumsy novice, who hideously hacked her neck and shoulders before the decapitation was accomplished." When Pole heard of his mother's execution ("without trial or formal charge"), he is reported to have said, "I am now the son of a martyr." It is believed that Henry VIII, despite the fact that he had once called her the most saintly woman in England, was executing Margaret because he could not get at the son.

      There are varying accounts of her execution. Some sources describe the Countess as refusing to place her head on the block. Stating that she had done nothing traitorous, she fled from the executioner, who chased her around the courtyard, hacking her with the axe.

      From "The Worthies of England, 1952, pg 612": On the scaffold, as she stood, she would not gratify the executioner with a prostrate posture of her body." Since the countess refused to put her head on the block, "Here happened an unequal contest betwixt weakness and strength, age and youth, nakedness and weapons, nobility and baseness, a princess and an executioner, who at last dragging her by the hair, grey with age, may truly be said to have took off her head, seeing she would neither give it to him, nor forgive him the doing thereof>' However, the "Dictionary of National Biography" reports that the Countess died with dignity, requesting prayers for those near to her and for the king and queen and his children. She then submitted to the clumsy executioner, an "inexperienced youth," "who hacked her neck and shoulders before the decapitation was accomplished."
    Person ID I44540  Main Tree
    Last Modified 17 May 2018 

    Father Sir George PLANTAGENET, K.G.,   b. 21 Oct 1449, Dublin Castle Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Feb 1478, Put to death in the Tower Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 28 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Isabel NEVILLE,   b. 05 Sep 1451, Warwick Castle, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Dec 1476, Warwick Castle Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 25 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married 11 Jul 1469  Calais, church of Notre Dame Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Family ID F06852  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Sir Richard DE LA POLE, K.G.,   d. Bef 15 Nov 1505 
    Married Nov 1487  [3
    Children 
     1. Ursula POLE,   d. 12 Aug 1570  [Natural]
    +2. Sir Henry POLE,   b. Abt 1492,   d. 9 Jan 1538/9, beheaded Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 47 years)  [Birth]
    Last Modified 29 Apr 2018 
    Family ID F06853  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 14 Aug 1473 - Castle Farley near Bath, Somerset Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsFact - - Countess of Salisbury Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula in the Tower Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Sources 
    1. [S5008] "Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth-Century Colonists", David Faris, (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.).

    2. [S01910] Blood Royal, Issue of the Kings and Queens of Medieval England 1066-1399 by. T. Anna Leese.

    3. [S5840] Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonist Who Came to America before 1700, Frederick Lewis Weis.