Sir Geoffrey Pole and his wife, Constance Pakenham, had five sons, listed in order of birth: Arthur, Thomas, Edmund, Geoffrey, and Henry.
Now, this is where it gets interesting! Arthur Pole, the eldest son, would have been the senior Pole pretender to the throne by right of his descent from the Plantagenet kings. And he tried to assert that right when Elizabeth I came to the throne. After her half-sister, Mary Tudor, had spent her short reign of only six years trying to take England back to the Catholic faith, with great persecution of the Protestants who objected, Elizabeth now reversed that process because she had been brought up as a Protestant. And Elizabeth reigned for a very long time - over 44 years!
The Catholics in the kingdom were thought to be ready to continue with the Catholic restoration, and Arthur sought to capitalize on that. He tried to acquire help from the Spanish, who refused; and then the French, who apparently agreed. But the plot was discovered, and Arthur was arrested and put in the Tower.
His younger brother, Edmund, was also implicated in the plot and put in the Tower. There are inscriptions on the walls of the Beauchamp Tower in the Tower of London, put there by both men. They both died in the Tower apparently without issue and before 1570; they were not mentioned in their mother's will which was dated in 1570.
The second son, Thomas Pole, was the eldest son - and thus the senior Pole pretender to the throne after the death of his older brother Arthur. He was mentioned in the will of his mother in 1570 - and then nothing further is known of him or his descendants.
It is known that the fourth son, Geoffrey Pole, married Catherine Dutton, and that they had two sons and five daughters. Nothing is known of the marriage or descent of any of the daughters. The oldest son, Arthur, was slain mysteriously in Rome in 1595; nothing is known of any descendants. And the second son, Geoffrey Pole, was murdered mysteriously in Cheshire in 1606, after the reign of Elizabeth I had ended, having lived abroad for many years. Apparently he thought it safe to return to England after the death of Elizabeth and succession to the throne by the Stuarts. He was wrong!
And, nothing is known about the marriage or descendants of the fifth son of Sir Geoffrey and Constance (Pakenham) Pole - Henry Pole.
So, apparently we are left with the unknown descendants of the second son, Thomas Pole, the Pole pretender to the throne after the death in the Tower of his older brother, Arthur. And nothing is known of him or his descendants after he was mentioned in the will of his mother in 1570.
As the senior Pole pretender to the throne, he is absolutely the most likely to have most secretly guarded any information about himself or his family!
In the next posting, I will provide circumstantial evidence that those Poles in America claiming to be Plantagenet descendants were likely descendants of this Thomas Pole.
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