South Bank London

Reformation Cardinal: Reginald Pole in Sixteenth-Century Italy and England

Discover the history of Britain’s last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury in this unique exhibition.

Opening Hours

Mon–Fri: 9:30am–5pm
Sat 7 Oct, Sat 4 Nov, Sat 2 Dec: 10am–5pm


This event has ended.

05 Oct - 15 Dec 2023

Ticket Information

Admission free

Location Info

Lambeth Palace Library, Lambeth Palace Road, London, UK

A unique collaboration between New College, Oxford, Lambeth Palace Library and the Venerable English College, Rome, this exhibition brings together a variety of materials to explore the life story of Cardinal Reginald Pole (1500-1558).

Born in 1500 into the highest circles of the English aristocracy, becoming both cardinal and England’s last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury, Reginald Pole steered a perilous course through the storm of the European Reformation.

A brilliant scholarly career in Italy took him to Rome, from where he launched an audacious campaign against Henry VIII’s regime and its anti-papal policies. His intellectual leadership of the Church mirrored his position in a circle of close spiritual friends, which included the artist Michelangelo.

Returning to England after the accession of the Catholic Queen Mary, Pole reconciled the English Church to Rome and did much to reestablish Catholicism before his premature death at Lambeth in 1558.

This exhibition brings together books from Oxford, London, and Rome to tell the story of this complex and charismatic Cardinal.

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