POOLE, Henry II (by 1507-59), of Kirk Langley, Derbys. and Withcote, Leics.
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Family and Education
b. by 1507, 1st s. of Henry Poole of Chesterfield, Derbys. by Ursula, da. and h. of Thomas Twyford of Kirk Langley. m. Dorothy, da. of Richard Cave of Stanford, Northants., wid. of John Smith (d.1544) of Withcote; 1s. 1da. illegit.1
Member, order of St. John of Jerusalem 23 July 1528, lt. turcopolier 1534, preceptor, Dalby, Leics. 1535-40; j.p. Leics. 1538-d.; commr. musters 1539, 1546, relief 1550; sheriff, Warws. and Leics. 1558-d.2
Henry Poole came of a cadet branch of the family seated at Radbourne, Derbyshire. He appears to have been the heir to his father’s lands but none the less chose to make his career in the order of St. John of Jerusalem which he entered on 23 July 1528. In 1533 he was a witness in the controversy over Sir Clement West’s deposition from the office of turcopolier and in 1534 he succeeded Edward Bellingham as lieutenant turcopolier. In 1535, while in Malta, he was appointed preceptor of Dalby and on his return he engaged in a dispute with the lessee of the demesne, Humphrey Babington, whom he wished to evict. He was soon facing the much graver problem of the future of the order in England and, with it, of his own position, but on its suppression in 1540, he received an annuity of 200 marks out of its Leicestershire properties. He appears to have continued to live at Dalby for some time, even after it was first leased, and in 1544 sold, to his cousin Andrew Nowell: he still had some interest in the parish at his death.3
Poole had already begun to take part in local administration, and in 1544 he led a contingent from Leicestershire in the war with France: at this time he was generally styled knight as he had been in the order. It was almost certainly his namesake, a Member for Wootton Bassett in the Parliament of October 1553, who was the gentleman pensioner at the funerals of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary. It is not known when he married Dorothy Smith, sister of his fellow-hospitaller Sir Ambrose Cave, but it was this which took him to Withcote, ‘one of the fairest houses in Leicestershire’, of which she enjoyed a life tenancy. It remained his principal residence although he engaged in building at Kirk Langley, leaving £100 in his will for the completion of the work: he sued out a pardon in October 1553 as of Withcote. The Cave connexion probably accounts for his election as second knight of the shire to the Parliament of April 1554, the returning officer Robert Throckmorton being one of his kinsmen. Nothing is known of Poole’s activity in the House.4
In the autumn of 1558 Poole was himself pricked sheriff and after his death on 3 Feb. 1559 his term of office was completed by his brother-in-law Brian Cave. He had made his will on the previous 18 Apr., providing for his wife, his stepchildren, his own two illegitimate children and his many brothers (one of whom succeeded him at Kirk Langley) and nephews; his son Henry Poole alias Carter was still a schoolboy and his daughter Elizabeth was married to John Bussy of Haydor, Lincolnshire, whom he named executor with his brother William Poole. Amongst those to whom he left mourning rings were Sir Ambrose Cave and Andrew Nowell, whom he named as supervisor. His annuity was in arrears and he left one of the two payments of £66 13s.4d. outstanding ‘to answer the Queen’s privy seal for the hundred marks I must lend her grace’; he was also owed £55 by the crown purveyors. The will was proved on 17 Feb. 1559. Poole was buried in the church at Kirk Langley where his tomb bears the incised effigies of himself and his wife and an inscription identifying him as the church’s patron.