The Journal of Ecclesiastical History


Pole's Piety? The Devotional Reading of Reginald Pole and his Friends


a1 Department of Theology and Religion, University of Durham DH1 3RS, e-mail:


In this examination of the piety and devotional books of Reginald Pole and his friends, three booklists are compared: Pole's own, and those of Marcantonio Flaminio and Michael Throckmorton. The article also probes their comments and choices about reading and prayer, sacrament and preaching, as well as the observations of contemporaries. Piety in Pole's household was nourished principally by the Bible, the Fathers and the Imitation of Christ, but scriptural commentaries by suspect reformers also became part of their devotional reading, moulding religious identities which were unusual and became dangerous.


I wish to thank Susan Brigden, James Carley, Dermot Fenlon, Gerald Hargreaves, Thomas Mayer and James Willoughby for their generosity in reading and commenting on drafts of this paper. I also acknowledge gratefully the Visiting Research Fellowship awarded by the Open University.