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SIR THOMAS POPE (c. 1507-1559)

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Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 88 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR THOMAS POPE (c. 1507-1559), founder of Trinity College, Oxford, was born at Deddington, near Banbury, Oxfordshire, probably in 1507, for he was about sixteen years old when his father, a yeoman farmer, died in 1523. He was educated at Banbury school and Eton College, and entered the court of chancery. He there found a friend and patron in the lord-chancellor Thomas Audley. As clerk of briefs in the star chamber, warden of the mint (1534-1536), clerk of the Crown in chancery (1537), and second officer and treasurer of the court for the settlement of the confiscated property of the smaller religious foundations, he obtained wealth and influence. In this last office he was superseded in 1541, but from 1547 to 1553 he was again employed as fourth officer. He himself won by grant or purchase a considerable share in the spoils, for nearly thirty manors, which came sooner or later into his possession, were originally church property. " He could have rode," said Aubrey, " in his owne lands from Cogges (by Witney) to Banbury, about 1S miles." In 1J37 he was knighted. The religious changes made by Edward VI. were repugnant to him, but at the beginning of Mary's reign he became a member of the privy council. In 1556 he was sent to reside as guardian in Elizabeth's house. As early as 1555 he had begun to arrange for the endowment of a college at Oxford, for which he bought the site and buildings of Durham College, the Oxford house of the abbey of Durham, from Dr George Owen and William Martyn. He received a royal charter for the establishment and endowment of a college of the " Holy and Undivided Trinity " on the 8th of March 1556. The foundation provided for a president, twelve fellows and eight scholars, with a schoolhouse at Hooknorton. The number of scholars was subsequently increased to twelve, the schoolhouse being given up. On the 28th of March the members of the college were put in possession of the site, and they were formally admitted on the 29th of May 1556. Pope died at Clerkenwell on the 2gth of January 1559, and was buried at St Stephen's, Walbrook; but his remains were subsequently removed to Trinity College, where his widow erected a semi-Gothic alabaster monument to his memory. He was three times married, but left no children. Much of his property was left to charitable and religious foundations, and the bulk of his Oxfordshire estates passed to the family of his brother, John Pope of Wroxton, and his descendants, the viscounts Dillon and the earls of Guilford and barons North. The life, by H. E. D. Blakiston, in the Diet. Nat. Biog., corrects many errors in Thomas Warton's We of Sir Thomas Pope (1772). Further notices by the same authority are in his Trinity College (1898), in the " College Histories " Series, and in the English Historical Review (April, 1896). POPE-JOAN, a round game of cards, named after a legendary female Pope of the 9th century. An ordinary pack is used, from which the eight of diamonds has been removed, and a special round board in the form of eight compartments, named respectively Pope-Joan, Matrimony, Intrigue, Ace, King, Queen, Knave and Game (King, Queen and Knave are sometimes omitted). Each player—any number can play—contributes a stake, of which one counter is put into the divisions Ace, King, Queen, Knave and Game, two into Matrimony and Intrigue, and the rest into Pope-Joan. This is called " dressing the board." The cards are dealt round, with an extra hand for " stops," i.e. cards which stop, by their absence, the completion of a suit; thus the absence of the nine of spades stops the playing of the ten. The last card is turned up for trumps. Cards in excess may be dealt to " stops," or an agreed number may be left for the purpose, so that all players may have an equal number of cards. If an honour or " Pope " (nine of diamonds) is turned up, the dealer takes the counters in the compartment so marked. Sometimes the turning-up of Pope settles the hand, the dealer taking the whole pool. The Ace is the lowest card, the King the highest. The player on the dealer's left plays a card and names it; the player who has the next highest then plays it, till a stop is played, i.e. a card of which no one holds the next highest. All Kings are of course stops, also the seven of diamonds; also the cards next below the dealt stops, and the cards next below the played cards. After a stop the played cards are turned over, and the player of the stop (the card last played) leads again. The player who gets rid of all his cards first takes the counters in " Game," and receives a counter from each player for every card left in his hand, except from the player who may hold Pope but has not played it. The player of Ace, King, Queen or Knave of trumps takes the counters from that compartment. If King and Queen of trumps are in one hand, the holder takes the counters in " Matrimony "; if a Queen and Knave, those in " Intrigue "; if all three, those in the two compartments; if they are in different hands these counters are sometimes divided. Unclaimed stakes are left for the next pool. Pope is sometimes considered a universal " stop."
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