The Pilgrimage of Grace
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The Pilgrimage of Grace
- Oath taking takes place in Dent and the West Riding of Yorkshire.
- Late 1536 three government commissioners dissolving smaller monasteries were working in the Lincolnshire area.
- Rumours fly that the people are going to be taxed heavily on things like horned cattle, baptisms and marriages.
- 3rd Oct. the commons of Louth march on the town to meet the commissioners. They believe that their weapons are about to be confiscated.
- Captain Cobbler leads them.
- The rebels went on to a nearby nunnery.
- 4th Oct. gentry join in.
- A manifesto is written.
- The Bishop of Lincoln's registrar is murdered.
- The rebels march to Lincoln. A new set of articles is drawn up.
- Henry sends Suffolk to Stamford to be on standby.
- Rebels march with a banner which shows the five wounds of Christ.
- 8th Oct. Robert Aske calls upon the people of Beverley to be true to 'God, the king, the commonwealth and to maintain the Holy Church'.
- 10th Oct. the West Riding of Yorkshire is called to rebellion by the ringing of church bells.
- 13th Oct. while marching to York, Robert Aske begins to speak of their campaign in terms of a 'pilgrimage'.
- 16th Oct. the rebels led by Aske reached York.
- He gives the mayor a list of grievances, among which were:
- Suppression of the religious houses.
- Act of Uses - people had liberties taken from them because of this act which enquired into land value.
- Tax on sheep and cattle was unfair - the commons were already in a state of poverty.
- The low birth of most of the councillors who rule only for their own profits, like Richard Rich and Cromwell.
- Reforming bishops were not popular.
- He also made this declaration:
- From the 16th - 23rd Oct. a number of important Yorkshire cities and towns gave in to the rebels, including, Richmond, Sedburgh and Nidderdale.
- 21st Oct. Skipton castle was under siege.
- In this time the king disbanded his army thinking that it was no longer needed.
- The rebels went to Pontefract castle to try to secure support of the nobility.
- The Duke of Norfolk meets with the rebels at the River Don.
- Some Yorkshire nobles go to London to petition the king.
- 2nd Nov. the king promises to pardon all but the ten ringleaders. He says that he will receive the rebels in London and consider their case further.
- 2nd Dec. the promise of a pardon is repeated and Henry promises a free parliament.
- Aske relays these messages back to the rebels at Pontefract. They are disbelieving and threaten to rise again.
- After Christmas there is a second rising in Yorkshire, as many see the king's promises going unheeded. This is led by Sir Francis Bigod. Aske tried to warn off Bigod.
- The Duke of Norfolk declared martial law in the West Marches.
- The rebels were all hanged in Carlisle, except for Aske who was executed at Clifford's Tower in York.
- Focus your further reading/revision around these possible causes of the Pilgrimage of Grace
- A protest against the dissolution of the monasteries on religious grounds.
- A protest against the dissolution of the monasteries on economic grounds.
- A protest against Cromwell more than Henry.
- A commons led revolt focussing on dissolution.
- A gentry led revolt.
- A revolt driven by economic and social grievances with very little to do with the dissolution.
- A spontaneous or a well-planned outbreak?
- A revolt spurred by the nobles' dislike of the Reformers in government (led by the remnants of the Aragonese faction).
Here's a list of historians who have conflicting views on the rebellion:
Elton GR, Reform and Reformation in England
Scarisbrick JJ, Henry VIII
Loades DM, Politics and the Nation 1450-1660
Fletcher A, Tudor Rebellions
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