Exam-style Questions: Henry VIII - Part 2

1. Read this source, and then answer the questions that follow.

Alacke! Alacke!

For the church sake

Pore commons wake,

And no marvell!

For clere it is

The decay of this

How the pore shall mys

No tong can tell

For ther they hadde

Boith ale and breyde

At tyme of nede,

And succer grete

In alle distresse

And hevyness

And well intrete

Crim, crame, and riche

With ther ell and the liche

As sum men teache

God theym amend!

And that Aske may,

Without delay,

Here make a stay

And well to end.

(Extracts from a ballad
probably composed at
Sawley Abbey, 1536.)

1. Briefly explain the reference, 'For the church sake, Pore commons wake'.

(3 marks)

2. What reasons are given in this ballad for the commons to rise?

(6 marks)

3. Why do historians give different reasons for the Pilgrimage of Grace, to those given here?

(9 marks)

(Marks available: 18)


Answer outline and marking scheme for question: 1

1. In your answer you should have shown that you know that this is a ballad written in the time of the Pilgrimage of Grace, and explain this rising in a limited way. You should also mention that it is a call to the commons to rise to protest, even stop further dissolution of the monasteries.

(3 marks)

2. You are required here to list the reasons given in the source and no more than this. You should have mentioned:

Their concern for how dissolution will affect the poor: in terms of bread and ale (!) (but in a time when people drank more ale than water we must remember). There is a reference further down the ballad that refers to reformist religious teachings, 'God theym amend!'

(6 marks)

3. It would be helpful if you could demonstrate an awareness of where historians stand on this issue.

Some ideas to include in your answer:

Perspective: historians are able to see the whole picture more clearly than contemporaries were, in part because of their access to sources. They are more able to put events in their national as well as local context.

This source is emotive. It is designed to stir the commons. It is a piece of propaganda.

(9 marks)

(Marks available: 18)