For: Evaluation of the threat of Kett's Rebellion

  • Created by: Ifza Z
  • Created on: 30-05-20 18:15
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  • Kett's rebellion posed a threat to Edward VI's government
    • Rebellion was large
      • Mousehold camp iitself was 16,000 strong.
        • Ensured Kett had the upper hand in his early dealing with the town officials of Norwich.
          • Revealed the extensive support he received from the people; the rebellion grew quickly.
        • Norwich was an important administrative centre. 
          • Threatening such a vital city was good way to guarantee govt’s. attention.
      • There were other such camps like Mousehold across East Anglia + beyond. 
        • Other rebels camps formed at Downham Market (Norwich), Ipswich (Suffolk) + Bury St. Edmunds (Suffolk). 
    •   Government resources were already stretched by the outbreak of the Western Rising.
      • Somerset had to divide his forces to deal with the extensive rebellion at the opposite ends of the country.
        • As a result, the government took longer to respond, giving the rebels more time to strengthen their defences and organise themselves. 
    • Norfolk’s absence from the region in which he was the most important landowner created a power vacuum.
      • The reason for the government’s decision to send Northampton was that the local member of the nobility who should’ve been able to put down the rebellion was the Duke of Norfolk.
        • Norfolk had been arrested for treason in 1546. He’d been in prison and his lands had been forfeited. 
          • The local gentry lacked leadership from a resident nobleman and thus the rebellion gathered momentum much more quickly.
    • Rebels were well-organised and able to sustain and supply a large camp of people for 6 weeks. 
      • Kett insisted on using the same form of writs and commissions that were used by central government.
      • As the rebels appeared peaceful and well-organised, local administrators who’d normally have served the government responded to the rebels’ requests. 
        • E.g. churchwardens of Carlton Colville (Suffolk) collected money and sent it to Mousehold camp. 
      • The rebels’ organisation stretched beyond the camp at Norwich. 
        • This suggests Mousehold was being seen by local officials as new centre of administration for the region. 
          • They showed how the local governement should operate without the help of the local gentry. 
            • The success of this rival form of government run by and for the common showed how resented the traditional gentry had become. 
    • On 8th August France declared war on England.
      • The put the government under a greater strain as the French started to beseige the English-held town of Boulogne. 
        • Kett’s rebellion threatened the complete breakdown of social order and the government was powerless to do anything about it due to the financial diversion.
    • Threat to social stability and hierarchy was made worse.
      • The rebels believed their actions were condoned by Somerset. 
        • The gentry who were captured faced rough treatment, e.g. the Oak of Reformation.
          • This suggests the rebels’ traditional respect for the authority of their social superiors was beginning to break down. 


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