causes of the 1549 rebellions

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  • reasons for rebellion 1549
    • Anti-Gentry feeling (Law)
      • Kett: Gentry's abuse of Power was targeted - specifically in their role as law enforcers
        • Court of Wards - feodary and escheators (flowered was one) were targeted
      • Reports of brutality against gentry in both rebellions
        • Kett: Wharton (who was being guarded by killed) - whether on purpose = debatable
        • The Cornish rebels had started by attacking and robbing the gentry at St. Michael's mount
          • accused of yelling: "Kill the gentlemen"
      • Western Rebellion: the concept of 'Good lordship' was felt to have disappeared
        • they wanted to limit the amount of servants
        • they wanted fair rents, employment protection and generosity
        • resentment of 'new' nobility in place of regional magnates - Pole's relatives gone, Marquis of Exeter executed
    • Lack of landed gentry - with strong bases of support to quell rebellions
      • In sussex the Earl of Arundel decisively squashed rebellion
      • West: the rebels called for the return of Cardinal Pole - with a place on the Privy Council, Carew's refusal to negotiate with them added fuel
      • Kett: Norfolk is in the tower (however, his family is strongly resented in the area)
    • Anti- Gentry feeling (Economic)
      • West: there was such a strong social divide the Mayor of Essex was worried the poor would hand the town over to the rebels (after they had blockaded it) so forced wealthy to offer poor aid.
      • West: Leader of the Royal army even drew attention to excessively rising rents
      • Kett: Norfolk's family was one of the last to abolish serfdom
      • Kett's: in Norwich 6% of the population owned 60% of the wealth
        • they stripped one of Northampton's men and hung him over a wall as a protest of his finery
      • Kett: Enclosure: "no lord, esquire or gentlemen" farming issues were also tackled where gentry were seen as manipulating the poor
        • Enclosure was also a serious problem in the Western Rebellion - there was a new sheep tax
        • started as an attack on enclosure
      • Beer: West = "Grim reminder of the widening cleavage between the landowning gentry and the masses"
    • these rebellions were dangerous in comparison to  others across the country because they developed into mass social rebellions whereas Jennifer Loach for example says others consisted of destruction of hedges...
    • religion: resistance to reform (Western)
      • western rebellion = Prayer Book Rebellion
      • murder of William Body - a known protestant and local arch deacon supervised the destruction of religious images
      • Rising in Sampford Courtenay was on Whitsunday, performed mass
      • demands: six articles, the new service is "like a Christian game", Cardinal Pole  "first or second in the King's council", also wanted prayer book and images restored
      • Punishment: Robert Welsh hung from church with "popish trash"
      • Robert Caraman: the most formidable opposition to the reformation"
    • Western Rebellion is seen as being socially backward i.e harking to a 'golden age' of Religion and Noble power, whereas Kett's rebellion looked forwards - to a more progressive society
    • Not enough Religious Reform (Kett's)
      • called for further reform of the clergy, better teaching and preaching
      • called for an end to absenteeism
      • wanted more Protestant - Norwhich known for being Protestant - position on coast

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