Explain the causes of the Northern Rebellion 1569


  • Unsuccesful Catholic attempt to depose of Queen Elizabeth I and replace her with Mary Queen of Scots.
  • By Northern nobles in Northern England.
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Political Factors

  • Northern families fearful and distrustful of William Cecil - felt their powers and the feudal system were in decline.
  • The Duke of Norfolk's control of the Council of the North threatened the nobles with limiting the powers as the Council were given more powers to administer.
  • Duke of Norfolk planned to marry Mary Queen of Scots and put her on the throne - this meant he would have more powers through influencing her.
  • Under the reign of Elizabeth the Duke of Northumberland who had previously been restored under Mary Tudor's reign, found that his powers were limited.
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Religious Causes

  • The rebels obviously had religious reasons due to their action of restoring mass at Durham Cathedral.
  • Being from the North, the rebels will have had a Conservative Catholic attitude.
  • The Duke of Northumberland stated he was rebelling for religious reasons.
  • Mary Queen of Scots arrival to England acted as a catalyst as they saw an opportunity to re-catholicise the country.
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Economic Reasons

  • The Duke of Northumberland was denied his right to the profits from the copper mines that were discovered in his land.
  • The nobles rebelled because of the tenants had risen against the gentry.
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Other Causes

  • Following the Duke of Norfolk's arrest, the rebels felt they could either flee or act.
  • The Countess of Northumberland was a very powerful woman, so led the men.
  • The North isn't near the Tudor infrastructure so could rise quite easily.
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  • Variety of causes including political, religious, economic and other causes.
  • However fundamentally caused by politico-religious reasons.
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