Explain why the Northern Rebellion of 1569 failed.

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  • Catholic rebellion.
  • Northern nobles attempted to depose of Queen Elizabeth I and replace her with Mary Queen of Scots.
  • Ultimately failed for a number of reasons.
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Lack of Foreign Support

  • The papal bull of excommunication against Elizabeth I was delivered too late; the rebellion was practically over.
  • Due to Mary Queen of Scots connections with France, Philip II of Spain didn't show any support for the rebellion.
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Rebels' Actions

  • Upon hearing that the Earl of Sussex would attack the rebels with 7,000 men, the 4,600 rebels retreated northwards to Scotland.
  • Following Mary Queen of Scots movement further South and consequently her arrest, the rebels realised they would not be able to free her.
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Lacked A Coherent Plan

  • Wasn't well planned and lacked a coherent programme.
  • Geographically, the rebellion was limited to the North.
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  • Support for Queen Elizabeth I still existed due to deference and fear.
  • The rebels' appeals to the Catholic nobility failed; Lancashire and Cheshire particularly showed no support.
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Effective Government Officials

  • Eg. Lord Scrope - contained the rebellion by holding key towns (eg. Pontefract).
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Xenophobic Country

  • The country was xenophobic therefore the idea of replacing Queen Elizabeth I with a foreigner wasn't popular.
  • People weren't enthusiastic about returnign to papal supremacy.
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  • Failed because...
    • rebels bad actions;
    • lack of foreign support;
    • and the rebels' inability to gain support.
8 of 8


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