Explain why the Pilgrimage of Grace Failed

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  • Greatest social uprising of Henry VIII reign however the rebellion failed.
  • Many contributing factors - some more important than others.
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Henry VIII

  • Ultimately he handled the situation skillfully despite his initial complacency - Henry VIII duped Robert Aske and other rebel leaders.
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  • The leaders were desperate for a negotiated settlement as the rebellion wasn't directed at the monarch, it was directed at his chief adviser, Thomas Cromwell - caused by deference and in some cases through fear.
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Failure to gain support

  • Despite holding the military initiative (eg. holding Pontefract castle) the rebels failed to move further south towards London - due to deference and military inexperience.
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Lack of Foreign Support

  • It was too slow.
  • Following Anne Boleyn's execution, the relationship between Henry VIII and Charles V improved.
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Bigod's Actions

  • Led to the ill-judged Cumberland Rising - gave Henry VIII a reason not to honour their agreement and gave Henry VIII justification for exacting retribution against the rebel leaders.
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  • Failed due to rebel leaders' mistakes, the rebels' deference and Henry VIII's ability to handle the situaiton skillfully.
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