Government Strategy

  • Created by: hattiedg
  • Created on: 22-04-15 09:03


Tudor monarchs consulted either with their councillors or left their councillors and secretaries to deal with the unrest, but insisted on being kept informed 

- Simnel Rebellion (1486-7) 
- Henry VII consulted with household servants and called a Great Council when Simnel invaded in 86 
- Henry VIII left Wolsey and Cromwell (his chief ministers, at separate times) to deal with unrest  
- Mary and Elizabeth relied on secretaries and councillors to devise a strategy 

Exception = the Duke of Somerset, whilst acting as Lord Protector for Edward VI, was criticised for failing to consult the Privy Council when rebellion broke out in 1549

Sometimes monarchs could receive conflicting advice - e.g. during Wyatt's Rebellion (1554) Mary was told by some councillors to use troops, while others told her to leave London. Mary's own decision to stay defeated the uprising, her speech to crowds in London rallied support 

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Gathering Information

Obtaining accurate info about the nature and scale of rebellions = important for monarch.
Often slow process - communication with peripheral regions was difficult - sometimes monarch made wrong decisions or was inactive 

Throughout period the monarchs used spies, informers and secret agents to gather info about unrest:
- Lovel and Staffords Rebellion (1486) - Henry VII used agents to follow them = Staffords arrested, Lovel forced to flee
- Warbeck (1491-9) - Henry VII used spies in European courts to keep him informed on Warbeck's movements 
- Elizabeth used Francis Walsingham to keep her informed of political unrest, partic with regard to Mary Queen of Scots - he employed over 50 agents and their success = a factor in the decline of unrest after 1570

However, the systems sometimes failed:
- Pilgrimage of Grace (1536-7) - Henry VIII was unaware that the Earl of Derby was some distance from the rebels so couldn't carry out his orders to arrest the leaders
- Western Rebellion (1549) - The Duke of Somerset was unaware of the failure of JPs to carry out his order to persuade rebels to disperse so the rebellion was able to grow in size. Ultimately a royal army had to be sent 

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Government Instructions

JPs and sheriffs were the 1st people expected to deal with outbreak of unrest - if this failed, the nobility in the area were instructed to restore order
The JPs and nobility met with varying success 

- Amicable Grant (1525) - the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk took command and successfully ended the unrest when the protestors threatened to march on London 
- Western Rebellion (1549) - the JPs weren't strong enough to contain the rebellion - the gov sent Sir Peter Carew, but his attitude inflamed the situation and turned a local protest into a serious one
- Kett's Rebellion (1549) - the failure of the gentry and sheriff to deal with the unrest resulted in the sending of the Lord Lieutenant, but he didn't have enough troops and was defeated = Duke of Northumberland having to be sent with reinforcements 
- Oxfordshire (1569) - the Privy Council had already warned JPs of the potential for unrest because of the food shortages, Informers warned the JPs of a plot and they were able to arrest the leaders before unrest broke out 

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