Rebellions (1485-1603)

  • Created by: NHow02
  • Created on: 25-03-19 15:10

Yorkshire Tax Revolt 1489


- a subsidy of £100,000 granted by Parliament for defence of Brittany in war against France (Yorkshire had been hit by bad harvests in 1488)

- Northumberland, Westmorland & Cumberland were exempt


- Henry was forced to compromise and only £27,000 was raised

- Earl of Northumberland killed by rebels led by John Egremont after being sent to collect tax

Not a Threat:

- 1500 men were pardoned + only 6 executed and situated far from London

- rebels were dispersed easily by the royal force lef by Surrey (Egremont fled to Burgundy)

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Cornish Tax Revolt 1497


- Cornish felt they should not pay for war in Scotland, as they were nowhere near the North

- Cornish hated councillors, John Morton & Reginald Bray


- 15,000 men reached Blackheath (support from commons, clergy, 1 noble + gentry)

- anti-centralisation sentiments

- heavy fines crippled Cornwall for years after

Not a Threat:

- there was little support for rebels outside Cornwall & the rebels lacked viable aristocratic leadership

- Plan did not involve removing Henry

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Lovell & Stafford 1486


- rebels were supporters of Yorkist Richard III


- planned to kidnap Henry in the North + raise a rebellion in the West

- forced to alter the laws of sanctuary making it impossible to claim if committing high treason

- Henry was king only by virtue of conquest & still vulnerable 

Not a Threat:

- Henry had spies within the rebel ranks & so he was aware of the plan

- Henry was not forced to engage in battle + threat of army was sufficient

- Humphrey Stafford was executed, but Thomas Stafford pardoned

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Simnel Rebellion 1486-7


- Henry had alienated the Irish by failing to confirm Earl of Kildare as Lord Deputy of Ireland (Irish effectively recognised Simnel as king)


- recieved 2000 German mercenaries from the Duchess of Burgundy + rebel force numbered approximately 8000 with support of Thomas Broughton (claimed the high ridge)

- Henry realised the real threat too late (paraded real Warwick in London to no avail)

- forced Henry into 3 hour combat leading 15,000 troops (Lincoln + Lovell were killed)

Not a Threat:

- no English support (unprotected Irish also suffered huge casualties - demoralising the rebels)

- strengthened his position be subsequently coronating Elizabeth of York + showed mercy towards Simnel - made him a royal servant and eventually the king's falconer

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Perkin Warbeck (1491-9)


- Irish remained a stronghold for Yorkist support + Warbeck was a tool of foreign interests


- foreign support (1492 - Charles VIII of France recieved Warbeck as a prince + trained by the Duchess of Burgundy in 1493 + provided a wife + pension by James IV in 1496)

- William Stanley, a powerful noble + trusted advisor was implicated and executed in 1495

Not a Threat:

- Henry disabled French support by negotiating the Treaty of Etaples + used diplomatic warfare in Scotland (marriage between Margaret & James IV)

- Warbeck was prevented from landing in Deal, Kent after Henry was warned by Robert Clifford

- only executed in 1499 after attempting to escape + plotting with Earl of Warwick

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POG 1536 - Causes


- Dodd's argues that the POG aimed to reverse religious reforms (the Bishop's book of 1537 restored many of the desired conservative practices)

- 9 out of the 24 articles at Pontefract were religious, paraded under the banner of the 5 Wounds of Christ + occurred shortly after the dissolution of the smaller monasteries


- poor harvests from 1535-6, levy's were now taken in times of peace, entry fines became more expensive + enclosure (after entry fines fixed at a certain price + hated subsidies repelled)


- Elton argues the Aragonese faction brought struggles into the countryside (Darcy & Hussey resented the removal of Mary I from the succession + the Boleyn faction's influence)

- Henry had centralised running of the North (rebels gained a free parliament in the north)

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POG 1536 - Threat


- Robert Aske (lawyer + from leading Yorkshire family) organised a force of 30,000 + could have easily defeated the Tudor force of 8000

- gained support through propaganda of POG's name + united under oath (support of nobility: Lord Darcy produced badges + surrendered Pontefract Castle without a single blow)

- submitted to the demands of rebels (free parliament in the North + 1537 Bishops Book)

Not a Threat:

- Aske returned after his meeting with Henry VIII and spoke in good faith of the King

- rebels under Francis Bigod failed to capture Scarborough or Hull (Bigod captured quickly)

- 74 rebels hung in Carlisle + about 100 gentry leaders died (a small number considering the size of the rebellion) + pardon was given to all including many leaders

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Western Rebellion 1549 - Causes


- William Body, Commissioner investigating Church property in 1547 (rumours spread about the confiscation of church goods + destruction of church images)

- New Prayer Book in 1549 (13 out of 14 arcticles showed rebels wanted restoration + marched under the banner of the 5 Wounds of Christ)


- Somerset's Subsidy tax of 1549 - 1d on a sheep and 1/2 on every pound (to raise money + ecourage farmers to return lands to tillage)

- peasants suffered mostly as cloth producers + farmers raised prices to offset the cost (though rebels made no complaint about enclosre or rack-renting)


- rebels expressed concern that the local gentry were enriching themselves by buying Church lands (expressed radical desire to 'kill the gentlemen')

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Western Rebellion 1549 - Threat


- Somerset was only able to provide Lord Russel with a small army due to the majority of troops located on the Scottish border + repressing enclosure riots in the Midlands

- Somerset acted illegally, executing rebels without trials + confiscating and redistributing property

- leader Robert Welsh, vicar of St Thomas, hanged on his own church tower (deepened hostility)

Not a Threat:

- rebel force of 6000 which never joined with other groups (3000 killed in battle) + Exeter resisted rebels for 6 weeks and remained loyal to the government

- did not aim to overthrow or challenge the monarch as rebels were mostly driven by socio-economic concerns (Fellows suggests the gentry were the only ones who benefitted from the Reformation)

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Kett Rebellion 1549 - Causes


- demanded further Protestant reform (by 1547 the anticlerical tradition in Norfolk was fertile ground for a proactive Protestant Reformation)

- the New Prayer Book of 1549 was conducted under the 'Tree of Reformation' on Moushould Heath outside Norwich 


- 17 out of 29 of Kett's demands were focused on enclosure, rents + landlords (some landlords were deliberately obstructing a gov. commisioner investigating illegal enclosure)

- Inflation meant wheat prices increased by 50% in 1548 + worsted cloth industry meant unemployment was on the rise


- local rivalry between Robert Kett and John Flowerdew (both had recently enclosed their lands, suggesting enclosure was not Kett's reason to rebel) - most leaders were yeomen farmers

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Kett Rebellion 1549 - Threat


- Fletcher argues that Northampton (and a small army of 1,800) failed to wield the full weight of his authority in Norwich + turned the demonstration into a full-scale rebellion (he retreated in disgrace to London)

- troops were taken from the garrisons on the border with Scotland + mercenaries were employed

Not a Threat:

- on the arrival of a herald at the rebel camp, many cried 'God save King Edward!'

- Northumberland led a force of 12,000 bolstered by a further 1,000 foreign mercenaries (3,000 rebels were slaughtered + Kett tried for treason and hanged on 26th)

- Northumberland dealt leniently with the rebels, only carrying out 49 executions + dealt with strictly in accordance with the law

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Northumberland Coup 1553


- Northumberland feared the return of Catholicism under Mary I, favouring Lady Jane Grey as a Protestant ruler (people refused to accept Lady Jane Grey and she only ruled for 9 days)

- Lady Jane Grey was married to his son Dudley (suggesting he wished to secure his political future & power)

- Edward's 'Devyse' of May 1553 was not put through Parliament before his death and consequently not legal

Mary I:

- Mary had moved to East Anglia where she was the greatest landowner and assembled an army (her army also came into possession of powerful artillary from the Royal Navy)

- despite Northumberland's attempts to capture Mary, on the 20th July the Council in London had proclaimed Mary I Queen + Northumberland did not contemplate resistance

- Mary was celebrated on her arrival in London while Northumberland was treated with hostility

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Wyatt Rebellion 1554


- rebels came from Maidstone, a Protestant stronghold and feared re-Catholicism

- Xenophobic attitudes - regarded Mary's husband Philip II of Spain with suspicion (some gentry also feared the the loss of office in the country due to Spanish influence)

- peasants used the revolt to express economic grievances during the decline in cloth industry 


- Protestant minority could no longer be ignored + Wyatt & chief supporters were executed

- dynastic threat (Duke of Norfolk failed to disperse the rebels)

Not a Threat:

- vast majority of rebel followers were pardoned

- Mary was given time to fortify the city of London (bridges were blocked + rebels failed to breac the walls)

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Northern Rebellion 1569


- Elizabeth weakened the hold of Catholic magnate families of the north (Northumberland & Westmorland lost the power + status they had under Mary I)

- some rebels wished to bring about the return of Catholicism + papal protection from invasion & some wished to protect MQS as the heir to the throne + saw Elizabeth as a heretic


- rebels based near Catholic Scotland + seized control of major territories like Barnard Castle (Elizabeth ordered the dath of 700 rebels out of a force of 3800 soldiers + 1600 horsemen)

Not a Threat:

- the Royal Army was not forced into combat as the rebels retreated + Northumberland & Westmorland fled to Scotland

- people of the North remained loyal to the monarch + only a REGIONAL rebellion (also failed to secure support from the Pope, catholic countries or MQS)

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The Ridolfi Plot 1571


- dynastic threat which plotted to release MQS + marry her to the Duke of Norfolk + restore Catholicism

- foreign support (Ridolfi acted as an intermediary between MQS, Bishop Ross & Spain)

- Norfolk was provided £600 from the French Ambassador destined for Scotland

Not a Threat:

- messenger loyal to the monarch reported Norfolk's possesion of French money to Burghley (Norfolk's secretaries, Highford & Barker confessed)                                          1. Norfolk also confessed and was executed in 1572

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Throckmorton Plot 1583


- Dynastic threat which plotted to replace Elizabeth with MQS + restore Catholicism

- designed to coincide with Henry I, Duke of Guise's invasion + a jesuit Catholic revolt led by William Allen 

- foreign support (financed by Spain and the Pope + Throckmorton acted as an intermediary between the Spanish Ambassador, Mary + Mendoza)

- led to the expulsion of Catholic priests in 1585 + the Bond of Association

Not a Threat:

- Trockmorton was tortured, confessed & convicted of high treason in 1584

- Bond of Association drafted by Walsingham & Burghley - allowed sigantories to assassinate any usurpers (Mary signed her name)

- Parliament & Council believed Mary should be executed

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The Parry Plot 1585


- William Parry was accused of plotting to replace Elizabeth with Mary (he was an MP employed as a spy for Burghley and most likel a converted double agent for the Catholic cause)

- the bill for the Queen's safety was accelerated through Parliament as a result

Not a Threat:

- arguably the plot was just a fabrication in order for Burghley & Walsingham to remove Parry

- no foreign involvement

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The Babbington Plot 1585-6


- created in order to root out papist influence in England (Babbington proposed Elizabeth's assassination + supported by Philip II of Spain)

- though all conspirators were discovered it took a long time to bring them in

Not a Threat:

- Walsingham used Gilbert Gifford as a double agent to intercept letters between Mary & Babbington (Babbington & 6 conspirators were uncovered + imprisoned in 1586)

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O'Neill's Rebellion 1559-67


- Shane O'Neill lost his Earldom of Tyrone in Ulster to his brother (he killed his brother over the land and begged Elizabeth for forgiveness)

- Elizabeth made him Captain of Tyrone and the 'O'Neill' head of clan (he wasn't satisfied)


- Shane O'Neil raided lands of rival clansmen, took hostages + dabbled in high treason (he brought in 1000 Scottish mercenaries called 'Redshanks'

- Elizabeth sent 700 troops in 1566 to start a garrison in Ulster  (Tyrone died with the help of other clans in 1567)

Not a Threat:

- consquences: junior members of the O'Neil clan gave up their land in Ulster + Scots in Atrium expelled + 3 garrisons were set up & 2 English colonies established

- despite wanting to rule Ulster, Shane O'Neil never called for outright Irish independence

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Fitzgerald Rebellion 1569-73


- FitzGerald's, FitzMaurice's & Butlers rose against English rule (during a wave of enthusiasm for colonialism, various questionable adventurers had attempted plantations in Munster, Leinster & Ulster)


- Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy of Ireland, intervened in 1570 (depsite this, the 'guerilla' rebel campaign continued for another 3 years)

- consequences: FitzGerald's military forces were reduced to 20 horsemen

Not a Threat:

- Henry Sidney, managed to avoid a full-scale rebellion (by 1570's most of FitzMaurice's allies had submitted to Sidney)

- Thomas Butler sided with the English and subsequently became the most powerful lord in the south of Ireland

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Geraldine Rebellion 1579-83


- FitzGerald returned from exile to raise an Irish rebellion in protest of religious + political policies (he launched an invasion of Munster in 1579)


- FitzGerald argued that since Elizabeth had been excommunicated in 1570 Irish Catholics did not owe her any loyalty (Pope granted him an indulgence, troops + money)

- joined the Earl of Desmond to form the Geraldine League (the rebellion lasted 5 years even though FitzGerald was killed within the first few weeks)

- It cost Elizabeth £254,000

Not a Threat:

- In 1580 English troops under Pelham + some Irish under Ormonde retook the south coast (cutting off Geraldine forces from the rest of the country + prevented foreign invasion)

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Tyrone's Rebellion 1595-1603


- Hugh O'Neil didn't feel adequately rewarded for defending Elizabeth's garrison policies

- therefore, he aimed to expel the new English settlers + Anglo-Irish administration + achieve Irish independence


- Hugh O'Neil rallied over 6000 troops, exceeding Elizabeth's (the rebellion lasted 8 years + cost Elizabeth £2 million - overall, more than 30,000 troops sent to Ireland)

- the rebellion was allowed to grow as Elizabeth had a shortage of men + money (finally, in 1599, an English force of 17,000 under the Earl of Essex)

Not a Threat:

- in 1603, O'Neil surrendered to Lord Mountjoy (he was granted a pardon and recovered his title ('Tyrone') from the start of the rebellion)

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Essex Rebellion (1601)


- In 1599, Essex deserted his post in Ireland (he returned to court without permission + burst into the Queen's bedchamber)                                                                  1. conspired with the Pope & Phillip II to secure the crown                                               2. charged in the Star Chamber (suspended from the Privy Council & offices)

- Elizabeth refused to renew his patent of monopoly on sweet wines (his financial situation therefore worsened + leaving him in debt by £16,000)


- Essex planned to purge the Privy Council of its Ceciliam majority by securing Whitehall Palace + Storming the Tower (however, his plans were discovered + Cecil prepared)

- Essex refused Elizabeth's summons + held 4 councillors hostage at Essex house with 300 followers (forced to surrender due to lack of support + executed in 1601)                          1. the Earls of Southampton & Rutland were spared

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