The Northern Earls Revolt

1569

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Events 1569-1570.

At the time some anti-Cecil factions thought he was taking the country closer to war with France and Spain . (the seizure of the bullion in december 1568 annoyed spain ).

Mary Queen of Scotland arrives in England and anti cecil faction want to marry her to the duke of Norfolk . They thought this would force elizabeth to name Mary as her heir and force cecil out of the council.

Two Earls lead the plan the Earl of Westmorland , a devout catholic and the Earl of Northumberland. They had been in touch with rome and spain for military help to further the marriage .

Elizabeth uses royal veto to stop marriage . Norfolk apologizes and put in tower for a bit.

Elizabeth summoned the two earls -northumberland and westmorland to court but instead they return north and begin a rebellion .

Earls march on durham seize the cathedral , throw out the protestant communion table and hold a catholic mass.

Travel to york but retreat back and take barnard castle and hartlepool . This could be used as a port for foreign help to arrive.

No foreign help came and the fear of a royal army's arrival lead to the rebels dispersing on december 16th .

January 30th another rebelion occur lead by lord Dacre. he raised 3,000 troops but was defeated.

Northumberland fled to scotland but returned and executed in 15,72.

Elizabeth ordered the execution of 700 rebels but only 450 were killed.

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Causes of the rebellion .

Political Factors.

Fear from the two earls in charge . They had lost status under Elizabeth and the failure of the mary queen of scotland marriage plan . Royal official said "Sir i take this gathering more of fear than an act of evil".

Actions lacked a plan and a failure to return to court shows their fear.

Northern Earls distant in court . Often isolated and jobs went to new gentry over the ancient noble familys of the north.

Earls themselves were feeble men and their wives played a part in encouraging their rebelion .

Northumberland was not allowed to play apart in the custody of mary queen of scotland. Had his prestigious title of Lieutenant General of the North allowed to lapse.

Westmoreland had to borrow money to stay out of poverty.

Religious factors.

Resentment to the appointment of a protestant bishop of durham .

Rebels seizure of durham cathedral was the first action . Had a banner showing 5 wounds of christ and threw out the protestant communion table. Said mass in latin.

Religion was an easy way to gain support for the cause .

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Conclusion.

To maintain a revolt at durham for several weeks religion was important. But insult to status maybe more so . It failed because it was dependent on the leadership of the earls and so it was difficult for them to gain support in areas they were not well known. Poor leaders driven into reblleion due to fear and not will . Mqs was hard to reach so tha caused limitations. only gatherd a force of 5,000 men . Foreign assistance never came.

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