The Pilgrimage of Grace.
The rising began in South Yorkshire and was soon under the control of Robert Aske . A lawyer who had experience of London and brought organization to the rebellion. He came up with the name "the pilgrimage of grace".
By october 16th Aske with a force of some 10,000 men had entered York where he was welcomed by the citizens.
At the rebellions height it has nine regional army's . This was a great military feat . Pilgrimage had 30,000 well armed men making it a serious threat to Henry.
Army's were lead by nobles and gentry so it wasn't just a peasants revolt.
E.g Lord Latimer took Barnard Castle .
Although support wasn't to great west of the pennines , musters took place at Penrith in Westmorland.
October 21st Lord Darcy surrenders Pontefract castle to the rebels. He also produces badges for the Pilgrims.
Most of royal army still in Lincolnshire dealing with the aftermath , the rest is at Nottingham under the command of the Earl of Shrewsbury.
On October 27th rebel army of 30,000 meets the Duke of Norfolk's army of 8,000 . However they do not fight as Aske says purpose not a military style campaign.
Rebels allowed to send two representatives to London to discuss demands. Henry replies saying there demands are too vague , however he tells Norfolk to agree to whatever they want to buy him some time. Norfolk was also told to issue a general pardon except for the ring leaders.
24 articles issued by Aske , Norfolk promises they would be discussed by parliament which would be held in the north. Rebels believed the king was grateful as they had opened his eyes to the problems. Aske visits London where he is treated well with gifts ect.
Religious Causes .
Rebels carry a banner of the 5 wounds of christ. Oath taken by the rebels also said they undertook the rising in the name of christ .
Rising occurs immediately after the closing of the smaller monasteries .
Religious grievances head up the 24 articles and 9 of them are religion based.
Many monks unemployed rebellion is a last chance for them .
Monks got a great deal of support from the locals as they were well known.
Many didn't understand the new religious changes but they new traditional religion that had sustained there lives was altering. Feared destruction of parish church which many had contributed too. Religion affected all aspects of local life as the year was governed by the church. The abolition of Holy days would not have been liked as these were holidays for many form the harsh routines. Taxes on baptism,burial and marriage would also have been disliked. Rumors of more churches being closed down also upset the locals.
Closing of monasteries is bad for them as these houses provided spiritual education and aid for the poor. Closure would affect ability of the laity to achieve salvation .
However aske was clever and knew if religion appeared to take center stage he would amass the biggest following. Names of several european reformists are mentioned in the demands and the commons would not have known these so the demands are likely to be drawn by the gentry.
Economic and Political causes.
Amicable grant 1525 - economic cause
1535 harvest had been disastrous 1536 was no better. Rumors of a cattle and sheep tax and the collection of the 1534 subsidy in a time of peace ****** people off.
Statue of Uses, The act forces Gentry to pay feudal dues.
Monastaries play important role in the economy. Provide employment on monastic estates.
Near the coast abbeys maintained sea walls and dykes in poverty stricken areas monasteries had the money to carry out repairs.
Elton believes it was Henrys attempts to end marriage to catherine of Aragon that caused the problems. Men in the north felt left out in recent religious and political changes to men like thomas cromwell. Felt court was dominated by the boleyn faction and men of low birth.
Hussey had been Mary's chamberlain and had his wife put in the tower for encouraging mary to resist cromwells demands that she fully accepted the supremacy. Aske and Darcy both considered part of the argonese faction. All decisions made in the capital , north was excluded cromwell has more an more power. Hence call for parliament in the north.
King had put a loss of prestige on the percy family. King put pressure on Henry percy to name the king as his sole heir and exclude thomas percy. Percy family played a role as every council had at least one percy in it and aske had links with them.
Shown by demands " the lady mary may be made legitimate. Mary restoration would benefit these men as it would lead to the removal of the Boleyn faction and a restoration theire dominace .
However if it was politics why didn't the Westmoreland family or Lord Dacre who had nearly been accused of treason in 1534 play a role.