Origins of rebellion

  • Socio-economic crisis of late 1540s - riots against illeal enclosure in Essex, West and East Anglia
  • 1st July - local nobility and gentry summonded by Somerset to Windsor Castle
  • Began in Wymondham (Norfolk) - locals destroyed enclosures of Sir John Flowerdew = lawyer, dispute with locas over local abbey
  • Kett, another landowner, sided with rebels - marched to Norwich - 12th July, camp on Mousehold Heath, looking over Norwich
  • Divide between rich and poor in Norwich (6% owned 60%)
  • Other camps set up at Downham Market and Bury St Edmunds
  • City Council and major tried to cooperate - failed
  • Messenger sent to pardon, began to bombard Norwich - no damage
  • 22nd July - rebels offered truce but refused, full-scale attack, major captured
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Government response - failures

  • Somerset sent William Parr, Marquess Of Northampton with an army containing Italian mercenaries
  • Arrived on 30th July
  • 31st July - declared pardon for anyone who would surrender, only 20 rebels did
  • Rebels launched another attacks
  • Parr forced to withdraw
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Government response - successes

  • 2nd army led by John Dudley, Earl of Warwick = 12,000 men on 23rd August, negotiations
  • Govt. offred pardon to all but Kett - turned down
  • 23rd (night) - rebels raided carts carrying Warwick's weaponry, captured guns to use against them
  • 24th August - entered Norwich, arrested and hanged some rebels, continued resistance, used arson and ambshes to attack Warwick army.
  • 26th - arrival of 1000 mercenaries, cut of rebel's supply
  • Kett moved rebel camp from Mousehold to Dussindale
  • 27th - final negotiation attempt, rebels refused, Kett captured, up to 3000 rebels killed
  • Kett executed for treason in December 1549
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Rebels' actions and demands

  • Trigger - resentment over enclosure and encouragment from Somerset's enclosure commissions, socio-economic difficulties and corruption of East Anglican gentry
  • Attacks on Flowerdew's enclosed land - resentment in EA
  • Flowerdew = Escheator for Norfolk, oversaw Crown's rights over land, opportunity to use bribes and imitation
  • Rabbit warrens and deer parks targeted by rebels - only eaten by gentlemen
  • Resented abuse of power and privileges by local gentry
  • Captured Lord Sheffield in Norwich on 31st July - beaten to death
  • Wanted better local governance - Kett careful to keep order within rebels ranks
  • Kett set up govt. system - writs and commission on food and drink
  • Oak of Reformation = gentry members captured, put on trial under a tree.
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Rebels' petition

  • Articles 3, 21, 23 = resentment of landords' power and lack of respect for rights of villages to common land in pursuit of profit from sheep farming
  • Articles 2, 14, 21 = increase of rent, local gentry blamed for exploiting poor tenants and increasing their own profit
  • Article 12 = end of corrupt govt. by local gentry
  • Article 29 = each officer who had upset them had to pay 4 pence per day for duration of rebellion, local officials chosen by local people
  • Article 18 = stop royal officials from inquiring into lands of less wealthy landowners
  • Article 16 - look after poorest society members
  • Conerned over clergy education, any clergy unable to preach properly = removed
  • Articles 10, 24 = preservation of rights and privileges due to men of rank
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Threat to Government

Weakness of Somerset's government

  • Mousehold camp (rebels) = 16,000 men
  • Govt. resources stretched - Western Rising
  • Somerset forced to divide forces to deal with extensive rebellions
  • Govt. took a long time to respond to rebellion
  • Norfolk' absence from rebellion, Duke arreseted for treason in 1546, gentry lacked leadership from nobelmen, rebellion able to gether momentum quickly
  • 8th August = France declared war on England = strain

Organisation of the rebels

  • Local authorities cooperated with rebels e.g. churchmen of Carlton Castle collected money and sent it to the camp at Mousehold
  • Sustained and supplied a large camp for 6 weeks
  • Gentry captured = rough treatment
  • Didn't resent hierarchy in society - rebellion put down and order restored
  • Wanted rulers attention to greed and corruption of local gentry
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