Tudor Rebellion Summary Cards

All rebellions in the Tudor period needed for the new reformed A-level


Lambert Simnel 1486

Henry VII

Causes/ Duration - Dynastic, pretender to the throne / One month

Leaders/Support - Lambert Simnel, Margaret of Burgandy from Germany, Irish, Earl of Kildare

Events - Simnel was trained to impersonate the captured Earl of Warwick, claimant to the throne. 2,000 mercenaries sent from Burgundy to Dublin and there was support from Irish, he was even crowned as King Edward in Ireland in May 1487. They marched to London but met the Henry's army at Stoke were they were defeated in a bloody battle lasting for 3 hours in 1487.

Serious Threat?- As Henry was new and insecure on the throne, and it led to a battle, this could have been serious. However, Simnel had few supporters in England and Henry VII paraded the real Earl of Warwick around London as proof it wasn't him. Henry also overcame the crisis with a combination of his shrewdness, organizational skills and military leadership of his key supporters and the willingness of landowners.

Conclusion - Treatment of Rebels relatively mild. Leaders were executed, Simnel became a kitchen boy in King's household.

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Yorkshire 1489

Henry VII

Causes/ Duration - Economic (Taxation) / Under One Month

Events - Unwilling to pay taxes to fund war against France. Protesters in Yorkshire, led by Sir John Egremont, killed the Earl of Northumberland when he was trying to collect taxes. Poor Harvest increased degree of poverty which meant tax hit them harder.

Conclusion - The rebellion was easily crushed and due to the new northumberland being a minor there was no more trouble from the North. Robet Chamber was hanged.

Success for rebels - After the rebellion there were no more efforts to collect taxes in Yorkshire, thererfore they succeeded in their aims. 

Serious threat? No, they weren't trying to overthrow the King, just to stop the tax, they didnt gain much support, little leadership (Robert Chamber only leader) and didn't try to march South.

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Cornish 1497

Henry VII

Causes/Duration - Taxation and Anti Centralism / about 3 months

Henry raised taxes to deal with threat of Perkin Warbeck and Scotland. Cornish people didnt believe it had anything to do with them so rebelled against the tax.

Events -The rebels marched through Devon to Wells gaining support from clergy and gentry, only able to gain support from one nobility - Lord Audley who they acclaimed as their leader. No sympathy gained outside of Cornwall. They marched to London and camped out at Blackheath, however as they approached London their numbers depleted to 10,000

Ringleaders-  Lord Audley, Thomas Flamank, Michael An Gof

Conclusion - Henry easily crushed the rebellion with his army of 25,000 and and over 1000 rebels were killed, with Audley executed and Flamank and Joseph drawn and quartered. The tax was relieved, but Henry fined all involved as a punnishment. Rebellion was crushed due to the strength of monarch because many rebels left fearful of the outcome of going against the royal army. 

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Perkin Warbeck 1491-1497

Henry VII

Causes/ Duration - Dynastic, Pretendor to the throne/ 8 years (however only spent a total of 50 days on english soil)

Events - Warbeck trained to impersonate Richard, Duke of York (younger of the two princes) after he dissapeared from the tower. He went to France, then Burgandy (Germany), then tries to land in Kent but flees to Ireland instead. Then fled to Scotland to invade England all as an aim to gain support. 

Support gained? Few english nobles: Sir William Stanley, Lord Chaimnerlain. Some support from France but not subsantial enough to be threatening. Also some support from Cornish rebels due to their resentment from the way they were treated. However, Henry was much more established to the throne at this point.

Conclusion - Warbeck confessed and was executed alongside Warwick in 1499.

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Amicable Grant 1525

Henry VIII

Causes/ Duration - Economic (Taxation) / Around 3 months

Events - Henry ordered the collection of £800,000 to fund the war with France, but people were unwilling and unable to pay with unemployment and inflation rising at this time, causing real income to fall by 12%. (Note: Harvests were good at this time and were not the issue) Henry had also previously ordered large taxes (advertised by the Government as a loan, but no loan had been repayed) which caused further resentment.

Location - East Anglia, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Kent, Suffolk and Essex

Serious Threat? Only a threat to the policy, not to the crown. Protestors made it clear they weren't protesting against the crown, and they didn't use violence.

Conclusion - Rebellion was a success; people did not have to pay as Henry ordered that the tax be abandoned, and no rebels were punnished, even ring leaders were pardoned.

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Silken Thomas (Kildare) 1534-7

Henry VIII

Causes/Duration- Political and Relgious / 9 Months

Location- Dublin

Events- After hearing the arrest of his father the 'Earl of Kildare' (for the resignation of Privy Council and denouncment of Tudor Rule), Thomas O'Neill (his son) proclaimed a Catholic crusade inspired by the fear of the reformation, raised 1000 troops and then invaded Palke (an area around Dublin controlled by English).

Serious Threat? Should have been a serious threat as it's aims were a serious opposition to what was going on at the time, but Thomas's strategy was poor and only offered a limited threat to Tudor Powers.

Government Response- Henry sent out 2,300 men to defeat the rebellion, which cost around £75,000. Thomas surrendered after he was promised to be spared, but instead was sent to London and executed along with his uncles and 70 other ring leaders. There were a high amount of executions, but not as many as the Pilgramige of Grace or other Irish rebellions.

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Pilgrimage of Grace 1536-7

Causes/Duration - Economic: poor harvest (1535), enclousure, unemployment. Religious: resentment after closure of smaller monastries. Also Social and Political Grievances. / 4 months

Leaders - Multiple including; Robert Dymoke (Lincolnshire), Robert Aske (Yorkshire), Sir Francis Bigod (Cumberland). Large spread of people involving Priests, Gentry and commons.

Events - Largest Rebellion in Tudor times. Three seperate risings occurred; Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Cumberland which challeneged Henry's religious reforms, as well as having social and political grievances. With a force of around 50,000 altogether it was a large uprising, even if the three uprisings did not happen simultaneously. Rebels marched down to Pontefract castle where they negotiated with Norfolk. They marched under the banner of five wounds of Christ. They came up with a set of 24 demands called the 'Pontefract articles', Henry rejected the demands but offered pardons to all but the ringleaders. Aske agreed a pardon with Henry but Bigod remained unconvinced and tried to rebel in Cumberland

Conclusion - Due to Bigods rising, Henry was made to use force instead of pardons. Aske and Bigod were hanged and around 180 rebels were executed. The rebels failed to take advantage of their numbers and didn't march south. However, it forced Henry to pay more attention to the north and the october subsidy was postponed.

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Western Rebellion 1549

Edward VI

Causes/Duration - Religious (also known as the prayer book rebellion), Economic: (tax on sheep and wool) and poor harvest (1548)  / 5 weeks (6th June- 17th August)

Leaders- Led by minor gentry (no noble support), supported by commons.

Events - Peasants in Cornwall rose up against the Act of Uniformity and set up camp in Bodmin. In Devon, locals rejected the use of the new Prayer Book and wanted priests to say mass acocording to the old style. Rebels marched under banner of 5 wounds of Christ. Devon and Cornwall rebels had a force of 6,000 and together they besieged Exeter. Rebels drew up 14 articles demanding restoration not reformation and rejected everything new. However, these demands could not be granted by the Government and there was poor leadership which led to their failure.

Government Response- Used military force, 4,000 rebels were killed in battle of CLyst St Mary and Sampford Courtenay in Devon.

Conclusion- Their demands were rejected and they were defeated. Robert Welsh and Humphrey Arundell were executed.

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Kett 1549

Edward VI

Causes/Duration - Economic (anti-enclosure), Social, Religion / 8th July- 27nd August (7 weeks)

Leaders- Robert Kett

Events - Rebels attacked Flowerdew's property and then tried to take down Ketts as well in Norfolk, Kett then joined in and took control of the rebels who were rebelling against illegal enclosures and agrarian practices adopted by the country gentry. 12th July rebels camped on Mousehold heath with 16,000 rebels and Kett then produced 27 articles. Government responded with the offer of pardons and a 30% reduction in the price of wool, but Kett refused. This caused Government to attack and led to a bloody battle named the Battle of Dussindale. Kett was a good leader but lost control of the rebels and abandoned his forces due to lack of experience.

Conclusion-  3,000 rebels were killed in the battle. Kett was captured and hanged along with other 50 other ringleaders. 600 rebels died in the gallows. Warwick was victorious and nothing was done about enclosures

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Lady Jane Grey 1553

Mary I

Causes/Duration- Dynastic, politial / Lady Jane Grey only lasts 9 days on the throne

Events- The Duke of Northumberland attempted to prevent Mary from becoming Queen by asserting the claim of his daughter-in-law Lady Jane Grey. On Edwards death, it as his wish for Lady Jane Grey to become Queen and Mary was pronounced illigitemate. When LJG became Queen, Northumberland sen 300 men to seize Mary, so mary fleed to East Anglia to gain support. Northumberland made the decision to leave London to capture Mary himself, but on his absence, Parliament turned on him and decided to make Mary Queen.

Conclusion- Parliament decided legitimacy overruled religious views and Mary Succeeded to the throne. Northumberland was then arrested and executed. Lady Jane Grey was also executed. 

Success?- Some elements of success in the fact she became Queen, and perhaps more success if Northumberland hadn't made the decision to leave London. However, she was only on the throne for 9 days and they were both executed in the end anyway.

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Wyatt 1554

Mary I

Causes/Duration- Succession (spanish marriage), Economic (suffering cloth trade and high unemployment), Religious / About 2 weeks

Leaders and Supporters- Thomas Wyatt, Duke of Northumberland, French ambassador, poorer people, gentry. More modest backrounds rather than nobles.

Events- Wyatt feared for the consequences of Mary's marriage with Philip of Spain as he placed little trust in the Prince. (Even though clear rules on Philips influence were set). He raised troops in Kent and headed to London. They didn't gain much support outside Kent, and Londerners proved loyal to Mary. Mary initally tried to negotiate with Wyatt and offered pardons if they returned home. Wyatt refused and demanded the Tower of London to hand Mary over. Rebellion was held in the winter which may have been a factor for it's failure. Wyatt claimed 'We seek no harm to the Queen, but to counsel and councillors'. Other evidence is that Wyatt supported Mary in the Lady Jane Grey rebellion suggesting the rebellion was purely political. 

Conclusion- Wyatt surrendered. Leaders were executed and Wyatts head preserved. 400 out of 480 rebels were pardoned. 

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Shane O'Neill 1558-67

Elizabeth I

Causes/Duration-  Local opposition to central power / 9 years

Leaders- Shane O'Neill (Heir to the Earldom of Tyrone)

Events- O'Neill resented losing the Earldom of Tyrone in Ulster to his brother, and murdered him. Wanted to reinsert the traditional independence of his clan by rebelling. He turned on English settlers and the administration in Dublin. Rebelled with Guerilla tactics rather than a confrontation battle. Elizabeth responded by inviting him to London and making him Captain of Tyrone and giving him the job of keeping peace, attending Lord Deputy and to encourage others to be more obedient. This treaty only lasted two years before he rebelled again. Elizabeth refuesed to spend money on the rebellion and tried to do it the cheapest way possible, instead ending up paying more due to not treating the rebellion properly. Earl of Sussex sent to keep peace in Ireland but failed to defeat Shane O'Neill.

Conclusion- Uprising only ended when O'Neill was killed in a brawl with rival classes. There was no real threat to English control over Dublin.

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Northern Earls 1569-70

Elizabeth I

Causes/Duration - Dynastic, wanted to put Mary Queen of Scots on throne. Religious, restoration of Catholic religion (There were rumours rebellion was led by the pope) / 3 months

Leaders/Support- Duke of Norfolk, Earl of Northumberland, Earl of Westmoreland / Mostly supported by tradesmen or Yeomen from Durham or Yorkshire. 'Muster' system- paying troops.

Events - Plot for Norfolk and Mary Queen Of Scots to marry. Elizabeth summoned Northumberland and Westmoreland to court which sparked the rebellion. 6,000 rebels marched under leadership of northumberland and Westmoreland and under the '5 wounds of Christ' banner. Celebrated mass in Durham Cathedral and proclaimed 'ready to resist force'. No clear strategy. Besieged Barnard Castle and captured Hartlepool.

Government Response- Elizabeth sent troops under Sussex and Warwick to defeat the rebels. Earls turned back when they heard of this force against them. 

Consquences- Northumberland along with 600 rebels executed- this harshness was a scare tactic for prevention of other rebellions. Elizabeth was excommunicated after the rebellion.

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Tyrone 1595-1603

Causes/Duration- Fight for Irish Independence against Protestant rule. / 9 years War

Leaders/Support- Hugh O'Neill (2nd Earl of Tyrone), Spanish Support

Events- Tyrone offered to govern Ulster on behalf of the Queen, free of supervision from Dublin, but his offer was rejected. Dublins increasing interferance in Ulster promped Tryone to defend his own autonomy. In May 1595, Tyrone went to War with England. He formed an army of 1000 calvery, 4000 musketeers and 1000 pikemen. Philip II also sent a great armada of 100 ships to Ireland in October 1596, however, they never actually reached Ireland due to a heavy storm. Tyrone made many victories over the english, including in 1599 when Essex was sent over to Ireland with 17300 men, but was no match and ended in making a truce with Tyrone. Essex was consequently beheaded when he returned. Mountjoy was replaced with Essex and managed to defeat Tyrone by catching him offguard. Tryone managed to hold out til March 1603 when he surrendered.

Conclusion- High threat, could have been succesful and was the longest rebellion during this time. Also his men were trained unlike other rebellions. Tyrone was offered his life and very generous terms and leaders were offered full pardons but were never trusted. The nine years war was an important step in the english and scottish colonisation in Ulster.

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Oxfordshire 1596

Elizabeth I

Causes/Duration - Economic (Enclosures) / Few hours

Backround- In the lead up to the rebellion there was poor harvest which led to famine which caused more resentment to enclousures. Population was also rising, and wages falling which caused further distress. They were living in some of the worst economic conditions in the Tudor Period.

Leaders/Support- Local carpenter. supported by commoners (no gentry or nobles)

Events- Four men gathered on enslow hill to form a rebellion opposing enclousure. It was clear they were not gaining any support. They were betrayed by one of the rebels who told the Lord of their plan. All ring leaders, including those who backed out of gathering on the hill were arrested and tortured. The men had planned to murder seven local landowners.

Conclusion- Support never came and they were charged with treason with harsh punnishments. However, after the rebellion the Privy council did begin to restore land and arrest Lords who were enclosing land.

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Essex 1601

Elizabeth I

Causes/Duration- Political, Faction / Few days

Leaders- Earl of Essex and other nobles

Events- The Earl of Essex attempted to raise London in a show of popular support for him against Robert Cecil and the Queen's councillors. Despite having the support from many nobles, little were willing to risk their life or threaten the Queen and the rebellion collapsed within a few hours. Essex planned to take over the Tower of London, Parliament and the Queen. However he massivley overestimated his popularity and was not supported by the commoners. The Queen no longer favoured him and so wasn't prepared to save him. Elizabeths good intelligence service found out about the plot. However, it was the first attempt to challenge Government and therefore must be taken seriously.

Conclusion- Rebellion was a complete failure, Essex was executed a long with a handful of his household servants.

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this is such a detailed resource, thanks!

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