Western Rebellion - Somerset

  • Created by: 13gpascoe
  • Created on: 14-01-20 17:33

Western Rebellion

1548 = Year of the Many Headed Monster - rebellions all over Eng - only one in the North - shows the aftermath of POG's work. 

Western Rebellion

  • No Gentry - Gentleman, Hellyons was killed for standing up to the rebels. Arundel = minor gentry, major leader, he lacked organisation that rebellions like POG had. Suggests the rebellion was less of a threat
  • Numbers and Distance from London - combined rebels from Devon & Exeter, over 6000 - lack of numbers, not much of a threat. Set seige to Exeter whilst King's forces distracted with uprisings in Oxfordshire. Rebels = far from London, don't pose a threat to the crown. 
  • Aims - destroy land, kill as many gentry as poss - saw them as enemies
  • Demands - 16 demands, mnay devoted to religion, but econ & political issues raised as well. 
  • King's Response - intially=pardons, then negotiations. But rebels refuse - food & water supplies were cut to Exeter, in an attempt to keep the poor from handing over the city to the rebels the gentry provide them with food, water and firewood. Army sent to put them down, 4000 killed. 
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Triggers of the Western Rebellion

Cornwall =  own language, largest town = Bodmin, country relied on meagre profits from tin mining. Poverty & sense of regional identity trigerred 1497 rebellion against H7 tax request, led 3,000 Cornish people to join PW's attempt to claim the throne later that year. 

Devon = commom people more hostile to gentry than other parts of Eng 

Triggers of W.Rebellion

  • Cornwall - resentment re William Body, comissioner investigating Ch property in 1547. His arrogance & investigation into chantries caused rumours and fears about confiscation of ch goods. Body destroyed ch images the following year - group in Helston murdered him. Devon gentlemen quickly dealt with uprising but deep-seated anatagonism remained. Final straw = introduction of New Prayer Book on 10th June 1549 (Whitsunday)
  • Devon - village of Sampford Courtenay, people provoked into rebellion by priest's use of the New Prayer Book on Whitsunday.
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  • RELIGION - many in SW objected to relig changes, wished services to remain in Latin, prayers for dead to continue & for new prayer book to be removed. 1547 William Body murder, prot sympathiser - attacked & left - then in 1548 oversaw destruction of cath images in chs - murdered > 28 Cornish people murdered. Destruction of Glasney College ended the scholarship that had helped sustain the cornish language & cultural identity. Banning of traditional symbols and icons. Introduction of BCP - mainly prot - issue in a mainly Cath area. 1549 - AofU - unlawful to use Latin liturgical rites from Whitsunday onwards - whitmonday, peasants at SC got priest to revert to old service - JPs arrived to enforce the change. 
  • SOCIAL - roots could be traced back to harsh treatment of Cornish rebels in 1497. Believed local gentry were against them and not helping them. 
  • ECONOMIC - SW = farming, agricultural work, new sheep tax threatened their livelihood. Peasants see gentry as biggest enenmy. Enclosure - affected local people in Cornwall, lost rights to common land on which to grow crops and rear animals. 1547-1549 - inflation caused wheat prices to x4 - alarming impact on farming. 
  • POLITICAL - Wanted Cardinal Pole to return and sit in parl on their behalf - working closely with the King, NB - don't want Pole crowned! Pole has been in Italy since Exeter Conspiracy. Call for Crispin & Mooreman - 2 clerics to be released and allowed to preach again in SW, prominent priests with Yorkist link. 
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3 sets drawn up by rebels 

  • 1st - drawn up in Devon, SC, focus on economic grievances - sheep tax, rumoures pig & geese tax.
  • 2nd - drawn up by D & C rebels at Seige of Exeter - Mainly econ demands, but Cornish asked for BCP to be in Cornish so they could understand it
  • 3rd set - ony surviving set - probably drawn up by Robert Welsh - priests on board with rebellion so demands are much more relig, sheep tax and food prices no longer inc. Wanted 6A's back, wanted Mass in Latin, Communion in one kind, chantires restored, Moreman and Crispin to be sent to them to preach their Catholic faith. 
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