Pilgrimage of Grace 1536

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 Pilgrimage of Grace:

The Pilgrimage of Grace was not one large single rebellion but was a group of overlapping smaller rebellions in the north of England in counties such as Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Cumberland that took place in 3 different stages.

Stage one: The Lincolnshire Uprising:

The first part of the rebellion broke out in Louth, Lincolnshire in October 1536.This initial stage involved around 10,000 men however they were easily dispersed due to the fact that a royal army was sent under the leadership of the Duke of Suffolk.Henry made it clear that he was not going to listen to the demands of the rebels

Causes:

For the most part the people involved in stage one of the rebellion were commons with some gentry which suggests that their motives were not political. Also the leaders of the uprising collated a list of demands which highlights some of the causes.

Causes (and Evidence) for the rebellion include:

  • Religion:
    • the dissolution of the smaller monasteries affected many local communities. The articles of the rebels includes ' The suppression of so many religious houses... we think is a great hurt to the commonwealth and many people are put from their livings...' which suggest the monasteries were key in local areas. ( Also social and economic as it affected peoples jobs etc)
    • The rebellion was at the same time commissioners sent by Cromwell were due in the area to among other things suppress the smaller monasteries and enforce the Ten articles.
    • The North of England was more conservative therefore they are likely to have been apposed to the more protestant 10 Articles.
    • The Article also named Bishops who the rebels believed 'made false the faith of Christ' for example the Bishop of Salisbury and the Bishop of Dublin. (These bishops are in diocese far away from the local uprising in Lincolnshire which suggests that the rebels were not solely from the commons and perhaps had a political motive.)
  • Social and Economic:
    • 1535 had been a particularly bad year for the harvest.
    • The rebels were against the Statute of Uses, a subsidy during peacetime that meant people inheriting land had to be taxed. The articles state 'we humbly beseech your grace the the Statute of Uses may be suppressed'. 
    • Worries about rumours of a livestock tax.
    • A dislike of Thomas Cromwell and Richard Riche ( However the rebels do stress their loyalty to Henry)

Was it serious?

In terms of threatening Henry personally or making a march on London stage one was not a threat, however, it was not the purpose of the rebellion to be a direct threat to the monarch. It appears that they were interested in local issues. Also the fact that the rebellion was  easily repressed also shows that it was not that serious. However it was serious in the respect that it showed that there was opposition to religious and social policy and this small rebellion sparked other uprisings that led to the Pilgrimage of Grace.

Stage two : The Pilgrimage of Grace:

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