The 1549 Rebellions
The Western Prayer Book Rebellion (The super massive one):
Details: Started in Devon in June when they all refused to use the new Prayer Book and made the bishops wear their vestments and do mass. Somerset sent in Lord Russell with some troops to deal with it after being told by Sir Carew. The rebels took over Exeter which was a pretty big deal. Somerset offered to give them a pardon if they all just went home and forgot about the whole thing but they just refused and started writing out demands. This annoyed Somerset so he told Russell to hang a few of them for dramatic effect but that still didn’t work so in August government troops finally defeated the rebels and executed 5000 of them.
Religious Causes: Wanted to return back to Catholicism. Didn’t like the new Prayer Book because they didn’t understand English, they speak Cornish (yes that is apparently a thing, I did not know this).
Social Causes: The South-West had lesser law enforcement because it was quite isolated. One of their demands was for the size of the gentry to be reduced and monastic lands to be restored.
Positives: Somerset started out subtly as he was facing other riots and fearing a French invasion, this was effective as he got tough when necessary so he didn’t cause chaos to spread any further.
Negatives: Somerset should have acted sooner as waiting meant the rebellion could grow bigger. Somerset’s social policies raised expectations that he couldn’t reach. John Guy specifically…