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The Tudor Society

4 October – The Pilgrimage of Grace Rebellion is underway!

On this day in Tudor history, Wednesday 4th October 1536, trouble erupted in Horncastle, Lincolnshire. This was part of what we know as the Lincolnshire Rising which, in turn, was part of the famous Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion.

In today's talk, I share exactly what happened in Horncastle, which included two murders, what the rebellion was all about, and how King Henry VIII responded to the rebel's grievances. I read King Henry VIII's own words to the rebels of the Pilgrimage of Grace.

You can find a timeline of the events of the rebellion - here, and you can find links to further reading here.

Also on this day in history:

  • 1507 – Birth of Sir Francis Bigod, leader of Bigod's Rebellion, at Seaton, Hinderwell, Yorkshire. Bigod led an uprising in Beverley, Yorkshire, in January 1537, following the Pilgrimage of Grace, and was executed in June 1537.
  • 1531 – Baptism of Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby, at Lathom House, Lancashire. He was the eldest son of Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby, and his wife, Dorothy (née Howard). Derby served Elizabeth I as an Ambassador, Privy Councillor and Lord High Steward at the trial of Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey.
  • 1539 – Signing of the marriage treaty between Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves.
  • 1556 – John Cheke made a public recantation of his Protestant faith in front of Queen Mary I.
  • 1581 – Death of Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Southampton, at Itchel in Hampshire. He was buried at Titchfield.

Only 1 comment so far Go To Comment

  1. R /

    The events at Horncastle show just how angry and desperate people can become when faced with the annihilation of their way of life, traditional beliefs and customs, rights, even the loss of what little autonomy they have left because a power, King, alien government or something else wants everything their own way and will crush any opposition to get it.

    What did King Henry expect sending his two minions to the North and Midlands to impose even more taxation, to demand submission to a bunch of religious and political changes nobody wanted and to impose his will on a community with an already long list of grievances? I would not condone the killing of those officials, but it was almost inevitable that they were taking a risk going into a volatile area, even with the King’s authority. Even sending Norfolk and Suffolk was a risk, because they didn’t have the men to back a huge rebel army, which apparently would be well armed and under the command of equally well armed local gentry. At least the Dukes carried with them sufficient authority and status for the gentry to recognise they represented the King and to hold the rebels in check. I have read several books and sources on the Pilgrimage of Grace and Lincolnshire Rising so forgive me but I am uncertain which sources have this information, but I do vaguely recall that one faction in Yorkshire planned to kidnap the Duke of Norfolk and hold him hostage against an agreement. This was the single most dangerous challenge to Henry’s rule. He was totally unprepared and his authority was really rattled. He had to buy time.

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4 October – The Pilgrimage of Grace Rebellion is underway!