The Pilgrimage of Grace was the worst uprising of Henry VIII’s reign. It was a direct result of the dissolution of the monasteries, a policy which confused and angered most Englishmen. The original rebellion began at Louth in Lincolnshire in early October 1536. The presence of a royal commission was the spark; the local clergy encouraged it to flame. The Lincolnshire rebellion lasted but a fortnight, but Yorkshire – led by the lawyer Robert Aske – was next. With the charismatic Aske as their leader, the rebellion spread quickly. Dissatisfaction with the king’s religious and fiscal policies was deep and widespread. An army of perhaps 30,000 men gathered in the north. The king ordered the dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk and the earl of……….………….(continue reading)
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