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The act made it illegal to 'extol, set forth, maintain or defend the authority, jurisdiction or power of the Bishop of Rome' with effect from the first day of August Anyone guilty of so doing and 'being thereof lawfully convicted according to the laws of this realm Clearly this statute is absolutely central to the enforcement of the Royal Supremacy and any changes, doctrinal or otherwise, resulting from it.

These statutes and the promulgation of the Ten Articles of the Faith of the Church of England and the dissemination of the First Henrician Injunctions underpinned the king's religious policy prior to the autumn of Dr Ortiz's communications throughout do appear to be both lively and dogmatic but they are also prone to exaggeration and a scant regard for detail.

However, his letter to Katherine as she lay dying at Kimbolton exiled by Henry and forbidden from seeing her daughter, Princess Mary does illustrate that the English Reformation was by no means perceived abroad as the abject capitulation of Henry's subjects.


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This can also be seen in the writings of Johannes Cochlaeus. On 6 January, he wrote to Henry that he was encouraged by the constancy of Fisher and More, whom Henry had put to death, and enlarged on the crimes into which the king has been led by his 'lawless passion'. The Reformation was disseminated and enforced by injunctions, proclamations and statutes and in February , a draft Act of Parliament was drawn up 'against pilgrimages and superstitious worship of relics'.

In March , we witness Cranmer hard at work on the preliminaries. Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, wrote to Charles V:. The prelates here are daily in communication in the house of the archbishop of Canterbury for the determination of certain articles and for the reform of ecclesiastical ceremonies It would be only natural that fear and uncertainty would have been present within the realm, as previously held certainties and practices were swept away.

In February, Chapuys reported that the people were in despair and seeking help from abroad; and in April, a priest in Cumberland was reported to Cromwell for having said that 40, would rise up in one day. Henry himself was 'apprehensive of some commotion' in June when the people expected the restoration of the Princess Mary, following the fall and execution of Anne Boleyn in May. The pace of reform, however, continued.

The First Henrician Injunctions were drawn up by Thomas Cromwell and issued in August and instructed the clergy on the changes in religion — they were an accompaniment to the Ten Articles of the Anglican Church. The clergy in convocation had acquiesced with the Ten Articles and rejected Purgatory, as well as accepting the abrogation of holy days.

The Pilgrimage of Grace 1536 Summary & Information

Purgatory and prayers for the dead had been a central tenet of the medieval Church and were woven into the fabric of local religious culture, which also set great store by the veneration of local saints and pilgrimages. At the same time as these disturbing innovations were taking place, the monasteries were being dissolved the legislation of empowerment having been enacted in February—April of The timing of the outbreak of the Northern Rebellions is significant. It surely can be no coincidence that a rebellion which commenced no more than eight weeks after the First Henrician Injunctions would have been motivated by the changes in religion.

It is appropriate, at this juncture, to look at some instances of opposition to the Henrician religious innovations prior to the outbreak of the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire risings. Yorkshire and Lincolnshire were by no means the only counties where dissent was evident; it was indeed a concern in 'every part of the realm'.

For example, the Vicar of Stanton-Lacy in Shropshire was examined before the Council in the Marches in September—October for having failed to delete the pope's name from his service books. Bishop Rowland Lee forwarded the papers to Cromwell but no more was heard of it.

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Bristol, which had been the base of the evangelical Hugh Latimer, was the setting for what Elton has described as 'violent exchanges' from the pulpit between the old and new. Preaching was an important tool in promulgating the Crown's religious message throughout the country prior to and after the Pilgrimage. A Friar Brynstan preached at Glastonbury Abbey in March , and clearly his views would have been at odds with Cromwell's but perhaps more representative of the groundswell of opinion.

He spoke about those who embraced the 'new books', calling them 'adulterers' and 'filthy lechers'.

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He further accused them of being full of envy and malice, whilst being ready to wrong their neighbours. Master Lovell, in Dorset, was reported for disloyal preaching in the summer of He had encouraged the people to keep holy days and offer candles, as well as cautioning them against heretics and the practice of reading the New Testament in English. A prior in St Alban's Abbey, Hertfordshire, denounced Cromwell and Anne Boleyn as the maintainers of all heresies and asked what should be done about those whose purpose it was to destroy his religion?

However, the sub-prior of Woburn, Bedfordshire, sought pardon for the scruples he had entertained regarding the Royal Supremacy and his erroneous estimation of More and Fisher. The First Injunctions were issued in August and as early as 30 September, Sir Henry Parker was reporting of opposition in Hertfordshire: the curates and sextons of Stortford and Little Hadham had kept the holy day with high and solemn ringing and singing, contrary to the king's injunctions. How were events in England perceived outside the realm prior to the Lincolnshire Rising and the Pilgrimage?

It would be hard to determine a motive for any potential French involvement, apart from wanting to appease the papacy and perhaps stir up some more trouble for their perennial enemies, the English.


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Indeed these priorities had led him to form an alliance with Suleiman the Magnificent and the Ottoman Turks. Certainly a little more surprising was the laissez-faire attitude of the Emperor and King of Spain, Charles V. Charles was, after all, the nephew of Katherine of Aragon and her cruel and shameful treatment at the hands of her husband was both a family and diplomatic matter.

For all that, Charles' priorities lay elsewhere. His role as Holy Roman Emperor brought him the problems of repelling the Turks and also the religious difficulties which ensued from Luther's stance in Germany. Moreover, he was responsible for his dominions in the New World. Apart from providing moral support to Katherine and Mary and being a potentially threatening presence, Charles had not become directly involved in the affairs of England. So, in the period leading up to the Pilgrimage of Grace, there had been no direct or practical involvement from the papacy or European monarchs in the English political or religious scene.

Although a second excommunication had been drawn up against Henry in August , a Bull of Deprivation was not finally approved in consistory until January In the middle of the month, Chapuys reported to Charles V that the people were indignant because of Henry and Anne's gleeful rejoicing at Katherine's death she died on 7 January. Poison and grief, he suggested, were being blamed for the queen's death. He then advised that, given the people's indignation, the time was ripe for the pope to proceed with the 'necessary remedies'.

The following month, whilst reporting on the state of religion in England, Chapuys advised Charles that if the matter were ten times more unjust, none would dare to contradict Henry without outside support. Around this time, rumours were circulating in Scotland that Francis I 'abhorred' Henry's break with Rome. A series of uprisings against the king and his councillors broke out in Louth, Lincolnshire at the start of October and although this initial revolt ended within a fortnight, the movement and its ideas had spread to neighbouring counties, most notably Yorkshire.

It is this stage of the rebellion — from 14 October — which is properly referred to as the Pilgrimage of Grace. The title appears to have been devised by the London-based lawyer, Robert Aske at York. The earls of Shrewsbury, Rutland and Huntingdon among others advised the king about the magnitude of the rebellion and Aske was warmly received in York, where he issued proclamations between 15 and 16 October.

One was an order for the suppressed religious houses to be restored, including St. Aske prevented the herald from making the proclamation and the rebellions continued with musters taking place in Yorkshire and Cumberland.

How had a situation come about where a rising of this magnitude had continued unchallenged for three weeks? By late October, nine well-armed hosts had formed and all regarded Aske as their leader. The Pilgrimage demonstrated how rebels could utilise warning beacons, bells and musters to raise well-equipped armies which were larger than any Henry could field against them.

It was in these circumstances that the Duke of Norfolk and the Earl of Shrewsbury met with the rebels at the First Appointment at Doncaster on 27 October and agreed a truce. Henry was willing to pardon all but ten ringleaders. There were many among the Pilgrims who hated and distrusted Cromwell and Aske was of the view that there were many in the south of the country who longed for the Pilgrims to arrive there.

Insurrection: Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell and the Pilgrimage of Grace by Susan Loughlin Book Review

Heresy was deeply unpopular in the North and Cromwell was perceived as its principal advocate and the main provider of evil counsel. By making Cromwell the author of their misfortunes, the Pilgrims were seeking to frame their movement as not being against royal authority. The Pilgrims representatives were summoned to a second appointment to discuss the situation with the Duke of Norfolk.


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  4. In the lead up to the meeting, the issue of a free and general pardon for all rebels was a major part of the debate. The meeting took place at Pontefract between 2 and 4 December and Norfolk had been advised by the Privy Council that it would not be honourable for Henry to grant a free pardon: the king was of a view that his honour would be gravely diminished. The Pilgrims based their negotiating position on the original five articles given to Norfolk on 27 October and produced the twenty-four Pontefract Articles on 4 December. The rebels also wished to have a parliament convened in either Nottingham or York in the near future.

    On 6 December it was agreed that these twenty-four articles were to be taken to the king and a general pardon be granted. In addition, the restored abbeys were allowed to remain. Two days later, Lancaster Herald brought the general pardon and confirmation that a parliament would convene at York although no date was specified. The gentlemen met with Norfolk at Doncaster and tore off their Pilgrim badges of the Five Wounds of Christ and dispersed. So far as the Pilgrims were concerned, this must have felt like a mission accomplished: all were pardoned, a parliament was to convene in York, the restored abbeys would stand and the king would consider their twenty-four articles.