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Rebellions - sources

John Hales "discourse on the common weal"
Fletcher and MacCullogh sources: Pontefract articles, Pilgrimage of Grace ballad, Amicable Grant
Shakespeare's Henry V


Key rebellions

1525 - Amicable Grant
1536 - Lincolnshire Rising and Pilgrimage of Grace
1549 - Western and Kett's Rebellion
1554 - Wyatt's Revolt
1569- Northern Rebellion
1595 - apprentice food riots in London
1596 - Oxfordshire Rising
1601 - Essex's Rebellion
1607 - Midlands Revolt
1639 - Bishops Wars
1626 - Western Rising
1663 - Farnley Wood Plot
1678 - Titus Oates and the Popish Plot
1685 - Monmouth's Rebellion


Key impetus for rebellions

Religion (P of G, Northern, Bishops, Titus, Monmouth)
Economy (Amicable G)
Enclosure (Kett, Ox (?))
Politics (Essex, Northern, Farnley, Monmouth)


Key riots

Legal definition of riot: more than three people "with the intent of breaking the peace"
1600 - Shrove tuesday riots
1668 - Brothel riots
1675 - weaver's riots
Anti-land improvement riots


Types of social unrest, and change over time

F+MacCullogh - 'high' (who ruled) vs 'low' (how ruled), most successful rebellions bridged both. Over the period conflict in low politics "moved from direct action in the countryside to alternate arenas"
Wood - social relations "difficult interplay of petition, negotiation, threat, and patronage".
Underdown - By the late 1620/40's labourers and peers "arguing over the same political issues"
E. P. Thompson - acts of patronage "helped oil the machinery of social relations"
Kesselring: religion "a filter through which other grievances are understood and articulated"
Wood: even in arms commons "represented their demands in written, legalistic documents"


Northern Rebellion - key events

1569 - Kesselring - Northumberland met with Northern gentry at Barnard Castle; people moving to Durham for safety. Sussex, president of Council of the North and friend of Norfolk, attempted and failed to raise forces.
Trigger for events: messenger from E summoning earls to court mistaken for warrant for Northumberland's arrest.
Durham cathedral mobbed and Cath service held, prot. items destroyed, led by Northumberland. Marched w. banner of 5 wounds of Christ. Book burning and reassembly of old Catholic treasures in the provinces. Commons forcibly made by earls to march. Marched to York but turned back because of rumours of Warwick's force.
Kesselring - rebels = 3500 footmen and 1600 horsemen. 80% had no link to the earls.


Pilgrimage of Grace - key events

1536, in response to HVIII's Act of Supremacy and dissolution of mons.
Began with Lincolnshire rising, then a rising at Louth which spread to Lincoln - commons joined by prominent villagers (Robert Aske, lawyer) - 28-35,000 in total. Many at Boston refused to rise and instead asked Shrewsbury for help/advice.
Carried the banners of the 5 wounds of christ. Circulated handbills. Violence on property (eg. Lady Willughby)
F+M - 16 of 55 monasteries dissolved by the Act of Suppression restored by Pilgrims.
Gunn - 216 executed, martial law, no gains achieved.


P of G - commentary

Language of 'Pilgrimage' = self-fashioning/claiming an identity other than unrest
James - "moulding the revolt into a process of armed petitioning" (lincoln). Letters from the gentry: "explicitly not on their own behalf, but as representatives of the commons"; withdrawal of gentry support = collapse of rebellion. Those involved 'flavoured' demands with their own interests.
Shagan - "an elaborate act of political theatre"
Hoyle - "clear that the initiative lay with popular unrest" (gentry forced to lead)


Kett's Rebellion - events

1549 - Wood - Kett (middling sort), rose in Norfolk and attacked enclosures. Moved on to attack Norwich with kett as leader. Established a council at Mousehold Heath - coordinated - variety of camps led by village elites. Priests wrote rebels demands (enclosure, return to original religion)
Somerset offered an enclosure commission in localities. Mil. forces sent to quell rebels; 3 days fighting in Norwich, Warwick had 14000 men; slaughter at Dussingdale by troops, Lord Sheffield murdered, Kett executed. Harder for gentry to organise rebellion after this.


Kett's rebellion - commentary

Wood - "Largest and most popular challenge to the authority of the English gentry and nobility".
Led to downfall of protector Somerset.
Jones - 18 rebel camps found. Only evidence for 49 of the total death sentences being carried out. Somerset "redeployed" the trad. Lang of governance and obedience "to provide boundaries for constructive dialogue" betw. king and people - had "respect" for commoners where peers did not.


Northern Rebellion - commentary

Jones - Defeat of Northern Earls a "turning point" in religious rebellions (less because gentry defeated ie. mode lost legitimacy)
Kesselring - desire to "restore" not "overthrow"
"conspicuously aristocratic"; in 1566 2/3 of Northern JP's = catholic. 700 ordered to be executed. rebellion "proved that Northern feudalism and particularism could no longer rival Tudor centralisation". Rebel participation = debate - for "coercion and cash" or "religious ardour". 1560's rel tensions less high because of the "gradual and adaptive nature" of change - YET Young in York and Pilkington in Durham.


Western Rebellion - commentary

Wood - Very "fluid divisions" between social and religious grievances. 1536/49 = people saw themselves connected with the defence of the church and commonwealth, with the removal of church plate etc. seen to benefit a vague class of 'rich oppressors'


Oxfordshire Rising - events

WALTER: 1596 (year of harvest failure and much po. disorder. Food riots in SE and SW, previous year = apprentice riots in London.)
Initial response = petition to Lord Norris (unanswered and he stopped any attempts to halt the flow of grain to London.) then threat of action. Bradshaw and Steer proposed a rising at Yarnton, but failed to rouse support.


Oxfordshire Rising - commentary

Walter - failed because of the "inability of rural and urban poor to unite"
Severe response - 20 key conspirators executed, general inquiry into enclosure, publicly renewed measures to combat scarcity (books of orders, no tolls on imports of grain) and 2 bills passed on the issue.


Anti-land improvement riots

Sharp - riots only after "more peaceful means of seeking relief had failed" - petitions emphasised "the possibility of violence" if measures were not forthcoming.
eg. Derby in 1560's (disruption of trade)



Capp - authorities considered women's protests as "misguided but not politically threatening"


Hales - Discourse of the common weal - quotes

PRINTED 1581 - "dialogue" form; knight - "the king must be served and the common weal", but cannot afford to "waight on the courte" and have two homes in London/country.
Husbandman - "these inclosures do undo us all" and "men doe lack livings"
Doctor - "an empire or a kingdom is not so much won or kept by the manhood or force of men as it is by wisdom and policy"


Western Rebellion - events

1549 - Wood - context of abrupt religious change under EVI in contrast to conservatism of HVIII (Act of Uniformity, new Prayer Book, new schools and hospitals). People rose in Cornwall and Devon, led by local gentleman Arundel, and established a camp at Bodmin; besieged Plymouth and seiged Exeter. Used the Banner of the 5 Wounds of Christ. Sent a list of articles to the government. Royal forces intervened under Lord Russel. Slaughter at Stampford Courtenay, main leaders trialled and executed in London. Cornish gentry distanced themselves.


Causes of the Northern Rebellion

Kesselring: triggered by M QoS arrival in England (w. plans to marry duke of Norfolk), also E's seizure of an Italian fleet going to Spanish in Netherlands, insecure protestantism (dislike of Pilkington, Durham, Young, York, who were both militant and instilled Protestant measures poorly eg. couldn't hear services), E's placement of supporters in the North (areas of loyalty during rising), Catholicism? 2/3 JP's catholic in 1566 (F+M)


Elizzabeth I preventative measures against unrest

Establishment of the Lords Lieutenant
Books of Oders (1587) with regulations/advice/uniform notions.
Progresses - visible. People politics - better at court and personal relations.
Elton - 'points of contact' - pmt. representation increased (f+m up by 50% in commons in 1603)
Sedition made a legal offence (John Stubbs hand for opposing Anjou match)


Factors contributing to decline of threats over time

Elizabeth's longevity as ruler.
Stable relations between monarch and local rulers
gradual acceptance of Portestantism.
National unity against Catholics in 1580's
Relatively favourable economic conditions until the 1590's.
(issues revived in 1680's with Monmouth's rebellion in England; 1636 Prayer Book Rebellion and Bishops Wars)


Most common popular protest

Sharp - food riots, anti-land improvement riots (latter especially after poor harvests in the south)
Sharp - eg. of grain riot - 2/300 people boarded a ship in Maldon, Essex, assaulted the crew and took the grain cargo (1629)


Books of Orders

Sharp - est. 1587. part of the restrictions on the grain trade: ensured that surplus of grain was sold locally, weekly, magistrates to ensure the poor served first, public dealing of grain only, licences required for large purchases, grain to be locally consumed, no profiteering. - successful policies because fewer riots c16/17?


Anti-Land improvement riots

Sharp - key c17 phenomenon in opposition to fen drainage (reviived by law in 1649), erection of deer parks, clearance of forestry, enclosure.


Anti-enclosure eg's

Kesselring - in Derby and Cumberland in 1560's


Bishop's Wars

1639-40 - between CI and Scotland over an episcopal vs. Presbyterian system of governance in Scotland - reintroduced the Prayer Book in 1637. CI gathered an army and reached an agreement at Bewick in which Scots pmnt. could resolve all issues; paid the costs of their camp.


Wyatt's Revolt

1554, against Mary I - Loades - "a demonstration of genuine and widespread discontent" - against M's proposed marriage to Philip of Spain. Wyatt (Kentish noble) planned with others to rise in Devon, Leicestershire and Hertfordshire. Plot suspected, attempted to go ahead nevertheless but lost element of surprise and failed to gain support. Made it to London with a force of 4000 but lost momentum. Leaders executed and 90 rebels.


Monmouth's rebellion

1685 - by CII's illegitimate son, prot., challenging Uncle for throne. Landed in SW England and recruited forces - defeated before capturing Bristol and was defeated at the Battle of Sedgemoor. Over 1000 executed in the Bloody Assizes.


Western Rising

1626-32. Series of riots in Gillingham forests (dorset), wiltshire, and gloucestershire over the sale of royal lands and enclosure of property that damaged customary grazing and timber rights. Little evidence of correspondence, but same symbols used - ie. Lady Skimmington costume. Enclosures destroyed in 1628 in Forest of Dean, where mining rights were essential. Compensation offered in places.


Pilgrimage of Grace evidence:

ISSUE = PAUCITY OF EVIDENCE and available sources prejudiced bc. gov didn't want to admit it was wrong.
1536 - ballad: "Robbyd, spoled and shorne/ from cattel and corne,/ and clene forth borne/ of housez and landes" (econ. grievances)