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The Pilgrimage of Grace Reconsidered Author(s): C. S. L. Davies Reviewed work(s): Source: Past & Present, No. 41 (Dec., 1968), pp. 54-76 Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of The Past and Present Society Stable URL: . Accessed: 14/02/2012 10:02
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eithersuperfluous premature.l The massivestudyby the Misses or Dodds has been followed by a number of short discussions,in in generalworkson the period,in studiesof monasticism, studiesof government the north,andso on.2 It will not be possibleto write in has untilMr.M. E. James completed confidently aboutthe Pilgrimage short studies,has already the workwhich,in a seriesof remarkable of relationship, of begunto showthe importance patronage, tenurial in and, not least, of personality northern of kinshipand connection, too, societyat this time.3 Obviously, a good dealof workhas yet to study of social structurein the north, be done on the comparative a study which would undoubtedlyshow up importantregional variations.4 Nevertheless,I believe that an interim discussionis worth-while. So muchof whathas been writtenseemsto dodgethe between the mainissue. It triesto apportion causesof the Pilgrimage various "factors"aIld, by implication,to consider,for instance, factorsas mutuallyexclusive. Whatis "economic" "religious" and factorswereinterneededis ratheran attemptto see how the various theirothergrievances, whythe Pilgrims, whatever related, consider to marched behindthe Bannerof the Five Woundsand, ostensiblyat to least, were prepared fight for the defenceof the churchas they someof knewit. It maybe possible,as a resultof this, to reconsider the accepted views on the natureof the EnglishReformation. At this stage,it will be objectedthat to talk of the causesof the Pilgrimageis in any case misleading,since the Pilgrimagewas a concatenation variouslocal risings. Obviously,in a revolt in of whichthe commonsof some seven countiescoveringa third of the area of Englandplayed a leading, or perhapsthe leading,part, a
1Mr. K. V. Thomas and Mr. M. E. Jameswere good enough to criticize an early draft of this paper; though neither can be held responsiblefor the views expressed. of Grace, I536-7, and the Exeter 2 M. H. and Ruth Dodds, The Pilgrimage Conspiracy, I538, 2 vols. (Cambridge,I9I5). in the T?ldor North and A TudorMagnate and the 3 Changeand Continuity TudorState (Universityof York, BorthwickPapers,nos. xxvii and xxx, I 965-6); and the Decline of Northern "The First Earl of Cumberland (I493-I542) Feudalism",NorthernHistory,i (I966), pp. 43-69. (London, I964). For an 4 On the lines of CharlesTilly's study of The Zendee excellentstartto such studies, see R. B. Smith, "A Studyof the LandedIncomes and Social Structureof the West Riding of Yorkshire,I535-46" (Leeds Univ. Cf. also The Agrarian History of England and Wales, Ph.D. thesis, I962). I500-I640, ed. Joan Thirsk (Cambridge,I967), ch. i.

Changeand Continuity. in 6 Dodds. defence of Hexham Priory became involved with borderfree-booting and the i.a varietyof "causes"induced varietyof grievances of individualsto join the Pilgrims. I959).the commons'rising. 2@4-5. "Earlof Cumberland". 55-98. . it is possible to isolate five main revolts. Moreover. pp. G. manyof the gentry. Neverlocalgrievances repressed sortsof normally theless. in whichthe hard-pressed 5 A completestudy would also dealwith Durhamand the North Riding. rentsand by mesnetenantsof the greatlords.of obedienceto established foundan outlet. p. conditionsin these highland areas were hard. cap. See Dodds.andthathe wouldnot pardon.the Lincolnshire traditional area the counties(including Craven Riding. no. Dickens. James. and complainedabout as of enclosure wasteandforest.thatof the north-western to all of the West Ridingof Yorkshire). n. the revolt in the East pattern. M. xii.THE PILGRIMAGEOF GRACERECONSIDERED 55 was expressed. at effecton an economybalanced the best of couldhave a disastrous nearthe edge of subsistence. Dodds. thoughinteresting themselves revoltsof the comby mons. pp. are not proper. "Earl of Cumberland".8 These conditions times dangerously rising)in Craven riot a produced serious (ora small-scale hadcertainly tenantsof the earlof Cumberland in I535.6 Again.P. 58.once the framework had been removed. The aimsfigured economic fines]andotherextraordinary [entry that rebelsdemanded "gressums" dues should be moderatedor abolished. pp.7 Plainly. the king woulddo little of or nothingto meetthe grievances the rebels.the increaseof dues.themselves to and contrary the usualimpression. xi. defenceof the Percy interest. than muchmoreprominently elsewhere. i. and with Northumberland. with little participation the gentry and nobility.thereseems himselfboundby the general consider and to be universalagreementthat. vol. cit. and encouraged. probably rise so. op. Lettersand Papers of the Reign of pp. Jamespointsout. at least tolerated.i.wereafflicted increased or dues.). nos. 478. E. or the incidenceof bad harvests. The population of the sixteenthcenturyseems increasingly to havebeen verymuchmoreacutein these areas. 84. following the revolt. 62. James. Pilgrimage. Henry VIII (hereafterL.andthe enclosure of common. vol. A. in the rising in Cumberland and Westmorland in the Cravendistrictof the West Ridingin I536.5 as in These last. pp. in Lollardsand Protestants the Dioceseof York (London. andthe revoltsin the earlymonthsof I537 in boththe EastRidingand the north-west. They were to relevant a studyof the causesof the Pilgrimage who believedthatthey had commons by clearlyoutbursts frightened that by been betrayed theirsocialsuperiors. Clearly. 9I4. order. ix.. which where the becamelinked to the West Riding revolt. in October DecemberI536. 7 James. 97-I02. 53370-I). I63. Io80 (cf. pt. Pilgrimage.all authority.

I954). also Thomas Cromwell the EnglishReformation and (London. pp. 53. constitutethe core of the Pilgrimage. Philip Hughes. I must thank ProfessorDickens and Canon Cumingfor their generosityin allowingme to see this articlein proof. ed.. 320-35. cf. "Earlof Cumberland". Soc. p. pursuit of a family feud. while acknowledgingsocialand politicalfactors. Cuming.. I968). Thirsk. and the authoritiescited there. Fr. Discussion naturally revolvesaroundthe questionof how much weight to put on the "secular"and how much on the "religious"factors. he of concludesa generalaccount of the Pilgrimage. Philip Hughes. pp. iv (I967).Lollardsand Protestants the Dioceseof York..J.. especiallythose of a differentsocial class. ProfessorDickens' particularstudies are too numerousto list here. 95-I04. I964). Scarisbrick. pp. northernsociety at this time is unrivalled. Enumeration is facilitated the vast amountof evidenceavailable. on the other hand.whose knowledgeof A. "The Writersof Tudor Yorkshire".in appearance least. Reid'sview.abouthighpolitics:the natureof the Supremacy. Henry VIII (London. cxxv. "Earlof Cumberland".the suppressionof heresy. 296-320. I959). 9James. concludesthat "even if there hadbeenno Reformation. and These last. 11A. J. 10D. 39-64.Trans. 49-76- . See especially. at the continuationof monasticism.l? Professor G. then. I26. at leaston the scaleof thatof I536-7. I950-9). the conduct of business in Parliament. the compositionof the King's Council. Dom David Knowlesand Dr. Reid. TheEnglishReformation (London. 60-2.see also AgrarianHistory..Roy. G. J."the roots of the movementwere decidedly economic.ed. I959). withoutthe precipitating factor of revoltsin Lincolnshire in the rest of Yorkshire.PAST AND PRESENT NUMBER 4 I seemto havebeenencouraged theirdefiance agentsof the earlof in by Northumberland. sth ser. Record Ser. I22-8. Dickens. Knowles. G. The ReligiousOrdersin England (Cambridge. Dickens (Yorks. pp. in pp. 338-48R. Tudor in Treatises. p.endorsesDr. vol. xiii (I963). A. Soc. I0-I2.and "Secular and Religious Motivation in the Pilgrimageof Grace" in Studies in ChurchHistory. evaluation by but is made difficultby the natureof that evidence.pp. its demandspredominantly secular. and ed.the issues were complex.insist nevertheless the defence on of Catholicism the necessaryunifyingelement in the situation. Inevitably. TheKing'sCouncilin the North (London.. it would yet be hazardous guessthatthey wouldhaveresulted peasant to in revolt.its interest in Rome almost negligible. pp. theremusthavebeena risingin the North aboutthis time''. revolts. Dickens. RachelReid. pp..Arch.ll of 8 James.whose perceptiveand sensitivestudiesof religioussentimenthavetransformed underour standing religionin its socialsetting. In short the Englishremained incapable staginggenuineWarsof Religion''. iii. G. much of which consists of depositionsin which suspectsblame their neighbours. Scarisbrick. I92I). Hist. as Dr. The Reformation England (London. R. i.9 But while such in conditions maywell haveproduced moreriotingin I536.

I deficient. these are annual average prices. Nevertheless the "average" is moving average.13 INDEX PRICES OF GRAIN I533-7 Harvest-Year I533-4 I534-5 I535-6 I536-7 (I450-99 Oats I56 I45 I84 I82 = IOO) Rye 202 225 3?3 I54 Wheat I33 I I6 2I3 I56 Barley I27 I06 I99 I24 Of course. was fairly cheap. and this but not disastrous. xi). of course. Wheat harvest-year I535-6. 95-6. or find themselves unable to maintain their traditiorlalway of life. new ser. Wriothesley. 702. Reid. while the serious Craven riots of June I535 were obviously connected with the approaching bad harvest. prices were 82% higher than the previous year. A rising general price level forced landlords to increase dues traditionally regarded as fixed (whether by changing copyholds to leases. 28-46. L. . The harvest of wheat and barley was mediocre. 4 average and 2 good.. or by increasing the amount or frequency of entry fines). pp. I075. which was undoubtedly very bad. AgrarianHistory. Addenda.. Reid instance a particular bad harvest. I26. Table I. Statistical Appendix. I537-42: History Review.P. "Harvest Fluctuations I480-I6I9". Hoskins. Reid's detailed evidence refers entirely to the in October I536. Hoskins' classificationthere had been I year of dearth. i. From scattered evidence it 12On W.THE PILGRIMAGEOF GRACERECONSIDERED 57 Economic grievances there were. Statistical Appendix. nos. Thirsk.2 of bad harvest. was considerablybetter. Thomas L. as it had been in I535.Chronicle wronglyamendedby the editorto I537). But the bad harvest concerned is that of the summer of I535. and there were extensive grain-riots.ed. The general agrarian situation was certainly serious. p. Councilof the North. which was no longer directly relevant to the economic situation Dr. But rye. it is more difficult to explain why the Pilgrimage happened just when it did. 6I (I536 in Wriothesley. x. for instance in Somerset in April I536. nos. I058. Thirsk. G. AgrarianHistory. ed. As far as contemporaries were calculated as a 3 I-year concerned. I056. 13 Dickens.only 2 of these years were "average"by the standardsof I522-6 or Agricultural W.xii (I964). G. the expectation of which would have already raised grain prices. however. IOI5(26). Moreover. (CamdenSoc. Cromwell. was obviously dangerous for pastoralfarmers. which conceal seasonal or regional variations. I063..12 But. The new harvest of I536. Oats were dear. there had been an unusually bad series of harvests since I527. within this context.P. Here Professor Dickens and Dr. I have not been able to discover a reliable price series referring specifically to the north. pp. the principal bread-grain of the lower classes in most of the north. p. i. Table I.

"Prices and Wages in England I450-I550" (London Univ. pp.are hardly"major".P.then. in I536-7. I960). Xii. they are not far aboveProfessor Hoskins'scalculation a "general of average" fact.whichtendednormally be below to the national average. The London riots of I595.A. clxxii. ed. the The very natureof the Pilgrimage makesan agrarian explanation. Brenner. or the attempted Oxfordshirerising of 596. Rye.. Obviously.wheat price of g. i. in I536-7. all much worsethan I535-7. Moreover. 8d.his tenantscouldgive free rein to pent-upresentments. Therewas. wereratheraboveit in the harvest-year I536-7.73S. thereis no clearcorrelation betweenbad harvest peasant and revoltin sixteenth-century England. nos. forinstance. a qr. on the nationalaverage. xi. at Pontefract in February I537. 9I9. and 5. in Durham.74S. 4d. 15I omit Isso-2. and 9. The earl of Derby reported"dearth"in Lancashirein NovemberI536. whether short-orlong-term. Thus the loyalistearlof Cumberland. and the expression long-festering of resentments. When the Horncastle commonscapturedSir WilliamSandonthey 14 Y. A few indications pricescanbe gleaned of fromthe State Papers.because of the deterrenteffect of the suppressionof the I549 revolts. 350. Wheat was 6. thoughtherewasa cloth-workers' revoltdirectedagainst embargo tradewith the Netherlands the on in I528. 16James.. predominantly (in London). I066. in I534-5.P. deficient and harvest). vol.16 The breakdown orderled to the refusal of of rent and tithe. thesis.I7S. seemsto havebeen moreexpensive Durhamthan in in Dorset. in Durham in I532-3. victim of the Cravenriots of I535. insufficient. thoughby embittering class-relationships and causing riotsit helpedto prepare wayfor it. But these wereareasin whicharmieshad probably drivenup local prices.l4 The short-termsituation.82S. . iS given for I536-7. An explanation based on harvestfailuretout court shouldhaveproduced revoltsix months a beforethe outbreak of the Pilgrimage. L. major no peasant revoltin I527-30 (a sequence dearth. 44-5. andrye gs.but belowthe peak-levels the of harvest-year I535-6. p. i. I40-I. I962). no. S. xii. Nor were there in I555-7 and I596-8. Hoskins.s8 PAST AND PRESENT NUMBER 4 I seemsthatDurhamwheatprices.8S. Even so. G. a quarter. then. in Nottingham. where Brennercalculatesthe nationalaverageat 8. "HarvestFluctuations". L. Dickens (Surtees Soc. of badharvest. At the same time wheatwas IOS. moreover. perhapsworse. 4d. 25. was besiegedby his tenantsin SkiptonCastlein I536. but 9. though interesting. per qr. II55(5).ls The harvest situation. M. it was 9. no.33S. Wheatwas IOS. A. "Earl of Cumberland". Rye in Dorset was I2S. althoughobviouslythere was a good deal of discontentin thoseyears..pp. anunpopular if landlord tookthe king'sside in the revolt. no figures exist for Durham in I535-6. was at best difficult..CliffordLetters of the not a sufficient explanation of the Pilgrimage.I7S.

l7 Suspicion of the intentions of the gentry was..20 Another possible economic grievance was the recent Act attempting to improve the standard of cloth production. xi. gressums. though not necessarily high. 55 (L. nos. 53-62.P. Larkin I485-I553. B. xii. The Percy family had extracted frequent. I39 (L. The priest of Croft exhorted his parishioners "to take the Commons part. 303).l8 The leaders of the Yorkshire Pilgrimage were unlikely defenders of an oppressed peasantry against the landlord class. we shall lose all. 304-5. pp. xi. demanded the replacement of Cromwell and his associates by "noble men of true blood". Smith.R. The smith of Wragby. "a remarkable grasslandby a large landowner"(R. rather than as class-warfare within that society. no 603. xi. xi. vi. James. thesis cited.P..P. s66. for they will deceive us". Lord Darcy's estate was remarkablefor the extent of its grassland. Smith has shown.P. B. as Dr. I293. W. the rebels pressed the gentry into the lead. PP. always tended to exaggeratethe rebellious nature of cloth-workers. The positive evidence for cattle-plagues seems to be confined to one explanation (or excuse) by the Pilgrims for their dislike of the subsidy.less advantageousto the tenants. 95). P. led by Bigod and Hallom. but again seem less compelling on closer examination. But Tudor governments. 537. 18P. S. two-thirds of the income from Lord Darcy's West example of the exploitationof Riding estate came from pasture. no. (New Haven. for they did intend a commonwealth''. 705ed. p. 21 Tudor Royal Proclamations.THE PILGRIMAGEOF GRACERECONSIDERED 59 "struck at the horse and said he could go a-foot as they did". no. the government promptly ordered a stay of execution. Bean.. to their Yorkshireand Northumberland estates. will explain neither the timing of the Pilgrimage. the West Riding clothing area was not one of the main centres of revolt.R. 17 L.P.P. F. I4I6-I537 20 L. (Oxford. I (L.O... 967). even in the north-west. then. Smith. J.l9 Agrarian discontent. where class-hatred is traditionally considered to have manifested itself most violently.. no. 19 L. 687. L. xi. thesis cited. and had introduced the customs of Cumberland.the object of enclosure riots three years before.. E 36|II8 f. I/II7 f. 975). "Earl of Cumberland". I 964). Other economic factors are frequently mentioned. R. In fact. S. of course.O. . I958). L. But if such feelings were widespread. TheEstatesof the Percy Family. thought that "if we kill not [the gentlemen]. in Lincolnshire. nor its form as a revolt of northern society against the central government.P. p. 355. no. the main cause of the second East Riding rebellion.. after their experiences of I525 and I528.P. I|IIO f. 62-7.pp. M. P. in February I537.P. Hughes alld J. they did not determine the main course of the Pilgrimage. no. no. and only elected their own "captains" when the gentry showed themselves unable to defend them against the Scots. i.

xi.4% of to the subsidy. was held by the mayorfor the kingin I536 conditions. then. I37-9. 97I). thesecond instalmentof the subsidy thanthey seem at firstsight. Ph.R.P. economicunusualas to have been so not seemto have undoubtedly a provokedmajorrebellionon theirown account. I9. Councilof the Dodds. Even here. IIIIO f. Reid. (Cumberland. S. I96I). weredirectlyaffected. 45-8. Dickens in North. by greatdealis made. One modern to assessment the populationnormallyliable "onlyabout I. Smith. which would have of sixteenth-century normalfeature a had ? unnoticedbut for the Pilgrimage Afterall. wouldcauseconsiderable liquidity the forcedloan in had causedcloth-workers I525 to protestagainst see. Newcastle passed overthe artisan oligarchy merchant seen also the recentvictoryof a at the cost of yet guilds. also A. thesis cited. was not due to straight-forward the north of coin. iv. P. Northumberland. The Lincolnshire shirethatpaidafterxx li..P. did play a major taxation. unusualimpositionof peacetime inspiredby the relatively thattheywereto be increased. no. The trouble in in especiallyBeverley I535-6 andin disputes mergedinto the Pilgrimage. City of York (London. Schofield. and further".22All told.23 Opposition resentment.. introd.presumably Dickensso whichProfessor taxation. Evenfewermay lessthan Io% of the rebels explained subsidycommissioners infacthavepaid. 392. (Cambridge 24Aske's narrative(Eng. pp.. to rather the belief that the subsidywould drainwouldthenceforth monasteries of the smaller if especially the tenants resultinglack of be paying their rents to London. 33I-43). lxxxiii. 569. cf. PP. Reu.P. But are not such certainly urbanlife. p. I26-8. I485-IS47" (L. . 22 Reid. thattaxesweregoingto be enormously and marriages burials. V. P.L. I963). mattersare morecomplicated however. i.H.P.undoubtedly One economicgrievance... voted in I534.on cowsandsheep..but taxpayers' then. taxation we shall as levied on their employers. PP. PP. S. G.C. S. XVii. fear. For IS25 see L. R. I83. 336. xii. v [I890]. 3Z7-9. i. and that the It wasthis which unemployment. counties northern The goodsworth?20 wereexempt. Lay Taxation.24Nevertheless. in werein iact being assessed" I536. toan angrymob "therewasnonewithinthe estimateis that buthe was worthxl li.O.while afew concessions. PP. no.P. L. no. Hist. PP. of urban in Beverley A York.especially Dr. Onlythosepossessing Durham) and that HenryVIII reckoned oran annualincomeof ?20 wereliable. xi.andon leviedon baptisms. cf. I65 26 23 Henry VIII c. P.60 AND PRESENT PAST 4I NUMBER class-conflict. Pilgrimage. "Parliamentary Univ. 204-7.D. elementson as important an aspectof those irrational primarily was the rightlyconcentrates.. thesis. to resistance the levy of therewas considerable in part the rebellion. Westmorland..

the Pilgrimage and gentry demonstrablyplayed a more active part in agents seem to have been very than they afterwardsadmitted. i. pp. 962. 59-60. Bean. took of the subsequently countenanced. pp. so much so. or bread white meat.29 Many of the nobility security of land. EnglishReformation. of course. traditionally in return for Sir Thomas Percy.27 But the crown's attack liberties families."Earlof Cumberland". 25 96 L. In these conditions the fining of the Yorkshire in not (consisting. Bean. active throughout. Reid has shown. Ives. that its most drastic provisions. The northern Dacre of the powerof the great northern families. had been induced to disinherit his brother and heir. M. The Decline (Manchester.25 The the London a betrays crisis of confidence. In I534 Lord which was probably North had been accused of treason. The great offices which his family had although entrusted with the held. J. a charge had also up trumped and certainly exaggerated. pp. As Dr..could take on preferringan indictment against Moreover the a notoriety far in excess of its intrinsic importance. I26-7. of gentlemen) for its alleged perversion a suspected murderer. Dodds. Dodds. no. and their form. 27 James. Percy one of them. Council Genesis of the Statute of Uses". 28 Reid. E. a profound distrust of Lincolnshire.PILGRIMAGEOF GRACERECONSIDERED THE 6I eating white of men low degree who dared to ape their superiors by extent of these fears. W. among the commons of Yorkshire and government reaches of A similar distrust. "The of English Feudalism lxxxii (I967). 29 E. Robert Aske himself was probably 63-86. W. the activities Jury Grand Pilgrims. Hist. in spite fared badly. and sanctuaries of the North and especially those members of the embryonic Council refuge with Darcy at Pontefractand who. i. 673-97. the Acts of I535-6 against had involved the rights of several of the great lords. I37-9.P. pp. The fifth willingness to serve the crown loyally.I968). vii.26 The Percy family of an earl of Northumberland. by making his lands over the crown was not confined to particular a pension. of the North. by will. office commensurate with his rank or standing. 65-7. pp. Pilgrimze. I44-57. of course. Rev.28 in the face of conStatute of Uses (forced through Parliament manoeuvre siderable hostility by a skilful and somewhat dubious legal was extremely unpopular among the on the part of the government) which gentry at large. and thus made it effectively prevented land being devised loans on the difficult to provide portions for younger sons or to raise had to be repealed in I540. Pilgrimage. to say the least. Magnate. Eng. during the Pilgrimage. had never been given apparent sixth earl. pp. pp.A . 257-30I. was felt in the upper king was deliberatelytrying to undermine the society. Estatesof Tudor the Percy Family. pp.

in any sense. at least. of course. was ready to rise again if Sir Thomas him before any other man". 369. . however prudent a political move. 30Reid. P. for forward they trusted feudal revolt. hisexperiences of IS34 not to incriminate ancient loyalties. . Dodds. and his denial of any advance from attitude of some Riding revolt. of the The extent to which religion provided the slogans. vital. Rev. But.P. considerableelement could have been northern patriotism. of Cumberland's an hardly adequate substitute. England was Europe was equally on this basis. I33-4.O. indeed. "spiritual". I intend only to argue that the extent to which matters. Pilgrimage.R. only. contributory said "that the country of distrust the gentry was at its height. in spite of Lord Dacre's wariness. Moreover the willingness of nor category. no. about Religion" we mean a war fought then certainly differing interpretations of the means of salvation. for all their energy. in spite of the ambiguous occurred. religion. "Earl of Cumberland".62 AND PRESENT PAST 4I NUMBER by the commons of (Thestory of his being spontaneously taken recently returned to Howdenshire be their captainonly becausehe had preparationfor the Lincolnshire. hardly fits into (Lord Hussey. and probably an essential the of great magnates was when factor to the revolt. fact. hardly conspiringto make him have raised northern indicatesthat aristocraticcharismawhich might The lead given by the society against the king on its own account. P. i. it and in Lincolnshire than is often alleged. 224-5. 2I8 b (L.) Obviously the East an important.) (or perhaps their the magnates to accept Aske as "Great Captain" so). By contending that the they fought about ecclesiastical "religion". whose younger brothers. loyalty himself. I66). It Pilgrimage was obviously far from being a mere the attitude of the earl of after all. PP. however. Eng. were Northumberland. it was Percy would have set . 62. hardly ring true. 31 James. f. PP. Councilof the Nrorth. even in the north-west not enough.. pp. I do not intend to pass judgement on If by "War of their motives were. But it would be as well Pilgrimage.30 Nevertheless.hardly Pilgrims fought for first to define terms. in spite of the earl anxious after to the crown. was more important gentryand nobilitywas. had no great feudal magIlate to arouse this who was certainly involved. p.. indeed. Even during the IS37 rising. was apparently In certain circumstances this The Pilgrims needed an ideology. I/IIS i. the rest of sixteenth-century Hist. or even primarily..P. of which a But it was. in appeared in the Pilgrim's programme and slogans. needs setting out in detail. 33I-4. does the duke of Suffolk. Loyalty to ancient families.3l Lincolnshire. xii. "incapableof staging genuine Wars of Religion". v (I890). S.

39 At Doncaster. another. 342). cf. the limitation madeto is surelyunreasonable polarize factorsin men's attitudeto ecclesiastical and "religious" "material" institutions.R. is Royal Supremacy relevanthere. v (I890).or otherwise.seemto haveadoptedPapalist duringthe second.we meana warin whichecclesiastifailed is bulkedlarge. i. to certain nicely-balanced political decisions taken by a few key individuals. The clergyweredivided traditionally of the payments though the fact that it was treasonto deny the on the supremacy.of the contenders. i.. 56 (L.factors.and to adducefrom this that men were not "really" factors reinforcerather than fighting a religious war. Motivaiion".andthento acceptit (though. no. pp. 853. What was anathema 32 P. stemmed. "Secular and Religious . p. 570. detractfrom "religious" that demands. 565. 384. English Reformatzon. above all. xi. (Thus the "spiritualityof the Countera undoubtedly keyfactorin the laterFrenchReligious Reformation".O. no. was that he maintained the articleaboutthe supremacy only included and at his own request.P.canturna tepid. from the passionsroused in the to earlierwars. for the endingof the royal ecclesiastical Ofthe major Dickens the was supremacy probably least important. I5375 insurrection.rather much more vigorous. it noted. 34Eng. faras cura animarum was concerned.33 As for laymenthe evidenceis at contradictory.. "material" ones. I246. (thoughI do not ruletheseout) as to various motivation" almost accidental. 786(ii).35 seemobviousenough.) In this context. xii. pp. Hist. Wars. not a least in part.THE PILGRIMAGEOF GRACERECONSIDERED 63 incapable.. no. Pilgrims but of the Pope. I25. on the otherhand. xi. As Professor rebels mentionedthe royal supremacy points out.grudgingly the demanded restoration the thangladly).even land. 687(2)) 9I435 L.thenthe question whythe Pilgrimage cal affairs into to developfrom an armeddemonstration a civil war. Dickens. thathe himselfinserted qualification atthe Supremacy at "touchingcuram animarum" into the Pilgrims'demands. the As faras the clergyis concerned. Dickens.. the Lincolnshire rather be onlyonce. 33L. E 36/II8 f. 67I(2). Xii. If.34 The commonsof Westmorland Cumberslogans. reasons of thanon the rejection that The stressis less on the papalsupremacy was the rule of the church by of the king. one stageAskesaidthat "allmen muchmurmured" the and Statute. zeal. Rev.P.the very issuescanresultin increased act of fightinga waraboutecclesiastical very into catholicism something habitual. nos. on the otherhand. p..P. The relative is fervour. I would in suggestthatthis was due less to inherentweaknesses its "religious short-term.

G. xi. Ecclesiastical Memorials [Oxford. It was resented less for itself. L. "The Reformation the Diocese of Lincoln. Darcy himself had alleged two things. Wharhirst. perhaps under threat. cl. of Eccles. The friars of Knaresborougll played a leading part in spreading the 36 Cf. and by the great increase in clerical taxation which followed the break with Rome.Henry VIII. Dislike of new threats to the church in I536 could conveniently centre on heretics in high places. i (I939).64 PAST AND PRESENT NUMBER 4 I laymen. and in May Henry had had Anne Boleyn executed.. vol xi. Obviouslythe divorce was no longer an immediate issue. 240. I66 ff. i. pp. 233.?1. both by the increasing tendency towards Protestantism under Cromwell's aegis. Architectural and ArchaeologicalSociety. and in this. surely. But now the Pilgrims could only demand the restoration of Mary's rights. I53. especially as the king's confessor. nos. I58.not hostile. Scarisbrick. it is worth stressing the point that the Pilgrims did not show themselves implacably opposed to the papacy. Catherineof Aragon (London. pp. and the canons of Watton financed the Pilgrims. a sentiment amply confirmedby I536. r246. L. Nevertheless. especially Cromwell and the new bishops. J.hereticbishops" but who had been deeply involved in the king's matrimonial affairs. to Wolsey's discredit: first. especiallypp. 266-8).P. Lincs. as illustrated in . 2 of the opinion of the Northern Convocation (Strype. the abbots of Holme Cultram and Furness allegedly ordered their tenants to join the rebels. pt. I50-I. amongst others. II82(ii). Mattingly. Scarisbrick. 37 G. pp. I37-76. I942). 256. who did not fit easily into the categoryof '."ClericalTaxation. For instance. typical of pre-Tridentine catholicism. and secondly. new ser. pp * 4 I -54. no. The ghost of the divorce may have accounted for the Lincolnshire rebels' dislike of their diocesan. no. Undoubtedly much of the rebellion was instigated or at least fanned by the religious. pp. iii. ii. I55.. E. I485-I547". rather than on the supremacy.3fi Laymen's interest in the supremacy was probably less immediate. than for its associations. that when Wolsey had ruled Church and State in England. pt. 5749. the king's matrimonial proceedings. and the apparent attempt to despoil the church. and her daughterbastardized.37 The Pilgrims' attitude to the monasteries is more complex. some foreign princes had unfortunately ceased to obey the papacy. 7I4. Provided that papal influence was not too pervasive. since Catherine had died in January I536. The Pilgrims' attitude was lukewarm. 269-70..P. J... iv.Hist. it was not in itself a bad thing. that papal power in the provision to benefices and in learying money had increased in England in Wolsey's time. in the life and Work of Bishop Longland". xi (I960). I822].and had promptly marriedJane Seymour. Longland. I79.

I035. 41L. why. xi.38 Sometimes. idem. we must still explain why laymen followed them. inevitably. of course. or at least the seeming belief that they formed a necessary part of the social 38 L. Many. lXxvi (I96I). Record ed. O.Eng. Star Chamber Stories (London.. therefore.40 The Pilgrimage obviously provided the opportunity for settling old scores. S.P. I966).. I958). i. monastic possessions generated llot hostility but. for instance. I285. quarrelswere carried on with vigour in the courts. Rev. though. Can we accept his self-exculpatory acsount of the first rising. X7oodwardnotes that a large number of Yorkshire monks from the smaller houses elected to renzainin religion.THE PILGRIMAGEOF GRACERECONSIDERED 65 rumours which were. As landlords and as rectors of parishes (and therefore receivers of tithe) the monasteries were deeply enmeshed in the economy and objects. IOI2. How far. must have acted from a desire to preserve the institution of the religious life. after all. I02). .. some sixteen of the fifty-five smaller houses suppressed or threatened with suppression in the north (though none in Lincolnshire) were restored by the Pilgrims. by-and-large. R. and that he eventually took the Pilgrim oath to save his own life and to prevent the burning of his house ? The abbot.P. the major single cause of the revolt. 369 (p. Xii. Hist. no.. can one believe the story that the abbot of Jervaulxwas forced to avoid the threatening commons during the first insurrection by fleeing to Witton Fell. I047. not in itself an unworthy motive to those possessing a sense of vocation. played a major part in the second insurrection.. See also L. i. loyalty. I64). p. (Dr. 20I (pp. Woodward. and frequently erupted into violence. nos. pp. The Dissolutionof the Monasteries (London. 94. W. 385-40I. is not easy to handle. however. IOO.Arch. and adduce from it evidence of strong anti-monasticfeeiing What is surely striking is the degree to which. I92 for a ratherextreme example ofthe "clericalplot" theory. J.P.39 Plainly there was a certain degree of ambivalence here. lxxxviii.."The Exemptionfrom Suppressionof CertainYorkshire Priories". for which he was hanged. Ser. 9I. Elton has entertainingly told the story of the quondam abbot of Rievauls's attempt to use popular force to re-acquire the ofiice from which he had been ousted. xii. for instance. 39 G. The evidence here. 96. i.. apparently. 84I (2-3). I259. G. Elton. motives were clearly less than idealistic.) But conspiracy by the monks themselves is obviously an inadequate explanation. perhaps. inextricably mixed with a liking for their present style of life. no. of resentment. Dr. with the result that an exceptional number of smaller houses was granted exemption from suppression for their benefit. Soc. I934). however. nos. xii. I47-73. 40 MonasticChancery Proceedings. pp. Purvis (Yorks.

bishops' lands [etc] . A. maps. Reinforcing tie of landownershipwas the fear of economic the change. Monasteries were exceptionally thick on the ground in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. ed. A. about half in the county of Lincoln.ed. Reformation. introd. the social influence. sitting in his court more like a judge than a religiousman. seem to have appropriated an exceptionally large proportion of livings in these counties. pp. warns me that 43 Tudor Treatises.. . iv. wrote about I555 a conservative account of the Reformation in which he describes the Pilgrimage as intended "for the maintenance of holy church".66 PAST AND PRESENT NUMBER 4 I order.she Hamilton Thompson's figuresmay not be absolutelyreliable. successor to the canons of Hamploe Priory. and two-thirds of the ecclesiasticalpropertywas monastic. p. a yeoman. . reported Sir William Fairfax. 65. II5. I7-27. ParochialClergy"in Studiesin I must thank Mrs. ecclesiasticalproperty comprised some 30 per cent of the whole. N. curate of the impropriatedparish of Ardwick-le-Street. drawing ?4 3s. compared with a national average of about one-third. bailiffs who "be made fellows and brought up of with priests ofchildren". See P. lXii (I947). Tyler. Arch.49 Involvement to such a degree in the economic framework could have worked against the interests of the religious. for instance. Nevertheless. Knowles and R. CXXV. Hughes. Record Ser. about two-thirds in Yorkshire. Rev. Thompson. i. In the West Riding. said that he was easily persuaded that Robert (the future archbishopof York) was "Cromwell'schaplain" Holgate and ought to replaced as prior of NVatton be because all the time he was here he was good to no man. MedievalReligious Housesin Englandand Wales (London. Fairfax went on to stress the pivotal position. too. "The State of the Elizabethan also Church History. p. pp. I953). John Hallom. "there is nota head tenant of the abbey lands. . Eng. I947). but they havegreat familiarity and practices other than they have found in times past of their land lords".. Hadcock. sensing coming dangers. J. 4d. thus Robert Parkyn. the belief which we have alreadymentioned that the rents of monastic tenants would henceforth be paid to Westminster. landlord-tenanttie was not merely one of the temporary appeasement.. G. may have gone out of their way to appease their more influential tenants. Margaret Bowker clearinga confusion in my mind on this for point. Cuming. EnglishClergyin the LaterMiddleAges 2gs-g. a key-figure in both East Riding revolts. Hist. three times that of either crown or nobility. and giveth many unkind words and rebukeful when God should to his tenants.43 Ecclesiastics in general. G. But it does not seem to have done so in this case. pp. Soc. 76-8I. Dickens (Yorks. a year fromthe lay rector. I959). and that there 42 D. Hamilton The (Oxford. The religious. and of xx marksin money which he should have been paid in this examinatehe took corn send it.

p. 75-8. where the inadequate parochial structure would have to shoulder the entire burden of ministry and instruction. 360-75. 338. that there were frequent legacies for prayersfor the dead.45 It would be wrong to rule out the spiritual functions of the monks. S. E 36JII9 f. Dobson. 44 P. of course. Jordan. xii. iv.I480-I660 (London. xi. 47 W. Lincolnshire. pp. and a decline in religious instruction in the highland areas. P.. p. Professor Jordan notes that in Yorkshire a rather oldfashioned piety was still alive. superstitious nature of so much of immediate pre-Reformationpopular religion must have everywhere strengthened the fear of the consequences of the dissolution.46 (This last point should not be over-stressed. were not the main centre of revolt.) Fear of the effect of the dissolution on prayers for the dead. I92. Thirsk..R. PP. sacrilege to relics and tombs. G. even if these in restrospect fell far below the standardsof St. though with a good deal less accent on monasteries. ibid.P. Ibid. with an attack on the parish churches. Bernard.. allegedly. 324- Eng.. Lancashire presents much the same picture.44 And. and hence on prospects in purgatory. 2-3. Reid. 56I. 2I7-20. "The Foundation of Perpetual Chantries by the Citizens of Medieval York" in Studies in Church History. acting as inns and as boarding-schools for children of the gentry. I96I) PP.P.. Aske stressed equally that the dissolution would be followed by the diminution of divine service. 30 (L. 4. . Cuming. even if these were less than they were capableof: alms-giving. I23-4. see JoyceYouings. The reports of the Cromwellianagents tend. 92). the provision of employment. the highland areas. 20I. K. Rev. nos. as Aske stressed. presumably because the county contained so few.O. after all.' 46 32. cf. PP. i. Benedict or St. I962). at least until an alternativecreed was efficientlyexpounded. v (I890). ed. what would be in this connection the most interesting example of all. B. more especially in that the attackon the monasterieswas linked. a general fear of what a new landlord might do to "improve" his estate.. 22-38. PP. the materialistic. 56I-2.ed.THE PILGRIMAGEOF GRACERECONSIDERED 67 would be a shortage of coin in the north. keeping roads and bridges in good repair. I/II5 ff. cf. the monasteries performed a variety of useful social functions. presumably bulked large. Hist. to exaggeratethe degree to which the monasterieswere making uneconomicleases. TheCharitiesof RuralEngland.4 Unfortunately Professor Jordan has produced no studies for the border counties or.. Councilof the North. pp. 3rd ser. or so it was believed. 5-6. Nevertheless. J. including the establishment of chantries (indeed "more was given for prayers alone than for all the non-religious charitable uses combined") and that gifts to monasteries continued on a generous scale into the I530S. even. The Social Institutionsof Lancashire(Chetham Soc. in AgrarianHistory. also R.

the ability on of the parish clergyto enlist mass support. there a wealthof evidence. 303-4. examination their morals. I23. i. with fearing. 800 men helpedthemselvesto grain from the tithe-barns. p. of rather the principleof tithe itself. Dickens. Jamesstressed (New this point to me. in whichthe allegedexorbitancies a tithe-farmer. in Religionof the Sixteenth Century York. Onthe one hand. the anti-clericalism as much he could. defendhimselfwhenaccused taking as of a leading part "chaplain secretary Poverty".)49 than Evenin the north-west much of the allegedanti-clericalism plainlya feelingof is bitterness the refusalof certainprieststo involvethemselves at when the commons were risking their lives for their religion. Presumably. 63. i.50 as and of For the positiveinflueIlce the parishclergy.. wherethe commonsdemanded deprivation the of non-resident clergy. The strongestmanifestation camefrom Westmorland and Cumberland. i (Yorks. (Dr. SocialCriticism Popular and Religious Motivap. only sourcefor this storyis the evidenceof a priest Morethe who was using and probablyexaggerating rebels' it. Soc. H. xli. Mr. Star Chamber 95-6. I944).Arch. M. believe.they playeda vital reason an of part in spreading rumours. cf. xii. ch.48Outsidethe north-west. 50 L. the other.attackson tithe-barns seem to have been very rare.P. two to on over. it is bothforthe faithof Christ maintain"for ing his serviceand in doingthis you shouldlack arld of neithergold nor 48 L. no. E. but all her evidencerefers to events in the north-west. Indeed. "Secular tion".and that some were "Cromwell's chaplains". Objecting andperhaps is to.the existence of a good dealof anti-clericalism. I080.on the of otherhand.been exaggerated. followedthe refusalof the abbotof HolmeCultram of it and priests go andnegotiate behalfof the rebelsat Carlisle. Record Ser. 687(2). the exceptional economic conditions the north-west in produced dislikeof priestsas well as of a landlords. Reid talks of "frequent" riots againsttithes.promisingspiritualand materialprofit (C'Be of good comfortand proceedin this journey" Vicarof Louthtold the "Captain Cobbler". White.P.68 PAST AND PRESENT NUMBER 4 I On the parochial level we have the samesort of apparent contradictionas we hadwiththe monks.. however.Yorkshire Proceedings vol. Xii. no. pp.except for one Star Chamber case. ... 49 Reid. Councilof the North. xi. The frequently quoted case of the Cumberland rebel exclaiming that it would betterif all the priests'headswerecut offis be obviously this type. with its outlookof down-to-earth anti-clericalism combinedwith doctrinalorthodoxy. pp. Anti-clericalism I has.wasthe issue. 3I9. excusingthemselvesby noting that severalof these were not in priests'sorders. In JanuaryI537.the north-western risingadopted phraseology the of the "PiersPlowman" tradition. no. C. I909).

S. xi. Brooks. seemedcredible. P. 23-7.THE PILGRIMAGEOF GRACERECONSIDERED 69 silver". i.52 Yet onceagainwe mustaskwhy the peoplewereso readyto follow the priests. betweenthe world at large and his parishioners. PP. For holy days see Hughes. S. xi. 968). In particular festivalsof parochial the patronsaintswerenot in futureto be observedas holy-days.O. They were to be replacedby a general dedication feast. backedup by Injunctions issued(significantly) in the name of Cromwellas devisingof false laws to spoil the goods of the spirituality". I43-5 (L.P. 63-86.R. major a dispenser of news. 975. shows that only 4 of a sampleof 32 Lincolnshireparsonsin the I530Shad books. Pilgrimage.another.P.P.). I/II2 ff. I ( was the parsonof Sotheby'sreasonfor callingthe King's Council"falseharlots.. xi.P. But the readinessof the people to follow (or in some cases to take the initiative) stemmed largelyfromthe "ecclesiastical" grievances which most immediatelyconcernedthem: the state of their own parish churches. f. be celebrated all parishes the firstSunday in on in October. 975).. 353- . x (I945-7). 40I).drasticallycurtailedthe numberof saints' days. no. churches that werenot to be maintained less thanfive milesapart. nOS. 3rd ser.. xi. "it wasthe best world and thateverhe did see"andwishedto havethe Sacrament carried before the Pilgrims. I48 (L.O. F. 3-5 (L. I246). The parishpriests (to an extent which shockedmanyof the moreearnestclergy)sharedmanyof the more violentcharacteristics their parishioners.. 61L. The Ten Articlesof July I536. 48I. 399).andthat plate if andjewellery wereto be confiscated. no. 380.P. and clerical taxation reduced. "havinga greatclub of one in his hands.said that if he had Cromwell there he would beat out his guts". W..and the efficacyof the traditional sacraments. Xii. nos. 975 (p.and threatening recalcitrant they shouldnot assent the ("If they shouldbe hangedandkilledat theirown doorposts". pp. 36|II8 f. 972. i. of the BritishArchaeological Assoc.and were conceivedin terms of their own self-interest. In the cirumstances rumoursthat the parochial organizationitselfwasto be similarly drastically and rationalized. that right of sanctuaryextended. il..the priest of Croft told his parishioners. came directlyfrom the clergy.i. I/IIO 70.. Obviouslyspiritualsanctionsplayedtheir part. "The Social Position of the Parson in the Sixteenth Century". p.P.P.said. E 36/II8 ff. 52 P.53 The failure of the Ten Articlesto mentionfour of the seven sacraments could seemsignificant a pointerto drasticdoctrinal as changein the future. althoughtheir materialcomfortswere ratherbetterthan a husbandman's. harnessed armed. becausethey led to idleness and sin..)5l Obviouslythe demandsin the Pilgrims'programme full benefitof clergyshould be restored. p. no. E.. xi. Reformatiows. so did the positionof the priestas a principal intermediary. 63 Dodds.

687(2). Luke's Day was not proclaimed as a holiday.. Dickens. Henry VIII. The church-plateissue. 55 L.P. xii. 56 L. B.57 A good deal of communal pride was invested in the parish church and in its fittings. cf. G. pp. "Secularand Religious Motivation".56 There are. spurred on by rumours and by payments from the clergy. 20I Reformationin 57 A. Louth. demanded the keys of the treasure-housefrom the churchwarden. nos 70 (passim). had only in ISI5 completed the building of its church spire. "they are the most dangerous discontents where the fear is greater than the feeling". a yeoman and singing-man. as it was in I549 when many chapels-of-ease were suppressed. and its confiscation. "Some PopularReactionsto the Edwardian Yorkshire". the same evening a crowd. xii. as Bacon observed in his essay "Of Seditions". no. Duddint. This was hardly obvious in I536.therefore.Yorks. a reduction in the number of churches would obviously be a majorinconvenience to the poorer classes. Dickens. They were therefore prepared to join in the attack on "heretic bishops". I89-9I. might be seen as symptomatic of the royal policy. 58 The First Churchwardens' p (Oxford. ed. TudorPrelatesand Politics (Princetown. 337. Even in Westmorland the rebellion began with a protest when St. nos. Book of Louth. 380. This was a threat for the future. trouble at Watton began with a riot when St. R. I 94 I ). in which the concept of a spoliation of the church was linked with a general spoliation which would follow. p. And fear for the sacraments obviously increased the determination to defend churches and church-furnishings as symbols of the faith. i. 967-7s. (passim). Scarisbrick. a direct attackon the parishionersby the king. 854.5a The East Riding rebels ascribed their initial rising to rumours from Lincolnshire. i. I60-I.Arch.7ournal. As we have seen. . EnglishReformation. 58. p. that "we shall never follow [the cross] more" in procession. Smith. xi. and. Wilfred's day was not proclaimed. significantly enough. I 0. 54 L. pp.58 There was a strong feeling that plate was the parishioners' own.xxxiv (I938-9). Dickens. . proclaiming on Sunday. and were likely.)54 Trouble at Louth began with Thomas Foster. I October I536. a number of motives mixed up here. to fear drastic changes. naturally. an operation supervised by the elected churchwardens and financed largely from donations and legacies. 828.7o PAST AND PRESENT NUMBER 4 I (I cannot share ProfessorDickens' view that the Pilgrims "should have known that the King disliked both Lutherans and Anabaptists at least as much as they did".. C. therefore. More immediately. I953).to prevent the King's commissionerstaking away the plate and jewels. large numbers of Yorkshiremencontinued to trust in the sacraments of the church. I500-24. especiallyin conjunctionwith the suppression of the monasteries.P.

was stimulated by the near-simultaneous activities of the commissioners to suppress the smaller monasteries.60 This. and for the jewels of their church. i. the reactionin Dent. S.P. or even more drastic than in the North) failed to do so at all. trouble at Louth began the day before the commissionersarrivedto examine the clergy.xi. and a confiscation of church plate. In the West Riding it was reported "surely they will pay no more money for they have it not. if "it was suffered in that town of Louth. nos.59 It has been necessary so far to separate out the various factors making for revolt. xi. but believed that trouble was set off by a royal commissioner 49P. they believed all the rest to be true". indeed. indeed on propertyin general. then. 968. Eiear a wholesale attackon church property.O. which were thought to be made by my Lord Cromwell's counsel". while the equally conservative West Country did not do so ti11 IS49. The confirmation of one rumour can lead to a general conflagration.. a base for discontent existed.R. II (L. 90). S. they will depart with none". xii..P.the subsidy commissioners.xii.THE PILGRIMAGEOF GRACERECONSIDERED 7I Thus "Captain Cobbler". 54 (L. no. 27. and Wales (where the magnates were threatened with a loss of privileges as drastic. enclosures. 37. and for making of new laws. But what has become increasinglyapparentis the impossibility of fixing on a single factor or group of factors and saying that this is fundamental. no.. at Caister. a general feeling of distrust is created. 20I.O. "the people saw many abbeys pulled down in deed. 2I. or.. etc. 20I). too. surely they speak it openly. P. .) and the abolition of holydays. in the sense of being in itself suicient cause of the Pilgrimage. 563(2). put another ways "for the pulling down of abbeys and divers payments".P. All these were at work in Lincolnshire in the late summer of IS36. i. I/IO8 f.P. and the commissioners enquiring into the morals of the clergy. In Lincolnshire and the eastern half of Yorkshire (including here the lowland areas of the West Riding) there were many smaller monasteries. L. John Hallom thought that the East Riding revolt was because "the abbeys were plucked down.heard that there was to be a recoinage of gold coin. including a large number of economic ones (entry fines. E 36/II9 ff. a Louth shoemaker. I47. 60 P. I/IIO f.R. may well be the explanation of why it was the North which rose in IS36. all the whole country should be likewise". in Wales and the West Country there were very few. on the day when the clergy and subsidy commissioners were both meeting there.. rumoursfeed on each other. cf. Quite obviously the factors interact.. William Stapleton listed a number of causes. To quote John Hallom once more.P. no. of In the former. E 361II9 f. For the East Riding. 678.

I962). then. if only the king would free himself from Cromwell. no. seem to have been a necessary element (though obviously not the only element) in the Pilgrimage of Grace. in the northwest. the ignoring of saints' days. p. 82). Revolts. cohesion seems to be possible only when men come to believe that a complex set of grievances llas a single cause. Cox i. the dissolution. the ignoring of saints' days.63 "If only" is the key here. I think. IOI3. and the Yorkshire rising. 458. xii. Ecclesiastical factors. L. 89-96. that if only that cause could be removed. no. thus apparentlyconfirming the rumour that they were to be confiscated. and ecclesiastical grievances were plainly inflammatory. as we have seen.. i. social strain is most intensely studied when there is a revolt to explain. if only "noble men of the true noble blood may reign or rule about the king. precisely because they could produce iIl participantsa self-righteousness which was more formidablethan materialinterests were likely to be on their own.. x [I903]. 63 See the illuminating analysis by N. J.P.72 PAST AND PRESENT NUMBER 4 I demanding an inventory of church goods. then the assorted grievances 61 Dodds. Without the Lincolnshire rising. The precipitatingfactorsare surely straightforward:in Lincolnshire. Dr. p. v. Pilgrimage. and then to underestimatethe importance of precipitating factors in changing a situation in which a rebellion is possible (of which there must have been several. i. xii. . Historians and sociologists prefer to concentrate on long-term strain and then to slip hurriedlypast "precipitatingfactors" on the grounds they are unimportant. in Trans. in the sense that without it there would have been no rebellion: at the most it was the proverbial 'last straw' which provided the rebels with a popular cause and a good rallying cry". Smelser. and the heretic bishops. pp. in Yorkshire. the coincidence of subsidy commissioners. seem to need a simple objective. Historians tend to neglect its existence at other times.for instance. writes that "the dissolution of the lesser monasteries was not the 'cause' of the Pilgrimage of Grace. all should be well". and the enguiry into the clergy. p. Audeley. Dissolution.f Collective Behaviour (London. Soc. 9I. the dissolution and the subsidy. ch. C. 62 Toodward. arld the Lincolnshire rising.P.Eczst RidingAntiq. most of them abortive)into an actualrebellion. 392 (printed by J. to diminish its importance. Riche. the dissolution of the smaller monasteries. Theory o. of course. moreover. Woodward. it is surely probable that conditions of strain would have lessened in the other counties.6l The activity of the commissioner is. in this case. But to recognize this is not. that the rumours would gradually have been forgotten as the predicted dire events failed to materialize.. L. a "precipitating factor".62 But.

the Pilgrims preferred believethatthey werenot rebelsat all. acquired unwontedimportance indications and an as of the immediate future.andit wasto this thatthe Pilgrims appealed. whichthe of North would be one. they put to forward traditional the belief that the king was reallyon their side. then they wouldgo further. I46. And. in a societyin which clergy.then)provided necessary the slogans whichgave coherence the movement. Hence the men of Dent could believe. if [theking]were and [here]we would new crownhim".P. pp.xi (I9I6). 1 owe this point to Mr. Aske preferred to face the conflictof loyalties.65 But legitimation terms the in of the superiority the lawsof Ged to the lawsof manwaslikelyto of havegreater effect. K. Of course.too. was 1lseful legitimating in rebellion.and commonscouldbe met. Indeed) even when the rebelsturnedagainstthe interestsof the churchmen (as did those in the north-west)they forcibly expressed. Pollard. xi no.or that the rebels should sum up their programme ecclesiastical in slogans.64 But if the king were not to listento the Pilgrimdemands. V. that he would thankthem for riddinghim of his evil counsellors Henrymay be said to have encouraged belief.thatthe pullingdownof churches not the king'sdeedbut "is the d[eed]of Crumwell. Dodds. to Religion. 276-84.clergy. 84I. the kingproclaiming he had not realizedhow muchhis subjects that were being oppressed. is hardlysurprising the programme it that should give priorityto ecclesiastical grievances. hence theirragewhenArchbishop l. were by-and-large the most articulate members. Indeed.THE PILGRIMAGEOF GRACERECONSIDERED 73 of gentry. I929). ceased to be merely a subject of alehouse speculation. ss M. L.. 4sPolitical Propheciesin the Reign of Henry RIIII'7Moderz Language Review.andhenceto a certainextentas legitimation of actiondesignedto overthrow king. preached them a politicallyorthodox sermenorlthe duty of obedience. H. their devotionto the papacyand dislikeof liturgical innovation. p. Ancient prophecies) such as the allegedprophecies Merlinwhichtalkedof of the overthrow the "Molewarp" of (curiouslyidentifiedwith Henry VIII) andthe divisionof England into threekingdoms.or at least professto believe. 64 . WoSsey (London.with no sense of citilerfromconviction becauseof or the suddenarrival Lancaster of Heraldin the congregation. if we had him herewe wouldcrumhim and [andcrum]himthathe wasneverso Crumwed. Religion.the fall of Wolsey (as later that of Cromwell) a strikingexampleof Henry'stendencyto seek scapeis goats. Thomas.howevercrude and unlearned. his attitudein this I525. when the forced-loan was withdrawn underpopularpressure.but he was quite clear not "thatif his gracehadrefusedtheirpetitions) then thesrcausehad that A.

Eng. . 66 L. rlo.67 The Pilgrims. had. v (I890). Some of these have been stressed by Dr. 57I. But. led by Lord Darcy. religious zeal is a variable. Such success as the Pilgrims had. they served to give the movement cohesion. 828). IO2I-2. P. A pitched battle. that in the New Year class division had reasserted itself and the commons of the East Riding rose again because they believed they had been betrayed by the gentry.P.. in the last resort legitimating resistance to the king. Had the divorce issue still been a live one. would have strengthened their cohesion. a credible alternative candidate for the throlle existed. then. Hist. Mr. There is obviously a good deal of truth in this. PP.. acceptance rather than action. to bind together different classes with widely different interests. for instance. xii. which it could have done. crusading catholicism. Rev. Prolonged religious fighting could (and probably would) have produced a vigorous. not a constant.R. almost accidental factors. The failure of the Pilgrimage to reach this stage was due at least as much to short-term. But it can be argued that such cohesion as the Pilgrimage possessed evaporated very quickly. trusted the king and were tricked into disbanding by his promises of redress. 67 Henry VIII. M. in Lincoln. So.O. P. nos. as to more profound ones. E. depended on the (at best) halfhearted opposition put up by the effective representativesof government in the area. i. passions might have been more inflamed than they were. providing slogans and scapegoats.P. above all..P. or had Bishop Tunstall of Durham persisted in his earlier opposition to Henry's assumption of the supremacy and followed John Fisher to the block. Sir Edward Dymmoke. 2a (L.74 PAST AND PRESENT NUMBER 4 I been just". The Pilgrimage did not develop into a succession war. and to fight against his power if he would not grant them such things as they wrote to him for". too. that by December I536 the Pilgrims were prepared to accept the king's pardon and return home. Certainly early sixteenth-century catholicism seems very largely to have lost its dynamism. But.. S. I/IO9f. the earl of Northumberland and the Council of the North. IOII. Captain Cobbler thought that "their purpose was to advance themselves towards the king's highness. were an essential feature of the Pilgrimage. they figured large among the causes. xi.66 Religious factors. or at least their leaders. Scarisbrick. unless it had been a shattering defeat for the Pilgrims. elsewhere. inspiring solid piety rather than enthusiasm. 34I-8. the particular decisions taken by a small group of men seem to be of vital importance here. as I have argued. Lord Hussey and the gentry. led by the sheriff.

The earl of Derby was an opponent of Cromwell.69 In the event. Talbot). too.i. "Secularand Religious Motivation". They obviously had no means of telling in advance that it would be Norfolk who would lead an army against them.Dodds Elton. 68 "Earl of Cumberland". and especially with the hatred of Cromwell and the heretic bishops. it was against that ill-perceived evil summed up in their minds by the parrot-cry Cromwell that they had taken up arms. and how important. Cromwell'sDecline and Fall". Norfolk's decision to oppose them was surely a matter of expediency and calculation. Possibly. p. see G. 63. but he might have found it expedient to anticipate the Catholic reaction whichsetinin I539. and this is surely the point at issue. pp. a hope fostered in the Howard family since I489. I50-2: a review of N. Biog. 99. I964). he looked forward to a grateful king establishing him as the leading magnate in the North on the ruins of the Percies. Thomas 70 See M. The earl of Shrewsburywas a man of definite conservative opinions.p. sympathized with a large part of the rebels' demands.. Cambridge p. Dickens. . But the Pilgrims obviously intended that it should be. the temptation to join the rebels would surely have been overwhelming. Cromwell.7? Had Norfolk possessed a less calculating temperament. although too loyal or too cautious to rebel and. E. 69 Dict. "Thomas x Historical3tl. He evidently preferred to fight Cromwell by intrigue (and to gain many of the Pilgrims' points in I540) rather than by force of arms. Their aims were directed against Protestants in the government. the rebels' cohesion would have been greater. of course. the duke of Norfolk. (sub Edward Stanley and George For Norfolk's character. ii (I967). J. and was expected by the Pilgrims to join them. many of them his own East Anglian tenants. R. (I950-2). for the king. distinguishedby his promptness in raising troops to crush the rebels. indeed. too. "The Fourth Duke of Norfolk and the North". Above all. Williams. Northern History. was the fact that the earl's heir held Carlisle. putting up meanwhile with insult and humiliation. I50-85. p. In these circumstances Henry would probably not have lost his throne.THE PILGRIMAGEOF GRACERECONSIDERED 75 James has noted how important for the king's cause was the continued loyalty of the earl of Cumberland. Nat. Professor Dickens argues that the adhesion of Norfolk and Shrewsbury to the king shows that the Pilgrimage"was not a struggle between Catholics and Protestants". ThomasHoward FourthDuke of Norfolk (London. recalled from semidisgrace to lead the royal army. if the earl of Northumberland had been able or willing to play a less ambiguous role. Pilgrimage. II6. Most important of all was the personality of a handful of peers who commanded the royal army. not against Norfolk. and his half-brother held Berwick. pp. 68. it was not. James.68 Moreover.

Pilgrimage. I56-7. Gay. I937).a not very heroic piety might have been transformedinto a much more dangerousenthusissm. in Professor Jordan's analysis. Henry's path would have been impossible. . see A. Onsford C. PP. Baskerville. PP. quoted in part by E. and postponed the bringing into operation of the Act of Union. the degree of anti-clericalism. Davies R. I78-95.76 PAST AND PRESENT NUMBER 4 I Beyond all these hypotheses lurks an even largerone. I74-5. p. it is easy to overlook the degree to which I549 was to demonstrate popular ecclesiasticalconservatism. PP. What would have been the attitude of the rest of the country had the Pilgrims pressed on. Robinson. EnglishMonksand the Dissolution theMonasteries of (London.R. also Dodds. T. rather than dispersing in December I536 ? As we have seen. Hist. xviii (I904).NorfolkArc/aeology. many of the factors predisposing towards revolt were more pronounced in the north. F. of the Board of Celtic Studies. including. iii.. Oxoniensia. ii.O.O. I/IO9 f. that England owed its immunity from religious war in the sixteenth century. and to what extent the chance of such a transformationdepended on such incalculables as the death of Queen Catherineor the temperament of the duke of Norfolk. 44 (L.. no. the elements makingfor change. PP. The government thought that Wales was likely to revolt.. S. Above all. 4I. xi. Swales. had alreadyseen large-scale riots against the dissolution of certain monasteries by Wolsey in IS25. Soc. "The Buckinghamshireand OxfordshireRising of IS49X). Roy. too. than Jordan allows. and P. "EarlyTudor Policy towardsWales". to stress how far. S. 254-65. L. had more people been prepared to risk their lives for their faith. and Hampshire.Hist. given the right circumstances.. the survival of Lollards and so on. There were murmurs in Kent.. lle might well halredone so. 324. of Eccles.P. But it is important. in order to explain how the Henrician Reformation was possible. but in such courlties as Oxfordshire. I am not denying that had a fervent catholicism been widespread. IO/8.P. 71J A. Walsinghamwas a centre of considerable distllrbance. I67-8. Bull. xvi (I965). Buckinghamshire. in Trans. Wadham College. xxi (I966).xxxiii (I962-5). 34I. "The Oppositionto the Suppressionof the Norfolk Monasteries". no. 326. Vere Woodman. 73See the referencesgiven in Scarisbrick.. It was to the accident of political circumstances. Henry YIII. PP. PP. For I549. have been commonly over-stressed. G. after all. even in London. cf. which was designed to reduce drasticallythe privileges of the Marcher lords. "Piety and Charityin Late Medieval London". had the duke of Norfolk wished to swing East Anglia behind the Pilgrims. 78-84. 203-4.7 Nevertheless.P. Thomson.R. which. there seems to have been a good deal of sympathy for the rebels. catholic piety though there is evidence that belief in prayersfor the dead was more widespread.xxii (I957) PP. F. pt. 349. Yl. P.72 All in all. new ser. not to any peculiar lukewarmness of religious feeling. H. i.not only in the West Country. P. S. 84I).