Pilgrimage of Grace


The Pilgrimage of Grace is the collective name for a series of rebellions in northern England, first in Lincolnshire and then in Yorkshire and elsewhere between October and December 1536 CE. Nobles, clergy, monks, and commoners united to oppose both the decision of Henry VIII of England (r. 1509-1547 CE) to split the Church in England from Rome and his policy of closing monasteries and confiscating their estates, the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Other grievances included the fear of new taxes and confiscation of Church property and a general lack of political representation in the north of England. The Pilgrimage of Grace, so-called because its participants considered themselves 'pilgrims', did not threaten London, but it was the largest rebellion of the Tudor period (1485-1603 CE). The 40,000 protestors were dispersed by the threat of armed force and false promises of pardons and reforms but, ultimately, many of the leaders, including the lawyer Robert Aske and Lord Darcy, were executed as traitors and Henry continued apace with the Reformation in England.

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