Pilgrimage of Grace: Who's Who
VIII ruled from 1509 until 1547. During
time he famously had six wives in his quest for a
demanding a divorce from his first wife, Catalina de Aragon, he angered the Pope
and the Spanish king. They refused his wishes, so Henry being Henry, he set up
his own church - the Church of England, and made himself its head in 1534.
to cause a massive rebellion called The Pilgrimage of Grace in 1539 led by
was a high-ranking soldier in Henry's army, a landowner and
a lawyer from East Yorkshire who had powerful connections in London. On hearing
of the closure of 55 monasteries and nunneries in his home county he gathered
support for a protest against the Reformation.
The 30,000 'Pilgrims' used the banner of the five
wounds of Christ as their symbol and demanded an end to the destruction of the
Catholic Church in England.
Aske was also angered at the economic impact of the
dissolution of the monasteries - the poor and the sick had been helped a great
deal by the church in the North of England.
was one of Henry's chief advisers. Cromwell had recommended
many monasteries for dissolution, and the lands sold on to small farmers to
create both support for the changes and money in Henry's
bank. Many religious shrines such as the one to St. Thomas Becket were
destroyed, further angering Catholics. Cromwell fell out of favour with
Henry in 1540 after the Anne of Cleves divorce and was
The Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Howard,
master of survival in Henry's court, was a ruthless and
cunning political genius. He had two of his nieces, Ann Boleyn and Catherine
Howard, married to Henry, then beheaded to protect his power. His rivalry with
Thomas Cromwell ended in success as well!
He was charged with treason by Henry when he
suspected he might take power from the young Prince
Edward, but lucky old Norfolk escaped when Henry died the day before the
execution was to be carried out! Mary reinstated
him, and he then gained favour with Elizabeth too,
by putting down a rebellion.
Rarely has history seen such a slippery snake of a