Analyze the concerns and goals of participants in the Pilgrimage of Grace and of those who opposed the movements.
o The participants of the Pilgrimage of Grace were concerned with getting back what was taken away from them, and their goal was to get rid of all evil people implementing policies that the public were opposed to, mainly Cromwell, while the ones opposed to the Pilgrimage, such as Henry VIII, believed that it might have ruined the country and was not necessary.
o Many monasteries
o Rulers did not defend the country, so participants relied on faith and the ability to help one another out
o Wanted Cromwell gone
o Leeche said it could have been prevented
In 1543, the Act of Supremacy was passed, making Henry VIII the head of the Anglican Church. This marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Thomas Cromwell then implemented a series of government policies. These policies included new taxes, the expansion of royal power in the north of England, the dissolution of monasteries, and the confiscation of Catholic church lands. The Pilgrimage of Grace occurred because of these new policies. Marchers protested and demonstrated why they were right and Oliver Cromwell was wrong. The Pilgrimage of Grace occurred from October 1536 to February 1537. The participants of the Pilgrimage of Grace were concerned with getting back what was taken away from them, and their goal was to get rid of all evil people implementing policies that the public were opposed to, mainly Cromwell, while the ones opposed to the Pilgrimage, such as Henry VIII, believed that it might have ruined the country and was not necessary.
People participated in the Pilgrimage of Grace only for their “love of God, for the Holy Catholic Church militant, for the preservation of the king and his heirs, for the purification of the nobility, and to expel all evil counselors” (doc. 1). The participants had to rely on “charity, faith, poverty, and pity” (doc.2). They had to be able to help one another out if they were to be robbed or invaded. They told their “most Sovereign king” that they wanted certain heresies destroyed, the Supreme head of the Church to be the pope, the monasteries’ things returned to them, and to have Oliver Cromwell punished (doc. 5). The list continues, but the main goal of the participants of the Pilgrimage of Grace was to restore their country as it was before policies were implemented by Oliver Cromwell. Participants were angry with the fact that the Parliament spoke, not only of the King’s thoughts, but of Cromwell’s as well (doc. 6). They believed that Cromwell had too much power and should not exceed the power of that of the King.
Monks were particularly unhappy with the policies put in place by Oliver Cromwell because they took away monks’ properties. Catholic monks proposed a ballad that read, “Great God’s fame, does the Church proclaim, now to be lame, and held in bonds. Robbed, spoiled and shorn of cattle and corn, houses and lands” (doc. 4). The monasteries were robbed of their houses and land, and they participated in the Pilgrimage of Grace to try to gain all of that back. In a re-creation of a banner by marchers, the “Wounds of Christ” were depicted. It was blood dripping from a central heart, with blood also dripping from hands and feet. On the outside of this were a chalice, a plow, and a cattle horn (doc. 3). This banner symbolized the monks. The monks were the ones suffering because they had had pretty much everything taken away from them. Another person who was unhappy with what was going on was Robert Aske. Shorty before his execution, he gave a testimony, and he said that any money now being earned from abbey lands are going directly to the King. Strangers and beggars have no help on the roads (doc. 11). Aske is basically saying that everything now became based around the King, and the monasteries were not around to be of help. Things such as sea walls, dikes, and bridges that were once maintained by the monasteries were not anymore because the monks were now protesting. Monasteries were not out to help others, they were out for themselves, but they needed their land and houses in order to serve the good of the people.
Nicholas Leeche believed that this rebellion could have been stopped. He said that “the gentleman could have stopped the rebellion then, but did not, never believing their actions to be offensive to the King” (doc. 8) He is saying that the actions of Cromwell and his men were offensive to the King because of all the trouble and turmoil their new policies stirred up. Leeche believed the rebellion could have been prevented if the leaders had had any idea that this much controversy would occur. Henry VIII said to the marchers that the rebellion they committed might have ruined their country (doc. 9). The marchers gave comfort to the Scots, who were their enemies. The King was, however, sorry for what had come about from the policies, but he was very much opposed to the pilgrimage. Trials occurred for the marchers in the Pilgrimage of Grance. Many commoners were convicted in the first treason trials of participants that occurred from January to March in 1537. A total number of 144 people were convicted, 110 of them being commoners (doc. 10).
A writer hired by Thomas Cromwell said that “when every many rules, who shall obey?” (doc. 7). He said that those of lesser importance or of a lesser role and society need to comply with the fact that those with more power are going to rule over them. The marchers and participants of the Pilgrimage of Grace did not see it this way. They believed they should not have everything taken away from them, especially by someone who is not even the king. The participants had every right to protest what was going on, and if their protesting ruined their country, then Cromwell should have thought about that before implementing new government policies.