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4. The Pilgrimage of Grace
About this Lecture
In this module, we explore the opposition to some of Henry's religious policies, focusing in particular on the Pilgrimage of Grace (1536-37), and especially on the list of demands made by the rebels known as the Pontefract Articles. As we move through the module, we consider: (i) the historiography of the Pilgrimage of Grace: Richard Hoyle's view that the Pilgrimage of Grace was a kind of quasi-Convocation; Ethan H. Shagan's view that it was a kind of quasi-Parliamentary assembly, and the support for this view, e.g. the rebels' demand (Art. 15) that there should be a parliament "at Nottingham or York" instead of in London; (ii) the view of historians in the 1970s that the Pilgrimage of Grace was primarily about economics, and the evidence supporting this view, e.g. the rebels' demand (Art. 13) that Henry deal with the problem of enclosure, the fact that the rebellion took place in areas that had lost monasteries [see below for the contribution of monasteries to the local economy], the rebels' demand (Art. 14) that all taxes should be remitted, the impact of the Valor Ecclesiasticus (1535) and the fear that more taxes were on the way; (iii) the economic impact of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, including the impact on the hospitality industry, the reduction in almsgiving, and the loss of employment; (iv) the view that the Pilgrimage of Grace was primarily about politics, and the evidence supporting this view, e.g. the rebels' demand (Art. 3) that Mary be restored to the line of succession, as well as their demand (Art. 16) for the repeal of the 1539 Proclamation by the Crown Act; (v) the view that the Pilgrimage of Grace was primarily about politics, and the evidence supporting this view, e.g. the rebels' demands that papal supremacy should be restored (Art. 2), and the Dissolution of the Monasteries should be reversed (Arts 4, 6); (vi) the importance of Article 1, including the lumping in of people Henry himself would have acknowledged as heretics (e.g. Jan Hus, John Wycliffe) with people Henry supported (e.g. John Rastell, Christopher St Germain, and William Marshall); (vii) the extent to which the rebels attempted to present themselves as legitimate petitioners, including their use of the Banner of the Five Wounds of Christ.
In this course, Dr Tracey Sowerby (University of Oxford) explores the reign of Henry VIII, thinking in particular about the English Reformation. We begin by focusing on decision-making in the Henrician court, before looking at the reasons behind the break with Rome—was it simply because Henry had fallen in love with another woman, or were there greater issues at stake? In the third module, we think about the extent to which the changes made by Henry were Protestant in nature, before moving on in the final two modules to think about the opposition to the changes that Henry was making.
Tracey Sowerby is a Senior College Lecturer in History at Keble College, Oxford. Her research interests cover early modern politics, religion, print culture, and intellectual culture and the interactions between them.
Her doctorate, and the book that developed out of it, examined the activities of Henry VIII’s most prolific propagandist, Richard Morison (c.1513-56), while at present she is researching the cultural history of Tudor diplomacy, thinking about how English diplomatic practice, personnel and theory adapted to three major sixteenth century developments: the introduction of resident ambassadors, the English Reformation and female rule.
Cite this Lecture
Sowerby, T. (2018, August 15). The Tudors – Henry VIII and the English Reformation, 1509-47 - The Pilgrimage of Grace [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/henry-viii-and-the-english-reformation-1509-47/the-pilgrimage-of-grace
Sowerby, Tracey. "The Tudors – Henry VIII and the English Reformation, 1509-47 – The Pilgrimage of Grace." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://massolit.io/courses/henry-viii-and-the-english-reformation-1509-47/the-pilgrimage-of-grace