Edward & Mary - Rebellion and Unrest? (Reasons of Unrest in 1549…
Edward & Mary - Rebellion and Unrest?
Reasons of Unrest in 1549
A Want to Restore Catholicism:
A Want to Advance Protestantism:
Wyatt, Kett & Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey
Kett's & Western Rebellion
Social and Economic problems were the underlying causes of unrest, however
class conflicts and religious issues
may have been the
triggers for the violence
Contemporaries considered that the
greed of land owners
was one of the most serious causes of economic and social disorder
The rising population was the
most serious social & economic problem
of the period, playing a key role in the rapid price rise.
Sheep & Cloth Tax:
Debasement of the coinage to fund wars with Scotland added to inflation and further unrest
Enclosure & Common Land:
Enclosure and the conversion of arable land to sheep farming played a
unrest of 1549
The Rebellions of 1549
The Western Rebellion:
This is often called the
prayer book rebellion
, suggesting its main motivation was religious based.
William Body was murdered
at Helston when he went to supervise the
destruction of images
, suggesting religious tensions were already high.
A large number of people gathered at Bodmin to
protest about the Act of Uniformity
, but the major unrest started at Sampford Courtenay where locals
protested about the New Prayer book
and insisted the priest used the old one.
Protest soon spread and rebels from
Devon and Cornwall
met at Crediton. Their demands were
largely religious based
, but this is probably because they were
drawn up by priests
They wanted to
restore traditional doctrine
, as well as the beliefs of
However, initial complaints included an attack on the
sheep and cloth tax
, as well as a
dislike of a local gentry
The government were slow to deal with the rebels as they had to put down unrest in Oxforshire and Buckinghamshire en Route. However, when they did reach the
, a number of
before the rebels were finally defeated at Sampford Courtenay, where some
3000 rebels were killed
This rebellion took place in
and took ts name from its leader,
The riots began when the people were angry at local lawyer, John Flowerdew, as he had brought the local abbey church and begun to
enclose the land
. Flowerdew attempted to turn the rebels against Kett, who also had enclosed land, but he turned the rebels back against Flowerdew.
Kett quickly raised
who marched to
and set up camp there.
The rebels were
offered a pardon
, but this
failed to disperse
them. Instead, they
sent a force
under the Marquis of Northampton, which massacred the rebels,
killing some 3000 men
Kett was later hanged
for treason, however
most rebels were treated leniently
The Rebellions of Mary's Reign
The timing of the rising suggests that Mary's marriage was the main cause, as no sooner were there rumours of the match than opposition began to develop.
Hatred of foreigners was easily aroused and stories soon circulated that the English court would be dominated by Spaniards. There were fears that Mary would be dominated by her husband and England would be swept into Hapsburg conflicts that did not benefit England.
However, there were still some evidence of religious motvation:
the leaders of the four-pronged attack had protestant sympathies
the area around Maidstone where he gained most support was protestant
Wyatt received advice from the deprived Protestant bishop of Winchester
no prominent member of the plot was Catholic
on reaching London, the rebels attacked the property of the newly restored Catholic Bishop of Winchester.
Plotters wanted to marry Elizabeth to Edward Courtenay, which the court was aware of. He revealed most of the details and forced the rebels to act before they were ready. Instead of a four pronged attack it was only in Kent that rebellion occurred, led by a member of the Gentry, Thomas Wyatt.
He had been a supporter of Mary against Lady Jane Grey, however he was fearful he would lose hs position and influence with the arrival of large numbers of foreigners.
Wyatt managed to raise some 3,000 forces, but they didn't march straight to London, giving Mary time to rally her forces and bring the rebellion to and end. However, it had been a treat to Mary as she lost some troops who changed sides, and the rising had reached the gates of London.
The lack of punishment suggested that Mary was fearful of more uprisings, and may explain why Elizabeth and Courtenay escaped with their lives.
If all four prongs of the rebellion had taken place, instead of just in Kent, it may have been successful.
The Lady Jane Grey Affair:
Political: When Northumberland's son married Lady Jane Grey in 1553, Edward was believed to live for a long time. The marriage meant Northumberland became the father-in-law of the prospective Queen. This suggests that Northumberland had not been plotting to further his political career as Edwards health did not start declining until after the marriage.
Religious: Northumberland did attempt to secure his position, aware that if Mary came to power he was likely to be excluded. He may also have thought he would gain support from the elite as he had restored stability after Somerset's fall It could also be argued that those who had gained land during the dissolution of the monasteries might support him as they could lose that land under a Catholic monarch.
The threat the Mary:
Northumberland was able to have Lady Jane proclaimed Queen, and if he had managed to capture Mary before she fled to East Anglia, the plot may have succeeded. Northumberland initially had the support of the privy council, but Mary raised a force against him, asked Charles V for help and raised the possibilty of a civil war.
Northumberland was forced to leave London to confront Mary, allowing the privy council to change their views, most giving support to Mary. While Northumberland failed to gain support as he marched East many of his supporters abandoned him, forcing himto abandon his march, retreat to Cambridge and proclaim Mary Queen.
The sudden collapse of the plot suggests it stood no chance, this is reinforced by the enthusiasm that greeted Mary when she arrived in London.
However, the leniency she showed to those such as Gardiner and Norfolk, who were soon released from jail, suggests her position was weak and she needed all the support she could get.
However, Northumberland, his son Guildford Dudley, and Lady Jane Grey were soon arrested and executed.