The Aims Of Those Who Led The Pilgrimage Of Grace Essay

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The Pilgrimage of Grace was a popular rising against Henry VIII’s new religious policies and was the most widespread revolt during his reign. Source A shows a summary of the demands stated in the Pontefract Articles of 1536, and it seems that the most important grievance of the leader, Robert Aske, was the changes that had been made to Catholic Doctrine. Many of the people, both gentry and commons, who took part in the rising, wanted to defend the Catholic faith and it appears that religion was the prime cause of the rising as the name ‘the Pilgrimage of Grace’ is, in itself, a symbol of religion. In addition the demands made in Source A clearly show that the aim of those in the revolt was to protect the religion that had governed their lives for centuries. Religion affected all aspects of the commons’ lives; their year was governed by the church, providing holy days as times of festivity and as a chance to escape the harsh routines of day to day life, so when Source A requests that the ‘Supreme Head of the Church’ be ‘restored unto the see of Rome’, it is clear that the rebels wish for the Pope to return to full power so that Catholic Doctrine may be returned in England. The first areas to rebel were those around the dissolved houses implying that the dissolution of the monasteries was a great concern to the rebels. This can be seen in the fourth and fifth article where it is demanded that the ‘abbeys [be]… restored’ and the ‘Observant Friars [be] restored to their houses’. On the contrary, the adaptation from N Fellows’ ‘The Pilgrimage of Grace’ (2000), implies that the main reasons for the uprising were, in the eyes of the commons, the increasing taxes, and in the eyes of the gentry, the ‘king’s use of lowly-born councillors’. The new taxes that were imposed on baptism, burial and marriage were resented by many of the commons as a great number, particularly the

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