Pilgrimage of Grace

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Pilgrimage of Grace

Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536, rising of Roman Catholics in N England. It was a protest against the government's abolition of papal supremacy (1534) and confiscation (1536) of the smaller monastic properties, intensified by grievances against inclosures and high rents and taxes. The Catholics protested their loyalty to Henry VIII, citing as their “great grudge” the position and influence of Thomas Cromwell. In Oct., 1536, several thousand men occupied the city of Lincoln, but dispersed after receiving a sharp rebuke from the king. Almost immediately, another rally occurred in Yorkshire. The movement, which rapidly gathered strength in N England, was led by Robert Aske, a Yorkshire lawyer. Aske and his followers occupied York and then moved on to Doncaster. Thomas Howard, 3d duke of Norfolk, promised from the king a general pardon and a Parliament to be held at York within a year. The men dispersed. Aske was well received by the king in London. In Jan., 1537, Sir Francis Bigod of Settrington, Yorkshire, led an uprising at Beverley. Although Aske and other leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace tried to prevent this new disorder, they were arrested, tried in London, and executed in June, 1537. The northern counties were placed under martial law, and many people were hanged on mere suspicion of disaffection. The repression in N England after the Pilgrimage of Grace put an end to open opposition to the government's religious policy.


See study by M. N. Dodds and R. Dodds (2 vol., 1915, repr. 1971).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pilgrimage of Grace


uprising (1536–37) in northern England, encompassing Yorkshire and the neighboring counties. This rebellion proceeded under religious slogans (for the restoration of the Catholic Church and the monasteries), but it was essentially an agrarian movement; peasants made up the core of insurgents. The cause of the uprising was the worsening of living conditions among the peasant masses during the agrarian revolution. The secularization of the monasteries in particular served as an impetus for depriving the peasants of land. The motley social composition of the participants (taking part in the pilgrimage of grace were also members of the gentry and the clergy) made it easier to crush the uprising.


Semenov, V. F. Ogorazhivaniia i krest’ianskie dvizheniia v Anglii XVI v. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949. Pages 246–67.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The story of the Rising - and the Pilgrimage of Grace beforehand - point to enduring geographical fault lines in English life, albeit reworked in different historical contexts.
He proposes that only after the Pilgrimage of Grace, which was seen as a rallying cry against the dissolution of monasteries and a treasonous affront to royal supremacy, did Henry resolve to eliminate them all.
what would become the Pilgrimage of Grace. In Yorkshire, the movement quickly fell under the military and
'The road to Christian unity is like a road with no exit, a pilgrimage of grace we make together,' he said.
I told him of the Carthusians, and the other monks, priests, and laymen, but I forgot the largest, the most important, and the most neglected popular rising in English history, the Pilgrimage of Grace, the name given by Robert Aske, a Yorkshire lawyer practising in London, and one of its leaders.
They circulated especially during the Pilgrimage of Grace (1536-37), and J.
It was also taken to the Pilgrimage of Grace, when local people protested against the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Although the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellions took place during some of the most heated times of the English Reformation, they were not merely about religion.
And the Pilgrimage of Grace uprising in the north of England in protest at Thomas Cromwell's dissolution of the monasteries was not "led by monks and abbots" but a popular revolt with a disparate leadership including lawyers and soldiers.
Bookended by sections on the background and an assessment, the book covers rebellions thematically as well as roughly chronologically, from rebellions around taxation (late fifteenth-early sixteenth centuries), the Lincolnshire rising and the Pilgrimage of Grace, the Western Rebellion, Robert Kett and the "Rebellions of Commonwealth," Wyatt's Rebellion (all mid-sixteenth century), and the Northern Rebellion (late sixteenth century).
Author of Great Harry's Navy and The Pilgrimage of Grace, Geoffrey Moorhouse investigates the vibrancy of the Benedictine monastic community at Durham and the impact of the dissolution of the monasteries, in the spirit of Eamon Duffy's study of Morebath.
Anne Boleyn's fall and the Pilgrimage of Grace played into the hands of English conservatives, making it more difficult for the reformers (McEntegart calls them league evangelicals) to influence policy.