Today in 1536 Henry proclaimed that the rebels in the Pilgrimage of Grace would be offered a pardon if they submitted to Henry’s officers in the region. In this proclamation, Henry also said that he would hold a Parliament at York, which was one of the major demands of the rebels. The rebels did disperse, happy with what seemed like a recognition of their grievances, and believing that they would be heard. Henry also asked one of the leaders, Robert Aske, to come to London to discuss the grievances directly with him.
Robert Aske spent the Christmas holiday with Henry at Greenwich. When they first met, Henry said: "Be you welcome, my good Aske; it is my wish that here, before my council, you ask what you desire and I will grant it." Aske replied: "Sir, your majesty allows yourself to be governed by a tyrant named Cromwell. Everyone knows that if it had not been for him the 7,000 poor priests I have in my company would not be ruined wanderers as they are now." Henry gave the impression that he agreed, and he asked Aske to write up a report of what had happened with the Dissolution. But while Aske was in London, another rebellion started breaking out, and that was all the reason Henry needed to execute the leaders of the original rebellion, including Aske.
That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com where there is a series on rebellions in Tudor England.
Tudor Rebellions Series, Part 2