​The Pilgrimage of Grace

Chapter 11 : Timeline


First October – Thomas Kendall, priest of Louth, Lincolnshire, preaches an inflammatory sermon. This leads his parishioners to fear for their parish church, the spire of which had only been completed twenty years before, and in which the local people are heavily emotionally invested.

2 nd October – Start of the Lincolnshire Rising, at Louth, Lincolnshire, when villagers seize the Bishop of Lincoln's Registrar who was carrying out an Inspection of the Clergy to ensure they were conforming to the Act of Ten Articles and the Injunctions that followed it.

3 rd October – Commissioner for Subsidy (tax inspectors) due to convene in Caistor, Lincolnshire. Faced with 3,000 rebels, the majority of the Commissioners flee.

4 th October – John Raynes, the Bishop of Lincoln's Chancellor is lynched at Horncastle. Robert Aske, a Yorkshire lawyer is captured and constrained to swear rebel oath.

6 th October – Rebels converge on Lincoln, having gathered support en route. Henry VIII requires his daughter Mary to write to her cousin the Emperor, confirming that she accepted the annulment of her parents' marriage, and Henry's supremacy over the Church.

7 th October – Duke of Suffolk is sent to Stamford, and Henry raises men at Ampthill, Bedfordshire. Lord Hussey flees Lincolnshire, although he later joins the rebels.

8 th October – Rising spreads to Beverley, Yorkshire.

10 th October – Aske takes leadership role and gives the uprising its religious flavour with the term Pilgrimage, and a new rebel oath.

11 th October – Lincolnshire rising collapses. Men at Ampthill dismissed.

13 th October – Rising begins in East Riding.

13 th October – Darcy writes from Pontefract of a new rising in East Riding, similar to Lincolnshire.

14 th October – Katherine Clifford, Lady Scrope, writes to her father, the Earl of Cumberland, saying that the rebels are forcing gentlemen to join them.

16 th October – Rebels enter York. The Mayor believes the city to be too divided to resist. Aske calls the parallel rising in Richmondshire (North Yorkshire) to join them. The suppressed religious houses are restored. Clifford is besieged at Carlisle, and other risings begin in Durham, Northumberland and Cumberland.

16 th October – Muster at Kirkby Stephen, Westmoreland. Robert Brough appointed as Chaplain.

17th October - General panic at Court. King says that he does not trust Lord Darcy.

19 th October – Hull capitulates to rebels.

19 th October – In Cumberland, the Commons march under Captains named Charity, Faith, Poverty and Pity.

21 st October – Thomas, Lord Darcy of Templehurst, surrenders Pontefract Castle to Robert Aske.

21 st October – Lancaster Herald (Sir Thomas Miller) arrives at Pontefract with a Proclamation from the King. Aske refuses to let him read it.

21 st October – The Earl of Shrewsbury is ordered to march towards Doncaster.

25 th October – Norfolk writes to the King that he will make any promise he needs to the rebels to persuade them to disperse, not considering he will be bound by them.

27 th October – Pilgrim army of some 27,000 men confronts the Royal army of some 8,000 troops at Doncaster. The Duke of Norfolk meets the leaders and gives a safe-conduct to two delegates, Sir Ralph Ellerker and Robert Bowes, to take a petition to the King.

27 th October – Henry accepts he has to give discretion to Norfolk, Suffolk and Shrewsbury.

2 nd November – The Pilgrims' delegates arrive at Windsor and receive short shrift from Henry. He points out that he knows more about religion than the Commons, and that the money previously diverted to the monasteries would be better used for defence of the realm. They will be pardoned if they hand over ten ringleaders and behave in future.

6th November – Norfolk writes to Darcy saying he had pleaded for Darcy to the King, and begging him to take Aske alive or dead. Darcy refuses.

18 th November – Darcy writes to Aske, suggesting a meeting at his house at Templehurst to discuss their next actions.

21 st November – The delegates return and report to the Pilgrims' Council that the King had found their petition "dark and obscure", but that they were certain of the King's goodness and mercy.

2 nd December – Archbishop Lee of York preaches on the virtues of passive obedience. Subjects should not rise up against their King, no matter what their grievances.

2 nd December – Final orders to Norfolk to grant a general pardon and promise a Parliament.

4 th December – The Pilgrims issue more detailed demands (see here).

6 th December – Norfolk receives the instructions of 2nd December, meets the rebel leaders and offers a Pardon, promises a Parliament will be held in York to address grievances and agrees that the re-established monasteries will remain untouched pending the Parliament.

7 th December - Robert Aske informs the Pilgrims that the Pardon issued at Doncaster was to be extended, that a Parliament would be held in the North, and that the Queen would be crowned there. Whilst some of his listeners are delighted with the results, others mistrusted the King and Government. Aske persuades them that the King could be trusted, and the army is disbanded.

7 th December – Archbishop Lee writes to the King, thanking him for the Pardon, and glad he has agreed to address rebel grievances.

8 th December – Rebels disband.

Christmas – Aske is summoned to Court where he meets the King and is well received.


16 th January – Doubting the Government's plans, Sir Francis Bigod and John Hallam rise up in Cumberland. Together with George Lumley, they march on Scarborough and Hull, but fail to capture them.

20 th January – George Lumley gives himself up.

23 rd January – Sir Ralph Sadler reports that whilst most of the Commons wanted to be left in peace, there was an underground movement to provoke sedition, and a rumour was spreading that Norfolk would be sent north with a great host to execute them.

End January – Norfolk sent north. Martial law declared by the raising of the King's banner in Westmoreland. Norfolk has orders to repress rebellion harshly.

1 st February – 74 rebels hanged in Cumberland.

2 nd February – Norfolk write to Cromwell, with some pity for the rebels.

10 th February – March led by Sir Thomas Clifford on Carlisle crushed.

29 th March – Matthew Mackarall, Abbot of Barlings hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.

5 th May – Initial trials of Robert Aske of Aughton, Lord Darcy of Templehurst, Sir Robert Constable of Flamborough, Sir Francis Bigod of Settrington, Sir Thomas Percy, Sir John Bulmer of Wilton and his wife, Margaret Cheney, Sir Stephen Hamerton of Wigglesworth, George Lumley of Thwing, James Cockerell, Prior of Guisborough, Sir Nicholas Tempest of Bashall, John Pickering, Prior of Bridlington, the Abbots Sedburgh of Jervaulx and Thirsk of Fountains. True bills were found and all were sent for trial in London.

25 th May – Hanging, drawing and quartering at Tyburn of Bulmer, Hamerton, Tempest, Cockerell, Thirsk and Pickering. Margaret Cheney, Lady Bulmer burned at Smithfield. "She was a very fair creature, and a beautiful."

27 th May – George Lumley attainted and found guilty of high treason.

2 nd June – George Lumley hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, buried at Crutched Friars.

30 th June – Thomas, Lord Darcy executed.

6 th July – Sir Robert Constable hanged in chains from the walls of Hull.

12 th July – Robert Aske executed at York by hanging in chains from the walls of York Castle.


16th September – Henry arrived at Fulford Cross, outside York, where he was met by citizens of York, led by Sir Robert Bowes and Archbishop Lee. They submitted themselves to him and gave him £600.