This chapter focuses on the Pilgrimage of Grace, a popular rising that erupted in Yorkshire in October 1536 against Henry VIII's religious policies. On 11 October 1536, Robert Aske, ‘chief captain’ of a spate of risings breaking out across the East Riding of Yorkshire, issued a proclamation, calling upon his countrymen ‘to preserve the church of God from spoiling’. A couple of days later, Aske's troops met with a force commanded by William Stapleton. On parting, Aske declared that ‘they were pilgrims, and had a pilgrimage gate to go’. The government viewed the ‘Pilgrimage’ as nothing but armed rebellion. The Pilgrimage makes nonsense of a frequently asked question: why there was ‘so little opposition’ to the religious upheavals instigated by the King. The chapter examines the events leading to the Pilgrimage, its suppression by Henry, and why it failed.
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