On this day in history, 19th October…

1536 – Henry VIII gets tough on the Pilgrimage of Grace rebels. In a letter to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, Henry wrote:-

You are to use all dexterity in getting the harness and weapons of the said rebels brought in to Lincoln or other sure places, and cause all the boats on the Humber or means of passage into Yorkshire to be taken up. After this, if it appear to you by due proof that the rebels have since their retires from Lincoln attempted any new rebellion, you shall, with your forces run upon them and with all extremity ‘destroy, burn, and kill man, woman, and child the terrible example of all others, and specially the town of Louth because to this rebellion took his beginning in the same.’ We have sent you this day a good sum of money, and will send more as required.

And in a letter to the Earl of Derby:-

We lately commanded you to make ready your forces and go to the earl of Shrewsbury, our lieutenant to suppress the rebellion in the North; but having since heard of an insurrection attempted about the abbey of Salley in Lancashire, where the abbot and monks have been restored by the traitors, we now desire you immediately to repress it, to apprehend the captains and either have them immediately executed as traitors or sent up to us. We leave it, however, to your discretion to go elsewhere in case of greater emergency. You are to take the said abbot and monks forth with violence and have them hanged without delay in their monks’ apparel, and see that no town or village begin to assemble.

Notes and Sources

  • LP xi. 780, 783

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5 thoughts on “19th October – On this Day in History…”
  1. By any epoch or standard, THAT beast was mentally crippled and deranged. But such is the captivating essence of Medieval Courts and times.

  2. Wow…powerful. Henry makes no distinction between executing “men, women and children”. It really does show us, in his own words, how he thought and acted when a perceived threat to his being, his kingdom, was in effect. Makes more sense how he could have so diligently destroyed Anne.

    Thanks for continuing to educate.

  3. I agree that Henry was now a fully fledged tyrant, and no one was safe man, women or child, rich or poor.
    But I have to say that through out our history the same dispicable acts have been used by many rulers in this country when their power has been threatened. Not just by monarchs either, up here in Scotland there has been many chieftains/Lairds that have done the same to other clans. Generals have ordered it in battles, whole towns and villages have been wiped out, including the animals, invaders from other lands and so on.
    Not excusing Henry, but he does always seem to be the one who is vilified the most for his inhumane acts, when these sort of things had been happening for centuries.
    It must be the way he treated his wives that makes him seem more terrible…and with that I totally agree, we have to give him a first there, not that other kings were not cruel to their spouses, they have been, but never to so many eh!!

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