3 December – The death of Roger North, a man close to Robert Dudley and Queen Elizabeth I, and Henry VIII pardons rebels

On this day in Tudor history, 3rd December 1600, sixty-nine-year-old peer and politician Roger North, 2nd Baron North, died at his London home.

North was a good friend of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, accompanying him on trips, witnessing his secret marriage and serving with him in the Netherlands. It was even said that he’d converted Leicester to Puritanism! North also served Elizabeth I as Privy Councillor and Treasurer of the Household and was close to the queen.

Find out more about Leicester’s good friend Roger North, his life and career, in this talk…

Also on this day in Tudor history, 3rd December 1536, a proclamation was made to the rebels of the Pilgrimage of Grace offering them a pardon.

Henry VIII offered the rebels “free pardons” for their rebellion against him, his advisors and his religious measures, yet prominent rebels ended up being executed.

I explain what happened in this video…

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One thought on “3 December – The death of Roger North, a man close to Robert Dudley and Queen Elizabeth I, and Henry VIII pardons rebels”
  1. Henry knew just how to handle rebels, like his father before him and his daughters. Promised them the works, get them to go home and then pounce with reinforcements in place if they broke the terms of the pardon. Of course he knew that they would because those terms where not fair.

    Henry promised the people of York a free Parliament.

    Take a deep breath and read that slowly a few times. Just think for one moment about the enormity of that promise. There hadn’t been a free Parliament in York since the Vikings, let alone in Westminster. A free Parliament. Just trying to get my head around that in the sixteenth century is impossible. Most were compliant to the will of the Sovereign.

    We know that Henry only made such a promise in order to get out of a dangerous situation. Henry knew he didn’t have the men to fight 40,000 plus rebels. He needed them to disperse and to arm the Royal army better to meet them in the field if they marched South, something else he was keen to avoid. He needed to negotiate and buy time. The rebels were content and submitted to the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, Henry’s lieutenants. Therefore he granted them a pardon and most of them went home.

    But just imagine if Henry really did grant a free Parliament to meet without fear or hindrance to debate the matters before the rebellions. The Council of the North had been abolished and they wanted that restored. This was in fact the only thing which was restored because it made practical sense from the point of view of the crown.

    Such a Parliament would be revolutionary and contrary to the idea that the King had of Parliament. What a truly magnificent way forward. It didn’t happen, of course, but for one moment it could have been. Aske was one of a small delegation who went to London to be entertained by the King over Christmas and New Year.

    Afterwards, the second and even third risings gave Henry his excuse to pounce and he arrested several hundred rebels, who were tried and many executed. Robert Aske was hanged from the York Castle walls for three days in chains and Francis Bigod, etc where rounded up and executed. Some 70 people where killed in one Assizes. About 230 where executed in Yorkshire and Lancashire and 160 or so in Lincolnshire.

    This was a terrible incident in the area and in some places one person from every small village was taken for execution as an example. In Sawley Abbey ten monks where hanged from the ruined Towers and the same happened at Whalley. 10 civilians where executed and three religious at Cartmel in Cumbria. There crime was to close the doors on the King’s commissioner when he came to disband the Priory. The Church was saved by the people buying it and making it a parish Church, although you can see the old monastic layout.

    Like someone once said Henry would have promised them anything and he did. He then turned round and broke those promises at the first chance he got, the first sign of renewed opposition. That was his sign to hit back with terrible reprisals, which have never been forgotten to this day.

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