By December 1536 there were 50,000 rebels camped around Pontefract Castle while inside their leader Robert Aske composed a petition of 24 articles, to re-instate traditional religion and the Pope. No royal army of any size stood between them and London.
Plus a bonus; Mary Campbell from annagramatica on Queens.
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Reginald Pole (1550-1558)
Reginald Pole was the grandson of George Duke of Clarence and destined from birth to be a leading member of the English Church. Generously supported in his youth by Henry VIII he was given the finest education, travelling and living in Italy. But by the 1530’s the relationship had gone sour – Pole could not follow Henry in his break with Rome and theological changes. He was horrified at the execution of More and Fisher, and appalled at the royal supremacy; for Pole, the authority of the Pope would always be superior to that of mere secular rulers.
Despite coming to share Luther’s views on justification by faith, Pole was to become Henry and Cranmer’s implacable enemy. His work ‘Defence of the unity of the church’ viciously attacked Henry for breaking the unity of the church for, as he saw it, no more than his lust for Anne Boleyn. Unable to get his hands on Pole despite attempting assassination, Henry would take dire vengeance on Pole’s family.
In December 1536, Pole was sent by the Pope on a doomed attempt to gain Emperor Charles V’s support for an invasion of England in support of the Pilgrimage of Grace. It would not be the last time that religious conflict threatened to lead to foreign war.
The 24 articles of Pontefracte
The 24 Articles were produced in Pontefract Castle by Robert Aske in consultation with his ‘pilgrims’, and in all likelihood Lord Darcy. It is a coherent programme that pulls together the desire of the traditionalists to put back the clock to where it had been. Scattered throughout are some political demands (the re-instatement of Princess Mary for example) and some economic concerns – in particular the gentry’s objection to the Statute of Uses, which closed a loophole allowing transfer of land without payment of a feudal due to the king.
- “The first touching our faith”:—To have the heresies of “Luther, Wyclif, Husse, Malangton, Elicampadus (sic), Bucerus, Confessa Germanie, Apolugia Malanctons, the works of Tyndall, of Barnys, of Marshall, Raskell, Seynt Germayne, and such other heresies of Anibaptist,” destroyed.
- The supremacy of the Church touching “cura animarum” to be reserved to the See of Rome as before. The consecrations of the bishops to be from him, without any first fruits or pension to be paid to him, or else a reasonable pension for the outward defence of the Faith.
- That lady Mary may be made legitimate, and the former statute therein annulled for the danger of the title that might incur to the crown of Scotland: that to be by parliament.
- The suppressed abbeys to be restored to their houses, lands, and goods.
- To have the tenths and first fruits clearly discharged of the same, unless the clergy will grant a rentcharge in generality to the augmentation of the Crown.
- To have the Friars Observants restored to their houses.
- To have the heretics, bishops and temporal, and their sect, to have condign punishment by fire or such other, or else to try the quarrel with us and our part-takers in battle.
- Lord Cromwell, the Lord Chancellor, and Sir Richard Riche to have condign punishment, as subverters of the good laws of the realm and maintainers and inventors of heretics.
- That the lands in Westmoreland, Cumberland, Kendall, Dent, Sedber, Fornes, and the abbey lands in Mashamshire, Kyrkbyshire, Notherdale, may be by tenant right, and the lord to have, at every change two years’ rent for “gressom,” according to the grant now made by the lords to the commons there. This to be done by Act of Parliament.
- The statutes of handguns and crossbows to be repealed, except in the King’s forests or parks.
- That Dr. Lighe and Dr. Layton have condign punishment for their extortions from religious houses and other abominable acts.
- Reformation for the election of knights of the shire and burgesses, and for the use among the lords in the parliament house after their ancient custom.
- The statute for inclosures and intacks to be put in execution, and all inclosures and intacks since 4 Hen. VII., to be pulled down “except mountains, forests, and parks.”
- To be discharged of the quinzine and taxes now granted by Act of Parliament.
- To have a parliament at Nottingham or York, and that shortly.
- The statute of the declaration of the crown by will to be repealed.
- Pardon by Act of Parliament for all recognisances, statutes and penalties new forfeited during the time of this commotion.
- The privileges and rights of the Church to be confirmed by Act of Parliament. Priests not to suffer by sword unless degraded. A man to be saved by his book. “Sanctuary to save a man for all causes in extreme need, and the Church for 40 days, and further according to the laws as they were used in the beginning of this King’s days.”
- The liberties of the Church to have their old customs as the county palatine at Durham, Beverlay, Rippon, St. Peter of York, and such other by Act of Parliament.
- To have the statute “That no man shall not will his lands,” repealed.
- The statutes of treasons for words and such like made since 21 Hen. VIII., to be repealed.
- That the common laws may have place as was used in the beginning of the reign, and that no injunctions be granted unless the matter has been determined in Chancery.
- That men north of Trent summoned on subpoena appear at York, or by attorney, unless it be directed on pain of allegiance, or for like matters concerning the King.
- A remedy against escheators for finding false offices and extorting fees.