England : Northern Rebellion 1569 also referred to as the Rebellion of the Earls

A.) Prehistory

Dissatisfaction with the rule of Elizabeth I., with her religious policy was wide-spread; a number of nobles hoped, by getting involved in plots or rebellions against her, to improve their positions. In Mary Queen of Scots, who had arrived as a refugee in England in 1568, they had a candidate for the throne they could support - and thus defy Elizabeth. Mary, at that time, was held under arrest by Elizabeth, and frequently moved from prison to prison.

B.) The Rebellion

In late autumn of 1569, Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland, and Charles Neville, Earl of Westmoreland, both Catholics, rose in rebellion, claiming to intend to place Mary Queen of Scots on the English throne. They took Durham, restoring Catholic rite, and then moved on York, with an infantry 4000 and a cavalry 600 men strong. York was held by a royalist force 7000 men strong, with reinforcements on the way; the rebels retreated from York and disbanded their forces. Pursuing Royalist forces scattered the dissolving rebel forces; many were killed, others captured, others escaped to Scotland. The rebellion ended with the defeat of Leonard Dacre and his force of 3000 at Gelt's Bridge.

C.) The Legacy

The revolt, and further plots to place Mary Queen of Scots on the English throne, discredited Catholicism in England and thus strengthened the position of the Anglican Church. Rebellion leaders, such as Thomas Percy, were held under arrest and later executed (Percy in 1572). Sir Thomas Percy was later beatified.

The Northern Rebellion, from Tudor Place
Richmond & Rebellion, from A History of Richmond and Swaledale
The Rebellion of the North 1569, from History of Tudhoe Village
Sir Thomas Percy, from Tudor Place, from Catholic Encyclopedia
Northern Rebellion, from Thomas Graves Law, Mary Stewart, posted by MATEO
DOCUMENTS Rising of the North, from Ballad Index

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on February 19th 2004, last revised on November 17th 2004

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