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The Pilgrimage of Grace of 1536-7 was generally agreed to have been the greatest and most dangerous of the Tudor rebellions For a short time King Henry VIII lost control of the whole of the north of England and civil war seemed a likely prospect The movement broke out on 13 October 1536 immediately following the failure of the Lincolnshire Rising A London barrister of good Yorkshire family Robert Aske put himself at the head of nine thousand insurgents marched on York which he entered There he arranged for the expelled monks and nuns to return to their houses The subsequent success of the rising was so great that as a result of the movement Henry VIII authorized Norfolk to promise a general pardon and a Parliament to be held at York within a year Aske then dismissed his followers trusting in the kings promises But these promises were not kept and a new rising took place in Cumberland and then dismissed his followers trusting in the kings promises But these promises were not kept and a new rising took place in Cumberland and Westmoreland and was spreading to Yorkshire Upon this the king arrested Aske and several of the other leaders who were all convicted of treason and executed The loss of the leaders enabled Norfolk to crush the rising The king avenged himself on Cumberland and Westmoreland by a series of massacres under the form of martial law Though Aske had tried to prevent the rising he was put to death Lord Darcy Sir Henry Percy and several other gentlemen were executed at Tyburn The importance of the rebellion to Tudor history is indicated by the great amount of attention paid to it by historians It is not only the subject matter which has made the study of the Pilgrimage of Grace so attractive but also the historiographical
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