The Lincolnshire Uprising of 1536


To put this subject into a few words is really impossible but I will try to show some idea of why and what caused it to happen. Also the dreadful results.

It was at one time regarded as rather disorganised and miss timed and most definitely misled rabble. All of which are to some extent true. Why was there the revolt anyway? Well it was the result of a series of events which when added together generated enough heat and lack of thought as to the possible consequence that it just seemed to feed off one half truth and rumour till it swept onward ever onward until finally running out of purpose and real leadership that it fizzled out like a damp squib. The only trouble was that the sparks created a real conflagration. Particularly the executions which followed.

The gentry were feeling very uneasy at the way the government actions were exacerbating local cases of discontent, The dissolution of the smaller monasteries by Henry VIII and the threat to the larger ones, the cutting of some traditional holidays and the threats to the traditional church goings on as well as the rumoured removals of the church plate (valuables of the church).

The churches in the main Lincolnshire towns were extremely rich and possessed some very valuable treasures which were thought to be under threat of confiscation. As well as cutting down of feast days and other traditional holidays there were increasing taxes, foreign wars, unpopular ministers, the split from Rome and the divorce from Catherine of Aragon were all part of the general unrest which caused the march from Horncastle, Louth, Caistor and other Lincs towns to get things sorted out at Lincoln.

Eventually when the King sent word at about the ten day mark they all left for home and the rising was over except for the recriminations; The "insurrectionists" insisted all along that they were loyal to the King and went home after only ten days when the King commanded it.

There is no real evidence of underlying plots which caused the Gentry to join in but it is evident that some were threatened by the mob and forced to join and some joined to try for a damage limitation reason.

The government were well aware of what could be the result of all the religious reforms but ploughed on anyway. The King of course answered the demands in his usual subtle way. Find out the leaders and execute the lot! The bloodier the better. Except that this time each was examined under oath Thomas Moigne’s attempted to clarify why some of the gentry were involved and the sort of pressures put on some of them such as Edwarde Dymocke.. His reward for his efforts was to be Hanged, Drawn, Headed and Quartered! (Throttled by being strung up until about unconscious, lowered down and opened up with a knife , his entrails etc drawn from his body whilst alive and then his head cut off. What then followed didn’t concern him too much but he was cut into four quarters and the parts displayed on hooks and poles to the public as a lesson as to what happens if you cross the King or government of the day.)

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