The English Reformation 1531–71

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Map Code: Ax02252

The Pilgrimage of Grace was a mass uprising in Yorkshire and Westmoreland (1536–37) against the suppression of Catholic religious houses then being enacted. The rebels were careful to confirm their loyalty to the king, Henry VIII; their grievance was centred on his advisers, notably, Thomas Cromwell, architect of the contested policies. After initial appeasement, the rebellion was ruthlessly crushed, with many of the leaders executed, including six abbots. The dissolution of the monasteries was central to the Reformation and produced an influx of wealth to the Crown, some of which was set aside to endow ‘grammar schools’ to replace the education previously afforded by the monasteries. ‘Public schools’, offering education irrespective of religious affiliation, predated the Reformation, but their number was expanded under the Tudors, usually based on bequests from wealthy donors. Henry also introduced thirteen new dioceses, often with the grand houses of former monasteries redesignated as their cathedrals.

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