Sunday, February 27, 2011

Question from Sandra - Cromwell and the Lincolnshire rebellion

I am doing some personal research on the Lincolnshire rebellion and I am having a tough time with a passage that I found. It was written on Oct 5th 1536 from Ankastyr from some of the gentlemen to Cromwell. 'Their petition is for pardon and that they may keep holydays, &c as before, that suppressed religious houses may stand and that they be no more taxed; they would also fain have you.' What I am perplexed by is the last part. 'They would also fain have you.' The rebels did NOT want Cromwell around the King. They stated it directly, so why did Sir M. Constable and Robert Tyrwhyt write otherwise? Any help with this would be great, Thanks!


1 comment:

Foose said...

It's a threat. The statement immediately precedes a request for more men - "There must be other provision made to subdue [the rebels] than the strength of these parts, for they increase daily."

You can read the key phrase as "they would also fain have your head." This is the view of most of Cromwell's biographers and the various accounts of the rebellion. Robert Hutchinson's book on Cromwell, Thomas Cromwell: The Rise and Fall of Henry VIII's Most Notorious Minister notes the sinister phrase and follows it with an account of how the rebels murdered the Chancellor of the Diocese of Lincoln and a former royal agent called Thomas Wulcie. "At Horncastle, they declared that if they 'prospered in their journey' they intended to kill "the lord Cromwell, four or five bishops ... and the Chancellor of the Augmentations [Riche]' - 'the devisers of taking church goods and pulling down churches.'"