The causes of Tudor Rebellions from 1485-1601

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The Yorkshire rebellion 1489

In 1489 Yorkshire objected to having to pay for a war which did not concern them. People in Yorkshire believed that it was unfair for people in Yorkshire to be forced to pay for Henry's war with France. Traditionally , people in the south funded the wars with France while the northern countries funded the conflicts with the Scots. In addition the counties of Northumberland, Westmoreland and Cumberland had been made exempt on the grounds of poverty Yorshire saw this as unfair. The Earl of Northumberland was chosen to lead the commission was also an unpopular choice and it was his murder that sparked the revolt.

Taxation: Unwilling to pay taxes to fund the war against France. People in Yorkshire felt that this war did not concern them as they were so geographically removed from it. Parliament had voted Henry VII £100,000 to meet the costs of the campaign in France but the prevailing view was that the tax was unfair. Traditionally, people in the south funded wars against France while people in the North funded wars against Scotland. Moreover the counties of Northumberland, Westmoreland and Cumberland had been exempted by the King on account of poverty; and took exception to the news the Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland would lead the tax commission.
Social: The protestors had also been effected by bad harvests of 1488

Rebels led by Sir John Egremont killed the Earl of Northumberland before royal troops dispersed them. It has been suggested that the murder of Percy, which had sparked off the revolt, was orchestrated by the King to take over Percy’s lands and gain control of the North but there is no extant evidence to support this theory. The Earl was very unpopular but so was the prospect of paying taxation. Some rebels were executed. Sir John Egremont escaped to France.

Dangerous; required a royal force to put the rebellion down. Henry VII did not collect the tax for fear of another rebellion. Killed a member of the nobility.
Not dangerous: Far from London. Put down easily.

Most of the ring leaders of the Yorkshire and Cornish tax revolts were rounded up, tired and executed but the rank and file members were allowed to return home and await the Kings judgement. Some 1500 men were pardoned and only 6 were executed including John Chamber the leader of the revolt. The tax was not collected. The Yorkshire rebellion discouraged Henry VII from making any further novel demands on the county.
In the aftermath of the Yorkshire rebellion Surrey was appointed Lieutenant of the Council of the North, a royal council begun by Edward IV but which lapsed in 1485, and lands which had belonged to the Earl of Northumberland were transferred to the crown.

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