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The Rebellions of 1549 and Royal Authority

            Rebellions were not uncommon during Tudor rule. Henry's radical moves towards Protestantism and his foreign policy revoked uprisings such as 'the Pilgrimage of Grace'. Yet, the authority of the Tudor monarchs was never endangered for none were ever abdicated or assassinated. Nevertheless, the rebellions still remained a serious matter, in the rebellions of 1549 100,000 people died. However, a paradox between the nobility's perception and the reality of the situations was formed- the rebels only wanted to attack local government whereas nobles saw them as a threat to the monarch's authority. This essay will access whether these rebellions did threaten to compromise Edward VI's rule or if they were a misconstrued perception.
             The rebels became a national threat when they initially couldn't be contained and controlled by local gentry. In Cornwall and Devon, the 'Western' rebellion spiralled out of control as gentry men lost authority- one called Hellier was killed and Peter Carrew was forced to flee to London. The actions of the Western rebels were violent and disruptive, they were willing to attack and use violent means to for their cause, which is reflects within the articles they presented. Common people were expected to be polite, obedient and lowly, whereas the rebels used phrases such as "we will have". This assertiveness was shocking to the authorities as it did not show any respect expected of Tudor society. These disruptive and uncivilised actions thus resulted in a national problem and threat to the central Government. .
             Additionally, the Western rebels demanded a severe reactionary action on Edward's protestant reformation. The rebels protested against iconoclasm and the dissolution of the chantries and called for the return of Henry VII's 6 articles. These demands directly opposed and undermined Edward's firm protestant beliefs. The rebels were therefore going against and disagreeing with the will of the King.

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