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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

The troubles extended to Devonshire


Somerset

had already penetrated far into the land when he offered the Scots to retreat and make peace on the one condition that Mary should marry Edward VI. But the ruling party did not so much as allow his offer to be known. A battle took place at Pinkie, in which Somerset won a brilliant victory. Not a little did this victory contribute to establish his consequence in the world: even in Scotland some districts on the borders took the oath of fidelity to King Edward. But in general the antipathies of the Scotch to the English were all the more roused by it; they would hear nothing of a wooing, carried on with arms in the hand: the young Queen was after some time (August 1548) carried off to France, to be there married to the Dauphin. The Catholic interests once more maintained their ascendancy in Scotland over those of the English and the Protestants.

And how could Somerset's plans and enterprises fail to meet with resistance in England itself? All the elements were still in existence that had once set themselves in opposition to King Henry with such energy. When an attempt was made in earnest to carry out the innovations at home, in the summer of 1549, the revolt burst into flame once more.

In Cornwall a tumult arose at the removal of an image, and the King's commissary was stabbed by a priest. The troubles extended to Devonshire, where men forced the priests to celebrate the mass after the old ritual, and then took

the field with crosses and tapers, and carrying the Host before them. When their numbers became so large as to embolden them to put forth a manifesto, they demanded before all--incredible as it may seem--the restoration of the Six Articles and the Latin Mass, the customary reverence to the Sacrament and to images. They did not go so far as to demand the restoration of the authority of the Roman See, like the rebels under Henry VIII; but they pressed for a fresh recognition of the General Councils, and of the old church laws as a whole. At least half of the confiscated church property was to be given back, two abbeys at least were to remain in each county. But this movement owed its peculiar character to yet another motive. The enclosures of the arable land for purposes of pasture, of which the peasantry had been long complaining, did not merely continue; the nobility, which took part in the secularisation of the church-lands in an increasing degree, extended its grasp also to the newly-gained estates. So it came to pass that a rising of the peasants against the nobles was now united with tendencies towards church restoration, as in previous times with ideas of quite a different kind. East and West were in revolt at one and the same time and for different reasons. On a hill near Norwich, the chief leader, a tanner by trade, called Ket, took his seat under a great oak which he called the Oak of Reformation; he had the mass read daily after the old use: but he also planned a remodeling of the realm to suit the views of the people. The wildest expectations were aroused. A prophecy found belief according to which monarchy and nobility were to be destroyed simultaneously, and a new government set up under four Governors elected by the common people. And woe to him who wished to reason with the peasants against their design. They were already bending their bows against a preacher who attempted to do so, he was only saved with difficulty. But they were still less capable this time of withstanding the organised power of the State than they had been under Henry VIII. In Devonshire they were beaten by Lord Russel, the ancestor of the Dukes of Bedford; in Norfolk, where they had risen in the greatest force, by John Dudley Earl of Warwick. Under his banners we find German troops as well, who were untouched by the national sympathies, and in the rebels combated only the enemies of Protestantism. The government obtained a complete victory.


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