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Pilgrimage of Grace

1536-37. A revolt that began primarily against the ecclesiastical policies of Henry VIII* of England. It had, however, many other causes and facets, for social discontent in the north of England where it took place was rife. Led by Robert Aske* and a number of the leading members of the northern aristocracy such as Sir Thomas Darcy, the rebels who came primarily from Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, and Durham demanded that Henry change both his councillors and his policies. In particular they demanded that the move toward Protestantism be arrested. Although the rebels professed great loyalty to him, Henry defeated them by dividing and then overwhelming them, after which in true Tudor style he exacted a bloody vengeance with over 200 executions.