Henry VII,the Reign
Pilgrimage of Grace, the Causes
Pilgrimage of Grace and Lincolnshire Rising of 1536 were under discussion with Lord Thomas Darcy and Lord John Hussey talking to Eustace Chapuys, Ambassador to Charles V, two years earlier in September 1534.
Here is Chapuys’s report
Letters & Papers: 1534 Volume VII
The lord Hussey (Usey), chamberlain of the Princess, who for his good sense and prudence was one of the principal councillors of Henry VII.; desiring of late to go home to the North, sought a secret interview with me before his departure, when he told me plainly what he had before expressed more covertly, that he and all the honest men of the kingdom were very much dismayed that your majesty did nothing to remedy affairs here, as it could be done so easily,—that the thing concerned the lives and interests of the Queen and Princess and the honor of your majesty, and that it was God's cause, which you, as a Catholic prince and chief of other princes, were bound to uphold, especially out of pity for all this people, who regard you with as much affection as if they were your own subjects.
I told him you were desirous of the peace and union of Christendom, and to preserve the ancient friendship with this king, for which there was no better means than to maintain the rights of the Queen and Princess, and wait the other terms of justice in discharge of the oath you had made to this king; and I thought that even if your majesty had every opportunity to remedy affairs by war, nevertheless you might object to do so for fear of oppressing this innocent people ; and as he was a wise and experienced man, I begged him to declare what he would do if he were in your majesty's place.
He said, as to the disposition of this kingdom, I might know it in part as well as he ; nevertheless he would assure me that almost everybody was expecting your majesty would begin to move to their assistance, and you need have no fear of oppressing them by making war, because the indignation of the people was so great that everything would be reformed immediately before any resistance could be offered.
As to the form of the war, as you had experienced soldiers, he would not enlarge upon it, especially as he knew that lord Darcy, whom he called his brother, would explain the matter for me much better than he could, being a person of long experience in the business.
One thing he would not forget to say, that your majesty ought first of all to make the said war, which might at once remedy everything, by the insurrection of the people, who would be joined immediately by the nobility and the clergy also, which is powerful and half in disorder.
Yesterday, just after this interview, I sent to lord Darcy by one of my confidential servants, who, after conversing about other things, began to speak of the above matters, conjuring him to keep it secret, as it might cost him his life.
He said he considered himself as one of the most loyal vassals the King had in matters which did not injure his conscience and honor, but that the things treated here were so outrageous against God and reason that he could not hold himself for an honest man or good Christian if he consented to them, especially in matters which concern the faith, and that in the North he knew well there were 1,600 (“sez C”) earls and other great gentlemen who are of his opinion, although he had only declared himself to one or two, and had not even given any indication of his mind to his two sons, who are as valiant in arms as any in the kingdom.
The younger has just been made captain of Jersey (lisle de Jerce).
The said lord intends, by leave of the King, shortly to go to his own country ; and as it was proposed that measures should be taken in this parliament to introduce the Lutheran sect, he and his adherents would do their best to animate the people against it. With the assistance of your majesty he would raise the banner of the Crucifix together with yours, and among the first things he would do would be to seize some lords who favoured these follies, such as the earl of Northumberland and some others.
The assistance he desired from your majesty would be, first, that you should have intelligence with the king of Scots that he might make an invasion while they were bestirring themselves, and that you should send some small force to the mouth of the Thames to give fight to those hereabout. It would be necessary also to bring a small number of harquebus men to the North, with harness and other munitions of war, and some money for poor gentlemen who lack means to equip themselves, lest they should be gained by the King ; for in the North there were great lords, but they had no money to advance to others ; and as to the said lords, they would not care to take money, but would readily spend their own. For himself, he would put in the field 8,000 men of his own and his friends', and he begged for the honor of God that I would not sleep in the matter, in which I would do the best service both to God and your majesty.
In the end he told my man that before he left here he would consider more particularly the whole subject, and communicate his intention to me or to my said man. I shall not fail to spy out an opportunity. I hold it certain that there are innumerable lords who would say as much as he if they dared. Of those who take part with him he named two, who are among the most powerful of the kingdom. The one is the earl of Derby (conte dAlby), the other lord Dacres, who has little reason to be satisfied with this king, nor with those who manage affairs ; for although he has been declared innocent of the charge brought against him, the King, besides taking away all his offices, retains his goods both in ready money and moveables, worth more than 50,000 ducats.
No news from Ireland is known since my last, though some has been received at the Court. I am told that part of the men that Skeffington took with him deserted, which he made his excuse for delaying to cross. The King, however, is displeased with his delay, and has sent him express orders to leave by the first wind, whatever comes. One of the King's two ships of which I wrote has already gone down the river, the other will not delay long. It is sent to discover who goes and comes in Ireland.
The day before yesterday a German arrived here with five servants, who I hear came from Antwerp, and did not wish to be known there. Some say that he belongs to the duke of Saxony, others to the duke of Lunenburg, seeing that he speaks Low German. He went yesterday through the town accompanied by some servants of the doctors of Lubeck and Hamburg. I will endeavor to discover who he is. 30 Sept. 1534.