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The Fall Of The Duke Of Somerset Was Principally A Result Of The Impact Of The 1549 Rebellions. How Valid Is This View?

823 words - 4 pages

549, the year England was so nearly torn apart my numerous rebellions. Somerset suddenly became the ‘good duke gone bad’ and England stood on the edge of a class war. These rebellions proved to be Somerset’s last nail in the coffin, however was it the rebellions which principally caused his downfall? Could it possibly have been through his the shambles of the Scottish War and his overall foreign policy which resulted in his downfall? Or possibly his downfall was caused by the unpopular religious reformation or economic policies. Personally I believe the fall of the Duke of Somerset was due to his own inadequacy as a ruler. I will show you why I believe this in this essay.

In terms of the ...view middle of the document...

After sending Northampton with army of 1,800 men which was crushed by Kett’s 14,000, Somerset sent Warwick with 12,000 soldiers to end the rebellion. There was only ever going to be one winner and with heavy casualties of around 4,000 the Kett rebellion was put down. However Somerset was left a heavily damaged man after this blunder whilst Warwick on the other hand showed ruthlessness when necessary and how effective he was in a crisis situation.

In regards to the Western Rebellion the blame of this too could quite easily be placed on Somerset’s shoulders due to his radical religious reformations in such a short space of time. Changing the Mass to English, dissolving chantries and scrapping religious days such as Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday were a devastating blow to Catholics. Their religion was effectively one of the largest parts of their life and Somerset was ruining this for them. Churches were slowly stripped and superstitious church items were now banned such as holy water or ashes. (However this rebellion was not solely based on religious grievances, the tax on sheep had also come as a huge blow to the people of Devon and Cornwall.) The murder of William Body showed the discontent in the west and it was not long before the rebellion started up. Somerset again vacillated and ended up...

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