Recently I visited Lincolnshire and some of the sites associated with the Lincolnshire Rising - the precursor to the Pilgrimage of Grace. The Rising occured in response to the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the taxing of the Church and Governmental involvement in clerical life. It began because of a sermon given by the Parish Priest of Louth, Fr Thomas Kendall, on 1st October 1536, who called upon the people of Louth to defend their rights against the King. This photo shows the interior of St James Church in Louth - the original pulpit replaced by this Victorian piece.
The Rising gained great momentum throughout Lincolnshire, bringing together a great army which mustered first on Hamilton Hill (pictured) just outside Market Rasen in the first week of October. It was here that Robert Aske first made a public appearence; he was to become the principal Captain of the later Pilgrimage of Grace.
The Host finally made its way to Lincoln where they met with Henry VIII's envoys who managed to suppress the rebellion and then to execute many of its leaders.
Lincolnshire had much to lose - principally its faith and its numerous religious houses. Newstead Priory, pictured here, is situated on the banks of the River Ancholme. It was a Gilbertine House - the Gilbertines were a uniquely English Foundation. The "Priory" is now a venue for civil weddings and civil partnerships.
Finally I visited the site, which for me, is the most evocative remnant of the Dissolution of the Monasteries: Thornton Abbey. Only the Gatehouse of this Augustinian House remains, but as you approach the Gatehouse you can begin to imagine the "city" built for the honour of God which lay beyond. Thornton Abbey (just the Gatehouse) is well worth a visit; it is on the south bank of the Humber close to Immingham.
All that took place in Lincolnshire during October 1536 prepared the way for the Pilgrimage of Grace (I'll post about this later), and for the hardening of attitudes in Government against the "old religion". The Dissolution of the Monasteries continued, a new "church" was established, and as we know, the country has become more and more spiritually impoverished.