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A lost source for the rising of 1536 in north-west England.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date02/2003
JournalEnglish Historical Review
Journal number475
Volume118
Number of pages10
Pages120-129
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper prints with commentary extracts from a number of previously unknown documents concerning the rising of 1536 in north-west England. They are contained a late seventeenth-century treatise on tenant right (the form of customary tenancy prevalent in parts of northern England) attributed to Thomas Denton (1637–98). There are indications that this text borrows from an earlier lost treatise, possibly by William Lord Howard of Naworth, and it is argued that the extracts are probably from the same body of material then in the Cottonian Library as was drawn on by Thomas Masters in his notes for Edward Lord Herbert of Cherbury, published in 1985. Whilst the documents deepen our understanding of the movement in a number of ways, their major contribution is to confirm the opinion of earlier writers that the rising was characterised by a marked hostility to landlords. Extracts are given from two previously unknown inquests into the ills of the commonwealth, one of which complains about the practice of lords evicting tenants and calls on the tenants to band together to resist: the other rejects the payment of entry fines and performance of boon days.