Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549


Had to go to Exeter the other day and it reminded me as we sped by Fenny Bridges that there was a Western Rebellion fought there in Devon that has been mainly lost in the mists of time but I am sure if you are a Cornishman you might have heard of it. It was mainly about the book of Common Prayer going into English instead of latin. Troops involved were quite a colourful mix - Landsknechts and Italian arquebusiers, foreign mercenaries on the Loyalist side - it would make an interesting display game...
Wiki on the rebellion
Siege of Exeter
Anglo-Cornish War of 1549
Battle of Sampford Courtenay Account of the Rebellion on Google books
More here
More here

5 comments:

Big Andy said...

Julian Cornwalls book on the subject is a mine of info- he cites company strengths for the German and Italian mercenaries used to put down the revolt. There was also a series of risings in Norfolk and suffolk and unrest thoughout Nottinghamshire and Liecestershire.
In Military terms is largly a forgotten episode yet the Devon and Cornish battles were hard fought encounters.

Ralphus said...

Thanks for the tip-off! There is a chunk of this book you mention 'Revolt of the Peasantry 1549' by Julian Cornwall including the chapter on Fenny Bridges on Google books
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=bJg9AAAAIAAJ&lpg=PP1&dq=Revolt%20of%20the%20Peasantry%2C%201549&pg=PA165#v=onepage&q&f=false

Big Andy said...

Its well worth a read. I've had a hard copy for years. Still fancy gaming the campaign .

keith said...

It was mentioned in the recent Michael Wood series on the Leicestershire village as apart of a general but unco-ordinated series of rebellions in that year. Not only the counties already mentioned but many others had uprisings of some sort including little old Rutland. It was a real crisis of the tudor state. Interesting that the tudors relied on a mercenary army to impose their will. Many of the radical ideas resurfaced during the ECW.

Big Andy said...

Missed that Michael Wood episode. The Government forces were not all mecenaries and of course a good part of Tudaor power was in Scotland at the time. Some at least of the Germans and Italians were diverted from Scotland to suppress the rebellions Only Norfolk and Devon and Cornwall really required more than local forces for suppression.