Spotlight On: State Papers

State Papers: rebellion ballad, 1537

Read video transcript

We hope you enjoyed watching our Education Service video with collections expert Sean Cunningham looking at records from our State Papers collection. This video focusses on a ballad relating to the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536-7 from SP1, our series of State Papers relating to Henry VIII.

Watch the video then try and answer the following questions:

  • SP1 covers the reign of which English King? 
  • What time period is covered by the entire State Papers collection? 
  • What type of information can we find within the State Papers? 
  • Why does the document box seen in the video have a code? 
  • Why are the documents found in the box bound into a volume? 

Document: SP 1/118 

  • What is the date of the document discussed in the video? 
  • What is unusual about the form of the document? 
  • Why is this particular document in the collection of State Papers? 
  • The document is titled as an ‘Exhortation’. How does this explain the purpose of the document? Check out the meaning of this term. 
  • Who wrote this document? 
  • Who did the writer criticise in this document? 
  • Why do you think that Henry VIII is not criticised directly? 
  • Why is this document significant in understanding the causes of the Pilgrimage of Grace? 
  • Can you find out more about how the government responded to this rebellion and others in different parts of the country? 
  • Why is it important to look at other sources within the State Papers collection concerning this and other Tudor rebellions? 
  • How does the ballad suggest there is a division between people of the north and the south?
  • What does the reference in the ballad to ‘all abbeys supressed’ mean?

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Related Resources

  • Cardinal Wolsey
    Dr Dan Gosling introduces documents related to the fall of Cardinal Wolsey.

  • Henry VIII
    Marking the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s accession to the throne.

Connections to Curriculum

Key stage 5

AQA: GCE History: The Tudors: England, 1485–1603 

Edexcel GCE History: Rebellion and disorder under the Tudors, 1485–1603 

OCR GCE History: Rebellion and Disorder under the Tudors, 1485–1603