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HIST1062 Rebellions and Uprising in the age of the Tudors

Module Overview

The aims of this module are to introduce you to the turbulent sequence of rebellions which took place during the Tudor period, to encourage you to ponder on the causes and consequences of those uprisings, and to help you to understand why previous historians have written about them in the way that they have.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• To provide students with a detailed knowledge of Tudor rebellions. • To introduce them to the study of early modern English history as a whole. • To introduce them to certain key areas of ongoing historical debate.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The sequence of rebellions which took place under the Tudor monarchs.
  • The links which existed between taxation and rebellion.
  • The links which existed between religion and rebellion.
  • The links which existed between regional/national identities and rebellion.
  • The reasons why so many of the rebellions were suppressed.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe and assess the various rebellions which took place in Tudor England.
  • Offer your own perspectives, supported in detail, on key topics.
  • Reflect on the place of controversy in historical studies.
  • Analyse evidence, texts and sources.
  • Demonstrate theoretical and methodological skills.
  • Engage with historical controversies.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate oral communication skills at a standard appropriate for Level 1 study, preparing, as required, brief reports to start discussion in classes and taking part actively in the cut and thrust of debate.
  • Write fluently and effectively, preparing assessed work independently.
  • Find, assimilate and analyse diverse and complex information.
  • Formulate reasons that are clearly reasoned and based on evidence.
  • Demonstrate problem-solving skills.


On 22 August 1485 King Richard III was defeated and killed by the forces of the twenty-eight year old Henry Tudor at the battle of Bosworth Field. With Richard dead, his young challenger was promptly acclaimed as his successor. Thus the Tudor dynasty was established, and the man who only hours before had been the leader of a desperate rebellion found himself transformed instead into the ruler of all England. It was a stunning success – but it was also a powerful reminder of just how vulnerable the position of an early modern monarch could be. Over the succeeding decades, Henry VII, his son and grandchildren were themselves to face a series of major riots and rebellions: some of which shook the authority of the Tudor crown to its very foundations. This course introduces students to the many insurrections and popular disturbances which occurred during the period 1485-1603: episodes which – as scholars are now increasingly coming to realise – illustrate as few other episodes can the deep-seated splits and divisions which lurked behind the smooth-seeming façade of Tudor society.

Special Features

Lectures will offer introductions – essential information and ideas drawn from the tutor’s own research – to the various topics. Classes will give students, led by the tutor, the opportunity to debate and to question. Your independent reading, guided by the teacher’s bibliographies, will extend your knowledge and understanding. Your preparation of assessed essays and revision for the examination will develop your intellectual skills of assimilation, analysis, reflection and written communication. The examination will test the same skills under pressure of time.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lectures. • Seminars. Learning activities include • Intensive reading, guided by annotated reading lists, by the lectures and by your own active participation in seminars. Studying individual sources.

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

A. Wall (2000). Power and Protest in England, 1525-1640 (especially chapters 9-10). 

A. Wood (2002). Riot, Rebellion and Popular Politics in Early Modern England pp. 1-89. 

P. Slack, (ed.) (1984). Rebellion, Popular Protest and the Social Order in Early Modern England. 

A. Fletcher and D. MacCulloch (2009). Tudor Rebellions. 

M. Stoyle (2002). West Britons: Cornish Identities and the Early Modern State. 

A. Fletcher and J. Stevenson (1987). Order and Disorder in Early Modern England. 

R.B. Manning (1987). Village Revolts: Social Protest and Popular Disturbances in England, 1509-1640. 

P. Williams (1979). The Tudor Regime. 

P. Williams Rebellion and Revolution in Early Modern England. War and Society: Essays in Honour of John Western. .


Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback  You will be given informal feedback on your oral contributions and essay planning during the course of the module.  In this option module, you will be assessed informally on oral and group skills.  Formal assessment of these skills will be carried out in the core modules.


MethodPercentage contribution
Commentary exercise  (1000 words) 20%
Essay  (2000 words) 40%
Examination  (1 hours) 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  ( words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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