This Day in History: 1537-04-16

On 16th April 1537, Lord Darcy, Constable of Pontefract Castle during the previous year’s Pilgrimage of Grace, was examined at the Lord Chancellor’s house regarding accusations of treason for his (in)actions in the rebellion at Pontefract. His opening remarks to his examiners were defiant:’ I am here now at your pleasure; ye may do your pleasure with me. I have read that men that have been in cases like with their prince as ye be now have come at the last to the same end that ye would now bring me unto. And so may ye come to the same.’ He accused Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and, most probably his father, the Duke of Norfolk, but directed his most bitter challenge to Thomas Cromwell, Lord Privy Seal : “ Cromwell, it is thou that art the very original and chief causer of all this rebellion and mischief, and art likewise causer of the apprehension of us that be noble men and dost daily earnestly travail to bring us to our end and to strike off our heads, and I trust that or thou die, though thou wouldst procure all the noblemen’s heads within the realm to be stricken off, yet shall there one head remain that shall strike off thy head”.