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NHS UpRising – Historical Context

Why we have called it “The NHS Uprising”

NHS Uprising saturday 2 september 2017

There is historical significance to the title of our Campaign march, and what was perhaps the only previous uprising to start in Louth.

Until Henry the Eighth wanted to divorce his wife, Anne Boleyn, England was wholly Catholic. Henry, refused permission by the Pope to divorce Anne in 1534 , simply created a new church (Church of England) and declared himself Head of it. Catholic monasteries and churches, which at that time, included St James Church in Louth, protested, resulting in the gradual dissolution of monasteries. Most of Monastic property was taken by the crown.

Following the closure of Louth Park Abbey, the beginnings of revolution were set. The aim was to protest against the dissolution of the Catholic abbeys, not against the King himself. Following Evensong at St James Church, on 2nd October, 1536, the “Lincolnshire Rising” began.

A large group was quickly assembled, and marched towards Lincoln. Led by a monk, a shoemaker and the vicar of St James, they reached the county capital and occupied the cathedral. They then demanded the freedom to worship as Catholics, and for church treasure to be safeguarded from possession by the crown. Estimates of the number of protesters varies, from 22,000 to 40,000.

The end was in sight when the King ordered the protesters to disperse, or face armies, which were already en route to Lincoln. The numbers diminished quickly, and on October 14th, 1536, the remaining few were quickly arrested. The vicar of St James and The Cobbler were hanged. The remaining ringleaders were executed within a few days.

The end of the Lincolnshire Rising, led to the Yorkshire “Pilgrimage of Grace”.

The downgrading of services at Louth Hospital, (and its possible closure), are the reason behind this campaign. The protest is against the government and its policies on National Health Services, which belong to US, it’s OUR NHS and OUR HOSPITAL.

Similar to the Uprising of 1536, we are not protesting against the Queen, but against the actions of her government, and the dangers that those actions could facilitate.

We do expect to make our point, and to make people aware of what is happening, not only in Louth, but across the county and country. From Louth, the protest will continue to Lincoln, following the path of the original Uprising.

However, we are sure that nobody will lose their head this time around.

Further Reading: Lincolnshire Rising

Plaque Picture: By Sjwells53

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