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Sir Humphrey Arundell

(c. 1513 1550)



Sir Humphrey Arundell was born at Helland, near Bodmin in Cornwall, and was an experienced soldier. After the death of his parents in 1536 Sir Humphrey Arundell inherited their large estates in both Devon and Cornwall. He became the leader of Cornish forces in the Prayer Book Rebellion early in the reign of King Edward VI. He was executed at Tyburn, London, after the rebellion had been defeated.

In 1549, Arundell became leader of the Cornish army which assembled first at Bodmin and was involved in the Cornish rebellion, which is also known as the Prayer Book Rebellion, against Edward VI. Previously he had been in charge of a small garrison on St Michael's Mount, which had defected to the rebels at the start of the campaign. Arundell and his troops had little artillery and had taken some small calibre guns from the forts of the King, including those on St Michael's Mount, St Mawes Castle, Pendennis Castle and Trematon Castle.

During the 1549 siege of Exeter the Cornishmen outside the walls made the statement "..and so we Cornishmen, whereof certain of us understand no English, utterly refuse this new English".


Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London:

'At the battle of Sampford Courtenay, Arundell led a large contingent of rebels from the rear throwing the Royal troops into confusion. The rebels were forced to make another stand at Okehampton, before falling back to Launceston, where he was finally overpowered and imprisoned in the castle. On 19 August, he was transferred to the dungeons of Rougemont Castle in Exeter, before being taken with other rebels to the Tower of London in September. In November 1549, Arundell was taken to Westminster Hall where he was found guilty of high treason and condemned to be taken back to the Tower and later hanged, drawn and quartered. He was executed on 27 January 1550 and the estates of the ringleaders were distributed to those who had served the King in the rising. Sir Gawen Carew received most of Humprey Arundell's lands.'


'On the xxvii. day of January 1550, was draune from the tower of London un-to Tyborne iiii. persons, and there hongyd and quartered, and their quarteres sette abowte London on every gatte; thes was of them that dyd ryse in the West cuntre.'

Other Cornish leaders of the earlier Cornish Rebellion of 1497, Thomas Flamank, Michael An Gof and James Tuchet, 7th Baron Audley had also been executed at Tyburn in 1497.





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