The Rebels in Scotland
Some of the rebels were captured by the Scots and handed back to the royalists while others were supported by their Scottish hosts. This lead to raids across the border into England and in February 1570 there were some 2000 English rebels in the Borders supported by their Scottish hosts. On April 10th 1570 Elizabeth retaliated and ordered an armed invasion of Scotland. These raids were vicious and between April 17th and June 2nd the English had burnt or levelled 90 castles and fortified homes and 300 towns and villages. Most of these belonged to those supporters of Mary Queen of Scots who were suspected of protecting the English rebels.
Some Escape to Flanders
Thomas Markenfield, his sister Anne, his uncle Richard Norton and three of Norton’s eleven sons (Francis, Sampson and George) escaped by boat from a Scottish port to Flanders in 1570. Thomas was granted a pension from Philip II of Spain, allegedly receiving £720 from November 1st 1573 to 30th June 1574. However he was reported to be in great want in December 1574. In 1575, Thomas, along with other English Catholics were expelled from Flanders and lost their pensions causing great hardship. In 1576 Cardinal Como requested that Thomas be given refuge in a Liege monastery and that his sister Anne be taken in by a College of Canonesses near Liege. Both were clearly in financial distress but only Anne received help.
On 22nd August 1592 it was recorded that
‘Sir Thomas Markenfield died last week in Bruxells in very extreme want, in a most miserable poore cottage. He was ‘found dead, lying on the bear flower of his chamber, noe creature being present at his death’.
In 1585 Richard Norton was injured while being taken prisoner by English soldiers in Flanders. He later died of his wounds on board ship on 9th April 1585 aged 87 while being taken back to England. In a way Richard was lucky to die aboard ship since had he arrived alive in London he would have been given a quick show-trial, found guilty and been hanged, drawn and quartered.
All Thomas’s estates were forfeit to the Crown but his wife Isabel was allowed to stay close to the Hall probably in the village of Markenfield close by. Isabel received a small pension of £20.10s.8d a year from her brother Sir William Ingleby. He was required to pay this from the income he received from the issues of the manor of Romanby, a manor that had previously belonged to Isabel’s husband. Her son Ninian and his uncle William (Thomas’s brother) were pardoned in 1570.
Sir Richard Norton (pre Rising)
portrait now in the Chapel at Markenfield Hall
No record of Isabel’s death or burial has been found but Ninian was buried in Ripon Minster on 25th September 1587. The records of Ripon Cathedral show that Ninian’s wife, Elizabeth Markenfield was given a pauper’s burial in 1600.
Of the Norton family, Richard’s brother Thomas, and three of his sons namely Christopher, William and Marmaduke were arrested and charged with treason. Elizabeth pardoned William and Marmaduke but Thomas and Christopher were arraigned at Westminster and pleaded guilty to the charges against them.
On May 27th 1570 Thomas and Christopher were drawn on a hurdle from the Tower of London to Tyburn. Thomas refused to repent for his offenses against Elizabeth and insisted in saying the Lord’s Prayer in Latin. He then recited the Ave Maria and requested that all the saints in heaven should pray for him. Thomas and Christopher were then both hanged, drawn and quartered. Their quartered bodies were distributed around the city for display as a warning to all those who may have been considering further rebellion. (Tyburn was close to what is now Marble Arch.)
Charles Neville, Earl of Westmoreland, escaped to Scotland and succeeded in avoiding capture. In the autumn of 1570 he embarked at Aberdeen and landed in Flanders. Philip of Spain granted him a pension of 50 crowns per month. In 1581 his name appears amongst the pilgrims at Rome, in the records of the English College. He died in Nieuport (now Nieuwpoort) a town in the Province of West Flanders on 16th November 1601, having never returned home since his flight into exile.
Thomas Percy also escaped to Scotland and took refuge in the house of Hector Armstrong but he was betrayed and sold to the Scottish Regent (the Earl of Moray) who immediately carried him to Edinburgh (30th December 1569) and had him imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle. His wife , who had escaped to the continent, raised funds for his release and in January 1572 had raised the total amount but her efforts were to no avail. Elizabeth had negotiated his release for £2000 and he returned to England in August 1572. Thomas was attainted by an Act of Parliament and his life was already forfeit. He was taken to the Pavement in York on 22nd August 1572 and executed. His head was set on the Mickelgate Bar for years until it was buried in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Goodramgate, York. His body is said to have been buried without any memorial in ’Crux church’ in St Thomas’s quire by two of his servants and three women.