OTD in 1381, The Peasants’ Revolt, also named Wat Tyler’s Rebellion began. The revolt had various causes, including the socio-economic & political tensions generated by the Black Death in the 1340s, the high taxes resulting from the conflict with France during the Hundred Years’ War. A wide spectrum of rural society, including many local artisans & village officials, rose up in protest, burning court records & opening the local gaols. The rebels sought a reduction in taxation, an end to the system of unfree labour known as serfdom, & the removal of the King’s senior officials & law courts.

London Hanged-228x228

“The Peasants’ Revolt had figured in Cockney tradition from at Elizabethan times. It was frequently depicted in the outdoors theatre of Bartholomew Fair, and accounts were also pulished in several editions of inexpensive chap-books (following 1750), when the ancient question was asked again :

When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was then the Gentlemen?”

Peter Linebaugh’s fantastic book is available in store and online.

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