30 May: The Peasants Are Revolting

The most significant rebellion of the Medieval era, the so-called Peasant’s Revolt, kicked off in Brentwood, Essex on 30th May, 1381, when tax collector John Bampton attempted to collect unpaid poll tax.

The protest triggered a violent confrontation, rapidly spreading across the south-east of the country. Within a month, the rebels were marching towards London, massacring merchants and razing the palace of the king’s uncle, John of Gaunt.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider whether the protestors really were ‘peasants’ at all; appraise 14 year-old king Richard II’s handling of their appeasement; and explain how, despite the horrific hardship of the Black Death, the working classes had, for once, something of an advantage…

Further Reading:

#Medieval #Politics #Protest #UK