The Peasants' Revolt of 1381

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Date: 2 Jun 1381 to 15 Jun 1381
Location: Englandmap
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This page deals with the Peasants' Revolt in England of 1381: the major players, the demands, and what happened next.

See Also: Medieval Project


Monarchy and Associates

Name Role Fate

King Richard II

Monarch, aged 14

Simon Sudbury
(c 1316-1381)


It took 8 blows to behead him completely; head put on a spike and displayed, then skull kept as a relic in Sudbury church

Sir Robert Hales

'Hobb the Robber'


head put on a spike and displayed

John of Gaunt

King Richard's uncle
helped instigate poll tax

not present at Revolt, so he survived

Sir William Walworth
(d 1385)

Mayor of London
killed Wat Tyler

Henry le Despenser

Bishop of Norwich
('The Fighting Bishop')

John Bampton

tax commissioner
at Brentwood

The Peasants

Name Role Fate

Walter 'Wat' Tyler
(d 1381)

elected national leader
in Maidstone

stabbed and beheaded

John Ball
(c 1338-1381)

radical preacher

hung drawn & quartered
months later

Thomas Baker
(d 1381)

Fobbing, Essex; instigator

hung drawn & quartered
4 July 1381

Abel Kerr Erith, Kent

Robert Belling

cause celebre; imprisoned
in Rochester Castle

Thomas Wooton deserter

trial by combat
(he lost)

Sir Thomas Raven MP, Bailiff of Rochester Castle pardoned
John Sumner Manningtree, Ipswich pardoned
Robert Pearce Manningtree, Ipswich pardoned
John Mocking wine merchant pardoned

John Wrawe
(d 1382)

former chaplain

hung drawn & quartered
6 May 1382

William Grindecobbe
(d 1381)

St Albans;
hero of the Revolt

Richard Scott street conman pilloried for something else
Johanna Ferrour female leader


First Set of Demands (Mile End)

  1. End to serfdom (bonded labour)
  2. Free market (i.e. serfs could sell produce wherever they liked)
  3. Land rent to be reduced to 4d per acre
  4. Free pardon for anyone involved in the uprising

King Richard agreed to these demands, and this was written down in charters for every town represented

Demanded government officials to be executed (Sudbury and Hales). Then a crowd rushed the Tower of London, seized the two men, and beheaded them.

Second Set of Demands (Smithfield)

  1. Abolition of the aristocracy (except for the King)
  2. Abolition of the senior clergy (except for John Ball, as the next Archbishop of Canterbury)
  3. Local courts
  4. Local police forces

King Richard agreed, with the request that the people always respect the monarchy, then led the people to Clerkenwell.

Wat Tyler, in a scuffle with the Mayor of London, was stabbed in the neck.

He was executed outside St Bartholomew's and his head taken to Clerkenwell, where the Revolt subsided, threw down their weapons and surrendered.


See Also:

  • The People of 1381
  • Tony Robinson, Timeline: The Peasants' Revolt Part I, viewed via YouTube
  • Tony Robinson, Timeline: The Peasants' Revolt Part II, viewed via YouTube

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