The monarch for this period was Richard II
The people rebelled against the poll tax. It was seen as a very unfair tax since the same amount was payable by rich and poor alike. As wages were still fixed at pre Black Death levels by the Statute of Labourers this left the peasants in a very poor situation and, encouraged by travelling priest, John Ball, they began to revolt.
John Ball was imprisoned in Maidstone.
Angry peasants in Essex, led by Jack Strawe, chased the tax collectors away then marched to London. At the same time protesters in Kent, led by Wat Tyler, freed John Ball and then marched to London.
The two groups of peasants reached London and joined at Tower Bridge. The mob, which had been orderly so far, turned violent and stormed the Tower of London. They murdered the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Treasurer and many others who had sought refuge in the Tower.
Richard met the protesters at Smithfield and Wat Tyler was killed. The other protesters left on the promise of a pardon.
The pardon made by Richard was revoked. Uprisings against the Poll Tax were suppressed in St Albans, East Anglia and the South. John Ball was hung, drawn and quartered.
A group of influential noblemen – Thomas Duke of Gloucester (Richard’s uncle), Richard, Earl of Arundel, Thomas, Earl of Warwick and the Earl of Derby – known as the Appellants, accused a group of Richard’s friends of treason. Those accused included Chief Justice Tresilian and the King’s tutor Sir Simon Burley.
The Appellants were joined by Richard’s cousin, Henry Bolingbroke the Earl of Lancaster and Thomas Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham. They defeated a Royalist force led by Richard’s favourite, Robert De Vere, Earl of Oxford.
Following the Royalist defeat at Radcot Bridge, Richard had no choice but to submit to this parliament which found many of his supporters guilty of treason. Chief Justice Tresilian and Simon Burley were executed and many others were imprisoned. Parliament set controls on the privileges enjoyed by the King and his household.
The English led by Henry Hotspur, son of the Earl of Northumberland, were defeated by the Scots.
Published Oct 31, 2016 @ 11:39 am – Updated –
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2016 – 2020). English History 1380 – 1389. Available: https://www.totallytimelines.com/english-history-1380-1389. Last accessed August 6th, 2022