Peasants' Revolt

(3364 words)

Historical Context Essay

The Peasants' Revolt of 1381 is renowned for the meeting of Richard II and Wat Tyler at Smithfield, where a common man dared to make demands to a king of England. The revolt itself lasted for just a few weeks, yet the event has left an indelible impression upon the common imagination as the most serious revolt that occurred in medieval England. Thomas Walsingham (a monk of St Albans) wrote: “At about this time the kingdom of England suffered – as a chastisement for its sins – a great and unexpected calamity not experienced by previous ages.” Other contemporary chroniclers depicted the event as both violent and irreverent. Henry Knighton stated: “Neither fearing God nor revering the honour of mother church, they pursued and …

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Davis, James. "Peasants' Revolt". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 September 2007
[, accessed 03 July 2015.]