Mo­ment in his­tory

EDP Norfolk - - County Life -

The Peas­ants’ Re­volt was a ma­jor rebellion which spread through­out me­dieval Eng­land. Dis­con­tent had grown among the coun­try’s peas­ants fol­low­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of tough wage con­trols. The for­tunes of wealthy landown­ers soared, the be­hav­iour of no­bles, who ruled on be­half of King Richard, and the po­si­tion of the church also en­raged com­mon­ers.

In the sum­mer of 1381, thou­sands of peas­ants led by lo­cal man John Litester, marched on Nor­wich, tak­ing con­trol of the city. They were even­tu­ally forced to re­treat to the coun­try­side just out­side of North Wal­sham by the King’s army and the forces of the Bishop of Nor­wich, Bishop Henry De­spenser. It is be­lieved that there they were con­fronted by Bishop De­spenser’s sol­diers, and thou­sands of peas­ants were killed in the en­su­ing Great Bat­tle of North Wal­sham. Many fled to the town’s church and bar­ri­caded them­selves in, but were un­able to es­cape the army and were also slain.

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