1381: The Year of the Peasants' Revolt by Juliet Barker

By Juliet Barker

Written with the fluency readers have come to anticipate from Juliet Barker, 1381: The yr of the Peasants Revolt offers an account of the 1st nice well known rebellion in England and its history, and paints on a wide canvas an image of English lifestyles in medieval occasions. Skeptical of latest chroniclers bills of occasions, Barker attracts at the judicial assets of the indictments and court docket complaints that the uprising.

This emphasis bargains a clean standpoint at the so-called Peasants riot and provides intensity and texture to the ancient narrative. one of the ebook s arguments are that the rebels believed they have been the dependable topics of the king performing in his pursuits, and that the boy-king Richard II sympathized with their grievances.

Barker tells how and why a various and not going workforce of normal women and men from each nook of britain from servants and workers dwelling off wages, in the course of the village elite who served as bailiffs, constables, and stewards, to the ranks of the gentry united in armed uprising opposed to church and country to call for an intensive political time table. Had it been applied, this time table might have remodeled English society and expected the French Revolution by means of 400 years. 1381: The 12 months of the Peasants Revolt is a vital reassessment of the rebellion and a desirable, unique learn of medieval lifestyles in England s cities and countryside."

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Additional resources for 1381: The Year of the Peasants' Revolt

Sample text

If Balle’s letters were a call to arms they are pretty opaque: they include no practical information such as the date, place or time to begin the revolution and are, in fact, simply a patchwork of enigmatic quotations from wellknown phrases, proverbs and verses which also occur in fourteenth-century mendicant preaching manuals, sermons and sermon notes. Their author could just as easily have been a perfectly orthodox member of the Church inveighing against the sins of the age, rather than an incendiary preacher intent on raising rebellion.

Under 10 1381 the wise guidance of du Guesclin, however, the French armies refused to take the bait and a series of expeditions launched in 1370, headed by the mercenary captain Robert Knolles, and in 1373 and 1375 under the leadership of Edward III’s sons, John of Gaunt and Edmund of Langley respectively, failed to achieve anything. Lack of success in the field was made incomparably worse by the heavy losses which marked these fruitless campaigns: an army bound for English Gascony in 1372 was ambushed at sea off La Rochelle and both the fleet and the expeditionary force it carried were totally destroyed by France’s Castilian allies; the following year, after his raid from Calais to the borders of Burgundy, Gaunt lost more than half his men by marching them across France to Bordeaux in the depths of a bitter winter.

The very hours of the day were marked out for both labourers in the field and townsmen going about their business by the bells which called monks and canons to their prayers. Church buildings literally dominated town and country in both their scale and magnificence. Nothing, not even a royal castle or palace, could compare with the exquisite tracery and soaring pinnacles of a remote Cistercian abbey in Yorkshire or THE STATE OF THE NATION 29 an urban cathedral like Salisbury or Gloucester. For the weary traveller these were landmarks which would be seen hours before they could be reached by road: signposts not only to God’s kingdom but also to the baser pleasures of rest and refreshment.

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