1st Edition

Bond Men Made Free Medieval Peasant Movements and the English Rising of 1381

By Rodney Hilton Copyright 2024
    262 Pages
    by Routledge

    262 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Peasants' Revolt of 1381, led by Wat Tyler, was the first popular uprising in British history. Centred around the counties of South East England and rebelling against legislation to fix minimum wages, it was driven by agricultural labourers and the urban working classes but quickly gathered momentum to encompass artisans, villeins and the destitute. Although it lasted only a month before defeat, it was a major turning point in early British history and was heralded by many historians as the emergence of British working-class consciousness and political activism.

    Rodney Hilton's superb account of these events remains a classic, widely read and admired since its first publication. Locating the revolt in the context of European class conflict, he argues that the peasant movements that disturbed the Middle Ages were not mere unrelated outbreaks of violence, but had their roots in common economic and political conditions and in a recurring conflict of interest between peasants and landowners – one that has endured through the ages.

    This Routledge Classics edition includes a new Foreword by Phillipp R. Schofield.

    Foreword to the Routledge Classics Edition Phillipp R. Schofield




    Part 1: General Problems of Medieval Peasant Societies

    1. The Nature of Medieval Peasant Economy

    2. Early Movements and their Problems

    3. Mass Movements of the Later Middle Ages

    Part 2: The English Rising of 1381

    4. The Events of the Rising

    5. The General Background

    6. The Areas of Revolt

    7. Social Composition

    8. The Allies of the Rebels

    9. Organization and Aims

    10. Conclusion.



    Rodney Hilton (1916–2002) was Professor of Medieval Social History at the University of Birmingham, UK, and one of the leading medieval historians of his generation.

    “Rodney Hilton is generally recognised as the greatest authority on these topics in the English-speaking world.” - The Guardian

    “… a titan in the field of medieval economic and social history.” - The Economic History Review