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