Revolt of the Peasantry 1549
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This book, first published in 1977, looks at the two peasant revolts that occurred in 1549, in the troubled period following the death of Henry VIII. The uprisings reveal a harsh background of economic and social injustice, intensified at the time by inflation. Peasants in North Devon rose against the imposition of the English Prayer Book, and with the local authorities paralysed and the government wavering between conciliation and repression, a general rebellion broke out. Reinforced by Cornishmen, rallying to the defence of their national identity, the peasants assembled a formidable army and laid siege to Exeter itself. Only after three major battles was the revolt suppressed. The Norfolk peasants rose against agrarian abuses, routing a small royal force and occupying Norwich. Ably led by Robert Kett, they expelled the gentry and governed the county on a programme of social justice until they were crushed by the forces released by the collapse of the other risings. These revolts display the deep-seated resentments and injustices felt by the peasantry of the sixteenth century.
Table of Contents
1. Agrarian Problems and Others 2. A Land Apart 3. Protest and Provocation 4. Half Measures 5. The Siege of Exeter 6. War of Words 7. The Norfolk Rising 8. The Battle of Fenny Bridges 9. Fiasco at Norwich 10. Clyst St Mary and the Relief of Exeter 11. Sampford Courtenay and the Pacification of Cornwall 12. Dussindale 13. The Reckoning