Today in history: England’s 99% crushed

On June 15, 1381, Wat Tyler, a leader of a peasant/laborer rebellion that swept England, was killed by the king’s supporters. Although the revolt was crushed, it later came to be seen as a mark of the beginning of the end of serfdom in medieval England.

Key factors in the uprising were imposition of an onerous poll tax, and an anti-worker statute. The uprising struck fear into the hearts of the nobility and drew attention to the appalling misery of workers and peasants under feudalism. It was one of a number of popular revolts in late medieval Europe

Other famous leaders of the Great Rising of 1381 were John Ball and Jack Straw.

Image: Wat Tyler killed by Lord Mayor of London William Walworth while King Richard II of England watches. Wikimedia Commons.


Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.