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.


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