Module Convenor: Dr James Davis
This course will examine the causes and repercussions of the Peasants’ Revolt. In 1381, there was a significant uprising by the peasantry (and others) within medieval England that led to a march on London and an infamous confrontation between King Richard II and Wat Tyler. The roots and consequences of the revolt are the subject of much debate, but are embedded in the social and economic upheaval of the fourteenth century - a period which was dominated by famine, plague, war, and heresy. We will seek to better understand the Peasants’ Revolt by situating it within the wider contexts of medieval society, such as lord-peasant relations, the Black Death, the decline of serfdom, the Hundred Years War, the growing repression of the Wycliffite or Lollard heresy, the kingship of Richard II, and revolts across Europe in the late-fourteenth century. A variety of primary sources will be examined in depth, such as court rolls, laws, chronicles, literature and tax records, in order to gain a detailed insight into the nature of medieval revolt.