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The “Peasants’ Revolt” or The Great Rising of 1381 in Suffolk

Richard II meets the Rebels – from Jean Froissart’s Chronicles

with Dr John Ridgard

in The Old Court, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday, 15th October, 2011

A reconsideration, in the light of a lifetime’s research, of the Great Rising of 1381, with special attention to the “Innocent and Peaceful” county of Suffolk.

The amount of information concerning the events in 1381 in Suffolk (just one of the counties involved) is enormous and still expanding. This course is very much a work-in-progress study. Significant issues or pieces of information will inevitably be omitted or not accorded their deserved weight.

Question-----What, in 1381, served the same purpose as a Blackberry ?

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 A basic chronology of the opening phase of the Great Rising in Suffolk. The documentary sources - National, Regional and Local- which may be considered ‘reliable’ and which ‘biased’. The imbalance in availability of information between West and East Suffolk. Biographical details of the 20 ‘Principal Leaders’ in Suffolk and of those rebels already executed when the list was drawn up in August 1381.  
  11.15 Coffee break  
  11.45 Rebellion or Revolution? How far is it possible to conclude that the rebels had, ready to be implemented, a new form of government from national to parish level, had the rebellion been successful? For how long had the insurgency been planned and what were the main grievances ? A local study - the ‘Common State’ (republic?) of Hartismere and Hoxne.  
  12.45 Lunch break (bring picnic or eat in NT restaurant)  
  14:00 A county-wide survey of those towns and villages involved in the rebellion and of the rebel leaders not listed among the ‘Principals’ What were the occupations and personal status of the rebels - were there identifiable ‘interest groups’ ( villeins-by-blood, retailers, tax-protesters, anti-war religious dissenters, women, socialists) ?  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 When did the insurgency really end?- did the extreme punishments (followed by a conditional pardon) guarantee that society continued to protest but through different outlets-- religious dissent (The Lollards), better terms for agricultural tenancies, manumissions for cash? How did the lords react—fortify their manor-houses ( e.g. Wingfield Castle), disarm the population despite the French threat, employ more private security guards ?  
  16:15 Close  

About Dr John Ridgard

John Ridgard specialises in Medieval Latin Palaeography and Medieval Suffolk. He is the author of Medieval Framlingham: Select documents 1270-1524, Suffolk Records Society 27 (Boydell 1985) and Great Framlingham in Suffolk and the Howard Dukes of Norfolk (Blaxhall Press 2009).

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Bailey, M., Medieval Suffolk: An Economic and Social History, 1200-1500 (Woodbridge 2007)
Dobson, R.B., The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 (MacMillan 1983)
Dymond, D. & Northeast, P., A History of Suffolk (Phillimore 1995)
Powell, E., The East Anglian Rising, 1381 (CUP 1896)
Ridgard, J., Medieval Framlingham: Select Documents 1270-1524 (Suffolk Records Society 1985)
Scarfe, N., The Suffolk Landscape (Hodder & Stoughton 1972, Alastair 1986)


Please phone or email to check the availability of places.  Study Days are £38 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition.  Once you have reserved your place please send a cheque to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)

Email cliff AT wuffingeducation.co.uk
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Website www.wuffingeducation.co.uk

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