Marxists Internet Archive: History Archive: British History: The Peasants Revolt

The death of Wat Tyler



The Peasants Revolt 1381

The Peasants Revolt of 1381 was the first popular uprising in England. The peasants were objecting to high taxation and demanding payment of wages in money. They marched on London, but were fooled by the King, and their leader, Wat Tyler, murdered.

Despite what is written in the Chronicle, the essential grievances in the peasants' charter amounted to the abolition of serfdom. Further, King Richard did accede to their demands at Mile End. However, Parliament declared the charters of manumission void and revoked all agreements with the peasants; the claim in Rotuli Parliamentorum was that “they had never assented of their free will, nor would they ever have done so except to live and die the same day.”

Chronicle of the Revolt, 1381

A contemporary chronicle of the Reasants' Revolt and the murder of its leader Wat Tyler.

Summary of the Revolt, its causes and significance