Popular Protest in Late Medieval English Towns

Popular Protest in Late Medieval English Towns

by Samuel K. Cohn, Jr


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Contrary to received opinion, revolts and popular protests in medieval English towns were as frequent and as sophisticated, if not more so, as those in the countryside. This groundbreaking study refocuses attention on the varied nature of popular movements in towns from Carlisle to Dover and from the London tax revolt of Longbeard in 1196 to Jack Cade's Rebellion in 1450, exploring the leadership, social composition, organisation and motives of popular protest. The book charts patterns of urban revolt in times of strong and weak kingship, contrasting them with the broad sweep of ecological and economic change that inspired revolts on the continent. Samuel Cohn demonstrates that the timing and character of popular revolt in England differed radically from revolts in Italy, France and Flanders. In addition, he analyses repression and waves of hate against Jews, foreigners and heretics, opening new vistas in the comparative history of late medieval Europe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107529359
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/01/2015
Pages: 390
Product dimensions: 5.91(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Samuel K. Cohn, Jr is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Glasgow. His work over the past decade has concentrated on plague and the history of popular insurrection and his previous publications include Cultures of Plague: Medical Thinking at the End of the Renaissance (2010) and Lust for Liberty: The Politics of Social Revolt in Medieval Europe, 1200-1425 (2006).

Table of Contents

Part I. The Setting: 1. Introduction: questions and sources; 2. Class struggle in English towns: workers and bosses; 3. Varieties of revolt; Part II. Crown and Town: Strife with Secular Authority: 4. Revolts against the Crown: crises of kingship from John Lackland to Henry VI; 5. The Black Death and urban protest; 6. Urban revolts against the Crown outside London: the case of Bristol; 7. A wave of insurrection, 1312-18?; 8. Tax revolts; 9. Revolts: poor against rich; Part III. Church and City: 10. Revolts in monastic boroughs; 11. Church struggles in towns other than monastic boroughs; 12. Urban conflict against bishops and universities; 13. Urban risings of hatred: Jews, foreigners, and heretics; 14. Conclusion; Bibliography.

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