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Today in Labour History

2 May 1517
Tower of London
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Evil May Day

John Lincoln was imprisoned in the Tower of London on this day for being a leader of the Evil May Day Riots. Evil May Day was an outburst of anti-foreign feeling in East London. On 1 May 1517, a mob of apprentices and hooligans attacked the homes and shops of immigrants, mainly from Flanders and France. They were prosperous merchants and craftsmen  who had introduced new skills and technology and thus outpaced the local workforce. Hundreds of rioters were arrested, but in the end only 14 were to be hanged and quartered. The majority was pardoned by King Henry VIII at the request of Queen Catherine.

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