Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Peasant's Uprising

15 July 1381
John Ball encouraging the rebels of 1381
British Library manuscript "Royal 18 E. I f.165v" (Wikimedia Commons)

The English peasant's uprising of 1381 began in response to a tax levy, but was not only about money. It involved the right to move freely as well: the peasants also demanded that each labourer may work for the employer of his choice. The rebellion was led by Wat Tyler, the priest John Ball and Jack Straw, though  some claim that Straw was a pseudonym of either Tyler or Ball. It arose in Kent and culminated in a march on London on 14 June 1381. Wat Tyler was killed the next day in the presence of King Richard II. Ball was found hiding in an old house in Coventry and hanged, drawn and quartered on 15 July 1381. His head was stuck on a pike on London Bridge.