Thursday, 22 November 2012

Essex trivia #5 The Peasants' Revolt started in Brentwood

The notice board by the Thomas 'a Becket chapel in Brentwood High Streert reveals that Brentwood was the birthplace of the peasants' revolt of 1381. Rebellious Essex Men reacted to an over-zealous poll tax collector by giving him a slap. The revolt spread to Kent, Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Norfolk. Perhaps angered by high taxes on beauty salons, Kentish geezer Wat Tyler and his Essex mates proceeded to London with the medieval equivalent of West Ham’s Inter City Firm and smashed up Jack Straw's Castle. Though that's not the Jack Straw who went to Brentwood school...

All facts are from Pete May's new book The Joy of Essex (Robson Press).

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