1549 was a crisis year for the Tudors. Young
King Edward VI
was only 12 years old, and his uncle, the Duke of
ruling. The Protestant Reformation was being reinforced
with the help of a new prayer book. However Edward's
were to be mainly down to the state of the
Inflation had meant higher food prices and rents in
1540s. Landowners were also enclosing the land -
off - to graze their sheep, which meant that poorer
lost their means of survival as the common land
had shared for centuries was grabbed by the rich.
1549 - July - Rising anger from the poor led to the
tearing down of fences. A local landowner and lawyer called John Flowerdew was
the main target. Robert Kett, another landowner, but not as powerful as
Flowerdew, joined the protesters before they attacked him. He pulled down his
own fences and sent them to attack Flowerdew.
July 9 - Kett now takes charge of the protest. He
led 16,000 people to Norwich, the biggest city in the region, and set up camp
outside the gates. People from the city joined the protestors and soon there
were four more camps across Norfolk and Suffolk.
Within a week the rebels' camp was challenging the
authorities in Norwich. Two of the leaders of Norwich, Thomas Codd and Thomas
Aldrich, joined the rebels, as did Robert Watson, an important preacher. A
rebels' council was elected and their own courts and Protestant services were
held. At all times loyalty to King Edward was never questioned.
A new parliament was set up under The Tree of
Reformation, an oak tree on Mousehold Heath. The discipline and organisation of
the protest meant that the state's authorities could do little to break it up.
29 Grievances (complaints) were declared, mainly to do with the standard of
living of people.
A young rebel tells the royal messenger to
kiss his arse!