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The Death of Wat Tyler

The Peasants' Revolt of 1381 was led by Wat Tyler, who, as this image portrays, was stabbed in the presence of Richard II at Smithfield by the Mayor of London, William Walworth, and later beheaded. Tyler had demanded a series of concessions beneficial to the lower orders of society, to which the king replied that he would grant all that was within his power. But, when challenged as a robber by a royal valet, Tyler drew his sword in the king's presence, prompting Walworth's attack. At Tyler's death the revolt collapsed and the leaders were executed.

Reference: British Library Royal MS 18.E.i-ii f. 175 (date: 1385-1400)
By permission of the British Library.
(© Copyright belongs to the British Library and further reproduction is prohibited.)

The Death of Wat Tyler
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