Wat Tyler and the Peasants’ Revolt
1381. Essex and Kent are up in arms
Wat Tyler Country Park is named after the most well known leader of the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt, which began in Fobbing, just a stone's throw away from the Park itself.
The people had had enough of having no rights and paying high taxes. On Thursday 30th May men from Fobbing led more from Corringham and Stanford in an attack on a court in session at Brentwood. Similar uprisings were reported across the river in Kent.
Kent rebels led by Wat Tyler and Essex rebels under John Ball and Jack Straw rose 100,000 strong to invade London. Their demanded "We will be free forever, our heirs and our lands." King Richard II agreed but then in a face to face meeting, the king had Wat Tyler stabbed through the throat. He died an agonising death.
The peasants' final stand was the Battle of Billericay on 28 June, 1381. Around five hundred peasants fled to Norsey Wood where they were slaughtered by royal troops.