David Underdown

  • Village Revolts: Social Protest and Popular Disturbances in England 1509-1640 by Roger Manning
    Oxford, 354 pp, £35.00, February 1988, ISBN 0 19 820116 8

We have been taught to think of the Tudor monarchs as having brought stability to England after the disorders of the 15th century. So they did, in a way. Yet between 1509 and 1640 there were more than three hundred riots in England, many of them occasioned by the enclosure of common land or the denial of customary rights of pasture. Some were large enough to be dignified by the names ‘rising’ or ‘rebellion’, as was the case in the Midlands in 1607; others were small and insignificant, a handful of obscure villagers levelling someone’s hedges and letting their cattle in. Some were led by prominent gentlemen, some by poor husbandmen; some by men, some by women, some by men dressed as women.

The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.

You are not logged in