Robert Kett and the Norfolk Rising

Tony Gosling tony at
Sat Oct 26 21:28:28 BST 2013

Robert Kett and the Norfolk Rising

In the summer of 1549 Robert Kett and his army of Norfolk countrymen 
staged what was to be the last great popular revolt in southern 
England. Their principal discontent was the seizure of common land 
and the resistance of the landowners to any legal attempt to call a 
halt to their enclosures.

The rebellion was quashed by Government forces led by the most 
recalcitrant of the gentry and groups of foreign mercenaries, but for 
six weeks Kett and his men, camped on Mousehold Heath on the edge of 
the city, created an alternative form of rule which excluded (and 
terrified) the landowners.

Vilified at his trial as a 'felonious and malicious traitor and a 
public enemy', it was not until the early 20th century that Kett came 
to be rehabilitated and viewed as a champion of the rights of the 
common people. Joseph Clayton's book provided the first account that 
sought to justify the rebellion and to offer an heroic portrait of Kett.

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