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Popular protest

Essay and seminar questions

  • Can popular protest be explained only in economic terms?
  • Was the English Rising of 1381 typical of popular rebellions in the Middle Ages?
  • To what extent was manorialism responsible for the English Rising of 1381?


    Introductory Reading (see also Rural society readingsLink opens in a new window)

    Barber, The Two CitiesLink opens in a new window, 43-46

    Bartlett, The Making of EuropeLink opens in a new window, 106-166

    Waley and Denley, Later Medieval EuropeLink opens in a new window, 90-105


    Further Reading (see also Rural Society readings)

    Aston, Margaret, 'Corpus Christi and Corpus Regni: Heresy and the Peasants' Revolt', Past & Present 134 (1994), 3 - 47.

    Aston, T.H., and Philpin, C.H.E., (eds.), The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-Industrial Europe (Cambridge, 1985)

    Bailey, Mark (ed. and trans.), The English Manor c. 1200-c.1500 (Manchester, 2002)

    Bloch, Marc, French Rural History, trans. Janet Sondheimer (London, 1966)

    Chick, Joe, ‘Leaders and Rebels: John Wrawe’s Role in the Suffolk Rising of 1381’, Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute for Archaeology & History, 44 (2018), pp. 214-234.

    Cohn, Samuel Kline, Jr., (ed. and trans.), Popular Protest in Late Medieval Europe: Italy, France and Flanders (Manchester, 2004) (a useful collection of sources)

    Cohn, Samuel Kline, Jr., 'Popular insurrection and the Black Death: a comparative view' in Rodney Hilton's Middle Ages : an exploration of historical themes, Christopher Dyer, Peter Coss, and Chris Wickham eds., (Oxford, 2007).

    Cohn, Samuel Kline, Jr., Lust for liberty : the politics of social revolt in medieval Europe, 1200-1425 : Italy, France, and Flanders (Cambridge, MA, 2008)

    Cohn, Samuel Kline, Jr., 'The ‘Modernity’ of Medieval Popular Revolt', History Compass 10.10 (2012): 731-41.

    Cohn, Samuel, ‘Women in Revolt in Medieval and Early Modern Europe’, in Justine Firnhaber-Baker and Dirk Schoenaers (eds.), The Routledge History Handbook of Medieval Revolt (Abingdon, 2016), pp. 208-19.

    Dobson, R.B. (ed.), The Peasants' Revolt of 1381 (1983). [A collection of sources].

    Duby, Georges, The Three Orders: Feudal Society Imagined (Chicago, 1980)

    Dyer, Christopher, Making a Living in the Middle Ages (Yale, 2002).

    Dyer, C. 'The social and economic background to the rural revolt of 1381' in The English Rising of 1381 eds. R. H. Hilton and T. H. Aston (Cambridge University Press, 1987), pp.3-42.

    Firnhaber-Baker, Justine,‘Introduction: Medieval Revolt in Context’, inJustine Firnhaber-Baker and Dirk Schoenaers (eds.),The Routledge History Handbook of Medieval Revolt(Abingdon, 2016), pp.1-16

    Hanawalt, Barbara, The Ties that Bound: Peasant Families in Medieval England (Oxford, 1986)

    Herlihy, David, Medieval Households (Cambridge, Mass., 1985)

    Hilton, R.H., English and French Towns in Feudal Society (Cambridge, 1992)
    Hilton, R.H. and Aston, T. H. (eds.), The English Rising of 1381 (Cambridge, 1984).

    Hilton, R.H., The English Peasantry in the Late Middle AgesLink opens in a new window (Oxford, 1975)

    Hilton, Rodney, Bond Men Made Free: Medieval Peasant Movements and the English Rising of 1381 (London, 1973). ‘Organisation’ chapter in particular.

    Mollat, Michel, The Poor in the Middle Ages: An Essay in Social History (New Haven, 1986)

    Mollat, Michel & Philippe Wolff, The popular revolutions of the late Middle Ages (1973)

    Müller, Miriam, ‘Arson, Communities, and Social Conflict in Later Medieval England’,Viator,43 (2012), pp. 193-208.

    Müller, Miriam, 'Conflict and Revolt: The Bishop of Ely and his Peasants at the Manor of Brandon in Suffolk, c. 1300-1381’,Rural History,23 (2012), pp. 1-19.

    Postan, M.M., (ed.), Cambridge Economic History of Europe, vol. 1: Agrarian Life of the Middle Ages, 2nd rev. edn. (Cambridge, 1966)

    Rösener, Werner, Peasants in the Middle Ages, trans. Alexander Stutzer (Champaign, 1992)