Wat Tyler

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Wat Tyler is attacked by William Walworth, the Mayor of London, under the eyes of Richard II

Wat Tyler (actually Walter Tyler ; † June 15, 1381 in Smithfield, now London ) was an English peasant leader who led the Peasants' Revolt in 1381 ; his last name Tyler ("brick maker") actually describes his profession.

The minor King Richard II had a poll tax collected in May 1381 to finance the war against France. Spurred on by the sermons of the priest John Ball , Wat Tyler rallied an insurgent army after the peasants took Rochester Castle on June 7th . First the Essex peasants rose , and later those from Kent followed . They captured Canterbury on June 10 and moved on to London, having previously captured Savoy Palace on June 13 . On the same day, they stormed London Bridge and plundered the city. A group of farmers entered the Tower of London and killed the Lord Chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury Simon Sudbury and the Chancellor of the Exchequer Robert Hales .

Negotiations with the king began on June 14 at Smithfield, just north of town. During the talks, Wat Tyler made far-reaching radical demands, such as the confiscation of church property and the abolition of serfdom and the status of the class. But Tyler provoked the other side with derogatory remarks, whereupon William Walworth , the Mayor of London , drew his sword and seriously injured him. A squire of the king then killed the rebel leader.


1794 processed Robert Southey Tyler's life in the poem titled after him Wat Tyler . The composer Alan Bush and his wife Nancy as librettist created the opera Wat Tyler from 1948 to 1950 .

The musician Frank Turner processed the story of Wat Tyler in his song Sons Of Liberty .

Together with the priest John Ball , he is the main character in Oliver Steinke's historical novel The Treason of Mile End .

Danbert Nobacon, former singer of the band Chumbawamba , paid tribute to the insurgent in the song "A Million Wat Tylers"

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Karl-Friedrich Krieger : The House of Lancaster (1377-1461). In: Natalie Fryde, Hanna Vollrath (Hrsg.): The English kings in the Middle Ages. From William the Conqueror to Richard III. (= Beck series. 1534). Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-406-49463-3 , pp. 150-185, here p. 159.
  2. ^ Anti-Capitalism (Anarcho Punk Comp. Vol. 4). In: www.overgroundrecords.co.uk. Retrieved August 9, 2016 .

Web links