Wat Tyler tea towel
The Peasants' Revolt, also called Wat Tyler's Rebellion or the Great Rising, was a major uprising across large parts of England in 1381. The revolt had various causes, including the socio-economic and political tensions generated by the Black Death, high taxes resulting from the conflict with France during the Hundred Years' War, and instability within the local leadership of London. The final trigger for the revolt was the attempt by John Bampton, a royal official, to collect unpaid poll taxes, ending in a violent confrontation which rapidly spread across the south-east of the country. The rebels, led by Wat Tyler, sought a reduction in taxation, an end to the system of serfdom and the removal of the King's senior officials and law courts.
The revolt has been widely used in socialist literature, including by the author and interior designer, William Morris, and remains a potent political symbol for the political left, informing the arguments surrounding the introduction of the Poll Tax in the UK during the 1980s.
Our new tea towel is inspired by an illumination by an unknown artist. It depicts John Ball, a priest who believed that all people should be equal, encouraging the rebels.