Digitising the Event: Digital
Approaches to the Peasants’ Revolt
of 1381

Andrew Prescott
Brixton Riots, 11 April 1981
Kim Aldis: Twenty nine years ago I stepped out of a shop in Brixton and a
hundred yards away a car exploded marking the st...
Richard Misrach, Destroy this Memory (Aperture, 2010)
John Ball preaches to the rebels at Blackheath: Royal MS 18
E.I, f. 165v. Netherlands, S. Last quarter of 15th cent., befo...
Indictment by jurors from Orford in Suffolk relating to disturbances in Ipswich.
Documents such as these enabled the Frenc...
Indictment for attack on priory of Breadsall Park in Derbyshire, 18 June
1381. On the following day, the Derbyshire insurg...
Proceedings in the court of King’s Bench against insurgents in Scarborough
The National Archives, KB 27/500 rex m. 12
Petition (in French) relating to lawsuits following the unrest at
Bridgwater in Somerset. The revolt is here described as ...
Sources for the Revolt in Kent
• Wide range of chronicles, including Anonimalle
Chronicle, Walsingham, Knighton, Westminst...
Sources for the Revolt in Kent
COMMISSION RECORDS: Just 1/400; KB 9/43
KING’S BENCH: prosecutions at crown suit; trespass
...
A visualisation by Mitchell Whitelaw of the University of
Canberra of 57000 series in the collection of the National
Archi...
How does the digital coverage of events in 1381 compare with the
digital resources available for the study of more modern ...
Eighteenth Century Collections Online derived from English Short Title Catalogue, so
provides comprehensive coverage of pr...
Women tried at the Old Bailey for participation in the Gordon Riots:
www.oldbaileyonline.org
The same trial expressed as XML (eXtensible Markup Language)
Red pins (proportional in size to the number of cases), show the crime locations of the
83 Old Bailey trials for riot duri...
André Reville’s pioneering study which was previously difficult to obtain is
now available for download (and searching) vi...
Digitisation of primary sources
• Chronicle texts re-edited but not available
online. Focus on illuminated manuscripts.
• ...
Thomas Walsingham, Chronicon Anglie, British Library, Harley MS. 3634, f. 125, one
of two sample images in the British Lib...
The death of Wat Tyler in a deluxe four
volume set of Froissart’s Chronicles
produced by the Bruges bibliophile
Louis de G...
Online Froissart: http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/onlinefroissart/index.jsp
Rebels seek an audience with Richard II. Miniature by
the Boethius Master, Paris, c. 1410-20. Perhaps the
earliest depicti...
Online catalogue of Ancient Petitions (SC8) at the National Archives
Image of petition from John Creek of Wymondham, allegedly a
ringleader of the revolt in Norfolk, protesting his innocence:...
http://aalt.law.uh.edu/
Trial in King’s Bench of Joanna, wife of John Ferrour, of Rochester, accused of
participating in the destruction of the Sa...
John Hooke of Uckfield in Sussex accused in 1423 of
assembling a company ‘so large that it resembled the
congregation form...
Trespass prosecution by
John of Gaunt rel. to
destruction of the Savoy
The National Archives,
CP 40/490, m.252
Indictments taken in West Kent by commission against the rebels. These documents describe
attacks on Malling Abbey and on ...
E. Powell and G. M. Trevelyan, The Peasants’ Rising and the Lollards (1899)
Establishing which tenants of
Malling Abbey participated
In the revolt:
The National Archives,
KB 9/43, m. 14
www.frh3.org.uk
www.gasconrolls.org
Google Fusion tables
http://www.ehri-project.eu/
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Durhamrevolt

  1. 1. Digitising the Event: Digital Approaches to the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 Andrew Prescott
  2. 2. Brixton Riots, 11 April 1981
  3. 3. Kim Aldis: Twenty nine years ago I stepped out of a shop in Brixton and a hundred yards away a car exploded marking the start of a year of the worst civil unrest in UK living memory. These images have been sitting in the bottom of a drawer since then.
  4. 4. Richard Misrach, Destroy this Memory (Aperture, 2010)
  5. 5. John Ball preaches to the rebels at Blackheath: Royal MS 18 E.I, f. 165v. Netherlands, S. Last quarter of 15th cent., before 1483.
  6. 6. Indictment by jurors from Orford in Suffolk relating to disturbances in Ipswich. Documents such as these enabled the French scholar André Reville in 1898 to illustrate the extent and seriousness of the disturbances in East Anglia. The National Archives, KB 9/166/1 m. 29
  7. 7. Indictment for attack on priory of Breadsall Park in Derbyshire, 18 June 1381. On the following day, the Derbyshire insurgents seized the royal castle at Horsley, raised the banner of St George and fixed the heads of some of the men they had earlier executed to the castle gate: The National Archives, KB 27/531 rex m. 20d
  8. 8. Proceedings in the court of King’s Bench against insurgents in Scarborough The National Archives, KB 27/500 rex m. 12
  9. 9. Petition (in French) relating to lawsuits following the unrest at Bridgwater in Somerset. The revolt is here described as ‘the great rumour which was at London’. The National Archives, SC 8/102/5051
  10. 10. Sources for the Revolt in Kent • Wide range of chronicles, including Anonimalle Chronicle, Walsingham, Knighton, Westminster Chronicle, Froissart • Manorial records • Town records, including London Letter Book, Plea and Memoranda and Hustings Rolls • Informal records and letters eg the copy of the manumission issued to the men of Kent at Mile End (in the keeping of William Appledorefield)
  11. 11. Sources for the Revolt in Kent COMMISSION RECORDS: Just 1/400; KB 9/43 KING’S BENCH: prosecutions at crown suit; trespass prosecutions; private appeals by widows; informal records in recorda files COMMON PLEAS: trespass prosecutions eg by John of Gaunt for the destruction of the Savoy GAOL DELIVERY records PARLIAMENTARY RECORDS: parliamentary rolls, petitions CHANCERY: Patent Rolls, Close Rolls, Warrants, various writ files EXCHEQUER: Issue rolls, Receipt Rolls, Memoranda Rolls
  12. 12. A visualisation by Mitchell Whitelaw of the University of Canberra of 57000 series in the collection of the National Archives of Australia. The area of each square is proportional to the number of shelf metres that series occupies, while the size of the grey void in each square is related to the number of described items in the series. http://mtchl.net/the-visible-archive/
  13. 13. How does the digital coverage of events in 1381 compare with the digital resources available for the study of more modern events, such as the Gordon Riots four hundred years later?
  14. 14. Eighteenth Century Collections Online derived from English Short Title Catalogue, so provides comprehensive coverage of printed works, but OCR unreliable
  15. 15. Women tried at the Old Bailey for participation in the Gordon Riots: www.oldbaileyonline.org
  16. 16. The same trial expressed as XML (eXtensible Markup Language)
  17. 17. Red pins (proportional in size to the number of cases), show the crime locations of the 83 Old Bailey trials for riot during the century, over half of which concerned the Gordon Riots (June 1780). The green pins indicate location of shops - suggesting the motive of these riots was not looting www.locatinglondon.org
  18. 18. André Reville’s pioneering study which was previously difficult to obtain is now available for download (and searching) via the Internet Archive
  19. 19. Digitisation of primary sources • Chronicle texts re-edited but not available online. Focus on illuminated manuscripts. • Strong editorial emphasis on canonical literary manuscripts (Chaucer, Piers Plowman) • Virtually no digitisation of manorial records or town archives • Extensive coverage of royal administrative records, but in variously unsatisfactory forms
  20. 20. Thomas Walsingham, Chronicon Anglie, British Library, Harley MS. 3634, f. 125, one of two sample images in the British Library’s Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
  21. 21. The death of Wat Tyler in a deluxe four volume set of Froissart’s Chronicles produced by the Bruges bibliophile Louis de Gruuthuse between 1470 and 1475, and illuminated by the Master of the Dresden Prayer Book and the Master of Margaret of York Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, MS. Fr. 2644, f. 159v
  22. 22. Online Froissart: http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/onlinefroissart/index.jsp
  23. 23. Rebels seek an audience with Richard II. Miniature by the Boethius Master, Paris, c. 1410-20. Perhaps the earliest depiction of the revolt? Besançon Bibliothèque municipale ms. 865, f. 73.
  24. 24. Online catalogue of Ancient Petitions (SC8) at the National Archives
  25. 25. Image of petition from John Creek of Wymondham, allegedly a ringleader of the revolt in Norfolk, protesting his innocence: The National Archives, SC8/262/13099
  26. 26. http://aalt.law.uh.edu/
  27. 27. Trial in King’s Bench of Joanna, wife of John Ferrour, of Rochester, accused of participating in the destruction of the Savoy Palace, taking by boat to Southwark a chest belonging to John of Gaunt containing 1,000 pounds sterling, and participating in the execution of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Prior of the Hospitallers The National Archives, KB 27/482 rex m. 39d
  28. 28. John Hooke of Uckfield in Sussex accused in 1423 of assembling a company ‘so large that it resembled the congregation formerly made by Jack Rackstraw’, which went by night to attack and destroy property of Thomas Huchon The National Archives, KB 27/650 rex m. 25
  29. 29. Trespass prosecution by John of Gaunt rel. to destruction of the Savoy The National Archives, CP 40/490, m.252
  30. 30. Indictments taken in West Kent by commission against the rebels. These documents describe attacks on Malling Abbey and on the house of Nicholas Herring, a prominent local official, at Maidstone
  31. 31. E. Powell and G. M. Trevelyan, The Peasants’ Rising and the Lollards (1899)
  32. 32. Establishing which tenants of Malling Abbey participated In the revolt: The National Archives, KB 9/43, m. 14
  33. 33. www.frh3.org.uk
  34. 34. www.gasconrolls.org
  35. 35. Google Fusion tables
  36. 36. http://www.ehri-project.eu/

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