The People of 1381 Project

The Battlefields Trust has worked closely with a research project called 'The People of 1381' which has provided a comprehensive interpretation of the Peasants' RevoltThe revolt was one of the largest popular uprisings in medieval Europe and rocked the country in the summer of 1381.

Led by Professor Adrian Bell from Henley Business School at the University of Reading, 'The People of 1381' sheds new light on the complex economic, social and political dynamics of the rebellion, to enhance our understanding of its cultural impact.

To view the projects findings, click herePeasants Revolt - Home (

Central to the project was the creation of a database to provide the first overview of events, places and people involved. Judicial and manorial documents have been be combined with records of central and local government, poll tax records and more, to reconstruct collective biographies of the people caught up in the rising. The database is hosted on the website along with digitised primary sources and a regular feature '1381: People and Places Profiles'.

In addition to developing case studies of individual rebels and their victims, the project is a unique 'history from below', using an unparalleled set of medieval records to investigate the participation of social groups whose role has been little investigated, such as household servants, soldiers and women. It uses Geographic Information Systems to map the development and structure of the revolt, to identify differing levels of community protest and examine how these fitted together.


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