Melvyn Bragg follows his long historical exploration of the Routes of English with Voices of the Powerless, the BBC Radio 4 series in which he explores the lives of the ordinary working men and women of Britain at critical moments across the last 1,000 years.
The Peasants' Revolt began in the Essex village of Fobbing in May 1381. It started with the arrival of a royal tax commissioner, John Bampton, enquiring into evasion of the new poll-tax. As a JP and former sheriff of Essex, Bampton was typical of the local notables against whom the risings were directed. Supported by men from nearby villages, the rebellion had begun and quickly spread through the county. This episode was first broadcast in 2002.
Guidance: due to the archive nature of the recording the sound quality may vary.
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