Jack Cade's rebellion of 1450 was one of the most important popular uprisings to take place in England during the Middle Ages. It began as an orchestrated demonstration of political protest by the inhabitants of south-eastern England against the corruption, mismanagement, and oppression of Henry VI's government. When no assurance of any remedy came from the king the rising soon collapsed into violence. This is the first full-length study of
Cade's revolt to be published this century. I. M. W. Harvey charts the course of the rebellion and its associated troubles during the early 1450s, and explores the nature of the society which gave rise to these upheavals. She makes full use of the available contemporary evidence, as well as the
work of subsequent historians, in order to uncover the identities of the rebels, explain their actions, assess their relations with the magnates, and to examine their achievements. Dr Harvey's lucid and scholarly analysis of Jack Cade's rebellion helps make intelligible the eventual collapse of Henry VI's reign into the Wars of the Roses.
`important book ... Harvey's skillful and well-documented study perhaps confirms the view that only in 1381 did social revolution appear on the agenda of English medieval rebels.'
The Historian, Autumn 1993, Vol 56
`This book is an impressive piece of scholarship and most readable... A book of this calibre should be on every historian's bookshelf both to enjoy and for use as a reference book'.
Patricia Winzar, Journal of Kent History, Issue No 34.
'I.M.W. Harvey's work is particularly to be welcomed in view of the recent advances in research on central government and the regions in the 15th century. Her book will be useful to both political and regional historians.'
Times Higher Education Supplement
`The chief value of Harvey's careful dissection of the local context and events of the rebellion is that it gives us a rare and valuable insight into this class in a county...'
S.J. Payling, The Ricardian
`Harvey has pieced the tale together in a convincing and coherent fashion. ... A scholarly work, clearly written, and based largely on manuscript sources, this book removes mystery and myth from the tale.'
'This volume provides valuable information on the landscape of Cade's rebellion; the portrait of that rebellion still remains unfinished. Oxford has produced an attractive book with useful maps and bibliography.'
James L. Gillespie, Notre Dame College of Ohio, American Historical Review, February 1993
'This book fills the most conspicuous gap in fifteenth-century English history. Dr Harvey provides by far the fullest account to date. She has amassed much new and fascinating detail and quotes tellingly from both the indictments and political poems. ... there is much material to stimulate others to draw their own conclusions. The foundations that Harvey has laid are sound. New avenues have opened for future research and, perhaps above all, for future
Michael Hicks, King Alfred's College, Winchester, History No. 252, February 1993
`Dr Harvey has produced both an authoritative narratvie of the events of summer 1450 and a great deal of useful information on other popular demonstrations in the period of 1449-61. A useful source of reference for the popular convulsions of Henry VI's last decade.'
English Historical Review
The south-east of England; The growth of discontent during the 1430s and 1440s; Crisis comes, 1449-1450; Cade's rebellion in Kent and Middlesex; Rebellion throughout southern England in 1450; Popular revolt during the 1450s; The outcome of Cade's rebellion; Appendix A: The Bills of Complaint of 1450; Appendix B: the Pardon Roll of July 1450; Select bibliography; Index