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People of 1381 research team to 'live tweet' Peasants’ Revolt


To mark the 640th anniversary of the Peasants' Revolt, the team behind the ongoing People of 1381 research project will be live tweeting events from the revolt and its aftermath over the next six months.

The research project led by Professor Adrian Bell from Henley Business School, University of Reading, is aiming to uncover the stories behind the rebels, victims and establishment during the 14th century revolt.

Famously reacting to the third poll tax in four years in an attempt to fund England’s continuing war with France, the rebellion had early successes before being crushed by the government.

Beginning on Saturday 22 May, these events will be retold live via the team’s Twitter account @peopleof1381 using the hashtag #reliving1381.

Professor Adrian Bell, Research Dean and Chair in the History of Finance at Henley Business School, said:

“By using social media to retell the events of the Peasant’s Revolt as though it were happening live, we hope to engage a wide audience who may not already be familiar with this period in history, and that they continue to follow our research as it progresses. We also hope that we do not inspire an Orson Welles-type War of the Worlds response!”

Later this year the project team plans to release a public-facing database containing information about participants – they currently have over 6,500 names – incidents and locations from the revolt.

An outdoor exhibition about the research is set to feature at the Estuary Festival this month and there are plans to dramatise the rising with the playwright Poppy Corbett and the Department of Film, Theatre and Television at the University of Reading.

On the actual anniversary of the rebels' meeting with the King at Smithfield, the team will give a public webinar on London and the Peasants Revolt, thanks to the Worshipful Company of Fletchers, which is celebrating its 650th anniversary this year.

The three-year project, which has featured on the cover of BBC History Magazine and on the History Extra podcast this month, is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The cross-disciplinary, multi-institutional undertaking brings together academics from the Universities of Reading, Glasgow, Oxford and Southampton.

Find out more and follow the live tweets by visiting the People of 1381 on Twitter.

Professor Adrian Bell

Research Dean, Prosperity and Resilience
Published 19 May 2021
Henley news

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