Friday Fact: Richard II and the Peasants’ Revolt

King Richard II faced down the entire Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 at the age of 14. 

In a meeting with the Revolt’s leader, Wat Tyler, he allegedly promised to provide the poor of England equal rights to the landed nobles. However, before the meeting ended Wat Tyler was killed during a scuffle with the King’s entourage. The rest of the revolters were outraged and prepared to sack London. 

King Richard rode out to the angry crowd and instructed them to follow him. And they did just that. 

It just goes to show, the threat of violence can be ended with peaceful words.  

Unfortunately, having defused the situation, King Richard decided to have all the leaders of the revolt executed and the rest dispersed back to the countryside from whence they came… 

Well, it was nearly a good story…

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