Consequences of the Peasants' Revolt

  • Richard did not keep his promises. Serfdom was not abolished. Royal armies put down the revolts. Hundreds of rebels were hanged, including John Ball.
  • Some historians believe that the revolt made Richard proud and over-confident, and that it made him rule in a way which led to his fall in 1399.
  • The rebellion had frightened the rich, and made them realise that they could not push the poor too far. No government collected a Poll Tax until 1990.
  • The government was angry at the role of John Ball, the priest who belonged to a group of Christians called the Lollards, who challenged the power of the Church. For the next century the government persecuted the Lollards because they were seen as linked to rebellion.
  • William Walworth became a hero in London and the star of local pageants. Wat Tyler and Jack Straw, too, became the heroes of a number of popular stories and poems.
  • Over the following 50 years the demands of the peasants were largely met, even if they were on the king’s conditions. Peasants could work for more money and slowly gained more freedoms from their lords to work where they pleased and make more of their own choices such as who to marry.
John Ball leads the rebels
John Ball leads the rebels