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london, history and english

TYLER, Wat, English social reformer: b. Colchester, Essex; d. London, 1381. Nothing is known of his antecedents. There was serious cause for the rebellion which he headed, but like men of other ages he had ideas beyond his time, which he had imbibed from the teaching of a priest, John Ball (q.v.). The Insurgents demanded the abolition of serfdom and the poll-tax, a maximum rent of four pence per acre for all lands freed from monas tic or monarchial control, the right to buy and sell free from toll all over England, the aboli tion of the statutes of labor which favored land lords and master-craftsmen at the expense of the workingmen. There seems to have been a general spirit of discontent against all vested interests pervading the lower classes at the accession of Richard II city corporations, monastic landholders, chartered corporations of all sorts. The young king paltered with Tyler and made promises which he afterward broke and the rebel leader was stabbed to death by Walworthe, mayor of London. This insurrec

tion is an interesting incident in the history of the English people and cannot be treated as cavalierly as it used to be until about the middle of the 19th century when English historians be gan to apply themselves seriously to a study of their country's history as illustrated by original documents. Froissart and Walsingham deal un kindly and unfairly with Tyler, as might be ex since he opposed the clerics. Consult Trevelyan, 'England in the Age of Wycliffe' (1899) ; Powell, The Rising in East Anglia in 1381' (1896) ; Reville, (Souleveznent des travailleurs d'Angleterre en 1381' (Paris 1898) ; Hunt, W., and Poole, R. L., 'The Political History of England' (Vol. IV, London 1906); Oman, C., The Great Revolt of 138P (Ox ford 1906) ; Kriehm, George (in American His torical Review, Vol. VII, New York 1902).