An influential leader of the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, John Ball paid the ultimate price for his outspoken support for the common people. He was hung, drawn and quartered in front of King Richard II on 15 July 1381, according to the "Christian" laws then practised.
At the last major meeting of the Kentish rebels at Blackheath he preached his famous "communistic" sermon. "When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was then the Gentleman? From the beginning all men by nature were created alike, and our bondage or servitude came in by the unjust oppression of naughty men. For if God would have had any bondmen from the beginning, he would have appointed who should be bond, and who free. And therefore I exhort you to consider that now the time is come, appointed to us by God, in which ye may, if ye will, cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty."
William Morris in his Dream brings the past alive and takes us back to those heroic days when the labouring... More > poor stood up against the ruling landed aristocracy.< Less
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