Jack Cade, d. 1450, English rebel. Of his life very little is known. He may have been of Irish birth; some of his followers called him John Mortimer and claimed he was a cousin of Richard, duke of York. In 1450 he appeared as the leader of a well-organized uprising in the S of England, principally in Kent, usually known as Jack Cade's Rebellion. The protests were mainly political, not social, although the 14th-century Statute of Labourers (which attempted to freeze wages and prices) was among the grievances. Others were the loss of royal lands in France, the extravagance of the court, the corruption of the royal favorites, and the breakdown of the administration of justice. The rebels defeated the royal army at Sevenoaks, entered London, executed Lord Saye and Sele (who was blamed for the losses in France), and sacked several houses. The government then offered pardon to Cade's men and so dispersed them. Cade himself was mortally wounded while resisting arrest.
See E. N. Simons, Lord of London (1963).
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