Wat Tyler

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Tyler, Wat (d. 1381). The most famous leader of the Peasant's Revolt in 1381, Tyler was a man of obscure origins. He may have worked as a tiler in Essex; he was said to have served with Richard Lyons, a wealthy London merchant in France; some sources, almost certainly wrongly, identified him with another peasant leader, Jack Straw. He first emerged as a major leader in Kent at the end of the first week in June 1381, seizing Canterbury on 10 June and heading the march to London on the next day. On 15 June he was the spokesman at Smithfield. His demands were radical. The young king Richard II ordered the mayor, John Walworth, to arrest Tyler, and in a struggle he was killed. A man of eloquence, charisma, and courage, he achieved more in two weeks than many men in a lifetime.

Michael Prestwich

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Tyler, Wat (d.1381) English leader of the Peasants' Revolt. He was chosen as leader of the rebels in Kent, se England, and led their march on London. Tyler was killed by the Lord Mayor of London while parleying with Richard II.

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Wat Tyler. Opera in prol. and 2 acts by Alan Bush to lib. by Nancy Bush. Comp. 1948–50. Awarded prize in Fest. of Britain 1951 but not prod. in Eng. until 1974 (SW). F.p. East German Radio 1952, stage Leipzig 1953.

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