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Nicholson, Helen Jane (2008)
Publisher: Ashgate
Languages: English
Types: Part of book or chapter of book
Subjects: BR, D111, JN, JN101, DA
On the evening of Thursday 13 June 1381 a large armed band broke into the Hospitallers’ priory at Clerkenwell and set it and the many houses around it on fire, beheaded several people and plundered documents, goods and money from the house. The leader of this band was one Thomas Farndon or Farringdon of London, who had been one of the leaders of the rebels. After sacking Clerkenwell priory, Farndon and other rebels spent the night drawing up a ‘black list’ of those in the government that they wanted dead. On Friday 14 June Jack Straw and other rebels, including some of those who had attacked Clerkenwell, burned down Highbury Manor, the property of the prior of the Hospital in England, and looted it. Farndon and his associates then went to the Tower of London, where they seized the chancellor Archbishop Simon Sudbury of Canterbury (the chancellor of England), the treasurer Robert Hales prior of the Hospital in England (treasurer of England), John Cavendish the chief justiciar and other leading royal officials, marched them out to Tower Hill and beheaded them. This article examines why Robert Hales and the Hospitallers became the target of the angry 'peasants' in 1381. It concludes that the Hospital as a religious order and a landowner, alongside other religious orders and landowners, and because of its role as a sort of government financial office. Hales, however, was thoroughly hated; and this article examines why this was so.
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    • 26 For the government of the young Richard, Nigel Saul, Richard II (New Haven and London, 1997), 27-32, 44-52, 58.
    • 27 PRO, KB 145/3/6/1, unnumbered membranes: hearings in Essex; Prescott, 115. A Hundred was an administrative division of a shire.
    • 28 PRO, KB 145/3/5/1, unnumbered membranes: Richard Mory of Essex, serviens of the prior, John Webbe, serviens and palefridarius of the prior and Thomas Notman; Prescott, 207.
    • 29 Anonimalle Chronicle, 139.
    • 30 W. J. Loftie, A History of London, 2 vols, (2nd edn., London, 1884), i, 159, 201; ii, 308, 395; see also Reville, p. lxxii; Dobson, 213. Thomas Farndon's father was of illegitimate birth, and Thomas had recently lost two lawsuits 'one certainly, and the other possibly' because of this: Ruth Bird, The Turbulent London of Richard II (London, 1949), 54 and n. 3. Perhaps this was also the origin of his problems with the Hospital.
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