Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

The Littleport Riot 1816

The BBC News website has a report about the commemoration of the Littleport Riot near Ely in 1816.

This was one of the post Waterloo disturbances arising in part from the economic changes of the times and post-war dislocation. The report can be seen at:  Littleport's hunger riots: Descendants mark 200th anniversary

Reading it I was tempted to see parallels with some of the East Anglian events of 1381 in the Peasants Revolt - not just in that there were disturbances caused by several different issues but also seeing it as part of an East Anglian tradition of independent minded people who were perhaps instinctively more likely to rise in protest than those in other regions. Think of 1549 and the English Civil War. But then again, the sixteenth, and indeed, seventeenth century South West was also a potential trouble spot with risings in the time of Henry VII, in 1549 and in 1685. Regional traditions and folk memories should not be discounted.

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