Robert Kett's Rebellion
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The year is 1549 on the throne of England sits the boy king, King Edward IV.  Persuaded by his mothers brother 'The Protector'  King Edward implements an act that makes it legal for landowners to fence off common land.  This resulted in the poor of England being unable to farm, gather wood or graze their animals on this land.  

In the town of Wymondham  some 12 miles from Norwich a man in his fifties Robert Kett a local landowner decided to champion the poor of Norfolks cause.  He with his followers assembled at what is now known as 'Ketts Oak' on the outskirts of Wymondham on 9th July 1549.  

Men, women and children with Robert Kett at their head decided to march on the city of Norwich, which at that time was Englands second city, to demand justice.

As they marched their numbers grew considerably so that by the time they reached Norwich, they were quite a sizeable force.  The officials in Norwich refused them entry into the city so they set up camp on Mousehold Heath overlooking the city.For Norfolk or Suffolk
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Moushold Heath at that time was much bigger than it is today, the centre of Kett's camp was around the ruins of St. Michaels chapel on a steep hillside now called Kett's Heights.

A number of officials were sent from the city to parley and to try to get the peasant army to go away.  One official received the rebels response with a young boy lowering his breeches and exposing his backside.

Kett's rebels had managed to get their hands on a single cannon on 22nd July with the aid of the cannon they damaged the gate tower on Bishop Bridge and also to hit Cow Tower setting it on fire.  Now according to one account of this tale that I came across, after a short bombardment two of Ketts followers approached the gates of Norwich and amazingly asked if they could have a truce.  So that the rebel army could nip into the city and shop for provisions as they had not had breakfast, they were refused!.  How true this part of the story is I cannot say but it certainly makes an interesting twist to the tale.If you want to
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The battle recommenced.  After initially being repulsed the rebels stormed the area around Bishops bridge and broke into the city along Bishopsgate. They took control of the city and for one month Ketts and his army held Norwich.

The Kings army tried to retake the city at the end of July, during the battle Lord Sheffield was dragged from his horse by the wall of St. Martins and was clubbed to death.  24th August another royal army led by Dudley the Earl of Warwick arrived with a force of ten thousand plus over one thousand highly trained, battle hardened German mercenaries.  Warwick offered the rebels the choice of surrender and amnesty or massacre, the rebels rejected his offer. 
By the evening Warwick had control of the city. 

Forty-nine rebels were immediately hanged.  So great were their number that the ladders to the gallows broke.  The bodies were buried unceremoniously in unmarked mass graves.  Robert Ketts managed to escape the battlefield but was later captured. On the 9th September Robert Ketts and his brother William were both taken to London and imprisoned in the tower.  During November t hey were tried and found guilty of treason.  It was decided that they would be taken back to Norfolk for their death sentences to be carried out.   Robert Kett arrived back in Norwich city on 1st December 1549 where he was imprisoned in the vaults of the Guildhall. 
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                Information - Click the Location Link.On the 7th December  William was taken to the ruins of the Abbey at Wymondham.  

There from the west tower he was hung.  Ironically William had been the one responsible for saving the remaining ruins of Wymondham Abbey from further destruction after the Dissolution of the Monasteries.  

On the same day of his brother's execution Robert Kett was dragged from his prison in the vaults of the Guildhall and paraded in chains through the streets of the city to Norwich Castle. 

There he was hoisted by the neck to the gibbet that had been mounted on the battlements.

Here he was hanged and his body left 'until he shold fall down of his own accord'. 

Which I sure needs no explanation.

Nosey Parker - Matthew Parker who was born in Norwich and whose parents are buried in St. Peter Mancroft church also tried to intervene with the rebels.  Parker was chaplin to Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII.  He was with Anne during her final days and was with her just before her execution.  He went on to become the archbishop of Canterbury during Elizabeth the First's reign.  A fanatical protestant he would delve into the affairs of others thus earning him the nickname Nosey Parker. Which according to legend is where the nickname still used today came from.

But back to 1549, Kett's men did not appreciate 'Nosey Parkers' intervention and he was lucky to escape with his life.  He managed to do this by distracting the rabble by holding a service and whilst it was going on slipping discreetly away.