|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.
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 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.
|On the 7th December
William was taken to the ruins of the Abbey at
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
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
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.