Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Newton Rebellion

In June 1607, a thousand peasants gathered here.  They were protesting against the landowners' enclosure of common land.  Forty of them were killed, and the leaders later hanged and quartered.  The body parts were displayed throughout Northamptonshire as a deterrent to others.

I drive round to my friend’s house – it’s the first time I’ve seen her since I returned from the States.  Today we’re going to take a short walk – the magical weather of March is threatening to break into serious April showers. I know we need the water, but it can wait a couple of hours.

We pass tiny Shetland ponies who nuzzle their gate in hope, but we have nothing to offer but photographs. 

An ancient dovecot, which must have provided many a good meal over the years, stands alone in a field.  

The old church is outside the village, and was the scene of a bloody episode in 1607.  Peasants rose up in protest as local landowners took the common land and enclosed it.  A thousand gathered and the landowners’ army killed forty

More were taken prisoner and held in the church.  The leaders were hanged and quartered, and the quarters displayed in towns across the county to warn others.

an old church
by a field with a dovecot
once not so peaceful


Chloe Greene said...

I love this.
Reminding us of our bloody past as you pass the church that now looks so peaceful.
Enclosure was a crime against the people.

aliqot said...

Thanks, Chloe. There's so much below the surface of our 'green and pleasant land'. Agree with you about enclosure.