No Wonder the Peasant’s Turned on Simon Sudbury during the Peasan’ts Revolt of 1381

From this recent reconstruction of his face he doesn’t look like the most pleasant of characters does he! Over-fed and arrogant are characteristics that spring to mind in fact. You can read more about the reconstruction over on the BBC website.

Simon Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury when he met his violent death during the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381, was just one of the high profile figures who met their end during the uprising. As well as being Archbishop he was also Chancellor of England and seen by many of the peasants as one of the principal instigators of the dreaded poll tax.

Here’s what happened to him and his body afterwards (from Wikipedia):

Sudbury was dragged to Tower Hill and, on 14 June 1381, was beheaded. His body was afterwards buried in Canterbury Cathedral, though his head (after being taken down from London Bridge) is still kept at the church of St Gregory at Sudbury in Suffolk, which Sudbury partly rebuilt.


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One thought on “No Wonder the Peasant’s Turned on Simon Sudbury during the Peasan’ts Revolt of 1381”

  1. The reconstruction of Simon Sudbury Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of England is a miracle of modern pathology and it beings to life the man who was at the heart of the Peasants Revolt.

    Simon was a wronged man. His parishioners in London demanded that the Pope leave him in his parish as he was such a saint. He rebuilt the lepers hospital, gave his house over to the poor and for a school and priest house, rebuilt the church, and was revered by the majority of people. He was the figure of hatred because they wanted someone to blame for the Poll Tax.

    The Poll Tax was unfair, but it was not just introduced by Simon Sudbury it was introduced by the nobles and he was the fall guy as Richard II, a teenager at the time, panicked and rather than allow himself to be the aim of the mob hatred, he sacrificed his tutor to the mob. It is today believed that Simon awaited those who came for at least a day as he knew they would come for him and he was a willing victim, a holy martyr, and he was also said to be light on heretics, a rare thing for those days.

    I wish there was a book on Simon Sudbury, I think he led a remarkable life and was a remarkable and talented man. What he looks like cannot decide what his character was but it can reveal his soul in some ways and I think he looks troubled and under a great strain. Thanks for revealing his face.

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