28 June 1497 – Lord Audley

You met the two men hanged, drawn and quartered cohorts yesterday – William An Gof and Thomas Flamank. Now let us introduce you to Lord Audley, one of a trio of leaders who took the First Cornish Rebellion to London in 1497.

Disgruntled by crippling taxation, the people of Cornwall and the West Country mobilised and began marching on London in an uprising that garnered support as it progressed.

Tuchet away

That’s how Audley hooked up en route with the people’s army – there was solid support and it seemed like a good time to strike. Henry VII’s tenuous claim to the throne was pretty precarious in the early days, plus he was diverted by a war in Scotland, so maybe he wouldn’t have been able to cope with battles on two fronts. That was the thinking.

But how did a lord get involved with what was predominantly a people’s battle?

Born in Staffordshire, the 7th Lord was actually called Sir James Tuchet. He was down in Somerset when he got wind of the uprising; word had spread fast and more and more supporters were joining such a popular cause every day. All too happily he too joined the ranks as a commander and together they marched up through Guildford, bound for Blackheath.

Over and out

There the West Country army was hoping to get some shut-eye before the big confrontation with Henry’s troops in London. But Henry was ready for them. Indeed the yokels caught sight of the awe-inspiring rival troops and a third of them legged it back home leaving a well-matched 10,000 versus 10,000.

Sadly it wasn’t merely a numbers’ game – Henry’s army had proper gear. They were kitted up for this kind of thing – after all, this was their job. Their rivals on the other comprised Ben the butcher, Jim the joiner – ok so we’ve made up the names, but you get the drift? These men had no training in warfare. All they’d come equipped with was the courage of their convictions and a motley collection of parochial tools and weapons – no match for the armoury of the English army.

Needless to say the Cornishmen found themselves surrounded and the battle of Deptford was over before it had even begun.

Diss Audley

Audley was arrested on the battlefield, and like An Gof and Flamank, he was charged with treason, tried on 26 June 1497 and sentenced to death.

However, as blue-blooded nobility goes, his was a beheading as opposed to the commoners’ hanging, drawing and quartering. And on this day, Audley was taken from Newgate to Tower Hill where he had his head lopped off, aged roughly 34.

Bookmark this site
del.icio.us | digg | facebook | reddit | StumbleUpon


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: