Unrest in the Shires
Wheat field landscapeYears of bad harvests have led to real poverty in the Midlands, and in their frustration the starving and the needy have flared up in scenes of sporadic violence. The targets for the protestors' anger are the wealthy landlords who they see as profiting while the poor starve. A mass protest of 3,000 rebels gathers at Hill Morton in Warwickshire. Later, in Northamptonshire, a protest of between 2,000 and 3,000 people is easily crushed by a private army of landowners and local justices of the peace. Fifty die in the action, and the leaders of the protest are hanged, drawn and quartered as an example.