Midland Revolt (1607)

"You drive us starving into ditches and by-ways with your fences and your hedges!"

From Tudor times onwards, landowners used Acts of Parliament to justify the building of fences and planting of hedges round land they considered to be their own and the cry of "get off my land" was heard nationwide. Prior to enclosure common people had always used common land and "wastes" to graze their animals and to collect wood for their fires.

There had been almost continuous rebellion against this process - including Kett's Rebellion which started in Norfolk in 1549. Robert Kett himself owned the manor of Wymondham but he had previously been a tanner and he sided with those who were being deprived of their livelihoods though the process of enclosure. When the rebellion was crushed by the Earl of Warwick (himself a major landowner) and 14,000 men, Kett was tortured and hanged - his hanging was slow and dragged out over four days so the people of Norwich would "learn a lesson."

The Earl of Warwick (John Dudley) was later executed by Queen Mary for an unrelated matter - treason.

The Midland Revolt against enclosures began in 1607 in Haslebach, Northamptonshire and quickly spread under the leadership of John Reynolds, "Captain Pouch".

The particularly greedy enclosures by the Treshams of Rushton and Newton in Northamptonshire, led to the Newton Rebellion when thousands of common people pulled down fences and destroyed hedges.

Edward Montagu, 1st Baron Montagu of Boughton, was called upon to suppress the rioters and on 8th June, 1607 a pitched battle took place and between 40 and 50 people were killed. The leaders of the revolt were then hung, drawn and quartered so others would "learn a lesson".

The Montagu family went on to become the Dukes of Buccleuch - still one of the largest landowners in the United Kingdom.

What's this got to do with Trusley?

The answer is "we don't know." We don't have the history.

Was the village of Osleston abandoned after the Black Death? What was the relationship between landowners and workers in Trusley in the 14th century? Did agricultural wages rise locally because of shortage of labour? Was there tension between local landowners and agricultural workers? Did the Peasant's Revolt spread to Derbyshire and even Trusley? Were there repercussions locally after 1381? Did the common people of Trusley object to local enclosures?

Trusley may be small and very quiet but it can't have been totally bypassed by the waves of change that have swept through the countryside over the centuries.