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Kett's Rebellion in Wymondham

Wymondham town sign
The story of Kett's Rebellion is displayed on the town sign

Kett's Rebellion took place in the summer of 1549. It started off in Wymondham after a small group of peasants got together to protest against rich robber barons who had stolen the common land, leaving the peasants to starve.

Led by Robert Kett, the peasants marched 10 miles into Norwich and gathered on Mousehold Heath, attracting the support of the poorer people of Norwich.

Some 15,000 rebels eventually gathered and their pitched battles against government forces on the streets of Norwich led to a national crisis.

An army of 13,000 men commanded by the Earl of Warwick eventually forced the rebels back to the Heath.

The rebels then retreated further to an area outside of Norwich called Dussindale, but were caught up by the army of Warwick.

Hundreds of peasants were killed and 300 were captured and executed in the city. Kett himself was imprisoned and later hanged from the battlements of Norwich Castle.

An oak tree at which Kett and the rebels are said to have met before they marched on Norwich still stands by the B1172 road in Wymondham - a living memorial to the man once called traitor, now called hero.


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