The Commotion Time

Tudor Rebellions of 1549

E.T. Fox

A military history of the armies and campaigns of the Norfolk and Western rebellions of 1549
Publication date:
September 2020
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Retinue to Regiment
Illustration :
32 b/w ills & photos, 11 maps, numerous tables
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781913118792

Dimensions : 248 X 180 mm
This book is available


• The 1549 battles are unique in English military history for their contrast of ‘medieval' rebel armies opposed to ‘modern' government forces
• Fewer than a dozen battles occurred in England in the 16th century, at least half of them in 1549
• This is the first attempt to explore the military history of the 1549 rebellions in any depth

In 1549 two major rebellions and several minor uprising occurred spontaneously throughout England. In East Anglia Robert Kett, aggrieved at the abuses of enclosure, laid siege to Norwich until defeated by Royal forces at the bloody battle of Dussindale. At the same time, thousands of commoners of Devon and Cornwall rose up against the introduction of the English-language Book of Common Prayer and the systematic destruction of their traditional faith. Like Norwich, Exeter was besieged throughout the long summer until, in a brutal campaign by government forces and hired foreign mercenaries, the rebellion was finally suppressed.

Previous histories of the rebellions of 1549 have explored their causes in great depth, but little attention has been given to the military history of the campaigns. Yet the mid-Tudor period rests on the cusp between a medieval form of warfare and the new emerging ideas that defined warfare in the early-modern period, making the battles of 1549 of crucial importance in understanding the transition between the two. In this book Dr E.T. Fox explores how the ‘medieval' rebels of the Devon and Cornwall militias fared against the German pikemen and Italian arquebusiers the government sent against them.


The author writes very well, and has used contemporary archives and muster rolls to give a convincing picture of likely troops and engagements, supported by useful battlefield sketches and photos and set within a full profile of the social, economic and religious background.
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