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Shakespeare's Henry IV lamented Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown'.
It was true of that king's reign and of many others before and after.
From Hereward the Wake's guerilla war, resisting the Norman invasion of William the Conqueror, through the Anarchy, the murder of Thomas Becket, the rebellions of Henry II's sons, the deposition of Edward II, the Peasants' Revolt and the rise of the over-mighty noble subject that led to the Wars of the Roses, kings throughout the medieval period came under threat from rebellions and resistance that sprang from the nobility, the Church and even the general population. Serious rebellions arrived on a regular cycle throughout the period, fracturing and transforming England into a nation to be reckoned with.
Matthew Lewis seeks to examine the causes behind the insurrections and how they influenced the development of England from the Norman Conquest until the Tudor period.
Each rebellion's importance and impact is assessed both individually and as part of a larger movement to examine how rebellions helped to build England.
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