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Landscape, memory and protest in the midlands rising of 1607

McDonagh, Briony; Rodda, Joshua


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Professor Briony McDonagh
Interim Director of the Energy and Environment Institute & Professor of Environmental Humanities

Joshua Rodda


Carl J. Griffin


In the early summer of 1607, a large group of perhaps as many as a thousand men, women and children assembled at Newton (Northamptonshire) and began digging up hedges. The hedges surrounded enclosures recently put in place by the local landowner, Thomas Tresham of Newton, a cousin of the much more famous Sir Thomas Tresham of Rushton. Arriving at Newton on 8 June, the deputy-lieutenant of Northamptonshire, Sir Edward Montagu, twice read out a royal proclamation demanding the rioters disperse. When they did not, their forces charged the crowd. After initially putting up fierce resistance, the crowd fled as the mounted horsemen charged for the second time. Forty to fifty of the rioters were killed in the field and many more captured, some of whom were later to be executed and have their mutilated bodies displayed at Northampton, Oundle and other local towns. The events at Newton were the culmination of more than a month of unrest in parts of Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire, much of it focused on the issue of agrarian change – specifically the enclosure of common field arable land and its conversion to sheep pasture – and recorded either in government papers and letters or in subsequent court cases, many of them pursued in the court of Star Chamber.


McDonagh, B., & Rodda, J. (2018). Landscape, memory and protest in the midlands rising of 1607. In C. J. Griffin, & B. McDonagh (Eds.), Remembering Protest in Britain since 1500 (53-79). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan (part of Springer Nature).

Online Publication Date Jul 10, 2018
Publication Date Jul 9, 2018
Deposit Date Oct 6, 2020
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan (part of Springer Nature)
Pages 53-79
Book Title Remembering Protest in Britain since 1500
ISBN 9783319742427
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