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Jack Cades Rebellion

(1450AD )

Jack Cades Memorial in Cade Street Background
The Hundred Years war had provided need for the government to raise funds for the war effort, by increasing taxes. These taxes starting in the mid 13th century, and when Henry VI's government increased these taxes more, together with many corrupt local landowners requiring bribes, set the seeds for the rebellion.

In the summer of 1450 the men of Kent and Sussex led by Jack Cade, rebelled and marched on London. This was not just a peasant uprising, but was throughout the general populace. Local notables who were part of the uprising included the clerks of Dallington and Wartling , the rector of Mayfield and even the Prior of St Pancras in Lewes. The rebellion was widespread, and the men of Appledore and Frant were known to have been in the fighting.

The rebels met the Royalist forces near to Sevenoaks, and defeated them, and stormed London, only just failing to take the Tower of London. The Lord Treasurer, Sir James Fiennes and the Archbishop of Canterbury were beheaded by the rebels, and their heads were placed on poles kissing each other. The Royalist forces regrouped and fought the rebels until both sides were exhausted. A truce was called, and Cade presented a long list of complaints, including the following.
If anyone wishes to see the King, they have to pay bribes.
The King owes significant debts to many merchants and will not pay.
Land and goods in Kent are taken by the Kings Servants without payment.
Bribery and corruption is the normal way for Judges and Sheriffs to operate.
Taxation is too high, and unfair.
The people want free elections
Being assured by the Royalist leaders that his demands would be met, and that the rebels would be pardoned, Cade handed over the list of rebels, and the rebels went back to their fields, where the harvest was waiting. Outcome
Cades army declining in size, and the demands not having been agreed by either Parliament or the King, made his position insecure. The King demanded his arrest, and Cade fled to the Weald. He was hunted down by Alexander Iden , the Sheriff of Kent, who caught up with Cade near Heathfield at a hamlet now called Cade Street .
Cade was injured and died on the way to London, and his body was hung drawn and quatered, and his head fixed on a pole on London Bridge.
Although the rebels demands wern't met, in general with the exception of the ringleaders, the pardon was kept. The ringleaders were all killed, and their dismembered bodies distributed around the country as a warning to other would be rebels.

Comments on Jack Cade by Alfred Rogers formerly of Punnetts Town
(Many thanks Alfred, it is always good to review history)

As a lad, I was intrigued by the monument to Jack Cade at Cade Street, but it always puzzled me that the Sheriff of KENT should have overstepped his authority to the extent of trespassing into the County of Sussex by some ten miles (at least).

It was later suggested that there was a string of events that had taken place in the middle of the eighteenth century. An historical society decided that the taking of Jack Cade should be commemorated in stone and a firm of memorial masons was employed to do the job. Now comes the query - for it was disputed that Cade was apprehended near Heathfield in Sussex, but rather at Hothfield near Ashford in Kent. - Was the place of erection of the memorial the correct one?

Those who queried the name of Cade Street pointed to the fact that even in
Anglo-Saxon times the village existed, being known as Catte Street. This
could easily have led to a mistake by those who erected the memorial if they had read Hothfield as Heathfield.

Further information provided by GDOC

In the 1970s the farm manager at Rippers Cross Farm in Hothfield Kent stated that one possible explanation of the name of the farm was that it was the site of the killing of Jack Cade

Villages Referenced

Appledore  -   (Danes invade England)
Boughton Monchelsea  -   (Miraculous vision)
Cade Street  -   (Jack Cade and the Kentish rebellion)
Chiddingstone  -   (A perfect Tudor village)
Cranbrook  -   (Christmas Cards and Union Mill)
Fletching  -   (Simon de Montfort and Jack Cade)
Frant  -   (King Johns hunting lodge)
Friston  -   (Home of the Railway Children)
Goudhurst  -   (Smugglers, Iron and Forests)
Hawkhurst  -   (A Notorious Gang of Smugglers)
Heathfield  -   (19th Century Natural Gas)
Iden  -   (Sheriff of Kent and Jack Cade)
Kilndown  -   (Charcoal for the Furnace)
Linton  -   (Cavalier loses House)
Northiam  -   (Prime Ministers D Day inspection)
Rotherfield  -   (Source of the rivers Rother and Uck)
Warehorne  -   (A good place to explore the Marshes)
West Dean  -   (Alfred the Great's Palace)
Westerham  -   (James Wolfe captures Quebec)

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