Evil May Day (“The Chronicle of the Grey Friars”)

 Replica of the May Pole erected on May Days on Undershaft (until the practice was discontinued after the Evil May Day riots of 1517)

Replica of the May Pole erected on May Days on Undershaft (until the practice was discontinued after the Evil May Day riots of 1517)

May 1st –  On this day in 1517…..

Another in the occasional series on contemporary accounts of events in the history of London, this one of “Evil May Day” in 1517 from “The Chronicle of the Grey Friars”:

“Thys yere was yell [evil] May Day, that yong men and prentes of London rose in the nyght, and wolde have had James Mottas an owte-landych mane [foreigner] … slayne … , but he hyde hym in hys gotters in hys howse; and from thence they wente un to sent Martyns, and there spoyled the … shoppes; and thane rose the mayer and shreffes and wolde have cessyd them, but they cowed not.  … And iiij or v days after … , … at the last there were dyvers of them hongyd within the citte on gallos  … .  And within shorte space the kynge [Henry VIII] satte in Westmyster halle, and there was commandyd the … rest of them …  to come with halters abowte their neckes … to ask pardone, and soo a generall pardone was gevyne unto theme alle that came that tyme”.

2 - Explanatory plaque

Explanatory plaque

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s