On 14 June 1381, at the height of the Peasants’ Revolt, a mob of several hundred peasants advanced on the Tower of London. They were looking for King Richard II’s advisers, particularly Simon of Sudbury, the Archbishop of Canterbury. They blamed him for the outrageous new poll tax that had recently been imposed on them.
Knowing that the peasants would show him no mercy, the Archbishop hurried to Traitors’ Gate (see Question 23 for an inside view of the gate). He was hoping to escape by water before the peasants arrived.
Unfortunately for the Archbishop, he was spotted by a peasant woman, who raised the alarm. The Archbishop abandoned his escape attempt and hurried back into the Tower.
HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 41. The Archbishop of Canterbury sought sanctuary after abandoning his attempt to escape from the Tower. Where ?
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