The Black Death & Peasant’s Revolt

IN 1345 the bubonic plague of Asia broke out in Europe. During the next three years it swept across the Continent, reaching England in 1348. At least a third of the people alive at the time died amid fearful suffering and distress. It was a human disaster on a scale never known before in history.

The consequences of the plague were important and far-reaching. Labour became scarce, land was plentiful, prices rose; the old manorial system went into rapid decline. Among rural people, who formed most of the population, there were implanted bitter dis­contents. These found expression in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, when London lay at the mercy of the mob, and the whole of medieval society seemed in danger of collapse.