August 27 – Kett’s Rebellion is over

On this day in Tudor history, 27th August 1549, in the reign of King Edward VI, Crown forces defeated the rebels of Kett’s Rebellion at the Battle of Dussindale, near Norwich, in East Anglia. It brought the rebellion to an end.

Let me explain what happened on that day in 1549 and what happened to the rebels who survived the battle…


On this day in Tudor history, 27th August 1549, the Battle of Dussindale took place, ending Kett’s Rebellion in Norfolk. If you haven’t heard of this rebellion then do listen to my talk from 25th August – where I give you an overview of this rebellion, which was against illegal enclosure of common land, what the rebels perceived as bad government, and also bad priests.

Back to the battle…

The mercenaries that John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, had received on 26th August 1549 forced Kett and his rebels to move from Mousehold to the valley of Dussindale by cutting off their supply lines. It was in this valley – the actual location is not known – that a bloody battle took place on 27th August 1549. There were heavy losses on both sides, with reports ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 rebels being killed. Warwick was victorious, and the rebellion was over.

Rebel leader Robert Kett fled the battle scene, but was captured the following day at the nearby village of Swannington. He and his brother, William, were imprisoned in the Tower of London and then tried for treason. They were both found guilty and were hanged on 7th December 1549; Robert at Norwich Castle and William at Wymondham Abbey.

On 28th August 1549, rebels who had been captured during the battle were hanged at the Oak of Reformation, the tree where the rebels had previously gathered for prayer, and outside the Magdalen Gate, Norwich.

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