Liston: Move to mark village’s links to bloody uprising
12:00 20 June 2014
The sleepy west Suffolk village of Liston hardly seems like the ideal location for a bloody revolt. But around 630 years ago, the area would have been awash with angry locals protesting about an increase in taxes.
When local historian Darren Clarke started investigating the history of the village, near Long Melford, he found that the population had shrunk dramatically in the 1300s.
He discovered this was down to the Peasants’ Revolt or Great Rising as it is also known.
Along with a group of enthusiasts, Mr Clarke is now on a mission to get a monument erected near the church to mark Liston’s involvement in the major uprising, which was sparked by the Government’s attempts to collect unpaid poll taxes.
At the time, Simon Sudbury was the Archbishop of Canterbury and the government’s most senior official, so the insurgent peasants regarded him as one of the principal authors of their woes.
Mr Clarke said: “Once I looked into it, I realised how important the Peasant’s Revolt was in our area and Liston was the first place where men from this area gathered to join the uprising.
“Cheered by the news that great swathes of Essex and Kent were openly resisting the government, crowds of locals assembled at Liston on June 12, 1381. In the small village they destroyed the manor of Richard Lyons, a rich London Merchant with a dubious history of corruption allegations.
“In a lot of other places where events happened, there are monuments and we believe Liston should have something to show for its involvement in this important uprising.”
Villagers who are pushing for a monument recently undertook a 3.2-mile walk across the fields retracing the steps the protestors would have taken.
Mr Clarke added: “We are confident we can get the funding to get the monument up by next year and we intend to make the walk an annual event complete with medieval costumes.”