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5 March 2015

Remember the Cornish Rebels who marched on London

Today is St Piran's Day, the Cornish national day, which seems a fitting moment to remember a Cornish Army who once marched on London. A plaque on the outer wall of Greenwich Park, just to the east of Blackheath Gate entrance remembers Michael An Gof and Thomas Flamank, the leaders of the 1497 Cornish Rebellion. The Rebellion saw around 15,000 Cornishmen march from Cornwall to London in an uprising rooted in high taxation of tin miners. The rebels camped on Blackheath and by Deptford Bridge, before they were finally met by the King's forces at Deptford.

The battle is known as either the Battle of Deptford Bridge or the Battle of Blackheath, and this dichotomy is at the root of the rebels' loss, for the forces were split, with a group left guarding the river crossing at Deptford, whilst the rest camped on Blackheath. As the King's forces approached from central London, they met the isolated force at the Bridge first, and quickly defeated it. Once this had happened, with the rebels in disarray, the battle was all but over. Those left on the heath were soon defeated.

For more, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornish_Rebellion_of_1497

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