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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Christian Liddy

Liddy, C. (2003). Urban conflict in late fourteenth-century England: the case of York in 1380-1. English Historical Review 118(475): 1-32.

Author(s) from Durham


This article examines the causes of the serious disturbances in the city of York, which came to the attention of the Crown during a meeting of Parliament at Northampton in the autumn of 1380. On 26 November 1380, the Crown was told, the commons of York rose up and forced the mayor, John de Gisburn, to flee the city, before besieging the guildhall and compelling another member of the civic elite, Simon de Quixley, to be their mayor. Further unrest followed, particularly around the time of the Peasants' Revolt. The disorder in York has proved difficult to interpret because historians have approached it primarily in terms of local issues and local factions. In fact, the conflict in York in 1380-1 can be best understood in the context of the city's financial and political relations with the Crown in the period after the renewal of the Hundred Years War in 1369. Approaching the city's internal politics from this national perspective suggests that the disturbances in York of 1380-1 had much more in common with the uprisings which took place in other parts of England at this time.