This website is dedicated to the reception of John Ball, the (once) famous priest of the 1381 uprising usually known as the “Peasants’ Revolt”. This includes resources about the historical figure of John Ball and how he has been understood by friend and foe over the centuries. The website is designed to give an overview of John Ball and his reception with a focus on providing or pointing to open access resources for further study rather than extended critical analysis.

The website is run by James Crossley (professor of religion, politics, and culture) and based on his book, Spectres of John Ball: The “Peasants’ Revolt” in English Political History, 1381-2020 (Equinox, 2022) where the sources on this website (and many more in addition) are analysed in considerably more detail. The book also contains discussion of plenty more source material not included on this website.

To get in touch, please visit the Contact page.

Relevant Websites

John Ball Society, founded by David Grocott, has a website with further information about Ball and the society itself. The website also includes a PDF of Brian Bird, Colchester Rebel: A Short Study of John Ball (Colchester: John Ball Society, 1981)

The People of 1381 is an Arts and Humanities Research Council project led by Adrian Bell (Henley Business School) and includes leading scholars such as Anne Curry (University of Southampton), Helen Lacey (University of Oxford), Andrew Prescott (University of Glasgow), Herbert Eiden (Henley), and Helen Killick (Oxford).

Here Begynneth A Lytell Geste of Robin Hood… contains a number of contributions from Stephen Basdeo, particularly in relation to his book, The Life and Legend of a Rebel Leader: Wat Tyler (2018). The focus is on Wat Tyler but his reception history regularly overlaps with Ball’s.

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