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JOHN CADE (d. 1450)

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Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 928 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN CADE (d. 1450), commonly called JACK CADE, English rebel and leader of the rising of 1450, was probably an Irishman by birth, but the details of his early life are very scanty. He seems to have resided for a time in Sussex, to have fled from the country after committing a murder, and to have served in the French wars. Returning to England, he settled in Kent under the name of Aylmer and married a lady of good position. When the men of Kent rose in rebellion in May 1450, they were led by a man who took the name of Mortimer, and who has generally been regarded as identical with Cade. Mr James Gairdner, however, considers it probable that Cade did not take command of the rebels until after the skirmish at Sevenoaks on the 18th of June. At all events, it was Cade who led the insurgents from Blackheath to Southwark, and under him they made their way into London on the 3rd of July. A part of the populace was doubtless favourable to the rebels, but the opposing party gained strength when Cade and his men began to plunder. Having secured the execution of James Fiennes, Baron Say and Sele, and of William Crowmer, sheriff of Kent, Cade and his followers retired to Southwark, and on the 5th of July, after a fierce struggle on London Bridge, the citizens prevented them from re-entering the city. Cade then met the chancellor, John Kemp, archbishop of York, and William of Wayneflete, bishop of Winchester, and terms of peace were arranged. Pardons were drawn up, that for the leaders being in the name of Mortimer. Cade, however, retained some of his men, and at this time, or a day or two earlier, broke open the prisons in Southwark and released the prisoners, many of whom joined his band. Having collected some booty, he went to Rochester, made a futile attempt to capture Queenborough castle, and then quarrelled with his followers over some plunder. On the roth of July a proclamation was issued against him in the name of Cade, and a reward was offered for his apprehension. Escaping into Sussex he was captured at Heathfield on the 12th. During the scuffle he had been severely wounded, and on the day of his capture he died in the cart which was conveying him to London. The body was afterwards beheaded and quartered, and in 1451 Cade was attainted. See Robert Fabyan, The New Chronicles of England and France, edited by H. Ellis (London, 1811) ; William of Worcester, Annales rerum Anglicarum, edited by J. Stevenson, (London, 1864) ; An English Chronicle of the Reigns of Richard II., Henry IV., Henry V. and Henry VI., edited by J. S. Davies (London, 1856) ; Historical Collections of a Citizen ofLondon, edited by J. Gairdner (London, 1876) ; Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles, edited by J. Gairdner (London, 1880) ; J. Gairdner, Introduction to the Paston Letters (London, 1904) ; G. Kriehn, The English Rising of 1450 (Strassburg, 1892.)
End of Article: JOHN CADE (d. 1450)

Additional information and Comments

I like your article but one thing i have to disagree on was that Jack was indeed at the battle of sevenoaks. I honestly have no idea why you have written that he probably took command after the skirmish. So who's idea was it to enter that skirmish? Have a look at Jack's Manifesto and see another side to the story. Its not that i am trying to defend this past hero but everyone who writes about him in a small or large way either leaves out the good bits or slates him completely as though they were direct descendants to Henry ;)
This is a better perspective ;) Cade's rebellion demands English governmental reforms and restoration of power to Richard Plantagenet, 38, 3rd duke of York, who returns from Ireland and forces his way into the Council. Kentish rebel John (Jack) Cade rallies 30,000 small Kentish and Sussex landowners in May to protest oppressive taxation and corruption in the court of Henry VI, issuing a formal Complaint of the Poor Commons of Kent. Reviving the rebellious spirit of 1381, they defeat Henry's forces June 18 at Sevenoaks, enter London July 3, force the lord mayor and judges to pass a death sentence on Kent's sheriff and tax collector William Crowmer and on the hated Lord Saye-and-Sele, whose head is cut off in Cheapside and paraded through the streets on a pole. Cade tries to stop the killing, but the rebels grow violent, exact forced contributions to their cause, are denied readmission to the city, repulsed at London Bridge, and dispersed June 6 after the 70-year-old lord chancellor, Cardinal Kempe, promises pardons. Official sources claim that Cade is an Irishman who murdered a Sussex woman last year, fled abroad, and returned to work under the name John Aylmer; he learns at Rochester June 9 that the government has offered 1,000 marks for his capture dead or alive, he leaves 2 days later in disguise, but the sheriff of Sussex hunts him down and kills him July 12 at Heathfield. His body is taken to Southwark, quartered, and put on display around the country (see Wars of the Roses, 1455).
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