Jack Cade’s Revolt and Sanctuary: Beheading at the Tabard Inn

In 1450, popular dissatisfaction with local corruption and the rule of Henry VI erupted in an uprising known as Jack Cade’s revolt – which had a couple of sanctuary incidents, including one relating to a famous tavern.

An anonymous chronicle recounts that a certain Richard Haywarden was beheaded during the revolt at the Tabard Inn in Southwark, having “come there from the sanctuary of St. Martin le Grand.” Was he joining the rebels or just caught in the crossfire?


The Tabard is now famous as the inn from which Chaucer’s pilgrims set out on their voyage to Canterbury. Was it famed in 1450 for the same reason? Did it have autographed headshots of the Prioress and the Summoner and Alisoun on its walls?

Six Town Chronicles, 106.

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