189 lect ?irewood, hunt small game, etc.21 Regardless, the cases which were punished in eastern Kent reveal an attempt to use violence against objects, coupled with a rejection of violence against people (poor Tebbe potentially notwithstanding, depending on how far we accept his death as separate to the rebellion). More importantly, this violence was instrumental: The rebels saw something about the world they did not like, and they destroyed the things that underpinned it. In doing so, they targeted objects over humans. Looking at how rare fatality seems to have been during the Kentish summer phase of the uprising, I suspect that, like Einarr Þorgilsson's men in Sturlu saga, it was not only that they did not have orders to kill. They had orders not to kill. After all, insubordination in any sizeable organisation tends to be perpetrated by a minority of people receiving orders, and then by rogue individuals before whole groups. Contrary to the dodgy charge concerning a plot to behead William Medmenham, the killer Henry Whyte was the rebel disobeying commands, not all the men of Thanet who spared William. I am tempted to attribute the relative bloodlessness of our Kentish example to 1) the rebels there being focussed on their goals: They hated paperwork, whether universally or speci?ic local documents, and their attention towards destroying it rendered violence against individual bureaucrats super?luous, 2) Incipient Christian paci?ist trends in the Lollard strain of the 1381 rising. This second explanation is more controversial. After all, violence against objects is still violence. However, I am not suggesting that the prosecuted Kentish rebels were beati?ic, gentle souls. Rather, it is known that there was a Lollard element to the English Peasant's Revolt, even if it was not the dominant element.22 Lollardy included a distaste for bloodshed as part of its social agitation.23 As the Lollards' Twelve Conclusions (1395) put it: “manslaute be batayle or pretense lawe of rythwysnesse for temporal cause or spirituel with outen special reuelaciun is expres contrarius to þe newe testment, þe qwiche is a lawe of grace and ful of mercy”.24 Indeed, Cohn notes that non-fatal protest was known in the Middle Ages, albeit as a marginal trend.25 Lollard paci?ism in 1381 was probably grudging, but present as one strand in the ideological tapestry of the rising. The case of William Medmenham, like others who saw their documents burnt but were deliberately allowed to live to tell the tale, is arguably the case we have seen which strikes the best balance between mercy and revolutionary effectiveness. 21 Justice: Writing and Rebellion, 41, 46-47; Mauntel: 'Charters', esp. 96; Ormrod: 'Government', 14-15. 22 Hilton: Bond Men, 212-213; Aston: 'Corpus Christi', esp. 35-47. 23 Lowe: 'Schole of Christ'; Aston: 'Lollardy', 7-8; Ormrod: 'Knights of Venus', 300 n7. 24 Cronin (ed.): 'Twelve Conclusions', 302. 25 Cohn: Lust for Liberty, 4-5.
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