Community Charge – AKA the Poll Tax

T-shirt

31 March 1990 A Trafalgar Square riot after a 200,000-strong protest against the Community Charge – AKA the Poll Tax – prompted the downfall of prime minister Margaret Thatcher in November that year. Millions across the UK refused to pay the tax, causing the local councils that collected it cash-flow …

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Other tax rebellions

tax forms

The British tend to rebel over the issue of tax. Tactics have included non-payment, riots, armed mobs and even murder. And the rebellions have often led to changes in government – and even to the US war of independence (“No taxation without representation”). Five examples are: The Peasants’ Revolt of …

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Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology

winged horse

Pegasus was a winged horse of Greek mythology. He was the son of Medusa, the Gorgon, and Poseidon, the god of the sea and of horses. His name comes from the Greek pagai, meaning springs or waters. When Perseus cut the head off the pregnant Medusa, Pegasus sprang from her …

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Trojan horse, used by Greeks in war with Troy

wooden horse

The Trojan horse was a Greek horse used to fool the Trojans around 1250BC. Ulysses freed Queen Helen of Sparta from Prince Paris of Troy by building a hollow wooden horse and hiding in it. The goddess Athene gave Ulysses the plan to help end the ten-year war between Greece …

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Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

London Calling

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse appear in the last book of the New Testament of the Bible, Revelation. When Jesus breaks seven seals on a scroll given to him by God, the first four seals release four horseman that the Bible predicts will lead to apocalypse. They are traditionally …

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Caligula’s horse Incitatus, made a Roman senator

statue of man on horse

Reign 12-41AD Roman emperor Caligula’s most famous action was to make his favourite horse, Incitatus, a senator – like a member of Parliament (MP) in the UK. He silenced objections with threats of death and forced suicide. He had the horse sworn in and gave it a wife – a …

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Horses in history and legend

white horse

The horse has been such an important animal to man that it appears in many stories from our past, not just Aethenot, the horse ridden by the naked Lady Godiva. Five examples are: Pegasus The Trojan Horse The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Caligula’s Horse Catherine the Great Horses: Pegasus …

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Who’s who?

The players in this story are: Lady Godiva – the naked horse riding tax protester Leofric – Godiva’s husband Peeping Tom – the man who looked Canute – the king who spent all the tax

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Godiva’s naked horse ride tax protest

Godiva statue

Lady Godiva’s naked Coventry horse ride at midday on market day 1035AD – watched by Peeping Tom – stopped her husband Leofric collecting King Canute’s Heregeld tax. Leofric dared Godiva to ride naked because the Greek and Roman paintings she loved included nudes. Ranulf Higden’s Polychronicon (1257) – and an …

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