Lady Godiva stopped Leofric’s Heregeld collection for King Canute

old coins

Lady Godiva’s naked horse ride stopped her husband Leofric collecting the Heregeld tax for King Canute, according to Ranulph Higden’s Polychronicon (1257) and an inquiry by Edward I. Both investigations found that all tax collection in Coventry stopped, except for taxes on horses. The first telling of the Godiva story, …

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Peasants’ Revolt: Wat Tyler and Richard II’s Poll Tax

Man on horse and rebels

June 1381 Peasants from across the south-east, led by Wat Tyler from Kent, stormed London in protest at the 15-year-old King Richard II’s shilling-per-head Poll Tax, raised to fund the war against France. On 2 June, two mass marches set off: From Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk From Kent and other …

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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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