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SIR JOHN FROISSART Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the adjoining countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV. Vol.5

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SIR JOHN FROISSART
Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the adjoining countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV. Vol.5
page 344



vices they are obliged to perform for their lords, and many more in England than in other countries. The prelates and gentlemen are thus ferved. In the counties of Kent, Effèx, Suflex and Bedford, thefe feryices are more oppreffive than in all the reft of the kingdom. The evil-difpofed in thefe diftri&s began to rife, faying? they were too feverely oppreflèd ; that at the beginning of the world there were no flaves, and that no one ought to be treated as fuch, unlefs he had committed treafon againft his lord, as Lu-cifer had done againft GOD : but they had done nm fuch thing, for they were neither angels nor fpirits, but men formed after the fame likenefs with their lords, who treated them as beafts. This they would not longer bear, but had determined to be free, and if they laboured or did any other works for their lords, they would be paid for it. ' A crazy prieft in the county of Kent, called" John Ball, who, for his abfurd preaching, had been thrice confined in the prifon of the archbifhop of Canter-bury, was greatly inftrumental in inflaming them with thofe ideas. He was accuftomed, every Sun-day after mafs, as the people were coming out of the church, to preach to them rin the market place and affemble a crowd around him ; to whom he would fay,—c My good friends, things cannot go on well in* England, nor ever wifl until every thing fhall be in common » when there fhall neither be vaflal nor lord, and all diftinftions levelled ; when the lords fhall be no more mafters than ourfefves. How ill have they ufed us ? and 'for what " reafcm do they thus 333


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