16th February – Cornish Rebellion of 1497 by Julian Humphrys


This is a Zoom talk and will take place at 6pm on Thursday 16th February.

Julian read History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and spent 12 years at Chelsea’s National Army Museum, setting up special exhibitions, liaising with the British Army and acting as spokesman to the media on all matters of military history.

He has  acted as a historical expert on numerous TV programmes, including the recent Channel Five series on British battlefields, has featured a number of times on BBC Radio 4’s Ramblings Series and made three expeditions to Bosnia during the Civil War to record the British Army’s activities there.

Cornish Rebellion of 1497

The insurgent army mainly comprised Cornishmen, although it also gathered support from Devon, Somerset, and other English counties. The rebellion was a response to hardship caused by the raising of war taxes by King Henry VII to finance a campaign against Scotland. Cornwall suffered particularly because the king had recently stopped the legal operation of its tin-mining industry.

The rebellion’s immediate outcome was military defeat, the execution of its main leaders, and death or other punishment for many of its participants. It may have led Perkin Warbeck, a pretender to the English throne, to choose Cornwall as his base later in the year for another attempt to overthrow Henry VII: an episode known as the Second Cornish uprising of 1497. Eleven years later, however, the king addressed the principal Cornish grievance by allowing tin production to resume legally, with a measure of autonomy.