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Wat Tyler and Dartford: Fact or Fiction?

This exercise can be used as part of the Key Stage 3 History Programme of Study Britain 1066 to 1500. Questions 1 a) to c) enable students to reach Levels 3 and 4 in the History Attainment Target; questions 1 d) and e) and 2 and 3 reach Levels 5 to 8 according to student responses. Year 7 will probably need considerable guidance in developing their skills of evaluation. This could be done through class discussion around question 2 a) to develop ideas for the relaibility column and in preparation for 2 b) and c). Additional work could be done arising from the conclusion on whether it matters if the Wat Tyler plaque is wrong and whether people seeing the plaque believe it.

Wat Tyler and Dartford: Fact or Fiction?

Read the section on Wat Tyler and Dartford: Fact or Fiction and answer the following questions.

1. Versions of the Revolt

  1. How did the revolt start according to to the plaque on the Wat Tyler Inn?
  2. Using your own words summarise John Harris’s version of the start of the revolt.
  3. In what ways does John Dunkin’s version of the revolt differ from John Harris’?
  4. Suggest reasons why Dunkin’s version differs from Harris’s.
  5. Where do you think the Wat Tyler Inn got their version from?

John Dunkin was a printer and stationer who lived in Dartford High Street. He was one of the first historians of the town.

2. Evaluation of the Evidence

Draw up a table showing the different versions of the start of the Peasants Revolt as shown below. Include the following authors. These should be put in chronological order starting with the earliest.

Author Date Who led the revolt Where the leader came from Reliability
  1. Using the information in the table explain which version you think is the most reliable and which is the least reliable. Give reasons for your answer.
  2. In what ways would John Dunkin’s version be useful to historians?

3. Drawing Conclusions

Using your answers to questions 1 and 2 answer the following question.

How far do you agree with the version of the revolt on the plaque of the Wat Tyler Inn?

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