1607AD Newton Rebellion Protesting
Against Enclosures
The Midland Revolt was a protest against enclosures that began in Northamptonshire in April 1607 at Haselbech, Pytchley and Rushton before spreading to other counties in the Midlands.

John Reynolds from Desborough led a series of riots to destroy enclosures. He encouraged protestors to destroy the enclosures, but urged people not to use violence.

In June 1607, over 1000 people (including women and children) gathered at Newton, near Kettering. They pulled down enclosures and filled in ditches belonging to the Treshams of Newton. The Treshams were enclosing common land that had once been part of Rockingham Forest.

King James I was worried by this rebellion, and issued a Proclamation ordering his deputy lieutenants to put down the riots. Local armed people and militia refused to help put down the riots, so the landed gentry used their own servants. No records survive of the ensuing battle in which 40-50 people lost their lives. The ring leaders were hung, drawn and quartered to set an example.

The images show a 7 inclosure map attached from 1599 at Haselbech with the inclosure agreement. The agreement was between Sir Thomas Tresham, John Roade and ten other freeholders in Haselbech. It shows how the landowners decided to divide the land. Each block of colour represents a new field that has been enclosed and the name of the individual it now 'belongs' to. The blue is land now belonging to Sir Thomas Tresham. It was this type of enclosure that people were protesting against. The landowner would have profitable pasture land for his sheep and common land was lost.

Why not visit the record office to see some enclosure maps?

To find out more about the rebellion visit:
www.newtonrebels.org.uk/rebels/history.htm

See also:
1765: Northampton Mercury reports protest against enclosures
Crime and Punishment

Glossary:

Inclosure (also spelled Enclosure)

Inclosure is the process by which common land is converted to private land by nobles or others in power.

Common land

A piece of land available for the whole community to use together. These were extremely important at this time, e.g. for grazing animals.

Treshams of Newton

A local landowning family, cousins to Francis Tresham of Ruston, who had been involved in the Gunpowder plot a few years earlier.