Rebellion at Newton - 40 dead!
In 1607, Halley's Comet was seen in England, a portent that perhaps held significance for the small Northamptonshire hamlet of Newton, where in common with many places in the East Midlands, the local landowner was enclosing the common land and tearing the peasants from their homes and occupations.
Trouble had been brewing for some time and there are reports of gatherings of 3000 people at Hillmorton, Warwickshire; of 5000 at Cotesbach, Leicestershire and others at Rushton, Pytchley and Haselbech.
On the 30th May 1607, King James I issued a royal proclamation to the authorities, ordering the suppression of these gatherings. In June 1607, over 40 people were killed in Newton by an army raised by the local landowners, the Treshams, whilst trying to protest against the enclosure of common land.
A local community history group has been formed, The Newton Rebels, to raise awareness of what happened 400 years ago, to place it in its historical context nationally and locally, to develop a lasting memorial, and to help preserve what remains of the Tresham's dovecote, which is all that remains of their manor house at Newton.
Thanks to funds raised during the pageant and the other events in 2007, and also funds raised very kindly by the Riddells in Newton who held a tea party in aid of the Rebels, a memorial stone, suitably renovated now, and a historical interpretation board are now in place outside Newton church.