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Michael An Gof

Michael An Gof

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Michael Joseph and Thomas Flamank
Thomas Flamank
Thomas Flamank was a lawyer from Cornwall who together with Michael An Gof led the Cornish Rebellion against taxes in 1497....

 (a Bodmin
Bodmin is a civil parish and major town in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is situated in the centre of the county southwest of Bodmin Moor.The extent of the civil parish corresponds fairly closely to that of the town so is mostly urban in character...

 landowner's son and London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 lawyer) were the leaders of the Cornish Rebellion of 1497
Cornish Rebellion of 1497
The Cornish Rebellion of 1497 was a popular uprising by the people of Cornwall in the far southwest of Britain. Its primary cause was a response of people to the raising of war taxes by King Henry VII on the impoverished Cornish, to raise money for a campaign against Scotland motivated by brief...


The rebels marched on London to protest at King Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

's levying a tax to pay for an invasion of Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 in retaliation for the Scots' support for the pretender Perkin Warbeck
Perkin Warbeck
Perkin Warbeck was a pretender to the English throne during the reign of King Henry VII of England. By claiming to be Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York, the younger son of King Edward IV, one of the Princes in the Tower, Warbeck was a significant threat to the newly established Tudor Dynasty,...

. The Cornish believed that this was a northern affair and had nothing to do with them; they also believed that the tax was the work of the King's corrupt counsellors and marched to London to bring this to the King's attention.

They were hopeful of gaining support from people in Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

 – the focus of Jack Cade
Jack Cade
Jack Cade was the leader of a popular revolt in the 1450 Kent rebellion during the reign of King Henry VI in England. He died on the 12th July 1450 near Lewes. In response to grievances, Cade led an army of as many as 5,000 against London, causing the King to flee to Warwickshire. After taking and...

's rebellion of 1450 – but despite heading to Cade's former rallying site at Blackheath
Blackheath, London
Blackheath is a district of South London, England. It is named from the large open public grassland which separates it from Greenwich to the north and Lewisham to the west...

 they gained little backing.

As a result, the Cornish rebels were beaten by the King's forces at the Battle of Deptford Bridge
Cornish Rebellion of 1497
The Cornish Rebellion of 1497 was a popular uprising by the people of Cornwall in the far southwest of Britain. Its primary cause was a response of people to the raising of war taxes by King Henry VII on the impoverished Cornish, to raise money for a campaign against Scotland motivated by brief...

 on 17 June 1497 on a site adjacent to the River Ravensbourne
River Ravensbourne
The River Ravensbourne is a tributary of the River Thames in South London, England. It flows into the River Thames on the Tideway at Deptford, where its tidal reach is known as Deptford Creek.- Geography :...

. An Gof fled to Greenwich
Greenwich is a district of south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.Greenwich is best known for its maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time...

 after the battle, but was captured and sent to the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...


As one of the leaders, An Gof was executed with Flamank on 27 June 1497. Deemed to be traitors, they were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn
Tyburn, London
Tyburn was a village in the county of Middlesex close to the current location of Marble Arch in present-day London. It took its name from the Tyburn or Teo Bourne 'boundary stream', a tributary of the River Thames which is now completely covered over between its source and its outfall into the...

 and their heads displayed on pike-staff
Pike (weapon)
A pike is a pole weapon, a very long thrusting spear used extensively by infantry both for attacks on enemy foot soldiers and as a counter-measure against cavalry assaults. Unlike many similar weapons, the pike is not intended to be thrown. Pikes were used regularly in European warfare from the...

s on London Bridge
London Bridge
London Bridge is a bridge over the River Thames, connecting the City of London and Southwark, in central London. Situated between Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge, it forms the western end of the Pool of London...

. Just before his execution, An Gof is recorded to have said that he would have "a name perpetual and a fame permanent and immortal".

In 1997, the 500th anniversary of the rebellion, a commemorative march ("Keskerdh Kernow 500") was held, retracing the route of the original march from St. Keverne (An Gof's home town in Cornwall) to London. A statue depicting An Gof and Flamank was unveiled in St Keverne and a commemorative plaque was unveiled on Blackheath common.

Other uses

An Gof
An Gof
An Gof is a militant Cornish nationalist group. The organisation takes its name from the trade of Michael Joseph , An Gof , being Cornish for 'The Smith', a leader of the Cornish Rebellion of 1497....

's name was later used by a Cornish nationalist
Cornish self-government movement
Cornish nationalism is an umbrella term that refers to a cultural, political and social movement based in Cornwall, the most southwestern part of the island of Great Britain, which has for centuries been administered as part of England, within the United Kingdom...

 extremist organisation.

The Holyer An Gof trophy is an annual award for the best publication on Cornwall, and part of the Cornish Gorsedd
A gorsedd plural gorseddau, is a community or coming together of modern-day bards. The word is of Welsh origin, meaning "throne". It is occasionally spelled gorsedh , or goursez in Brittany....

 (Gorseth Kernow
Gorseth Kernow
Gorseth Kernow is a non-political Cornish organisation, which exists to maintain the national Celtic spirit of Cornwall in the United Kingdom.-History:...


See also

  • List of topics related to Cornwall
  • Second Cornish Uprising of 1497
    Second Cornish Uprising of 1497
    The Second Cornish Uprising is the name given to the Cornish uprising of September 1497 when the pretender to the throne Perkin Warbeck landed at Whitesand Bay, near Land's End, on 7 September with just 120 men in two ships...

  • Prayer Book Rebellion
    Prayer Book Rebellion
    The Prayer Book Rebellion, Prayer Book Revolt, Prayer Book Rising, Western Rising or Western Rebellion was a popular revolt in Cornwall and Devon, in 1549. In 1549 the Book of Common Prayer, presenting the theology of the English Reformation, was introduced...

  • The Wikipedia Cornwall Portal

External links