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Thomas Flamank

Thomas Flamank

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Thomas Flamank was a lawyer
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

 from Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

 who together with Michael An Gof
Michael An Gof
Michael Joseph and Thomas Flamank were the leaders of the Cornish Rebellion of 1497....

 led the Cornish Rebellion
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...

 against taxes in 1497.

He was the eldest son of Richard Flamank or Flammock of Boscarne, by Johanna or Jane, daughter of Thomas Lucombe of Bodmin. The family is of great antiquity at Bodmin, having held the manor of Nanstallon
Nanstallon is a village in central Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is situated approximately two miles west of Bodmin.Nanstallon is in the civil parish of Lanivet overlooking the River Camel valley and the Camel Trail long distance path. The present terminus of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway at...

 in uninterrupted succession from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century (1817). In early times the name appeared as Flandrensis, Flemang, Flammank, and in other forms Thomas Flamank was the chief instigator of the Cornish rebellion of 1497. At the time 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....

 was attempting to collect a subsidy in Cornwall for the despatch of an army to 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...

 to punish James IV
James IV of Scotland
James IV was King of Scots from 11 June 1488 to his death. He is generally regarded as the most successful of the Stewart monarchs of Scotland, but his reign ended with the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Flodden Field, where he became the last monarch from not only Scotland, but also from all...

 for supporting 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,...

. Flamank argued that it was the business of the barons of the north, and of no other of the king's subjects, to defend the Scottish border, and that the tax was illegal. Working with another popular agitator, Michael Joseph
Michael An Gof
Michael Joseph and Thomas Flamank were the leaders of the Cornish Rebellion of 1497....

, a blacksmith, he suggested that the Cornishmen should march on London and present a petition to the king setting forth their grievances, and urging the punishment of Archbishop Morton and Sir Reginald Bray
Reginald Bray
Sir Reginald Bray KG the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster under Henry VII, English courtier, and architect of the Henry VII Lady Chapel in Westminster Abbey.-Early life:...

, and other advisers of the king who were held responsible for his action. Flamank and Joseph modestly consented to lead the throng until more eminent men took their place. Rudely armed with bills and bows and arrows, a vast mob followed Flamank to Taunton
Taunton is the county town of Somerset, England. The town, including its suburbs, had an estimated population of 61,400 in 2001. It is the largest town in the shire county of Somerset....

, where they made their first display of violence and slew ‘the provost of Perin,’ i.e. Penryn
Penryn, Cornwall
Penryn is a civil parish and town in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is situated on the Penryn River about one mile northwest of Falmouth...

. At Wells
Wells is a cathedral city and civil parish in the Mendip district of Somerset, England, on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. Although the population recorded in the 2001 census is 10,406, it has had city status since 1205...

, James Tuchet, 7th Baron Audley
James Tuchet, 7th Baron Audley
Sir James Tuchet, 7th Baron Audley was born in the Heleigh Castle, Staffordshire, England to John Tuchet, 6th Baron Audley and Ann Echingham....

, joined them and undertook the leadership. They marched thence by way of Salisbury
Salisbury is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, England and the only city in the county. It is the second largest settlement in the county...

 and Winchester
Winchester is a historic cathedral city and former capital city of England. It is the county town of Hampshire, in South East England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs, along the course of...

 to 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...

. London was panic-stricken; but the rebels had grown disheartened by the want of sympathy shown them in their long march. Giles Daubeny, 8th Baron Daubeny, was directed to take the field with the forces which had been summoned for service in Scotland. On Saturday, 22 June 1497, Daubeny opened battle at Deptford Strand. At the first onset he was taken prisoner, but he was soon released, and the enemy, who had expected to be attacked on the Monday, and were thus taken by surprise, were soon thoroughly routed. Each side is said to have lost three hundred men, and fifteen hundred Cornishmen were taken prisoners. Audley, Flamank, and Joseph were among the latter. Audley was beheaded at Tower Hill
Tower Hill
Tower Hill is an elevated spot northwest of the Tower of London, just outside the limits of the City of London, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Formerly it was part of the Tower Liberty under the direct administrative control of Tower...

. Flamank and Joseph were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn
Tyburn is a former village just outside the then boundaries of London that was best known as a place of public execution.Tyburn may also refer to:* Tyburn , river and historical water source in London...

 (27 June), and their limbs exhibited in various parts of the city. Most of their followers were pardoned.

Flamank married Elizabeth, daughter of John Trelawny of Menwynick, and had a daughter Joanna, wife of Peter Fauntleroy.

An Gof before his execution is recorded to have said that he should have "a name perpetual and a fame permanent and immortal". Thomas Flamank was quoted in 1497 as saying "Speak the truth and only then can you be free of your chains".

In 1997, the five-hundredth anniversary of the Rebellion, a commemorative march ("Keskerdh Kernow 500") was held, retracing the route of the original march from St. Keverne 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, and another, en route, at Guildford at the location of a preliminary skirmish.

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...

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