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Michael An Gof

In 1497, rebels from Cornwall in south-west England, led by Michael An Gof (AKA Michael Joseph; An Gof is Cornish for blacksmith) and Thomas Flamank (a Bodmin landowner's son and London lawyer), marched on London to protest at King Henry VII's levying of a tax with which to invade Scotland in retaliation for their support of Perkin Warbeck. 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 (the focus of Jack Cade's rebellion of 1450), but despite heading to Cade's former rallying site at Blackheath they gained little backing.

As a result, the Cornish rebels were soundly beaten by the King's forces at the Battle of Deptford Bridge on 17 June 1497 on a site adjacent to the River Ravensbourne. An Gof fled to Greenwich after the battle, but was captured and sent to the Tower of London.

As one of the leaders, An Gof was executed with Flamank, on 24 June 1497, being hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Their heads were displayed on pike-staffs on London Bridge.

On its 500th anniversary, the Cornish uprising was marked by the unveiling of a statue, depicting An Gof and Flamank, at An Gof's home town of St. Keverne in Cornwall.

Last updated: 11-04-2004 00:59:38