On Friday 25 February a new blue plaque will be unveiled at the St Albans Museum + Gallery to commemorate John Ball, one of the leaders of the Peasants' Revolt in 1381.  Ball was brought to St Albans to be tried and executed for his crimes in front of King Richard II. 

During the Peasants' Revolt, St Albans Abbey was attacked by local people who were angry at the control the monastery had over their lives. The local disagreements with the Abbey already existed and were spurred on by the national revolt. Demands made of the Abbey by the locals included the freedom to establish hand mills to grind their corn and also free access to pastures, fisheries and hunting on monastery lands. 

The rebels attacked the Abbey Gatehouse and broke through the enclosures. Further destruction was avoided by the intervention of Abbot Thomas de la Mare, whose famous brass you can see in the Cathedral today (pictured). He granted the rebels a charter of rights - but this charter was soon overturned when the authorities regained control.

The Cathedral is part of the Blue Plaques St Albans group, which has been working to establish a scheme to commemorate famous citizens who have lived and worked in St Albans, with the aim of placing ‘blue plaques’ on buildings associated with their lives.  Although there are some blue plaques in St Albans already, many more people who lived, worked and died here are soon to be commemorated as part of the scheme.