Gallery & Slideshow: Medieval times for St Albans market

PUBLISHED: 13:43 28 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:12 06 May 2010

THERE was a medieval feel about St Albans Saturday market this weekend as the city revisited the 14th century with piepowder courts and a trial of the local ringleaders of the Peasants Revolt. Piepowder courts were set up to deal with market transgress

THERE was a medieval feel about St Albans Saturday market this weekend as the city revisited the 14th century with "piepowder" courts and a trial of the local ringleaders of the Peasants' Revolt.

Piepowder courts were set up to deal with market transgressions by travelling traders - the term comes from the French pie poudre (dusty feet) - and they were run by the Abbey Steward as the markets came under the control of the Abbey.

The court dealt with thefts, disputes or violence but could also act like modern trading standards officials to maintain the standard of the quality of the goods on sale. Punishments were either fines or a period of humiliation in the stocks.

The Peasants Revolt of 1381 was triggered by ever-increasing taxes, including the poll tax of 1377. Among the local ringleaders were William Grindcobbe and John Ball. After the defeat of the revolt leader Wat Tyler, show trials were held of the ringleaders including trials at St Albans Moot Hall where Grindcobbe and Ball were sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered.

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