The revolt began after the king imposed a national poll tax of 1 shilling per person, irrespective of earnings. Peasants from Kent and Essex gathered together and marched on London, whose citizens joined the revolt. Ministers were executed and the houses of unpopular bishops and lords were looted. The rebels met the king's army at Smithfield and their leader, Wat Tyler, was struck by the Mayor of London and then killed by one of the king's followers. Richard II was able to halt further violence by promising many reforms. None was ever carried out. Gradually the revolt died down and the poll tax was abandoned.
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