Four principal types of disturbance can be identified between 1200 and 1500. First, 'reformist' rebellions, intended to correct what were perceived to be abuses and to remove from his presence those advisers responsible for the abuses. Reformist movements could nevertheless be transformed into the second major category of rebellions to be considered: dynastic risings, whose declared intent stretched beyond the criticism of royal policies to an attempt to remove the king held responsible for them from power. The third major group of rebellions consists of the popular risings: preeminently the 'English rising' of 1381 and Cade's rebellion in 1450. It was left to the last group of rebellions, the religious risings, to articulate a radical set of social and political demands. How the balance of advantage between opportunity and danger is to be struck largely depends upon an estimate of the seriousness of the civil wars and rebellions.
This chapter is about the changing reputation of Richard II during the seventy years or so after his death. It starts with Walter Somery's testimony because the testimony serves as a reminder that personal memory and oral testimony would have played a part in shaping that reputation. The chapter is concerned with the social memory of Richard's reign, and investigates the memories of Richard II preserved during the Lancastrian England. One issue the chapter considers is the way in which historical memories can be structured by the characteristic narrative lines of different literary genres; another is how far the changing predilections for particular narrative conventions can be related to the social and cultural contexts that produced them. Distinction is drawn as required between the production of historical narratives and their reception, between 'authoring', and 'authorising', which is a social and communal activity.