How the enclosure of common land sparked riots revolts and resistance in the Midlands

A series of riots by angry farmers opposing the enclosure of common land in the Midlands in 1607 will be the subject of this year’s Hoskins Lecture on 5 May.

The annual event for the University of Leicester is hosted by the Vaughan Archaeological and Historical Society and this year’s lecture – ‘The Enclosure Riots of 1607’ - will be delivered by Dr Len Holden, a retired principal lecturer from De Montfort University at St Christopher’s Church, Tudor Grange Samworth Academy at 7.15pm. Visitors are welcome, there is a charge of £3.

He will examine the causes and consequences of the riots and consider the role of charismatic leader ‘Captain Pouch’ who inspired the aggrieved farmers and local tradespeople.

The Hoskins Lecture is held each year to commemorate the work of W G Hoskins (pictured right) who is regarded by many as having played a primary role in promoting the study of English history at the local level. He became the first professor of local history at the University of Leicester in 1965 when he was appointed Hatton Professor of English History.  It was at Leicester that he developed his deep commitment to adult education, teaching local people about the history and especially the landscape of their own county.

The Vaughan Archaeological and Historical Society sprang directly from classes taught by Hoskins and the annual lecture is held in his honour.

Contact secretary Gerry Stacey for any information at