Rebels Lane

"Taking the biscuit"

John Weaver recently emailed us this interesting item - Bob Stephen (RDCA-Admin)

I have heard some rum old words about Rebels Lane in Barling, not sure whether they are true or not, it was called Rebels Lane, I heard, because that was where some rebels hid out from the King. Not sure which King it was, one of the King Richard's so locals say.

That would make sense for it was after the Peasants Revolt, what with the peasants fleeing after Wat Tyler was killed, they fled for their lives pretty smartish the local story goes. They scarpered back to where they had come from, lots had come from Barling which was a big seaport one of the largest in the country.

Barling was much bigger than either of the other two villages in Wakering, King Richard's men were out looking for any peasants everywhere, so the men from Barling hid in the local forest, in the area what is today called Rebels Lane. The other locals in Barling would feed them, by leaving home made biscuits in wicker baskets at the top of what became known as Rebels Lane.

One of the rebels would come out at the dead of night and collect them and take them back in the forest, this is where the expression 'taking the biscuit' is supposed to come from.

The leader of the rebels I understand was called Jack Carr, some say he was known as Black Jack, others say that he was the younger brother of Jack Straw, the co-leader of the Peasants Revolt alongside Wat Tyler, but that's all I heard. When, whatever his real name was, he died, ironically after choking on some biscuits three years later, the rest of the rebels lost a lot of heart, left the forest and gave themselves into the local authorities who said they were free men and they all returned back to Barling.

Are there any records that anyone knows of which can verify any of this please?

Many thanks, John Weaver

This page was added by Bob Stephen on 05/06/2017.
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