This illustration has been copied from an original Copper Plate engraving published in 1773
Jack Cade was the leader of a popular revolt in 1450 during the reign of King Henry VI of England. The revolt arose from local grievances linked to the weakness and corruption of the king's regime. Cade's power-base was Kent, from which he led an army of as many as 5,000 against London, causing the King to flee to Warwickshire. After taking and looting London, the rebels were defeated in a battle at London Bridge and scattered. Promised pardons and reforms, many of the rebels were instead declared traitors, and Cade died in Sussex or Kent as the consequence of a small skirmish on 12 July 1450. There is long-standing tradition that this clash took place at a small hamlet near (old) Heathfield in East Sussex, at a place that came to be known as Cade Street. There is a roadside monument at Cade Street announcing that Jack Cade was killed here by Alexander Iden, the Sherriff of Kent. However, it is possible that he was captured or wounded in the parish of Hothfield near Ashford in Kent and that Cade Street was named in error. Some historians say that Cade was not actually killed in the armed struggle but that he was mortally wounded and died in a cart by which he was being taken to London.