'My good people, things cannot go well in England, nor ever shall, till everything be made common, and there are neither villeins nor gentlemen, but we shall all be united together, and the lords shall be no greater masters than ourselves. What have we deserved that we should be kept thus enslaved? We are all descended from one father and mother, Adam and Eve. What reasons can they give to show that they are greater lords than we, save by making us toil and labour, so that they can spend? They are clothed in velvet and soft leather furred with ermine, while we wear coarse cloth; they have their wines, spices and good bread, while we have the drawings of the chaff, and drink water. They have handsome houses and manors, and we the pain and travail, the rain and wind, in the fields. And it is from our labour that they get the means to maintain their estates. We are called their slaves, and ;f we do not serve them readily, we are beaten. And we have no sovereign to whom we may complain, or who will hear us, or do us justice. Let us go to the King, he is young, and tell him of our slavery; and tell him we shall have it otherwise, or else we will provide a remedy ourselves. And if we go together, all manner of people that are now in bondage will follow us, with the intent to be made free. And when the King sees us, we shall have some remedy, either by justice or otherwise.'
The Kings answer:
Serfs you were and serfs you are; you shall remain in bondage, not such as you have hitherto been subject to, but incomparably viler. For so long as we live and rule by God's grace over this kingdom we shall use our sense, our strength and our property so to teach you, that your slavery may be an example to posterity, and that those who live now and hereafter, who may be like you, may always have before their eyes and as it were in a glass, your misery and reasons for cursing you, and the fear of doing things like those which you have done.