A man who died for the Cornish
A DESCENDANT of a 15th-century Bodmin lawyer who was brutally executed by a Tudor king joined members of the Cornish Nationalist Party to commemorate his death.
Thomas Flamank was one of the leaders of the Cornish Rebellion that marched on London in 1497.
Every year the Cornish Nationalist Party marks his death at Town Wall, Bodmin, where a commemorative plaque is placed.
Party chairman Androw Hawke, who organised this year's event, welcomed Margot Bruce, a descendant of the Flamank family, who travelled from Penzance for the occasion.
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Several town councillors attended, as did John Chapman, a former grand bard of the Cornish Gorseth.
Bodmin's mayor Ken Stubbs laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Bodmin and made a speech detailing the history of Thomas Flamank, who was hung, drawn and quartered on June 27, 1497, at Tyburn in London. The lawyer was one of many who opposed King Henry VII's plan to introduce an extra tax on the Cornish people to help fund an army to fight the Scots.
Michael An Gof, a blacksmith from St Keverne, was first to lead the rebellion and he was joined on his way by Flamank and many followers from Bodmin.
The Cornish were defeated at the battle of Deptford Bridge and Flamank was captured and then executed.
His last words were: "Speak the truth and only then can you be free of your chains."
Elaine Munday, the mayor's chaplain from St Petroc's Ministry, said prayers and gave a blessing before Trelawny, Cornwall's national anthem, was sung.
Mr Stubbs said Flamank was someone who had stood up for the poorest in society.
"Yes, he was a bit of a rebel but he seems to have cared for the poor people like tin miners and labourers who already had taxes to pay, in some ways he was a bit like a modern trade unionist in that he stood up for the poor, and it is right that his death should be commemorated every year.''