The origin of Jack Cade
When I started singing and performing live around 6 years ago I decided to take on a new name to do so. The main reasons for this I guess, were firstly to create a stage persona that would give me the confidence to do so and secondly to have a name that had a meaning.
I decided on a name that I had originally heard back in the 90's when some friends of mine from different bands played a few gigs together under the name Jack Cade. They explained at the time that he was an historical Kentish figure who had led a rebellion up to London.
This story always stuck with me, however 6 years ago there was hardly anything on the web about him so I had to go digging in the local library for more info. In general the information is a little sketch in places but the gist of the story is this. In 1450, fed up with the way that Henry VI and the various corrupt members of the nobility were treating the general population and basically screwing them for as much as possible, to fund the Hundred Years War war with France, a rebellion or protest march started out from the Kent Sussex border and made it's way to London. Along the way it gathered a growing number of disillusioned people and at it's head was Jack Cade. Now it appears from what I've read that the name Jack Cade was a name that was given or used possibly after the event as the story grew. Some items I have read say the name was ascribed to a John Mortimer or John Aylmere, anyway Jack Cad was the name used, which to be honest sounds more poetic.
The rebellion made it all the way to London, making camp on Blackheath from where they sacked parts of the city of London. They eventually negotiated a truce with Henry VI gaining agreements that various grievances would be addressed. As is the way of these things as soon as the rebellion had been disbanded the King renounced what he'd agreed, rounded up the leaders and executed them.
The thing that struck me the most about this story was the fact that some 600 years on this story has so much resonance now, all you need do is substitute the royalty and nobility for the governments and investment bankers of today.
A good source of info is as always Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Cade