Thomas Flamank Execution

cnp logo

27th June 1497




The Cornish rebellion of 1497 is one of the key events in Cornish history. It was in response to an increase in taxes by Henry VII to raise funds to take an army to fight the Scots.

The prime mover was a blacksmith from St. Keverne, Myghal an Gof. He got together a troop of men who when they reached Bodmin were joined by people assembled by a lawyer of that town, Thomas Flamank.

Their army gained numbers as they went eastwards and was into the thousands when they reached the outskirts of London. Henry VII had to abandon his efforts to tackle the Scots and his troops met the Cornishmen at Blackheath.

A battle commenced and the Cornish rebellious Leaders were captured, they were drawn on a hurdle to be hanged, drawn and quartered.

Before their execution on 27th June An Gof boasted that ''he should have a name perpetual and a fame permanent and immortal''

Thomas Flamank said "Speak the truth, and only then can you be free of your chains".

Both men have been honoured ever since by Cornish people. The Cornish were not completely quelled by events that year and some joined in Perkin Warbeck’s rebellion later that summer.

This, however, petered out after reaching Exeter with Warbeck fleeing the scene. Henry VII’s main subsequent punishment of the Cornish was to fine those who had taken part in the rebellions.

When The CNP was formed on 28th May 1975, there was a plaque at St. Keverne commemorating An Gof and annual ceremonies were held on 27th June.

There was nothing at Bodmin commemorating Thomas Flamank. It was something we thought ought to be rectified. Efforts were aided by the fact that our vice-chairman was Dr. Peter Flamank who was a distant relation of the Cornish hero.

After raising funds we put up the plaque on the Town Wall situated at the western approach to the town – adjacent was a stone commemorating a mayor of Bodmin in the early 19th century also called Flamank.

It was unveiled by Cornish historian Philip Payton on 27th June 1986. Ever since The CNP has held annual commemorations at the site on the 27th June each year and plan to continue to do so into the future.



The annual commemoration will take place on 27th June. For further details please contact us through our contact page on this site.


The following was the commemoration service for 2013 at the Town Wall, Bodmin

cornish flag

A Leader of the 1497 Cornish Rebellion

Welcome Speech by Androw Hawke
Chairman of The Cornish Nationalist Party.

(Accordion music from Mark Hawkin)

Cornwall Forever we rally at the call, Cornwall Forever we’re coming one and all Cornwall Forever and shall Trelawny die Here’s twenty thousand Cornishmen who know the reason why

Cornwall Forever and shall Trelawny die Here’s twenty thousand Cornishmen who know the reason why?

Fish, Tin and Copper make way for Cornishmen Fish, Tin and Copper here come Tre, Pol & Pen Fish, Tin and Copper and shall Trelawny die Here’s twenty thousand Cornishmen who know the reason why Cornwall Forever and shall Trelawny die Here’s twenty thousand Cornishmen who know the reason why Wreath laying and speech by Cllr Andy Coppin, Deputy Mayor of Bodmin


Wreath laying and speech by Margot Bruce, a direct descendant of Thomas Flamank.


Prayers by The Reverend Canon Graham Minors, St. Petroc’s Ministry, Bodmin.


Speech by John Le Bretton, Vice-Chairman of The Cornish Nationalist Party.


TRELAWNY


A good sword and a trusty hand, A merry heart and true! King James’s men shall understand What Cornish lads can do. And have they fixed the where and when? And shall Trelawny die Here’s twenty thousand Cornish men Will know the reason why! And shall Trelawny live? Or shall Trelawny die! Here’s twenty thousand Cornish men Will know the reason why! Out spake their captain brave and bold, A merry wight was he. If London Tower were Michael’s hold We’ll set Trelawny free. We’ll cross the Tamar land to land, The Severn is no stay. With one and all, and hand in hand, And who shall bid us nay? And shall Trelawny live? Or shall Trelawny die! Here’s twenty thousand Cornish men Will know the reason why! And when we come to London wall, A pleasant sight to view Come forth, come forth, ye cowards all Here’s better men than you. Trelawny he’s in keep and hold, Trelawny he may die; But twenty thousand Cornish bold Will know the reason why. And shall Trelawny live? Or shall Trelawny die! Here’s twenty thousand Cornish men Will know the reason why!



  • Thomas Flamank Commemoration
  • Thomas Flamank Commemoration
  • Thomas Flamank Commemoration
  • Thomas Flamank Commemoration
  • Thomas Flamank Commemoration
  • Thomas Flamank Commemoration