Kett's rebellion: Sir Thomas gives his side of the story

Sir Thomas and Shardlake with some of the people who heard their story

On Norfolk Day, July 27, a gentleman called Sir Thomas Paston visited the Maids Head, Norwich's oldest inn, to speak to a keen gathering of about 30 about his involvement in Kett's rebellion and the battle for Norwich in 1549.

The Maids Head generously hosted the morning event and provided tea, coffee and cakes for their visitors. Because of the absence of Sir Thomas through death in 1550, his role was taken by Rob Knee, chair of the Paston Heritage Society, and he gave a wide-ranging, knowledgeable and generally convincing account of what went on in the city during those troubled times.

He was joined unexpectedly by lawyer-detective Matthew Shardlake (Paul Dickson)  in an encounter that clearly took the audience by surprise – truth proving stranger than fiction yet again. The two men are pictured above with some of the audience in the Maids Head restaurant, who had greeted Sir Thomas enthusiastically and asked perceptive questions afterwards.


Sir Thomas in thoughtful mood; and in full flow. Below him: the cakes supplied to visitors by the Maids Head.