Letter: Before Wat Tyler

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your question (Letters caption, 13 July) whether Wat Tyler was the first Christian socialist may be answered shortly - no, he wasn't.

John Ball, who was executed in 1381, travelled the country for many years preaching that a main element of Christ's teaching had been social and economic equality. He was the author of that very well known non-biblical text 'Whan Adam delf and Eve span, who was thanne the gentilman?'.

Yours faithfully,

J. M. A. KILBURN

Aylesbury,

Buckinghamshire

13 July

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