the busy rebels

Bodmin riding FESTIVAL 

The Bodmin Riding Festival takes place on the first weekend of July each year. It's run by the Busy Rebels, a passionate group of volunteers who took over when the event didn't take place in 2018.  Their 'revival' event in 2019 was a great success, and ever since they've been busy planning the festivals of the future. 


The committee and supporters of the new revival of Bodmin Riding are known as The Busy Rebels. But did you know this name was taken from a unique event in Bodmin’s history? 

The Original Busy Rebel:

The mayors of Bodmin had a difficult time during the Cornish Uprisings in the 1500’s. Mayor Henry Bray disappeared without trace (it was supposed that he was killed in battle) and a new Mayor, Nicholas Bowyer, was appointed. Unfortunately, it was known that Bowyer was a 'a busy fellow among the rebels' and attracted attention from Sir Anthony Kingston, the provost marshal who took responsibility for punishing members of the Cornish rebellion (often with great cruelty). 

In 1549, Mayor Bowyer was told that a provost was coming to visit, so like a good town mayor, he provided ‘hospitable entertainment’ in the form of a feast. Bowyer was also told that there was going to be an execution and was asked to assemble the gallows. 

After they had dined together, the provost informed Bowyer that the gallows were actually intended for him, and that he was to be executed immediately, without trial. The provost allegedly stated that "there is no remedy, for you have been a busy rebel.” 

Some people believe that Bowyer was a reluctant rebel who was merely coerced into supporting the rebel cause and was made an example of. Either way, Bodmin has never forgotten his sacrifice, and his legend lives on along with the rebellious Cornish spirit that Bodmin is still known for today.