Today in the Middle Ages: April 11, 1554

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger was executed on April 11, 1554, for leading a rebellion against Queen Mary Tudor of England, known to history as "Bloody Mary."

Wyatt, son of the poet of the same name, was raised a Catholic, but supposedly became an enemy of Spain after witnessing the activities of the Spanish Inquisition. He was knighted for service to England in the war against France and later fought in Flanders for Habsburg emperor Charles V. As a young man, he gained a reputation for being hotheaded.

When Mary announced her plans to marry Philip of Spain, Wyatt became involved in the conspiracy that led to rebellion. At first his cause was popular among Londoners, and the queen sent him a message asking for terms. His demands were considered so excessive, though, that the people turned against him. When he led his forces into London, he did not receive the support he had hoped for.

He was arrested, tried, and beheaded. After death, his body was quartered.