John Cade, known as Jack Cade, an English insurgent, born in Ireland, died July 11, 1450. He assumed the name of Mortimer, pretending to be a cousin of the dispossessed heir to the throne, the duke of York, and placed himself at the head of a body of insurgents, which soon became 20,000 strong. From Black-heath, near London, he addressed a document to Henry VI. in which he set forth the grievances for which his followers asked redress, and another containing a demand for the banishment of certain persons. The king having sent an army against him, Cade retreated to Seven Oaks, and then turned upon the king's army, which he completely routed, June 27,1450, and on July 1 took possession of Southwark. He crossed the Thames by the drawbridge, July 3, and entered London, but at night took his men back to Southwark. They reentered London on the 4th, and beheaded Lord Say, the treasurer, and Cromer his son-in-law, sheriff of Kent. The insurgents having committed some pillage, the citizens resisted their coming into London again the next morning, and kept possession of the bridge against them. A truce being declared, the bishop of Winchester took advantage of it, and distributed pardons under the great seal for those of the insurgents who should return home.
Most of them dispersed, and soon afterward Cade himself fled, but was overtaken in Sussex and killed.