Gerrard Winstanley : 17th Century, British Leveller and Protestant Reformer

October 19, 1609 — September 10, 1676

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About Gerrard Winstanley

Gerrard Winstanley (19 October 1609 – 10 September 1676) was an English Protestant religious reformer, political philosopher, and activist during The Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. Winstanley was the leader and one of the founders of the English group known as the True Levelers or Diggers for their beliefs, and for their actions. The group occupied public lands that had been privatized by enclosures and dug them over, pulling down hedges and filling in ditches, to plant crops. True Levelers was the name they used to describe themselves, whereas the term Diggers was coined by contemporaries.

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We whose narnes are subscribed, do in the name of all the poor oppressed people in England, declare unto you, that call your selves lords of Manors, and Lords of the Land, That in regard the King of Righteousness, our Maker, hath inlightened our hearts so far, as to see, That the earth was not made purposely for you, to be Lords of it, and we to be your Slaves, Servants, and Beggers; but it was made to be a common Livelihood to all, without respect of persons: And that your buying and selling of Land, and the Fruits of it, one to another, is The cursed thing, and was brought in by War; which hath, and still does establish murder, and theft, In the hands of some branches of Mankinde over others, which is the greatest outward burden, and unri... (From:
CHAP. I. - The Law of Freedom. The great searching of heart in these days is to find out where true freedom lies, that the commonwealth of England might be established in peace. Some say, 'It lies in the free use of trading, and to have all patents, licenses and restraints removed'. But this is a freedom under the will of a conqueror. Others say, 'It is true freedom to have ministers to preach, and for people to hear whom they will, without being restrained or compelled from or to any form of worship'. But this is an unsettled freedom. Others say, 'It is true freedom to have community with all women, and to have liberty to satisfy their lusts and greedy appetites'. But this is the freedom of wanton unreasonable bea... (From:
A Declaration to the Powers of England, and to all the Powers of the World, shewing the Cause why the Common People of England have begun, and gives Consent to Digge up, Manure, and Sow Corn upon George-Hill in Surrey; by those that have Subscribed, and thousands more that gives Consent. In the beginning of Time, the great Creator Reason, made the Earth to be a Common Treasury, to preserve Beasts, Birds, Fishes, and Man, the lord that was to govern this Creation; for Man had Domination given to him, over the Beasts, Birds, and Fishes; but not one word was spoken in the beginning, That one branch of mankind should rule over another. And the Reason is this, Every single man, Male and Female, is a perfect Creature of himself;... (From:

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October 19, 1609
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September 10, 1676
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January 7, 2020; 5:15:05 PM (UTC)
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