The English Paradigm

  • Edoardo Tortarolo
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées book series (ARCH, volume 219)


The act of Parliament of 1643 that incensed Milton and the radicals and inspired the reformulation of arguments in favour of freedom of the press, also reinforced the alliance between the Anglican Church, the Stationers’ Company and the Long Parliament. An act of 1649 forbade printing outside of London, Oxford and Cambridge; a printing authorization had to be requested and placed in the book alongside the name of the author and of the censor. Moreover, as a guarantee of their good behaviour, printers had to deposit 300 pounds with the censorship authorities. In 1655, clandestine and opposition publications thrived despite these tight restrictions: to combat this Oliver Cromwell further increased control, particularly over newspapers. Only the official press survived: “The Public Intelligencer” and the “Mercurius Britannicus”. In the latter half of Cromwell’s rule, the pressure was so great that the opposition press was effectively muzzled.


Civil Liberty License System Printing Press Political Liberty United Province 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edoardo Tortarolo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of the HumanitiesUniversity of Eastern PiedmontVercelliItaly

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