Leveller Origins

  • Gary S. De Krey


The principal Leveller authors—John Lilburne, Richard Overton, and William Walwyn—each gained prominence in London and the nation in the years of the civil war as outspoken pamphleteers and political activists. They became advocates for liberty of conscience and for the new gathered churches that either preferred congregational autonomy or separation from the national church. After the defeat of Charles I, they worked with the Baptists and the Independents in an ‘Independent alliance’ that opposed Presbyterian plans for a heavily structured national church and for demobilization of the New Model Army. This alliance was constantly tested, however, as the future Leveller spokesmen developed and promoted a political programme focused on popular rights and parliamentary accountability that was too radical for many Independents.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistorySt. Olaf CollegeNorthfieldUSA

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