Winstanley, Gerrard

Winstanley, Gerrard

▪ English social reformer
baptized Oct. 10, 1609, Wigan, Lancashire, Eng.
died 1676

      leader and theoretician of the group of English agrarian communists known as the Diggers (Digger), who in 1649–50 cultivated common land on St. George's Hill, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, and at nearby Cobham until they were dispersed by force and legal harassment. They believed that land should be made available to the very poor.

      Of Lancashire origin, Winstanley was a cloth merchant in London until his business failed. In April 1649, in the revolutionary atmosphere of the Commonwealth period, he and William Everard took the lead in establishing the Digger colony, a timely project because of the unprecedented height of food prices in England. Although the colony ceased to exist in March 1650, Winstanley remained prominent as a pamphleteer, foreshadowing later communist and materialist ideas in his vigorous and racy prose.

      The Law of Freedom in a Platform (1652), his sketch of a communist society, was dedicated to Oliver Cromwell. Winstanley believed that the English Civil War had been fought against the king, landlords, lawyers, and all who bought and sold, these being enemies of the landless and labouring poor, and against priests, whose preaching of heaven and hell diverted men from asserting their rights on Earth and who were an instrument of class rule. He was an advocate of universal religious toleration, and he would have replaced sermons by lectures on the natural sciences and on the English constitution. He died a Quaker in 1676.

Additional Reading
T. Wilson Hayes, Winstanley the Digger (1979), is a biography. George M. Shulman, Radicalism and Reverence: The Political Thought of Gerrard Winstanley (1989), analyzes his work.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • Gerrard Winstanley — (* 1609 in Wigan, Lancashire; † 10. September 1676 in London) war ein protestantischer Reformer und politischer Aktivist in England. Er führte zur Zeit des Protektorats (1649–1658) von Oliver Cromwell die Gruppe der True Levellers („wahre… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • WINSTANLEY (G.) — WINSTANLEY GERRARD (1609 ? 1660) L’un des plus importants penseurs révolutionnaires à l’époque de la première révolution anglaise, Gerrard Winstanley est aussi l’un des plus fugitifs. L’essentiel de son œuvre connue, et même des épisodes avérés… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Gerrard Winstanley — (1609 September 10, 1676) was an English Protestant religious reformer and political activist during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. Winstanley was aligned with the group known as the True Levellers for their beliefs, based upon Christian… …   Wikipedia

  • Gerrard Winstanley — Gerrard Winstanley, né en 1609 et mort le 10 septembre 1676, est un réformiste protestant anglais, adepte d une forme de communisme chrétien précursive du socialisme. Activiste politique durant le protectorat d Oliver Cromwell, il co… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gerrard Winstanley — (1609 1676) fue un reformador protestante inglés y activista político durante la época del Protectorado de Oliver Cromwell. Winstanley fue uno de los fundadores del grupo inglés conocido como True Levellers (Igualitarios Auténticos) debido a sus… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Winstanley — may refer to:People: *Gerrard Winstanley, 17th century English religious reformer *Henry Winstanley, 17th century English engineer *Michael Winstanley, late 20th century English politician and Member of Parliament *Eric Winstanley, English… …   Wikipedia

  • Winstanley — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Gerrard Winstanley (1609–1676), protestantischer Reformer und politischer Aktivist in England Henry Winstanley (1644–1703), englischer Ingenieur William Winstanley (Autor) (1628–1698), englischer Poet und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Winstanley — This interesting name is of Anglo Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Winstanley, near Manchester, in Lancashire. The placename is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name Wynstan , composed of the elements wynn , joy… …   Surnames reference

  • Winstanley (film) — Infobox Film name = Winstanley image size = caption = director = Kevin Brownlow Andrew Mollo producer = Andrew Mollo Kevin Brownlow writer = David Caute (novel) Kevin Brownlow narrator = starring = Miles Halliwell music = Sergei Prokofiev… …   Wikipedia

  • Diggers — For other meanings, see Diggers (disambiguation). Woodcut from a Diggers document by William Everard. The Diggers were an English group of Protestant agrarian communists,[1] …   Wikipedia


Поделиться ссылкой на выделенное

Прямая ссылка:
Нажмите правой клавишей мыши и выберите «Копировать ссылку»