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JOHN LILBURNE AND THE LONG PARLIAMENT

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 January 2001

J . T. PEACEY
Affiliation:
History of Parliament, London

Abstract

This piece reinterprets the career of the Leveller, John Lilburne, during the English Civil War, by re-examining the official sources pertaining to him, and the multitude of pamphlets written by himself and his enemies. The article recovers the chronology of Lilburne's story, by stripping away the layers of propaganda with which he later surrounded himself. It shows that he had powerful friends at Westminster, and that his tribulations were caused by political rivalries within Westminster rather than his development of a radical political theory. He is shown to have formed part of the ‘Independent alliance’ during the mid-1640s, although his protected position was eventually imperilled by the fracturing of this group after the end of the first Civil War. The aim is to improve not just our understanding of Lilburne, but the complexity of parliamentarian politics during the 1640s.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2000 Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

I am grateful to members of the seventeenth-century British history seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, and to Prof. John Morrill, Dr David Scott, and Dr Ian Roy for comments on an earlier draft of this article.
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