Miles Sindercombe and other Levellers unsuccessfully attempt to set fire to Whitehall

(122 words)

Historical Context Note

After the Leveller Mutiny of 1649, the Leveller movement was sidelined and even condemned by the leading Parliamentarians. Miles Sindercombe was a Leveller who made several unsuccessful attempts to assassinate Oliver Cromwell. At the end of 1656, he brought together a small group of like-minded men to try to kill the Lord Protector. After repeatedly failing in their attempts to shoot him, they planned to set fire to Whitehall Palace by laying an incendiary device in the chapel. Although they managed the first stage of their plan, the pressure became too much, and one of the other conspirators, John Toope, betrayed them. Sindercombe was captured, and only prevented himself from being hanged, drawn and quartered by drinking poison on the e…

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