An offshoot of the Leveller movement, and self-proclaimed True Levellers according to a pamphlet published by Gerrard Winstanley in 1649, he and his followers became known as the Diggers, because of their emphasis on cultivating common land. Winstanley asserted that English people had been living under a 'Norman Yoke', and that the best way to reclaim their lost rights was to defy notions of private property, including planting food (then in acute shortage) on common land. They established communities in Surrey, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, but within two years, the combined hostility of landowners and the Council of State had put an end to the movement.
Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.