Gerrard Winstanley

John Gurney

in Brave Community

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780719061028
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700747 | DOI:
Gerrard Winstanley

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter discusses the life of Gerrard Winstanley, who was an active Digger. Gerrard Winstanley was 34 when he arrived in Cobham, and 39 when he led the Diggers on to St George's Hill. Winstanley set up independently as a cloth merchant in the London parish of St Olave Old Jewry. In September 1640 he married Susan King of St Martin Outwich, the daughter of a London barber surgeon. By late 1643, Winstanley was on the verge of bankruptcy, and before the end of the year he had ceased trading and had left London for Surrey. Winstanley's time in Cobham is often presented as one of abject hardship, with him being reduced to the status of a labourer herding cattle for his neighbours. By his own account he suffered from the strains of war after his move from London to Cobham, because of the burthen of taxes and much free-quarter.

Keywords: Gerrard Winstanley; Digger; Surrey; London; Cobham; cloth merchant

Chapter.  14619 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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