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Diggers

Diggers. Small communistic groups, active in 1649–50, sometimes calling themselves True Levellers. Their prophet Gerrard Winstanley taught that God made the earth to be a common treasury; property and man's subjection to man were results of the Fall. The religious foundations of their beliefs range them nearer to contemporary millenarians than to modern Marxists or Maoists. But unlike the Fifth Monarchists they eschewed the use of force; their aim was not to dispossess landlords, robbers of their fellow-creatures though they were, but merely to assert the people's right to common land, and to lands recently confiscated by the Commonwealth. A pioneering group began digging the commons on St George's Hill (Surrey), in April 1649. The Council of State ordered General Fairfax to disperse them, but it was angry locals who finally destroyed their cabins and crops. They moved on to Cobham, but suffered the same fate. Some evidence survives of nine other short-lived Digger colonies, mainly in the home counties and midlands.

Austin Woolrych

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"Diggers." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Diggers." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/diggers

"Diggers." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved July 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/diggers

Diggers

Diggers, members of a small English religio-economic movement (fl. 1649–50), so called because they attempted to dig (i.e., cultivate) the wastelands. They were an offshoot of the more important group of Puritan extremists known as the Levelers. Gerrard Winstanley was the leader of the Diggers and the exponent of their egalitarian and communistic philosophy in his New Law of Righteousness (1649). The little band planted the common land at St. George's Hill, Surrey, and at nearby Cobham, but their project was met with suspicion by their neighbors and resistance from the landowners on whose property they encroached. In the spring of 1650 their community was destroyed by mob violence, and the experiment was abandoned. Winstanley's Law of Freedom (1652) extended his thesis that English law and institutions should be modified immediately to bring social and economic equality to all men through common ownership of the land.

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"Diggers." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Diggers." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/diggers

"Diggers." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/diggers

Diggers

Diggers. A radical expression of the mid-17th-cent. Leveller movement, whose adherents described themselves as ‘True Levellers’. Inspired by the leadership of Gerard Winstanley and William Everard, the Diggers formed communal settlements, dug and sowed common land in several English counties (1649–50), vigorously maintaining that the earth was a common treasury.

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"Diggers." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Diggers." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/diggers

"Diggers." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved July 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/diggers

Diggers

Diggers (1649–50) English millenarian social and religious sect in England, an extreme group of the Levellers. They formed an egalitarian agrarian community at St George's Hill, Surrey. It was destroyed by local farmers. The main Digger theorist, Gerrard Winstanley, proposed communalization of property to establish social equality in Law of Freedom (1652).

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"Diggers." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Diggers." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved July 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/diggers