Friday, March 28, 2008

John Lilburne: The First English Libertarian (Peter Richards)

Peter Richards on the great English champion of liberty:

The year 2007 marked the 350th anniversary of the death of John Lilburne, a remarkable Englishman. He became known to his contemporaries as "Freeborn John." He described himself as "a lover of his country and sufferer for the common liberty."

His biographer Pauline Gregg concluded:

He could be called the first English Radical — a great-hearted Liberal — a militant Christian — even if the spirit of his teaching were taken fully into account, the first English democrat. But it is better to leave him without a label, enshrined in the words he spoke for his party: "And posterity we doubt not shall reap the benefit of our endeavours, what ever shall become of us."

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