The Digger Movement in the Days of the Commonwealth Part 30

53. If any person be sick or wounded, the Chyrurgeons, who are trained up in the knowledge of Herbs and Minerals, and know how to apply plasters or physick, shall go when they are sent for to any who need their help, but require no reward, because the Common Stock is the public pay for every man's labor.

54. When a dead person is to be buried, the Officers of the Parish and neighbors shall go along with the corpse to the grave, and see it laid therein in a civil manner; but the public Minister nor any other shall have any hand in reading or exhortation.

[Whatever we may think of this latter proviso, certain it is that it would put an end to many unseemly squabblings at a time when they are specially to be avoided.]

55. When a man hath learned his Trade, and the time of his seven years Apprenticeship has expired, he shall have his Freedom to become Master of a Family, and the Overseers shall appoint him such young people to be his servants as they think fit, whether he marry or live a single life.


56. Every man and woman shall have the free liberty to marry whom they love, if they can obtain the love and liking of that party whom they would marry, and neither birth nor portion shall hinder the match. For we are all of one blood, mankind, and for portion, the Common Storehouses are every man and maid's portion, as free to one as to another.

57. If any man lie with a maid and beget a child, he shall marry her.

58. If a man lie with a woman forcibly, and she cry out and give no consent; if this be proved by two witnesses, or the man's confession, he shall be put to death, and the woman let go free: it is robbery of a woman's bodily freedom.

59. If any man by violence endeavour to take another man's wife, the first time of such violent offer he shall be reproved before the Congregation by the Peacemaker; the second time he shall be made a Servant under the Task-master for twelve months; and if he forcibly lie with another man's wife, and she cry out, as is the case when, a maid is forced, the man shall be put to death.

60. When any man or woman have consented to live together in marriage, they shall acquaint all the Overseers in the Circuit therewith, and some other neighbors. And being all met together, the man shall declare with his own mouth before them all that he takes that woman to be his wife, and the woman shall say the same, and desire the Overseers to be witnesses.


61. No Master of a Family shall suffer more meat to be dressed at a dinner or supper than will be spent and eaten by his household or company present, or within such a time after before it be spoilt. If there be any spoil constantly made in a family of the food of man, the Overseer shall reprove the Master for it privately; if that abuse be continued in his family, through his neglect of family government, he shall be openly reproved by the Peacemaker before all the people, and ashamed for his folly; the third time he shall be made a servant for twelve months under the Task-master, so that he may know what it is to get food, and another shall have the oversight of his house for the time.

62. No man shall be suffered to keep house and have servants under him till he hath served seven years under command to a Master himself. The reason is that a man may be of age and of rational carriage before he be made a Governor of a Family, that the peace of the Commonwealth may be preserved.



WINSTANLEY, The Mystery of G.o.d concerning the Whole Creation, Mankind.--April 1648. (British Museum, Press Mark, 4377, a. 1.)

" The Breaking of the Day of G.o.d.--May 1648. (British Museum, P. M., 4377, a. 2.)

" The Saints' Paradise: Or the Father's Teaching the Only Satisfaction to Waiting Souls.--August or September 1648. (British Museum, P. M., E. 2137.)

" Truth Lifting up its Head above Scandals.--October 1648. (British Museum, P. M., 4372, a.a. 17.)

" (?) Light Shining in Buckinghamshire.--December 1648. (British Museum, P. M., E. 475 (11).)

" (?) More Light Shining in Buckinghamshire.--March 1649. (British Museum, P. M., E. 548 (33).)

" (?) A Declaration from the Well Affected in the County of Buckinghamshire.--May 1649. (British Museum, P. M., E. 555.)

" The New Law of Righteousness.--January 1649. (Jesus College Library, Oxford.)

" Fire in the Bush: The Spirit burning, not consuming but purging, Mankind.--March 1649. (Bodleian Library.)

" A Declaration from the Poor Oppressed People of England.--March 1649. (British Museum, Press Mark, 1027, i. 16 (3).)

" The True Levellers' Standard Advanced: Or the State of Community opened and presented to the Sons of Men.--April 1649. (British Museum, P. M., E. 552.)

" A Declaration of the b.l.o.o.d.y and Unchristian Acting of William Star and John Taylor of Walton, with diverse men in women's apparel, in opposition to those that dig upon St. Georges Hill.--June 1649.

(British Museum, Press Mark, E. 561.)

" A Letter to Lord Fairfax and his Council of War.--June 1649.

(British Museum, P. M., E. 560 (1).)

" An Appeal to the House of Commons.--July 1649. (British Museum, P. M., E. 564. Also at the Guildhall Library.)

" A Watchword to the City of London.--August 1649. (British Museum, P. M., E. 573. Also at the Guildhall Library.)

" A Second Letter to Lord Fairfax.--December 1649. (Clarke Papers, vol. ii. pp. 217-220.)

COSTER, ROBERT, A Mite cast into the Common Treasury.--December 1649.

(British Museum, P. M., E. 585.)

" The Diggers' Mirth. (British Museum, P. M., E. 1365.)

" The Diggers' Song. (Clarke Papers, vol. ii. p. 218.)

WINSTANLEY, A New Year's Gift for the Parliament and Army.--January 1650. (British Museum, P. M., E. 587.)

" A Vindication of Those whose Endeavour it is only to make the Earth a Common Treasury, called Diggers.--February 1650. (British Museum, P. M., E. 1365.)

" An Appeal for Money.--April 1650. (See "A Perfect Diurnal," British Museum, P. M., E. 534.)

" A Declaration from Wellingborrow, in the County of Northampton.-- March 1650. (British Museum, under Wellinborrow, P. M., S. Sh.

fol. 669 f., 15. 21.)

" An Appeal to all Englishmen to Judge between Bondage and Freedom.--March 1650. (British Museum, P. M., S. Sh. fol. 669 f., 15. 23.)

" An Humble Request to the Ministers of Both Universities and to all Lawyers of every Inns-a-Court.--April 1650. (Dyce and Forster's Library, South Kensington Museum.)

" The Law of Freedom in a Platform: Or True Magistracie Restored.--February 1652. (British Museum, P. M., E. 655. Also at the Guildhall and Bodleian Libraries.)

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