The Levellers, such as John Lilburne (1615-1657), Richard Overton (1631-1664), and William Walwyn (c. 1600-1681), were a group of radical libertarian activists and pamphleteers who were active during the English Revolution. They advocated individual liberty, property rights, constitutionally limited government, religious toleration, and free trade at a time when virtually none of these things existed in England. For their troubles, several of them were repeatedly imprisoned and their publications censored.
For more information see the main author pages listed below as well as:
- Topic: the English Revolution
- School of Thought: 17thC Natural Rights Theorists
- Historical Debate: the Divine Right of Kings
- Selected Readings on The English Revolution
Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics (1638-1660), 7 vols.
For more information about our seven volume collection of Leveller Tracts see:
- Introduction to the Collection
- Titles Listed by Author
- Combined Table of Contents (by volume and year)
The full collection: Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics (1638-1660), 7 vols. Edited by David M. Hart and Ross Kenyon (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2014-15).
It consists of the following:
- Vol. 1 (1638-1643)
- Vol. 2 (1644-1645)
- Vol. 3 (1646)
- Vol. 4 (1647)
- Vol. 5 (1648)
- Vol. 6 (1649)
- Vol. 7 (1650-1660)
Further Information about the Pamphlets and the Authors
Publishing information about each title can be found in the catalog of the George Thomason collection (henceforth “TT” for Thomason Tracts). Each tract is given a catalog number and a date when the item came into his possession (thus not necessarily the date of publication). We have used these dates to organise our collection in rough chronological order:
Catalogue of the Pamphlets, Books, Newspapers, and Manuscripts relating to the Civil War, the Commonwealth, and Restoration, collected by George Thomason, 1640-1661. 2 vols. (London: William Cowper and Sons, 1908).
- Vol. 1. Catalogue of the Collection, 1640-1652
- Vol. 2. Catalogue of the Collection, 1653-1661. Newspapers. Index.
Biographical information about the authors can be found in the Biographical Dictionary of British Radicals in the Seventeenth Century, ed. Richard L. Greaves and Robert Zeller (Brighton, Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1982-84), 3 vols.
- Volume I: A-F
- Volume II: G-O
- Volume III: P-Z