Portrait of John Lilburne

Quotes by John Lilburne

1615 – 1657

John Lilburne (1615-1657) was a leader in the Leveller movement of the 1640s. A prolific pamphleteer, he was imprisoned several times for his religious views and became an ardent defender of religious liberty. He was active in the army of parliament and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. His more important works include England’s Birthright Justified (1645), England’s New Chains Discovered (1649), The Hunting of the Foxes (1649).


Natural Rights

John Lilburne on one’s duty to respect “the Right, Due, and Propriety of all the Sons of Adam, as men” (1646)

John Lilburne

Rhetoric of Liberty

John Lilburne rails against his unjust imprisonment (1646)

John Lilburne

Presidents, Kings, Tyrants, & Despots

John Lilburne shows defiance to the tyrants who would force him to pay tythes to the Church (1648)

John Lilburne


John Lilburne argues from prison that the King and the Magistrate must obey the law like everyone else (1648)

John Lilburne