Title page from Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics Vol. 1 (1638-1643)

Part of: Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics (1638-1660), 7 vols. Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics Vol. 1 (1638-1643)

A collection of 11 pamphlets from 1638-1643 including works by John Lilburne, William Walwyn, Robert Greville, Henry Parker, John Goodwin, and William Prynne.

Every effort has been made to transcribe these 17th century political tracts as accurately as possible. They have been checked against facsimile copies of the originals which in many cases were of very poor quality. Some of the problems the coders and editors encountered were the vagaries of 17th century spelling, the faint print of the text in marginal notes and in long quotes in Latin, and the sometimes casual approach to the typesetting of the text. The result has been files with thousands of illegible words and characters (volume 4 (1647) had over 2,000). We have marked illegible words or characters in the text with the statement [Editor: illegible word]. Sometimes, when it has been impossible to decipher the text (especially in marginalia) we have have indicated this with the following statement: “The following marginalia text is unreadable and Liberty Fund has made no effort to partially transcribe it.” We have made no attempt to modernize the spelling but we have corrected some obvious errors such as transposed, upside down, or missing characters.

For more information about the titles and authors in this collection, see:

The second expanded edition of LT will have the following additional 31 titles (all but 7 of which have been corrected and are available elsewhere on the OLL):

  1. T.4 [1640.??] (8.1) John Selden, A Brief Discourse concerning the Power of the Peeres (1640). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T4
  2. T.282 [1640.11.3] (M1) Henry Parker, The Case of Shipmoney briefly discoursed (3 Nov. 1640). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T282
  3. T.5 [1641.??] (10.1) [Richard Overton], A Dreame, or Newes from Hell (1641). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T5
  4. T.6 [1641.??] (8.2) John Davies, An Answer to those Printed Papers by the late Patentees of Salt (1641). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T6
  5. T.283 [1641.04.12] (M2) John Pym, The Speech or Declaration of John Pym (12 April, 1641). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T283
  6. T.7 [1641.05] (8.3) Anon., The Lamentable Complaints of Nick Froth the Tapster (May 1641). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T7
  7. T.260 [1641.05] John Milton, Of Reformation Touching Church Discipline in England (May, 1641). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T260
  8. T.261 [1641.06] John Milton, Of Prelatical Episcopacy (June or July, 1641). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T261
  9. T.8 [1641.06] (10.2) [Richard Overton or John Taylor], Old Newes newly Revived (June 1641). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T8
  10. T.262 [1641.07] John Milton, Animadversions upon The Remonstrants Defence against Smectymnuus (July, 1641). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T262
  11. T.9 [1641.08] (10.3) [Richard Overton], The Frogges of Egypt, or the Caterpillers of the Commonwealth (August, 1641). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T9
  12. [UNCORRECTED - 31 illegibles] T.11 [1641.10] (8.4) Katherine Chidley, The Justification of the Independant Churches of Christ (October, 1641). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T11
  13. T.263 [1642.01] John Milton, The Reason of Church-Government Urged against Prelaty (Jan. or Feb., 1642). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T263
  14. T.13 [1642.01.06] (8.5). John Hare, The Marine Mercury (6 January, 1642). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T13
  15. T.264 [1642.04] John Milton, An Apology against a Pamphlet (for Smectymnuus ) (April, 1642). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T264
  16. T.14 [1642.04.21] (8.6) Anon., A Question Answered (21 April, 1642). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T14
  17. T.284 [1642.06.18] (M3) Charles I, His Majesties Answer to XIX Propositions made by both Houses of Parliament (18 June, 1642). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T284
  18. T.285 [1642.08??] (M4) Henry Ferne, The Resolving of Conscience upon this Question (Autumn 1642). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T285
  19. T.16 [1642.09.30] (8.7) John Marsh, The Great Question concerning the Militia (30 September, 1642). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T16
  20. T.17 [1642.10.15] (8.8) Richard Ward, The Vindication of the Parliament (15 October, 1642). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T17
  21. [UNCORRECTED - 110 illegibles] T.20 [1642.11.26] (8.9) Richard Ward, The Anatomy of Warr (26 November, 1642). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T20
  22. [UNCORRECTED - 31 illegibles] T.21 [1642.12.06] (8.10) William Prynne, A Vindication of Psalme 105.15 (6 December, 1642). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T21
  23. T.286 [1642.12.29] (M5) Charles Herle, A Fuller Answer to a Treatise written by Doctor Ferne (29 Dec. 1642). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T286
  24. [UNCORRECTED - 6 illegibles] T.22 [1642.12.31] (8.11). Anon., The Privileges of the House of Commons (31 December, 1642). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T22
  25. T.23 [1643.01.17] (8.12) John Norton, The Miseries of War (17 January, 1643). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T23
  26. T.24 [1643.01.24] (8.13) Anon., The Actors Remonstrance (24 January, 1643). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T24
  27. T.25 [1643.02.24] (8.14) Anon., Touching the Fundamentall Lawes of this Kingdome (24 February, 1643). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T25
  28. [UNCORRECTED - 1 illegible] T.27 [1643.05.19] (8.15) Anon., Briefe Collections out of Magna Charta (19 May, 1643). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T27
  29. [UNCORRECTED - 42 illegibles] T.28 [1643.05.24] (8.16) Philip Hunton, A Treatise of Monarchy (24 May, 1643). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T28
  30. [UNCORRECTED - 167 illegibles] T.29 [1643.06.14] (8.17) Anon., The Subject of Supremacie (14 June, 1643). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T29
  31. T.265 [1643.08] John Milton, The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce (August, 1643). /pages/leveller-tracts-2nd-1#T265

Key Quotes

Presidents, Kings, Tyrants, & Despots

It was soon therefore provided that lawes agreeable to the dictates of reason should be ratified by common consent, and that the execution and interpretation of those Lawes should be intrusted to some magistrate, for the preventing of common injuries betwixt Subject and Subject, but when it after…