Henry Ireton (1611-1651) – Soldier and political thinker

Henry Ireton was the eloquent spokesperson for the Grandees of the New Model Army who sided with his father-in-law Oliver Cromwell.  At Putney they were pitted against the Republicans and the Levellers, who believed that the King had blood on his hands having fought against and killed his own people. But the radicals feared that the Army was now being betrayed by their own leaders in the ongoing negotiations with Charles I.  These fundamental differences brought the debates to a premature and inconclusive end.

During the debates Ireton’s defence of the property qualification and opposition to general manhood suffrage, would place him on the wrong side of history.

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The World Turned Upside Down
The World Turned Upside Down - The British Civil Wars 1638-1651
Henry Ireton (1611-1651) - Soldier and political thinker
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Ted Vallance

Director of the Graduate School, University of Roehampton

Ted Vallance is Professor of History at the University of Roehampton. He is the author of four books, most recently Loyalty, Memory and Public Opinion in England,…

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Excerpts from the Putney Debates and An Agreement of the People (1647) in Andrew Sharp ed., The English Levellers (Cambridge University Press, 1998)
Phil Baker, ‘Putney Debaters’ in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004)