Thomas Rainborowe (1610-1648) – Romantic radical hero

“the poorest hee … in England hath a life to live, as the greatest hee.”

Thomas Rainborowe was the romantic rallying point of the radicals during the debates.  The de facto leader of the radical group of New Model Army officers. he argued vehemently in favour of The Agreement of the Peopledrawn up by the Levellers, which demanded universal male suffrage and religious toleration as well as the supremacy of Parliament over the monarchy. This put Rainborowe and his faction into head-on conflict with Oliver Cromwell and the other Grandees of the Army Council such as Henry Ireton who were still seeking an accommodation with Charles I.

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Thomas Rainborowe (1610-1648) - Romantic radical hero
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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)