The Struggle for democracy; commemorating Free-born John Lilburne and the Levellers


From National Theatre website

This year is the 400th Anniversary of the birth of ‘Free-born’ John Lilburne, campaigner for democracy in the English Revolution, and one of the leaders of the Leveller movement.

From 15 April. Light Shining in Buckinghamshire

Revolution, faith and the battle for the soul of England. A play by Caryl Churchill. ‘In the aftermath of a bloody and brutal civil war, England stands at a crossroads. Food shortages, economic instability, and a corrupt political system threaten to plunge the country into darkness and despair. The Parliament men who fought against the tyranny of the King now argue for stability and compromise, but the people are hungry for change. For a brief moment, a group of rebels, preachers, soldiers and dissenters dare to imagine an age of hope, a new Jerusalem in which freedom will be restored to the land. Light Shining in Buckinghamshire tells the story of the men and women who went into battle for the soul of England. Passionate, moving and provocative, it speaks of the revolution we never had and the legacy it left behind.’

Ticket prices: £15, £25, £35. Preview prices: 15 & 16 April – £15, £20, £25

Thursday 30 April, 6pm. Lyndsey Turner on Light Shining in Buckinghamshire

The director discusses the new production of Caryl Churchill’s play, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire.

Chaired by Libby Purves. National Theatre. £4/£3

Thursday 7 May. 1pm & 6pm. The Putney Debates

On Election Day, National Theatre actors will read from the 1647 debates about how this country should be run for the benefit of all.  National Theatre. £4/£3

Friday 15 May. Lilburne Night

Lweveller 15 May

Saturday 16 May. 10.30am to 3.30pm. Levellers’ Day 2015 at Burford

See details at levellers-day-2015-flier

Thursday 21 May.  6pm. Civil War: ancient and modern

Examination of events in England in the 1640s and more recent parallels and resonances. Guests include historian Diane Purkiss (author of The English Civil War: A People’s History) and political activist John Rees (co-author of A People’s History of London). National Theatre. £4/£3

Wednesday 24 June. 7pm. John Lilburne and the Struggle for Democracy (provisional title). Talk by John Rees (Levellers Association). Organised by Croydon Radical History Network as part of Croydon Heritage Festival. Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Rd, CR0 1BD.

Saturday July. 2pm. Diggers, Ranters and Fifth Monarchy Men

Diggers 18 July

Mondays – Saturdays 10am-4pm. The Putney Debates 1647 Exhibition

Permanent exhibition stands as a monument to celebrate one of the most important events in our constitutional history.

St Mary’s Church, Putney (by Putney Bridge) the site where the Putney Debates were held in 1647. Please call 020 8788 4414 before visiting as weekly events in the church can cause the exhibition to temporarily close.

 You can keep up to-date with news about events etc

about the Levellers and John Lilburne at


About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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