[Diggers350] At Wellingborough Diggers’ Memorial – With Local Socialists Paul Crofts & Richard Jackson

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Mon Oct 4 00:55:19 BST 2021

At The Wellingborough Diggers’ Memorial – With 
Local Independent Socialists Paul Crofts & Richard Jackson

A COMMENT - alt link: 
At the Wellingborough Diggers memorial – with 
Independent Socialists Paul Crofts & Richard 
Jackson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etDApfxyeMI
A group for all independently-minded people who 
are broadly “socialist” in outlook and beliefs. 
You do not have to be a member of any political 
party, but you can be if you want. Campaigns for 
progressive social change in Wellingborough and Northamptonshire/UK
At the Wellingborough Diggers’ memorial – with 
Wellingborough Independent Socialists Paul Crofts & Richard Jackson
www.thisweek.org.uk Martin Summers & Tony Gosling 01 Oct 2021

The Wellingborough Diggers of 1650: A tribute to 
Mischief-making on a grand scale
The contribution of the Diggers cannot be 
underestimated as we wrestle with opposing the 
gross and disgusting inequalities of wealth and 
income across the globe that is there for all to 
see and developing a vision of a different kind 
of society in the future. The Diggers dreamt of a 
new type of world and that dream is still with us 
today, albeit the language in which the dream is 
described may have changed over the passage of 
time. I have used the term mischief, because this 
is the word used to describe the Diggers at the 
time. A contemporary letter of April 15th 1649 
(1650)[1], from the Government of the day 
(Council of State) to “ 
 Mr. Pentlow, Justice of 
Peace for County Northampton” said:
“We approve your proceedings with the Levellers 
in those parts, and doubt not you are sensible of 
the mischief these designs tend to, and of the 
necessity to proceed effectively against them. If 
the laws in force against those who intrude upon 
other men’s properties, and that forbid and 
direct the punishing of all riotous assemblies 
and seditious and tumultuous meetings, be put in 
execution, there will not want means to preserve 
the public peace against attempts of this sort of people”.
In particular I draw your attention to then words 
 mischief these designs tend to, and of the 
necessity to proceed effectively against them.” 
What were the Digger’s designs and actions that 
were so threatening that “
 there will not want 
means to preserve the public peace”?
In a unique “Declaration of the Grounds and 
Reasons” issued by the Wellingborough Diggers in 
1649 (1650), we have an opportunity to hear their 
own voice across the centuries:
Their actions were very simple:
“(We) have begun and give consent to dig up, 
manure and sow corn upon the Commons and Waste 
Ground called Bareshanks, belonging to the people 
of Wellinborrow by those that have subscribed and 
hundreds more that give consent”
Why were they taking this action?
“We are in Wellinborrow in one parish of 1169 
persons that receive alms
 our trading is 
decayed; our wives and children cry for bread; 
our lives are a burden to us, divers of us having 
5, 6, 7, 8, 9 in family, and we cannot get bread 
for them by our labour. Rich men’s hearts are 
hardened; they will not give us if we beg at 
their doors. If we steal, the law will end our 
lives. Divers of the poor are starved to death 
already; and it were better for us that are 
living to die by the Sword than by the famine 
How did they justify their action – what 
underpinned the philosophy or set of ideas that encouraged them?
“We find (in the word of God) that God made the 
earth for the use and comfort of all mankind, and 
sat him in it to till and dress it

God never gave to any sort of people that they 
should have it all to themselves and shut out the rest 

We find that no creature that ever God made was 
deprived of the benefit of the Earth, but mankind 

 it is nothing but covetousness, pride and 
hardness of heart that hath caused man so far to degenerate.
That in the last day the oppressor and proud man 
shall cease and God will restore the waste places 
of the Earth to the use and comfort of man, and 
that none shall hurt or destroy in all His Holy Mountain.
We have great encouragement from two righteous 
Acts, which parliament of England has set forth, 
the one against kingly power and the other to 
make England a free Common-wealth”
Within a few weeks (we do not know for sure how 
long it lasted) the Digger enterprise in 
Wellingborough had been brought to an end by the 
forces of “law and order” – unleashed by the nice 
Mr. Pentlow, Justice of the Peace, on 
instructions from the Government of Cromwell. The 
Diggers’ leaders were arrested, taken to 
Northampton, and charged with riot and affray. 
After this nothing is known of what happened to them.
I don’t think it was so much what the Diggers did 
that rattled the ruling class of the day (is 
sowing seed on common land so threatening?), so 
much as the ideas that the declaration promoted 
and was spreading throughout the country. Are 
there resonances here of how the Occupy Movement 
and UK-Uncut and other movements against 
injustice around the world are being treated today?

And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, 
he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and 
gave to them. 
<http://biblehub.com/luke/24-31.htm>31 And their 
eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he 
vanished out of their 
sight.  http://biblehub.com/kjv/luke/24.htm 
'Capitalism is institutionalised bribery' TG
"And I think, in the end, that is the best 
definition of journalism I have heard; to 
challenge authority - all authority - especially 
so when governments and politicians take us to 
war, when they have decided that they will kill and others will die. "
--Robert Fisk
Download, donation only, Tony's three watermarked 
books http://www.bilderberg.org  - My books https://payhip.com/TonyGosling
You can donate to support Tony's work here http://www.bilderberg.org/bcfm.htm
Or buy Tony's three ebooks for £10-£15 here 
https://payhip.com/TonyGosling or paperback here 
TG mobile +44 7786 952037

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://mailman.gn.apc.org/pipermail/diggers350/attachments/20211004/ee661f76/attachment.html>

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list