Originally published in 1968, the documents collected in this volume (all re-set for ease of reading), trace the history of the Puritan Revolution from its roots in the early seventeenth century to the Restoration. They show how the causes and the course of the upheaval were reflected immediately and polemically in the torrent of books, tracts and pamphlets, letters, speeches, sermons, petitions, paper constitutions and government instruments that accompanied and often precipitated events. The documents substantiate the conviction of many scholars that the English Revolution represented a shaking of society comparable to the French and Russian revolutions. The Introduction discusses the work of historians of modern-day historians of the period and contributes to the debate about the underlying causes of the crisis.
Table of Contents
Part 1: England on the Eve of Civil War 1. The State of England, Anno Dom. 1601 Thomas Wilson 2. Oceana James Harrington 3. Behemoth Thomas Hobbes Part 2: Seeds of Conflict A: Political 1. The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates John Milton 2. Master Pym’s Speech in Parliament, 1640 3. Petition of Twelve Peers for the Summoning of a New Parliament, 28 August 1640 4. The Grand Remonstrance, 1 December 1641 5. The Nineteen Propositions, 1 June 1642 B: Religious 1. Speech at the Censure of Bastwick, Burton and Prynne Archbishop Laud, June 1637 2. Anti-Arminianism William Prynne, 1630 3. A Glimpse of Sion’s Glory Hanserd Knollys 1641 4. Toleration Justified William Walwyn 1646 5. The Root and Branch Petition, 11 December 1640 6. The Solemn League and Covenant 25 September 1643 Part 3: The Rival Armies 1. Life and History of the Rebellion Earl of Clarendon 2. The Self-Denying Ordinance 3 April 1645 3. Letter from Cromwell to Speaker Lenthall 14 September 1645 4. The Case of the Army Truly Stated 15 October 1647 Part 4: The Levellers and the Diggers 1. England’s New Chains Discovered John Lilburne 26 February 1648 2. A Manifestation John Lilburne, et al 14 April 1649 3. The True Levellers’ Standard Advanced William Everard, Gerrard Winstanley et al 1649 Part 5. The ‘Royal Martyr’ 1. The Charge Against the King, 20 January 1649 2. The King’s Reasons for Declining the Jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice 21 January 1649 3. The Sentence 27 January 1649 4. The Death Warrant 29 January 1649 5. Letter from Venetian Ambassador at Munster 26 February 1649 7. Letter from Venetian Ambassador at Paris 8 June 1649 8. Eikon Basilike Part 6: The Commonwealth A: Paper Constitutions 1. The Heads of the Proposals 1 August 1647 2. Letter to the Free-born People of England 1647 3. The Agreement of the People 15 January 1649 4. The Engagement 1650 B: The Call for Reform 1. The Humble Petition of Divers Free-born Englishmen 1 September 1650 2. Bills Proposed for Acts William Leach 10 June 1651 3. Propositions William Leach 10 June 1651 4. A Declaration of the Commoners of England 13 February 1652 5. ‘Letter to a Dear Friend’ John Lilburne 18 January 1653 6. The Only Right Rule for Regulating Laws and Liberties 28 January 1653 Part 7: The Protectorate 1. The Instrument of Government 16 December 1653 2. A True State of the Case of the Commonwealth 8 February 1654 3. A Summary Collection of the Principal Fundamental Rights, Liberties, Properties of All English Freemen William Prynne 6 November 1656 Part 8: The Restoration 1. The Declaration of Breda 4 April 1660 2. Diary John Evelyn May 1660 3. A Country Song, Entitled ‘The Restoration’ May 1661 4. The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth John Milton 1660.
Stuart E. Prall is Professor Emeritus in history at CUNY.
‘…a penetrating and profound study, a major contribution to historical studies in our time.’ Times Literary Supplement
‘A triumph of research, synthesis and clarity. It will be the standard account for some long time to come.’ Times Educational Supplement
‘…pulls together and makes sense of the work of a generation of historians. For religious and political history his book is an event of great significance… it will be the starting point for our thought about Puritanism for many years to come. Christopher Hill, Economic History Review
‘…his erudition is unrivalled, his industry indefatigable…’ Hugh Trevor-Roper, Sunday Times