It was 1642 England divided by the sword. The Kingsmen who ruled old England and the disillusioned public had come to face each other on the battlefields of hell.
Unlike the second Earl of Falkland who saw it as his duty to defend the King but hated war this man was not so forthright . He was born in London and rose to council and ran an orderly business. His name more like a high born Knight was no more than a man who wanted nothing to do with fighting for the King. His name was Gerrad Winstanley and within 7 years the war would bring him to Cobham in the county of Surrey.
1n 1649 that wars over that civil matter of a King bringing in foreign aid to fight his own people who he was sworn to protect was at a head. In London they were executing that sad man of blood for that traitor that he was. It shocked the world as it was the end of a long tradition with Monarchs as Gods.
England was left in turmoil .Sons had fought fathers as the war was a belief. One wanted a tyrant King or one desired freedom to choose who ran the nation. Old faith in Kings against hard fact youth and those who sided with justice and the people. Civil wars that are still deeply engraved in all English men ever now.
In 1980 I met an old Prime Minister of Britain at his studies. it was in a Bishops house near Nottingham where I stopped to ask the road to a certain hall. The Bishop invited me inside his abode in order that his friend could tell me the road I needed. When I was introduced to this said fellow I saw him as Micheal Foot the ex Labour head of Government. He sat gazing at me and finally gave his question. “Tell me sir which side did your family fight on in 1645.”? It was all he said,his milk bottle bottom specs steamed over as I told him “Sir my family fought sadly for the tyrant King. ” It was a remark that stunned him but he said not a word more. I left and found the road myself.
Winstanley and Foot would perhaps liked each other. When all was still being sorted by Oliver Cromwell and the Parliament the provinces looks bare as in war the armies lived off the land.
The Digger of Cobham.
Gerrad Winstanley had the idea to start a food growing scheme and so gave up what was left of his business and with new zeal for his idea he took with him shovels picks and bags of seed to Cobham a little way outside of the City. Here he proclaimed that scrub land as belonging to the people and so that day in 1649 set up a colony of willing people with knowledge of gardening and farming ways.
Over weeks the land was made into veg plots and soft fruit areas. Back breaking work but they even built huts to store crops , tools and to sleep in. Over a period of months this venture became news all over the South lands. From here and from there families half starved arrived to join Winstanleys pioneers on the land.
Before long thousand strong house built land made good and people fed and clothed. Prayers said in thanks to the Lord God for the bounty of food for all.
This venture now came to the local land owners ears. Rich land owners now came to inspect what was really going on and when amazed they saw what was really a village built and land farmed and gardened they told Winstanley to move of their lands. They told him no such thing as common land all land was owned by someone and as he had no deeds it was not his.
Winstanley was not a uneducated fool so he decided to fight and went off back to London to seek legal help. This fight went on for weeks and in the end poor Winstanley and his friends found that even though he was right the army arrived to shift them off the land. Even though common land in theory belongs to the public from that day, in 1650, forth law now says all land that is not deeded to owners belongs to Government. So we executed King Charles in January 1649 but one year later nothing had changed some one, anyone , ruled hard over the minions.
The crops and fruit cut down and trampled on by heavy horse troops and boots of soldiers the work of the devil. Nothing remained on Codham farm as it was called a vast top of a hill that was a place of God and the efforts of a valiant peoples .
What happened to Winstanley is a mystery as he simple vanished from historys page.
Then he did write more than a line in our story as a English speaking race.
To have lived in those times would not have been easy with all our knowledge of events for we do not have the way of it all in modern times such as we dwell. For our ancestors still believed in witchcraft and some studied more than others and common man knew his place in the structure of things. After the Civil wars it all changed fora while .Cromwell gave us real government he gave us a navy and ruled a hard line but in Gods name he was needed more than we knew. He was not as many paint him today. He liked a beer and pipe of good tabac He sang and fought for legal rights and justice. He died exhausted trying. God rest his soul for what the Royalist did to him after his death was evil. They dug him up mad hanged the remains on the gibbet and his head set on Cromwells daughters doorstep for the poor women to find in the morning. Those who brought the son of the dead man if blood back as king destroyed the reputation of a greater man than any of them could have been. The first law that came from the new King Charles 11 was to make Cromwell Navy Royal.
Nothing changes after war of any level only the dead build up on both sides and what for? To fill the pockets of the ruling class who live of metal shares arm deals and saving of pensions paid in by work of those now dead. War is the hiding place of the evil and against the laws of a higher King than ever man can pretend to be. Apes that walk and talk and fight are primitive and uneducated beyond what we thing we know.Winstanley that digger of Cobham hill may rest in peace for here one man tries to set the record straight. Power to the people.
Yours in respect my readers, Sir Kevin.
copyright Kevin Parr Bt.