Lilburne day 24th Oct

Programme for the above at Birkbeck, University of London (saving the best til last):

24 October 2009



Jason Peacey (UCL):

‘To repair to Westminster: public politics and the trial of John Lilburne’



Phil Baker

Rachel Foxley (Reading):

‘How to criticize John Lilburne’



Jerome de Groot (Manchester) and Jason McElligott (TCD):

‘Lilburne’s legacies’

Ted Vallance (Roehampton):

‘John Lilburne and the historians’


God’s Executioner: Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland review

A full review of Micheal O Siochru’s book by Jason Peacey on the IHR’s Reviews in History site, plus a response from the author himself.

John Lilburne Conference

London Renaissance Seminar
Birkbeck College, University of London
24 October 2009

On 25 October 1649, the charismatic Leveller leader John Lilburne was dramatically acquitted of treason following a high profile trial at London’s Guildhall. The decision was greeted by jubilant crowds and celebratory bonfires, and was quickly commemorated by a medal which explained that Lilburne had been ‘saved by the power of the Lord and the integrity of the jury’. In the 360 years since that trial, Lilburne has become one of the seventeenth century’s most well-known characters, and one of few contemporaries who have been capable of taking centre stage in both academic and popular histories of the civil wars. However, Lilburne was a flagrant self-publicist, who did much to mythologize his own story, while since his death ‘Freeborn John’ has been made into a hero for a range of more or less incompatible political causes. For Lilburne, more than for most of his contemporaries, it is vital to try and separate myth from reality, and to explore how his reputation has been made and moulded since the 1640s. This event will contribute to this process by reconsidering Lilburne’s 1649 trial, and by thinking about its importance for enhancing our understanding the life and times of this most controversial character.


Ted Vallance, Phil Baker, Rachel Foxley, Jason Peacey, Jerome de Groot

Details: Jerome de Groot

Free stuff

In the course of doing various things, I’ve found links to a couple of recent free to access articles, one by Jason Peacey on representations of the court in the Parliamentarian press

Actually, the whole of this journal appears to be free to access – so worth having a root around.

and another by Justin Champion on What Are Historians For?

(the title of which seems to invite the Edwin Starr-style response ‘Huh, absolutely nuthin’, say it again!’)