Leveller Women in the English Revolution 1647
The English Revolution / English Civil War (1640 to 1660) overthrew the monarchy of Charles I. The Levellers were one of the larger groups and movements that worked for an extension of the franchise, religious tolerance, an elected judiciary and many other reforms.
This image is inspired by an account of a meeting of Levellers with supporters of Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army at an encampment near Malton in North Yorkshire. Taking advantage of the revolution’s temporary assault on patriarchal authority, women claimed the right to be heard. This was an act of political and physical bravery in which they risked torture and execution.
Meetings like these took place throughout England in 1647 to debate the direction of the revolution.
One of a set of eight images from Red Saunders’ Hidden Project.
The Hidden Project
The Hidden Project recreates great moments in the long struggle of working people for democracy and social justice. The aim of the project, through reimagining those events, is to reproduce important historic scenes involving the dissenters, revolutionaries, radicals and non-conformists who have so often been hidden from history.
Tony Benn, Patron of the Hidden Project, says “Those who see these photographic representations will then be able to identify with past generations and gain confidence from the knowledge that they are part of a world-wide movement that has always existed and must be sustained.”
Red Saunders is a professional photographer who combines his photographic practice with cultural, musical and political activism.
Images copyright Red Saunders 2011. Retouching by Adrian Hayes.
Further information, reading list and full credit list of supporters and volunteers on ‘The Hidden Project’ go to the website: www.redsaundersphoto.eu.