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The Putney Debates

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Putney Debates of 1647, when factions of the New Model Army considered a possible new constitution for England.

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Putney Debates. For several weeks in late 1647, after the defeat of King Charles I in the first hostilities of the Civil War, representatives of the New Model Army and the radical Levellers met in a church in Putney to debate the future of England. There was much to discuss: who should be allowed to vote, civil liberties and religious freedom. The debates were inconclusive, but the ideas aired in Putney had a considerable influence on centuries of political thought.


Justin Champion
Professor of the History of Early Modern Ideas at Royal Holloway, University of London

Ann Hughes
Professor of Early Modern History at Keele University

Kate Peters
Fellow in History at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge.

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Available now

42 minutes

Last on

Thu 18 Apr 2013 21:30


Professor Justin Champion at Royal Holloway, University of London


Professor Ann Hughes at Keele University


Dr Kate Peters at the University of Cambridge


The Putney Debates of 1647


Online Library of Liberty - The Clarke Papers


Putney debaters - Oxford Dictionary of National Biography


Thomas Rainborowe - Oxford Dictionary of National Biography


Putney Debates - Wikipedia





Philip Baker (ed.), The Levellers: The Putney Debates (Verso, 2007)


Philip Baker and Elliot Vernon (eds.), The Agreements of the People, the Levellers, and the Constitutional Crisis of the English Revolution (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)


Charles Firth (ed.), The Clarke Papers (Offices of the Royal Historical Society, 1992)


Michael Mendle (ed.), The Putney Debates of 1647: The Army, the Levellers and the English State (Cambridge University Press, 2001)


Andrew Sharp (ed.), The English Levellers (Cambridge University Press, 1998)


A. S. P. Woodhouse (ed.), Puritanism and Liberty: Being the Army Debates 1647-9 (Everyman Ltd, 1986)


Austin Woolrych, Soldiers and Statesmen: the General Council of the Army and its Debates 1647-8 (Clarendon Press, 1987)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Producer Thomas Morris
Producer Thomas Morris


  • Thu 18 Apr 2013 09:00
  • Thu 18 Apr 2013 21:30

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