The Liberty Tree – The Life, Times & Writings of Tom Paine

Leon Rosselson and Robb Johnson perform a musical event interspersed with contemporary songs that reflect Paine's ideas. These were influenced by the American War of Independence and were influential on the French Revolution. "When the rich plunder the poor of his rights, it becomes an example to the poor to plunder the rich of his property." Thomas Paine The Liberty Tree tells the story of Tom Paine's extraordinary life, interweaving Paine's own words, from his letters and the pamphlets which […]

Religious Radicals 1: James Nayler

Suggested areas of discussion… The religious/political turmoil of the 17th century Nayler in the New Model Army What Nayler believed and preached Nayler and Fox : Radical and Reformist currents in the Quakers What actually happened when Nayler rode into Bristol in October 1656 The trial and punishment and its wider political implications Why was Nayler forgotten and why he should be remembered

James Nayler Commemoration

Be 'your own personal Jesus' and join in with the 'Hosannas' as James Nayler, his palm wielding Cancan Dancers and a troop of Roundhead pike and musketmen parade from the Centre via Corn St. to Castle Green. Refuse to 'doff your caps' to the agents of the Crown and celebrate freedom from the religious hierarchy. Dress : Floppy Hats Attitude : Blasphemous If you see this text the video has failed to play. Please let us know by emailing brh@brh.org.uk.

By Rite

Custom, Ceremony and Community in England 1700-1880

By Bob Bushaway
By Rite: Custom, Ceremony and Community in England 1700-1880
Political philosophers (such as Gramsci) and social historians (such as E. P. Thompson) have suggested that rural customs and ceremonies have much more to them than the picturesqueness which has attracted traditional folklorists. They can be seen to have a purpose in the structures of rural society. But no historian has really pursued this idea for the English folk materials of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: the period from which most evidence survives. Bringing together a wealth of […]

Q

By Luther Blisset
By Rite: Custom, Ceremony and Community in England 1700-1880
What a rollicking read! This book blasts you through the religious wars of 16th Century Northern Europe at a cracking pace. The authors (all four of them) are truly steeped in the knowledge of the period's history - and it shows! The characters are real, living and, all too often, bloody participants in the protestant (in this case German Anabaptist) struggle to overthrow the Catholic Church's Holy Empire. But more, it's the story of people’s struggle to overthrow the dominant mindset imposed by […]

The World Turned Upside Down

Radical Ideas During the English Revolution

By Christopher Hill
Find out about why it was the English Revolution and not just the English Civil War. Discover the 'third force' of the period, Levellers, Diggers, Ranters, Religious Radicals and the rebellious New Model Army that frightened the Royalists and Parlimentarians alike with their 'communist' ideas. Absolute classic, to be read aloud to your mates on stormy nights (with a few beers). (BRHG)

James Nayler’s Ride into Bristol : October 1656

James Nayler From Bristol Past and Present Vol III by J. F. Nicholls and John Taylor 1882.
350 years ago this month a small group of men and women approached the gates of Bristol, singing hosannas before a man on a horse. They appeared to be imitating Christ's entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The man was James Nayler (1617-1660), a leader of the upstart Quaker movement and onetime member of Cromwell's New Model Army. The Puritan authorities were outraged. Nayler was seized and charged with blasphemy. Sent to London where he was the subject of a full Parliamentary debate for ten […]

James Nayler

James Nayler
Taken from Bristol Past and Present by J. F. Nicholls and John Taylor, published in 1882 In our ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, at 24 and 285, we have already given some description of the rise and sufferings of that section of the church of Christ known originally as the Quakers, but now more frequently called the Friends, who were the first sufferers in Bristol for conscience sake since the days of the Marian persecution. Their first appearance in Bristol was probably in 1652; certainly they were here […]

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