A Boding from þe Underyoked of England

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Happy Arfeþ Day! Þis is a small writ I (Yose) haf oferset by Gerrard Winstanley.

Þe Writ




Arm underyoked Folk




To all þat call þemselfes, or are called

Lords of Drihtenhuses

þruhe þis ÞEED;

Þat haf begun to cut, or þat þruhe

fear and yissing, do mean to cut down

þe Woods and Trees þat grow upon þe

Meannesses and þe Weest Land.

Þrucced in þe Year, 1649.

We hwose names are underwritten, in þe name of all arm underyoked folk in England, bode unto ew, þat call ewerselfes lords of Drihtenhuse, and Lord of þe Land, Þat umb þe King of Rihtwiseness, ure scaper, haf inlihtened ure hearts so far, as to see, Þat þe earþ was not made willfully for ew, to be Lords of it, and we to be ewer Þralls, Þews, and Beggers; but it was made to be made an amean Lifelihood to all, wiþute scedmaking of leeds: And þat ewer buying and selling of Land, and þe Bleads of it, one to anoþer, is þe hexed þing, and was brouht in by War; hwic haþ, and still onstells morþ, and þeft, in þe hands of sum buhes of Mankind ofer oþers, hwic is þe greatest uteward birden, and unrihtwise miht, þat þe Making groans under: For þe miht of tining Land, and owning Auht, was brouht into þe Making by ewer Forebears by þe Sword; hwic first murþered þeir fellow beings, Men and after plunder or steal away þeir Land, and left þis Land aftercomingly to ew, þeir Cildren. And þerefore, þouh ye killed not nor þeefed, yet ye hold þat hexed þing in ewer hand, by þe miht of þe Sword; and so ye seek to make þe wicked deeds of ewer Faþers seem riht; and þat sin of ewer Faþers, scall be neesed upon þe heads of ew, and ewr Cildren, to þe þird or fourþ knee, and longer too, till ewer bloody and þeefing miht be rooted ute of þe Land.

And furþer, umb þe King of Rihtwiseness haþ made us anyettel of ure birdens, and þe wails and groaning of ure hearts are cum before him: we take it as a witword of luf from him, Þat ure hearts begin to be freed from þrallish fear of men, suc as ye are; and þat we find Will in us, grunded upon þe inward law of Luf, one towards anoþer, To Dig and Pluhe up þe Meannesses, and weest Lands þruhe England; and þat ure mooting scall be so unlayworþy, Þat ewer Laws scall not reac to underyoke us any longer, unless ye by ewer Laws will sced þe cleanhearted blood þat runs in ure edders.

For þouh ye and ewer Forebears got ewer Auht by morþ and þeft, and ye keep it by þe same miht from us, þat haf an efen riht to Land wiþ ew, by þe rihtwise Law of Life, yet we scall haf no þouht of fihting (as ye haf) abute þat worrisum defil, called Lone auht: For þe Earþ, wiþ all her Bleads of Corn, Neat, and suc like, was made to be an amean Stock-huse of Lifelihood to all Mankind, freend, and foe, wiþute uteliers.

And to stafe off ewer irksum Wiþsaws, know þis, Þat we Must neiþer buy nor sell; Yeeld must not any longer (after ure work of þe Earþs amone is furþered) be þe great god, þat hedges in sum, and hedges ute oþers, for Yeeld is but a deal of þe Earþ: And wissly, þe Rihtwise Maker, hwo is King, nefer witted, Þat unless sum of Mankind, bring þat Ore (Silfer and Gold) in þeir hands, to oþers of þeir own kind, þat þey scould neiþer be fed nor be cloþed; no wissly, For þis was þe undertaking of Leedhate-flesc (hwic Land-lords are buhes of) to set his Bild upon Yeeld. And þey make þis unrihtwise Law, Þat none scould buy or sell, eat, or be cloþed, or haf any cweme Lifelihood among men, unless þey brouht his Bild þrucced upon Gold or Silfer in þeir hands.

And hwereas þe Writs speak, Þat þe mark of þe Feend is 666, þe rime of a man; and þat þose þat ne bring þat mark in þeir hands, or in þeir foreheads, þey scould neþer buy nor sell, Openbearing 13:16. And seeing þe riming Stafes umb abute þe Englisc yeeld make 666, hwic is þe rime of þat Kingly Miht and Wolder, (called a Man) And seeing þe eld of þe Making is nue cum to þe Bild of þe Feend, or Half day. And seeing 666 is his mark, we foredeem þis to be þe last Leedhating miht þat scall weeld; and þat folk scall lif freely in þe neeting of þe Earþ, wiþute bringing þe mark of þe Feend in þeir hands, or in þeir behiht; and þat þey scall buy Wine and Milk, wiþute Yeeld, or wiþute toll, as Isah speaks.

For after ure work of þe Earþly amone is furþered, we must make note of Gold and Silfer, as we do of oþer ores, but not to buy and sell wiþal; for buying and selling is þe great blenc, þat reafes and steals þe Earþ one from anoþer: It is þat hwic makeþ sum Lords, oþers Beggers, sum Weelders, oþers to be weelded; and makeþ great Murþerers and Þeefes to be hafters, and hangers of littel ones, or of earnest-hearted men.

And hwile we are made to swink þe Earþ togeþer, wiþ one oneread and willing mind; and hwile we are made free, þat efery one, freend and foe, scall neet þe foredeal of þeir Making, þat is, To haf food and cloþing from þe Earþ, þeir Moþer; and efery one bund to gif witness of his þouhts, words, and deeds to none, but to þe one and only rihtwise Deemer, and Friþfengel; þe Goast of Rihtwiseness þat dwells, and þat is nue rising up to weeld in efery Wiht, and in þe hwole Þoþer. We say, hwile we are made to hinder no man of his Birþriht gifen him in his Making, efen to one, as to anoþer; hwat Law þen can ye make, to take hold upon us, but Laws of Underyoking and Leedhatred, þat scall beþrall or spill þe blood of þe Cleanhearted? And so ewer Selfes, ewer Deemers, Lawwits, and Doomsmen, scall be fund to be þe greatest Lawleapers, in, and ofer Mankind.

But to draw neerer to bode ure meaning, hwat we woold haf, and hwat we scall seek to þe uttermost to grasp, as meeþful and rihtwise Rode steers us; seeing we are made to see ure Sunderrihts, gifen us in ure Making, hwic haf hiþerto been wiþsaid to us, and ure Faþers, sinse þe miht of þe Sword began to weeld, And þe hiddlings of þe Making haf been locked up under þe wunsum, Popingay-like speaking, from þe Lorehuses, and Kenhalls for Bookmen, And sinse þe miht of þe murþering, and þeefing Sword, before, as well as nue of late yeers, haþ set up a Leedward, and upholds þat Leedward; for hwat are fanghuses, and putting oþers to deaþ, but þe miht of þe Sword to forþfil folks to þat Leedward hwic was got by Oferwinning and Sword, and cannot stand of it self, but by þe same murþering miht? Þat Leedward þat is got ofer folk by þe Sword and kept by þe Sword, is not set up by þe King of Rihtwiseness to be his Law, but by Yissing, þe great god of þe world; hwo haþ been let to weeld for a time, times, and dealing of time and his leedward draws to þe tide of þe last frist of his lotted time; and þen þe Þeeds scall see þe wolder of þat Leedward þhat scall weeld in Rihtwiseness, wiþute eiþer Sword or Spear.

And seeing furþer, þe miht of Rihtwiseness in ure hearts, seeking þe lifelihood of oþers as well as ure selfes, haþ drawn forþ ure bodies to begin to dig, and pluhe, in þe Meannesses and weest Land, for þe grunds already boded,

And seeing and finding ureselfes arm, wanting Food to feed upon, hwile we swink þe Earþ to cast in seed, and to wait till þe first crop cums up; and wanting Pluhes, Carts, Corn, and suc þings to wortwale þe Meannesses wiþal, we are willing to bode ure standing to ew, and to all, þat haf þe Hoard of þe Earþ, locked up in ewer Bags, Cests, and Barns, and will offer up noþing to þis folkly Hoard; but will raþer see ewer fellow Wihts starfe for want of Bread, þat haf an efen riht to it wiþ ewer selfes, by þe Law of Making: But þis by þe way we onely bode to ew, and to all þat follow þe cunning craft of buying and selling þe Earþ wiþ her Bleeds, only to get þe Hoard þereof into þeir hands, to lock it up from þem, to hwom it belongs; þat so, suc yissing, ofermoody, unrihtwise, selfisc flesc, may be left wiþute load in þe Doomsday.

And þerefore, þe main þing we mint at, and for hwic we Bode ure Ettels to go forþ, and do, is þis, To lay hold upon, and as we stand in need, to cut and fell, and make þe best behoof we can of þe Woods and Trees, þat grow upon þe Meannesses, To be a stock for ure selfes, and ure arm Breþren, þruhe þe land of England, to wortwale þe Meannesses wiþal; and to afford us bread to eat, 'till þe Bleeds of ure arfeþ in þe Earþ bring forþ eke; and we scall meddle wiþ none of ewer Auhts (but hwat is called meanness) till þe Goast in ew, make ew cast up ewer Lands and Goods, hwic were got, and still is kept in your hands by murþer, and þeft; and þen we scall take it from þe Goast, þat haþ oferwon ew, and not from ure Swords, hwic is an fearsum, and unrihtwise miht, and a oferspiller of þe Making: But þe Son of man cums not to forspill, but to keep.