top of page
  • Writer's pictureGordon Elliot

Levellers Day 2024

These photographs, kindly supplied by Peter Martin, show some of the events on Levellers Day which fell on Saturday 17 May. The event commemorates three hundred or so soldiers from Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army who mutinied in 1649 over demands for pay and refusal to go and fight in Ireland. After being captured by forces loyal to Cromwell they were locked up in Burford Parish Church. Three who were believed to be ringleaders were then shot in the churchyard, watched from the church roof by the remaining members of their group. The shooting is depicted in a painting in the Burford Tolsey Museum.

The modern Levellers started the event in Burford in the mid-1970s. It is held on the Saturday nearest to the date of the shooting, 17 May. It used to be regularly attended by the late Tony Benn MP. The original Levellers are considred by many to be the first truly democratic movement in the country who wanted to establish free speech and religious tolerance. The modern Levellers hold political discussions, lay wreaths and process through the town. This year's procession was led by the Revd Canon Professor Mark Chapman, professor of the history of modern theology at Oxford University.


bottom of page