The Diggers (1649)

Erik Ruin     2010     10.5 x 16.5

An homage to the 17th century British revolutionaries who created small agrarian communities in hopes of actualizing their beliefs that all are equal and that all property should be held in common.

#70 in the Celebrate People’s History Series. This poster is a full-bleed digital reprint on 80 lbs cardstock.

The words on the poster are taken from the lyrics to “The World Turned Upside Down” by Leon Rosselson:

“In 1649, to St. George’s Hill,

a ragged band they called the Diggers came to show the people’s will.

They defied the landlords, they defied the laws,

they were the dispossessed reclaiming what was theirs.

We come in peace, they said, to dig and sow,

we come to work the land in common, and to make the wasteland grow.

This earth divided, we will make whole, so it can be a common treasury for all.

The sin of property we do disdain,

no one has the right to buy and sell the earth for private gain.

We work, we eat together, we need no swords.

We will not bow to masters, or pay rent to lords.

We are free men, though we are poor.

You diggers all stand up for glory, stand up now.

From men of property, the orders came.

They sent the hired men and troopers to wipe out the Diggers’ claim.

Tear down their cottages—destroy their corn.

They are dispersed—only the vision lingers on.

You poor take courage. You rich take care.

The earth is a common treasury for everyone to share.”



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