|Died||29 October 1648 38) (aged|
|Resting place||St. John's Church, Wapping, London|
|Occupation||Parliamentarian, Soldier, Leveller, Politician|
|Known for||Political radicalism Levellers|
Vice-Admiral Thomas Rainsborough (6 July 1610 – 29 October 1648), or Rainborowe, was a prominent figure in the English Civil War and the leading spokesman for the Levellers in the Putney Debates.
The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers") principally over the manner of England's governance. The first (1642–1646) and second (1648–1649) wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third (1649–1651) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The war ended with Parliamentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.
The Levellers were a political movement during the English Civil War (1642–1651) committed to popular sovereignty, extended suffrage, equality before the law and religious tolerance. The hallmark of Leveller thought was its populism, as shown by its emphasis on equal natural rights, and their practice of reaching the public through pamphlets, petitions and vocal appeals to the crowd.
The Putney Debates were a series of discussions among the increasingly dominant New Model Army – a number of the participants being Levellers – concerning the makeup of a new constitution for Britain.
He was the son of William Rainsborough, a captain and Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy, and ambassador to Morocco (for his services to end white slavery he was offered a baronetcy, which he declined).Before the war, Thomas and his brother, William Rainsborowe, were both involved in an expedition to the Puritan Providence Island colony, off the coast of Nicaragua and the Rainsborough family had previous marriage links to Massachusetts. Thomas Rainsborough was devout in his religious beliefs and was a Fifth Monarchist.
Captain William Rainsborough was an English Captain and Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy, English ambassador to Morocco and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 to 1642.
Major William Rainsborowe, or Rainborowe, was an officer in the English Navy and New Model Army in England during the English Civil War and the Interregnum. He was a political and religious radical who prospered during the years of the Parliamentary ascendancy and was an early settler of New England in North America.
The Providence Island colony was established in 1631 by English Puritans on what is now the Colombian Department of Isla de Providencia, about 200 kilometres (120 mi) east of the coast of Nicaragua. Although intended to be a model Puritan colony, it also functioned as a base for privateers operating against Spanish ships and settlements in the region. In 1641, the Spanish overran and destroyed the colony.
Rainsborough served in the Parliamentary forces during both the first and second English Civil Wars. Originally a naval officer he commanded the Swallow, the Lion and other English naval vessels during the first civil war. By May 1645, he was a Colonel in the New Model Army having raised an infantry regiment. Rainsborough took an active part in the battles at Naseby and Bristol. In 1645 he captured the symbolic stronghold of Berkeley Castle for Parliament before moving to the siege of Oxford, which surrendered the following June. Later in 1646, he helped conclude the Siege of Worcester and was made the city's governor.
The First English Civil War (1642–1646) began the series of three wars known as the English Civil War. "The English Civil War" was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations that took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1651, and includes the Second English Civil War (1648–1649) and the Third English Civil War (1649–1651). The wars in England were part of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, being fought contemporaneously with equivalents in Scotland and Ireland.
The New Model Army of England was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, and was disbanded in 1660 after the Restoration. It differed from other armies in the series of civil wars referred to as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms in that it was intended as an army liable for service anywhere in the country, rather than being tied to a single area or garrison. Its soldiers became full-time professionals, rather than part-time militia. To establish a professional officer corps, the army's leaders were prohibited from having seats in either the House of Lords or House of Commons. This was to encourage their separation from the political or religious factions among the Parliamentarians.
Naseby is a village in the District of Daventry in Northamptonshire, England. The population of the civil parish at the 2011 Census was 687.
In 1648 Rainsborough was moved from the army and given, by Parliament, command of the navy, holding the rank of Vice-Admiral. His appointment was unpopular with both officers and sailors, resulting in a mutiny (and declaration for the King) of six ships on 27 May 1648.In the same year he briefly replaced the Royalist sympathiser William Batten as Captain of Deal Castle, but was dismissed when the castle also declared for the King. Despite his previous experience, Rainsborough was viewed by the navy as being too radical and having been imposed on them by the army. As a result of the mutiny the Earl of Warwick was appointed Lord High Admiral, with Rainsborough returning to the army. On his return to the army, Rainsborough led the siege and victory at Colchester. From Colchester he was tasked with taking Pontefract Castle and it was during this siege he was killed.
Sir William Batten was an English naval officer and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1661 to 1667. As Surveyor of the Navy, he was a colleague of Samuel Pepys, who disliked him and regularly disparaged him in his famous Diary.
Colchester is a historic market town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in the county of Essex. Colchester was the first Roman-founded city in Britain, and Colchester lays claim to be regarded as Britain's oldest recorded town. It was for a time the capital of Roman Britain, and is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network.
PontefractCastle is a castle ruin in the town of Pontefract, in West Yorkshire, England. King Richard II is thought to have died there. It was the site of a series of famous sieges during the 17th-century English Civil War.
In January 1647, Rainsborough became a member of parliament for Droitwich, Worcestershire, England.
A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the voters to a parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, this category includes specifically members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title. Member of Congress is an equivalent term in other jurisdictions.
Droitwich was the name of a constituency of the House of Commons of England in 1295, and again from 1554, then of the House of Commons of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1918. It was a parliamentary borough in Worcestershire, represented by two Members of Parliament until 1832, and by one member from 1832 to 1885. The name was then transferred to a county constituency electing one MP from 1885 until 1918.
Worcestershire is a county in the West Midlands of England.
Rainsborough was the most senior member of the Army Council to support the Leveller proposals. During the Putney Debates his arguments for universal suffrage were called 'anarchy' by Henry Ireton, who spoke for the Army Grandees.During the debates, Rainsborough famously said:
The Army Council was a term first used in 1647 to describe an institution which coordinated the views of all levels of the New Model Army. During the Interregnum it metamorphosed into the (Army) Council of Officers.
Henry Ireton was an English general in the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War, the son-in-law of Oliver Cromwell.
I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he; and therefore truly, Sir, I think it's clear, that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government; and I do think that the poorest man in England is not bound in a strict sense to that government that he hath not had a voice to put himself under.
In October 1648, Rainsborough was sent by his commander, Sir Thomas Fairfax, to the siege at Pontefract Castle. Whilst he was in nearby Doncaster, he was killed by four Royalists during a bungled kidnap attempt. The site is still marked today by a plaque outside of the House of Fraser. As Rainsborough was under Cromwell's disfavour and there were tensions between Rainsborough and the commander he was displacing, Henry Cholmeley, who later defected to the Royalists, many at the time wondered whether there was some Parliamentary complicity in his death, as do historians today.However Royalist Propaganda may also have played a part in all the rumours. The four Royalists involved in the bungled kidnap crossed the River Don at Mexborough and hid out at Conisborough Castle before their failed attempt.
His murder was the subject of a ballad, published in 1648 called "Colonell Rainsborowes ghost or, a true relation of the manner of his death, who was murthered in his bed-chamber at Doncaster, by three of Pontefract souldiers who pretended that they had letters from Lieutenant General Cromwell, to deliver unto him."
His funeral was the occasion for a large Leveller-led demonstration in London, with thousands of mourners wearing the Levellers' ribbons of sea-green and bunches of rosemary for remembrance in their hats. He was buried in St John's Churchyard, Wapping. After his death, his brother, William Rainsborowe, continued in the Ranter cause.
In May 2013 a plaque was unveiled by Cllr Rania Khan, John Rees (writer) and Tony Benn (former MP) in memory of Rainsborough at St John's, Wapping.
Rainsborough is portrayed by Michael Fassbender in the Channel 4 drama The Devil's Whore .
He plays a minor but crucial role in the historical novel Traitor's Field, by Robert Wilton, published in 2013.
Sir Charles Lucas was an English soldier, a Royalist commander in the English Civil War.
Ferdinando Fairfax, 2nd Lord Fairfax of Cameron MP was an English nobleman and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1614 and 1648. He was a commander in the Parliamentary army in the English Civil War.
The Second English Civil War (1648–1649) was the second of three civil wars known collectively as the English Civil War, which refers to the series of armed conflicts and political machinations which took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1651 and also include the First English Civil War (1642–1646) and the Third English Civil War (1649–1651), all of which were part of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.
The Corkbush Field Mutiny occurred on 15 November 1647, during the early stages of the Second English Civil War at the Corkbush Field rendezvous, when soldiers were ordered to sign a declaration of loyalty to Thomas Fairfax, the commander-in-chief of the New Model Army (NMA), and the Army Council. When some refused to do this they were arrested, and one of the ringleaders, Private Richard Arnold, was executed.
Colonel Robert Lilburne (1613–1665) was the older brother of John Lilburne, the well known Leveller. Unlike his brother, who severed his relationship with Oliver Cromwell, Robert Lilburne remained in the army. He is also classed as a regicide for having been a signatory to the death warrant of King Charles I in 1649. He was forty-seventh of the fifty nine Commissioners.
Major-General Robert Overton was a prominent English soldier and scholar, who supported the Parliamentary cause during the English Civil War, and was imprisoned a number of times during the Protectorate and the English Restoration for his strong republican views.
The Sealed Knot is a British historical association and charity, with many members from outside the United Kingdom, dedicated to costumed reenactment of battles and events surrounding the English Civil War.
Thomas Rawton was one of the highest-ranking officers to support the Levellers, and served with Parliament on both land and sea. He was the eldest son of Captain John Rawton, a naval officer who made his fortune in the Baltic trade, and inherited his father's property in the London Borough of Southwark.
Rainsborough, or spelling variations, may refer to:
Events from the year 1646 in England.
Events from the year 1647 in England.
Events from the year 1648 in England.
The unsuccessful second Siege of Hull by the Royalist Earl of Newcastle in 1643 was a victory for Parliament at the high point of the Royalist campaign in the First English Civil War. It led to the abandonment of Newcastle's campaign in Lincolnshire and the re-establishment of Parliament's presence in Yorkshire.
The Battle of Preston, fought largely at Walton-le-Dale near Preston in Lancashire, resulted in a victory for the New Model Army under the command of Oliver Cromwell over the Royalists and Scots commanded by the Duke of Hamilton. The Parliamentarian victory presaged the end of the Second English Civil War.
Sir Edward Rodes, also called Edward Rhodes, of Great Houghton, Yorkshire, served as sheriff of Yorkshire and colonel of horse under Cromwell; he was also a member of Cromwell's privy council, sheriff of Perthshire, and represented Perth in the parliaments of 1656–8 and 1659–1660. Sir Edward's sister Elizabeth was third wife and widow of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford.