Protestant reformer, political philosopher, and activist. Co-founder of the True Levellers. Born Wigan. 1630 came to London, became an apprentice and, 1638, a freeman of the Merchant Taylors' Company. 1643 bankrupt and moved to Surrey.
Published pamphlets which, based on the bible, argued for the common ownership of land. 1649 He and his followers took over vacant or common lands in a number of counties and cultivated them. 1650 local landowners used force to end this.
His father-in-law helped him recover financially. About 1664 he returned to London trade.