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Overton, Richardlocked

(fl. 1640–1663)
  • B. J. Gibbons

Extract

Overton, Richard (fl. 1640–1663), Leveller and pamphleteer, is of uncertain background and origins.

There are two conflicting accounts of Overton's early life, both largely conjectural. In Amsterdam there exists a signed Latin confession of faith made by Overton on his conversion to General Baptism, and it was once generally assumed that this was made at the same time as other General Baptist confessions in the same archive, about 1615. If so, this would give him a probable date of birth some time before 1600. The relatively greater emphasis than other Levellers in his writings on such rural grievances as enclosure may indicate that he had rural origins, possibly in ...

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J. Venn & J. A. Venn, , 2 pts in 10 vols. (1922–54); repr. in 2 vols. (1974–8)