More revolutionary, yet far more restricted in influence, the Diggers launched an experiment under their leader Gerard Winstanley at St George's Hill in Surrey which saw a communal lifestyle that abandoned al conceptions of private property and land. The inspiration for the Diggers' ideology was both Biblical and Anglo-Saxon: they looked back to before the eleventh century Norman Conquest and perceived it as a time when Englishmen were born free because, they believed, land had been held in common. Such a movement was undoubtedly far too visionary for the mid-seventeenth century, and predictably enough the government ordered Fairfax to arrest its leaders and destroy the colonies. Other Digger colonies in south and midlands failed in the event of local hostility. The small influence the Digger movement had is perhaps best illustrated by the fact they never numbered more than a hundred members at any one time.

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