Putney Debates tea towel
The English Civl War began in 1642 following King Charles I's refusal to accept the demands for restrictions to his powers by Parliament. With strongest support in the south and east of England, Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army made its headquarters in Putney, south London. Members of the Army held a series of debates with the aim of drawing up a new constitution for Britain. They began on 28th October 1647 initially at the Church of St Mary the Virgin. Radicals in the debates called for "one man, one vote", the authority of the House of Commons over the King and Lords, biennial parliaments and the reorganisation of constituencies. They declared sacrosanct for all Englishmen "freedom of conscience," "freedom from impressment into the armed forces", and "equality before the law". This tea towel is based on contemporary woodcut illustrations of the debates.