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Winstanley is a proper noun. It can be the name of a place currently pa\rt of the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, in Greater Manchester; or a surname, of families originating from the parish of Winstanley. The two names are pronounced with different stress, according to LPD, which says

  • The place in Greater Manchester is 'WIN-sten-ly' (IPA: /ˈwɪntst ən liː/)
  • The family name is usually 'win-STAN-ly' (IPA: /wɪn ˈstæn liː/)

Students in Higher education may come across three people called Winstanley in particular:

    • Gerrard Winstanley (baptized 1609, died 1676) was a famous Digger (or True Leveller) during the English Civil War. He wrote copiously, and was a true radical, attempting to introduce an equal society where property rights ceased to dominate society.
    • William Winstanley (c.1628-1698), also a writer who, under the pseudonym 'Poor Robin' showed some sympathy with the poor, was in fact a royalist. He wrote biographies, including one (not unsympathetic) of Oliver Cromwell, poems and parody almanacs.
    • Another pseudonymous writer was Edith Maud Winstanley (1880-1947) (née Henderson), who,under the name of E.M.Hull wrote widely read novels in the 1920s such as The Sheikh (1919), filmed in 1921 with Rudolf Valentino as the central character, the great Arabian lover, the eponymous Sheikh. (Her husband's full name was Percy Winstanley Hull, though they lived as Mr and Mrs Winstanley.)