Shaftesbury, Locke, and Their Revolutionary Letter?

  • D. N. DeLuna
Keywords: John Locke


Late in 1675, the anonymous Letter from a Person of Quality, to His Friend in the Country was condemned in the House of Lords as a ‘dangerous Book’, indeed a ‘lying, scandalous, and seditious Book’. The Peers ordered it to be burned by the public hangman, and opened an investigation designed to discover its author, printer, and publisher. About this search and its success in tracking the author(s) down, very little is known. But as J. R. Milton and Philip Milton, who included the pamphlet in their Clarendon edition of John Locke’s Essay Concerning Toleration and his Other Writings on Law and Politics, 1667–1683, have pointed out, ‘no one has ever doubted that it was written by someone in Shaftesbury’s circle and for Shaftesbury’s purposes. John Locke, Shaftesbury’s secretary at the time, has long been a suspected collaborator in its production.

How to Cite
DeLuna, D. N. 2018. “Shaftesbury, Locke, and Their Revolutionary Letter?”. Locke Studies 17 (February), 143-71.