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An Account of Denmark

Robert Molesworth

The Liberty Fund edition of An Account of Denmark, with its related texts, is the first modern edition of Molesworth’s writings. This volume presents not only An Account, a text that for most of the eighteenth century was recognized as one of the canonical works of Whiggism, but also his translation of Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor. These texts encompass Molesworth’s major political statements on liberty as well as his important and understudied recommendations for the application of liberty to economic improvement, all presented here with editorial apparatus to provide historical and contextual background for the reader.

In An Account of Denmark, "Robert Molesworth famously diagnosed the causes of a disordered commonwealth," writes Champion in the introduction. "Unlike the reception of Locke, Molesworth's writings provided insight into processes of corruption rather than simply a set of prescriptive juristic values. In the Account of Denmark, especially, Molesworth established how tyranny worked, identifying the contaminating ideologies and institutions."Robert Molesworth (1656–1725) was an Irish politician and diplomat.

Justin Champion is Chair of the History Department at Royal Holloway College, University of London.David Womersley is Thomas Warton Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford.

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The Excellencie of a Free State

Or, The Right Constitution of a Commonwealth

Marchamont Nedham

First published in 1656, and compiled from previously written editorials in the parliamentarian newsbook Mercurius Politicus, The Excellencie of a Free-State addressed a dilemma in English politics, namely, what kind of government should the Commonwealth adopt? One possibility was to revert to the ancient constitution and create a Cromwellian monarchy. The alternative was the creation of parliamentary sovereignty, in which there would be a "due and orderly succession of supreme authority in the hands of the people's representatives." Nedham was convinced that only the latter would "best secure the liberties and freedoms of the people from the encroachments and usurpations of tyranny."Marchamont Nedham (1620-1678) was a polemicist, pamphleteer, and editor of Mercurius Politicus.Blair Worden is Research Professor of History, Royal Holloway College, University of London.

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A Letter Concerning Toleration and Other Writings

John Locke

ALetter Concerning Toleration and Other Writings brings together the principal writings on religious toleration and freedom of expression by one of the greatest philosophers in the Anglophone tradition: John Locke. The son of Puritans, Locke (1632–1704) became an Oxford academic, a physician, and, through the patronage of the Earl of Shaftesbury, secretary to the Council of Trade and Plantations and to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. A colleague of Robert Boyle and Isaac Newton and a member of the English Royal Society, Locke lived and wrote at the dawn of the Enlightenment, a period during which traditional mores, values, and customs were being questioned.This volume opens with Locke's Letter Concerning Toleration (1689) and also contains his earlier Essay Concerning Toleration (1667), extracts from the Third Letter for Toleration (1692), and a large body of his briefer essays and memoranda on this theme. As editor Mark Goldie writes in the introduction, A Letter Concerning Toleration "was one of the seventeenth century's most eloquent pleas to Christians to renounce religious persecution." Locke's contention, fleshed out in the Essay and in the Third Letter, that men should enjoy a perfect and "uncontrollable liberty" in matters of religion was shocking to many in seventeenth-century England. Still more shocking, perhaps, was its corollary, that the magistrate had no standing in matters of religion. Taken together, these works forcefully present Locke's belief in the necessary interrelation between limited government and religious freedom. At a time when the world is again having to come to terms with profound tensions among diverse religions and cultures, they are a canonical statement of the case for religious and intellectual freedom.This Liberty Fund edition provides the first fully annotated modern edition of A Letter Concerning Toleration, offering the reader explanatory guidance to Locke's rich reservoir of references and allusions. The introduction, a chronology of Locke's life, and a reading guide further equip the reader with historical, theological, and philosophical contexts for understanding one of the world's major thinkers on toleration, who lived and wrote at the close of Europe's Reformation and the dawn of the Enlightenment.This book is the first volume in Liberty Fund's Thomas Hollis Library series. As general editor David Womersley explains, Thomas Hollis (1720–1774) was a businessman and philanthropist who gathered books he thought were essential to the understanding of liberty and donated them to libraries in Europe and America in the years preceding the American Revolution.John Locke (1632–1704) was an English philosopher and physician.

Mark Goldie is Reader in British Intellectual History, University of Cambridge and is co-editor of The Cambridge History of Political Thought, 1450–1700 and editor of John Locke: Two Treatises of Government and John Locke: Political Essays.

David Womersley is Thomas Warton Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford. His most recent book is Divinity and State.

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