John Locke was born on August 29, 1632, in the Somerset village of Wrington. His parents came from provincial puritan trading families, and the young man grew up in the troubled times of the Civil War. His father was an attorney and clerk to the Justices of the Peace in Somerset. The Lockes were clients of Alexander Popham, a leading Justice in the county, member of the Long Parliament for Bath, and a colonel in the Parliamentary army. Through Popham’s influence, the young Locke was admitted to the Westminster School in 1647, where he studied the traditional curriculum of Latin, Greek and Hebrew grammar and rhetoric under the eye of the Royalist headmaster, Richard Busby. In 1652, Locke was elected to a scholarship at Christ Church, Oxford, graduating Master of Arts in 1658. Thereafter he remained at Christ Church as a “Student” (as the fellows of that college were called), acting as a tutor, a lecturer in Greek (1660), rhetoric (1662) and moral philosophy (1664), and actively studying medicine and natural science. At this point in his life, he seemed to be settling comfortably into an academic career.

Poems (1654-1668)

Locke first appeared in print while still an Oxford undergraduate. His earliest published works were five poems written upon different occasions from 1654 to 1668. Two poems, one in Latin and the other in English, were included in a collection of Oxford verses celebrating the victory of the Protectorate in the first Anglo-Dutch War. Eight years and one Restoration later, Locke contributed to two other collections commemorating the restoration and the marriage of Charles II to Catharine of Braganza. The fifth poem, a commendation of Locke’s medical colleague Thomas Sydenham, was appended to successive editions of Sydenham’s treatise on fevers.


Musarum Oxoniensium Έλαιοφορία. Sive, ob fædera, auspiciis serenissimi Oliveri Reipub. Ang. Scot. & Hiber. Dominii Protectoris inter rempub. Britannicam & ordines fæderatos Belgii fæliciter stabilita, gentis togatæ ad vada Isidis celeusma metricum. Oxoniæ, excudebat Leonardus Lichfield Academicæ typographus 1654. 4o.

Collection of verses, organized by John Owen, who signed the dedication to Cromwell.

See “Pax regit Augusti, quem vicit Julius, orbem: …” / J. Locke, ex Æd. Christi. (p. 45) [8 lines] and “If Greece with so much mirth did entertaine …” / J. Locke, student of Ch. Ch. (p. 94-95) [44 lines]

Reprinted in Bourne’s Life (1876), vol. 1:50-52.

Y 251; C 8; Br 1; T 4; Wing O902



Britannia rediviva. Oxoniæ, excudebat A. & L. Lichfield, Acad. Typogr. M.DC.LX [1660]. 4o.

A collection of poems on the restoration of Charles II.

See “Our prayers are heard! …” / J. Locke, A.M. ex Æde Christi (sig. Ff2v-3v) [60 lines]

Reprinted in Goldie, Political essays (1997), pp. 203-204; Hunt, “A forgotten poem by Locke” (2003), pp. 195-198.

Wing O863; H&L 2162


Domiduca Oxoniensis: sive Musæ academicæ gratulatio ob auspicatissimum serenissimæ principis Catherinæ Lusitanæ, regi suo desponsatæ, in Angliam appulsum. Oxoniæ, excudebant A. & L. Lichfield, anno dom. M.DC.LX.II [1662]. 4o.

See “Crowns, scepters, thrones, & the whole state of kings …” / Jo. Locke, M.A. and student of Ch. Ch. (sig. B2v-B3v [2nd section]; pp. 134-136 in Bodleian copy) [56 lines]

Y 255; C 8; Br 3; Wing O875; H&L 6163


“In tractatum de febribus D.D. Sydenham, praxin medicam apud Londinenses mira solertia æque ac fælicitate exercentis” / J. Lock. A.M. ex Æde Christi Oxon. // IN: Thomæ Sydenham Med. Doct. Methodus curandi febres, propriis observationibus superstructa. Editio secunda, priori multò auctior ac emendatior; … Londini, impensis J. Crook, apud quem veneunt …, MDCLXVIII [1668]. [20], 218, [2] p. 8o. Locke’s poem occupies four unnumbered preliminary pages.

“Febriles, aetus, victumque ardoribus orbem …”; also appears in Sydenham’s Observationes medicæ circa morborum acutiorum historiam et curationem (1676) (sig. c3r-c4r)

Y 256, 257; C 8-9; Br 4; T 5; Wing S6133-6134; H&L 2814 [1676]


State poems; continued from the time of O. Cromwel, to the present year 1697. Written by the greatest wits of the age … With several poems in praise of Oliver Cromwel, in Latin and English … Also some miscellany poems by the same, never before printed. Now carefully examined with the originals, and published without any castration. [London] Printed in the year MDCXCVII [1697]. 8o.

Second volume of a collection; the first volume is: Poems on affairs of state: from the time of Oliver Cromwell, to the abdication of K. James the Second. Written by the greatest wits of the age. … With some miscellany poems by the same: most whereof never before printed. Now carefully examined with the originals, and published without any castration. Printed in the year 1697. 8o.

See “Pax regit Augusti, quem vicit Julius, orbem: …” = “A peaceful sway the great Augustus bore …” / J. Locke, ex Æde Christi (p. 8) [English translation, perhaps by Locke himself] and “If Greece with so much mirth did entertain …” / J. Locke, Student of Ch.Ch. (p. 12-13)

Y 252.1; C 9; Wing P2719-2720

Also included in the following editions of Poems on affairs of state: (a) The third edition, corrected and much enlarged. Printed in the year 1699; (b) The fourth edition, corrected and much enlarged. Printed in the year, 1702; and (c) Printed in the year MDCCIII [1703] (does not include “If Greece with so much mirth ….”

Y 252.2. 253, 253.1; Wing P2721



A new collection of poems relating to state affairs, from Oliver Cromwel to the present time: By the greatest wits of the age: wherein, not only those that are contain’d in the three volumes already published are incerted, but also large additions of chiefest note, never before published. The whole from their respective originals, without castration. London, printed in the year, M D CC V [1705]. 8o.

See “If Greece with so much mirth did entertain …” / J. Locke, Student of Ch.Ch. (p. 174-175)

Y 254; Wing P2721


“Verses on several occasions.” // IN: The remains of John Locke Esq; … 1714. Pages 17-20.

Includes “Pax regit Augusta …”, “Crowns, scepters …”, and “Febriles, ætus, victumque …”

C 9


“To Oliver Cromwell” / by Mr. John Locke. // IN: A short critical review of the political life of Oliver Cromwell, Lord-Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. By a gentleman of the Middle-Temple. London: printed for J. Hodges, 1739. Page 318.

”A peaceful sway the great Augustus bore …” [English translation of item #1]

Compiled by John Banks; also issued: (1) London: printed for the author, and sold by J. James, 1739; (2) Dublin: printed by S. Powell for J. Smith and A. Bradley, 1739.


“In tractatum de febribus D.D. Sydenham …” will be included in Writings on medicine and natural philosophy in the Clarendon edition.


The remaining poems (and some additional poems printed from manuscripts) will be included in Literary and historical writings in the Clarendon edition.

Drafts and Unpublished Papers

Although these poems were the only writings Locke published during his years at Oxford, he did write several works which were not published during his lifetime. In 1660-1661, he drafted two tracts, one in English and one in Latin, on the power of the magistrate in matters of religious practice (first published from Locke’s manuscript in 1961). This subject involved a consideration of the law of nature, a topic to which he devoted much attention for several years and which was the subject of his 1664 lectures on moral philosophy (published in 1954). In the meantime, his medical and scientific studies involved him in collaboration with such men as Robert Boyle and Thomas Sydenham. His work with Sydenham resulted in drafts of several medical treatises.

In time, events drew Locke away from the academic life. In 1665-1666 he served as secretary to the diplomatic mission of Sir Walter Vane to the court of Brandenburg at Cleves. In the summer of 1666, he met by chance Anthony Ashley Cooper, Lord Ashley, later 1st Earl of Shaftesbury. Charmed by Locke’s conversation and impressed by his medical skills, Ashley invited Locke to join his household as his personal physician. From 1667 until the Earl’s death in 1683, Locke served his patron in a number of administrative and personal capacities and was encouraged to turn his mind to public issues, such as toleration of dissenters, rates of interest, colonial policy, and politics – as well as continuing his studies in medicine and moral philosophy. Shaftesbury’s household was a stimulating environment, for the Earl was in the thick of English political life, first as a major figure in Charles II’s government and then (after 1675) as its chief opponent.

Out of this period in Locke’s life came the initial formulations of many of his later writings. In 1667, for example, he drafted an “Essay concerning toleration” (published in 1961). In 1668, he drew up a memorandum on interest rates, in which he first set down the ideas contained in the economic writings published after 1690 (the memorandum was published in 1963). The Two treatises of government were probably written sometime between 1679 and 1683 (no draft has survived). Most important, the first two drafts of An essay concerning human understanding date from 1671 (“Draft A” was published in 1936; “Draft B” was published in 1931). In addition to these “formal” writings, Locke kept journals and notebooks, in which he recorded observations on a variety of topics, and conducted a voluminous correspondence. Much of this material has survived, most of it now assembled in the Bodleian Library. Since 1950 most of the major manuscript pieces have been published and more are being prepared for inclusion in the Clarendon edition of Locke’s works.

The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina (1670)

During his years in Shaftesbury’s household, Locke served in a number of administrative positions. During the Earl’s tenure as Lord Chancellor, Locke was made Secretary of Appointments and Presentations (1672-1675). In 1673-1674, he served as secretary to the Council of Trade and Plantations, and from 1671-1675, as secretary to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. In this latter capacity, he was involved in the drafting of the “Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina.” The extent of his involvement in not known, although some contemporaries later assigned him a major role. An early draft is in the Shaftesbury Papers at the Public Record Office [PRO 30/24/47/3; published in “Report on the Shaftesbury papers” / W. Noel Sainsbury. The fundamental constitutions of Carolina has been frequently attributed to him and has regularly appeared in editions of his works.


The fundamental constitutions of Carolina. [London, 1670]. [2], 25, [1] p. 2o.

Dated 1. March 1669[=1670] (p. 25)

Wing2 L2734; C 10


The fundamental constitutions of Carolina. [London, 1682]. 23, [1] p. 2o.

Dated “Twelfth day of January, one thousand six hundred eighty one”[=1682] (p.23)

H&L 594; Wing L2744; C 10


“The fundamental constitutions of Carolina.” // IN: The two charters granted by King Charles IId. to the Proprietors of Carolina. With the first and last Fundamfntal [sic] constitutions of that colony. London: printed, and are to be sold by Richard Parker. [1698]. [2], 60 p. 4o. Pages 33-52.

Reprinted in [1705?].

Wing C3622; C 10


“The fundamental constitutions of Carolina.” Numb. 2 [in a collection of documents appended to] The case of Protestant dissenters in Carolina, shewing how a law to prevent occasional conformity there, has ended in the total subversion of the constitution in church and state. Recommended to the serious consideration of all that are true friends to our present establishment. … London, printed in the year 1706. Pages 12-24.

The case … incorrectly attributed to Daniel Defoe by J.R. Moore.


The fundamental constitutions of Carolina was included in A collection of several pieces 1720 and 1739 [Locke #787-788] and in editions of Locke’s Works beginning with the 5th edition (1751) [Locke #852].


“The first set of the fundamental constitutions of South Carolina.” As compiled by Mr. John Locke. // IN: An historical account of the rise and progress of the colonies of South Carolina and Georgia. … [London] : Printed for Alexander Donaldson, London, 1779. 8o. Vol. 1:321-347.

Collection compiled by Alexander Hewatt.


“The first set of the fundamental constitutions of South Carolina” / as compiled by Mr. John Locke. // IN: Historical collections of South Carolina : embracing many rare and valuable pamphlets, and other documents, relating to the history of that state … / compiled, with various notes, and an introduction, by B.R. Carroll. – New York : Harper, 1836. – v. 2:361-390.

C 10


The fundamental constitutions of Carolina, 1669. – Boston, Mass. : published by the Directors of the Old South Work, [1906?]. – 24 p. – (Old South leaflets ; no. 172)

Text reprinted from the 1836 ed. [item #12]; includes: “John Locke and the Fundamental constitutions of Carolina” / by H.R. Fox Bourne (p. 21-23)


“Fundamental constitutions of Carolina.” // IN: North Carolina charters and constitutions, 1578-1698 / Mattie Erma Edwards Parker, editor. – Raleigh, N.C. : Carolina Charter Tercentenary Commission, 1963. – (The colonial records of North Carolina). – p. 128-240.

Includes both the 1669 draft and the printed editions.

B 186


The fundamental constitutions of Carolina was also included in Political writings / John Locke ; edited and with an introduction by David Wootton (1993). – p. 210-232; extracts were included in A letter concerning toleration and other writings (2010). – p. 146-148.

The fundamental constitutions of Carolina. French.


A French translation by Bernard Gilson was published in 1967 [item #178]

“Carolina” (1671)

In the summer of 1671, Peter Colleton, one of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, wrote to Locke asking him “to gett of my lord [Ashley] those mapps of Cape feare & Albemarle” for inclusion in the atlas of America being prepared by John Ogilby. In addition to the map, Locke made notes for a description of Carolina. The article on Carolina in the atlas was written from Locke’s notes and was probably written by Locke. See the article by Farr cited below.


“Carolina.” // IN: America: being the latest, and most accurate description of the nevv vvorld; containing the original of the inhabitants, and the remarkable voyages thither, … Collected and translated from the most authentick authors, augmented with later observations; illustrated with notes, and adorn’d with peculiar maps and proper sculptures, by John Ogilby Esq; … London, printed by Tho. Johnson for the author, and are to be had at his house in White Fryers, M.DC.LXX [1671]. 2o. Pages 205-212.

The date of publication is incorrect, as the atlas includes content dated 1671.


“Carolina.” // IN: “Locke, ‘some Americans’, and the discourse on “Carolina’ ” / James Farr. // IN: Locke studies. – 9 (2009):81-96.

A letter from a person of quality (1675)

Like The fundamental constitutions of Carolina, A letter from a person of quality has often been attributed to Locke and frequently included in editions of his works. His authorship is a matter of dispute and it is most likely that this tract on the protest in the House of Lords against the Test Act was written largely by Shaftesbury himself, with the assistance of various colleagues and political advisors, possibly including Locke.


A letter from a person of quality, to his friend in the country. [London], Printed in the year 1675. 34 p. 4o.

Wing S2897; C 9


“A letter from a person of quality, to his friend in the country.” // IN: State tracts: being a collection of several treatises relating to government. Privately printed in the reign of K. Charles II. London: printed in the year 1689. Pages 41-55.

H&L 2759; Wing S5329; C 9


A letter from a person of quality was included in A collection of several pieces 1720, 1724 and 1739 [Locke #787-788] and in editions of Locke’s Works beginning with the 5th edition (1751) [Locke #852].


“A letter from a person of quality, to his friend in the country.” // IN: A collection of the parliamentary debates in England, from the year M,DC,LXVIII. to the present time. Dublin: printed. London: reprinted, and sold by J. Torbuck, 1741. Vol. 1:71-115.


A letter from a person of quality is included in Locke #952A, p. 335-376.

A letter from a person of quality.   Abridgment.


“A letter from a person of quality to his friend in the country : giving an account of the debates in the House of Lords, in April and May 1675, concerning a bill, entitled, A bill to prevent the dangers which may arise from persons disaffected to the government” / written by Mr. Locke. // IN: Cobbett’s Parliamentary history of England : from the Norman conquest, in 1066, to the year 1803 … – London : printed by T.C. Hansard : published by R. Bagshaw : and sold by J. Budd [and others], 1806-20. – 4 (1808):col. xxxvii-lxviii.

An abridged version.

Contributions to Learned Journals

Articles in Philosophical transactions (1675-1705)

Locke’s activities during his years with Shaftesbury were not confined to politics and administration. While at Oxford, he had been involved in scientific studies with Robert Boyle and Richard Lower. In 1667 he began a fruitful collaboration with Dr. Thomas Sydenham. In 1668 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society. He was active for several years thereafter as a member of the committee to organize experiments and demonstrations for the Society’s meetings. Throughout his life, he occasionally contributed to the Philosophical transactions – mostly scientific observations, either his own or extracted from his correspondence. On Locke’s scientific activities, his relationship with Boyle and his participation in the Royal Society, see M.A. Stewart, “Locke’s professional contacts with Robert Boyle” (1981)


“An extract of a letter, written to the publisher by Mr. J.L. about poisonous fish in one of the Bahama Islands.” // IN: Philosophical transactions. Numb. 114 (May 24, 1675):312.

From a letter from Richard Lilburne, 6 Aug. 1674; the entire letter appears in Locke’s correspondence [Locke #847, vol. 1:406-407].

Y 258; C 13


“Account of a not yet described scolopendra marina,” by Thomas Molyneux, M.D. S.R.S. Communicated by Mr. Locke. // IN: Philosophical transactions. For the month of February 1696/7. Numb. 225:405-412.

Molyneux published a supplementary notice in Numb. 251 (April 1699):127-129.

Y 259; C 79


“An account of one who had horny excresencies or extraordinary large nails on his fingers and toes,” by Mr. Locke. // IN: Philosophical transactions. For the month of July 1697. Numb. 230:694[=594]-596.

Letters dated 24, 30 May 1678.

Y 260; C 79; Br 20


“Part of a letter giving an account of a person who can neither read nor write, yet will reckon summs to great exactness.” Communicated by Mr. Locke. // IN: Philosophical transactions. For the month of July, 1701. Numb. 272:893-894.

Letter dated: Rotterdam, March 25, 1701; from a letter from Benjamin Furly to his son Arent, forwarded by Locke to Dr. Hans Sloane in a letter of 14 July 1701.

Y 261; C 13


“A register of the weather for the year 1692, kept at Oates in Essex.” By Mr. John Locke. // IN: Philosophical transactions. For the month of April 1705. Numb. 298:1917-1937.

Part of Locke’s register for 1691-1703; the original manuscript is in the British Library [MS. Sloane 4039, ff. 261-270]. Another of Locke’s weather registers, covering 1666-83, was included in Boyle’s General history of the air [Locke #521]

Y 262; C 13; Br 41


In the Clarendon edition [Locke #861], the weather register will be included with Locke’s Writings on medicine and natural philosophy [Locke #931].

Reviews in Le Clerc’s Bibliothèque universelle (1686-1688)

In 1681, Shaftesbury and his followers saw the end of their influence. The Earl went underground and eventually fled to Holland, where he died in 1683. Locke’s life now entered a new phase. Successively an Oxford academic and the client of a noble lord, he was now, at age 50, thrown upon his own devices in particularly precarious times. As an associate of Shaftesbury, he was suspected by the government of Charles II. His health, always a matter of concern, was declining. He decided to follow his patron’s example and retire quietly to Holland.

He arrived in Holland with a head full of ideas and (perhaps) a trunk full of manuscripts, but with few published works to his credit. By the time he returned to England in 1689, he was ready to launch himself as an author. The Dutch “republic of letters” had offered him asylum from political worries, a stimulating intellectual environment, and the opportunity to bring his works to fruition.

Among Locke’s new friends was Jean Le Clerc, a young Remonstrant pastor and editor of the literary journal Bibliothèque universelle et historique. It was Le Clerc who next brought Locke into print, first as a reviewer of books. The reviews are not signed, so it is not certain which should be attributed to Locke. Yolton considers the evidence for his authorship of the reviews of Boyle, Sydenham, and Newton to be strong. In addition Rosalie Colie, “John Locke in the republic of letters” (1960) attributes to him the following reviews in the 1686 volumes:

Ray, J. Methodus plantarum (1682), reviewed in Bibliothèque universelle. Tome 3:1-7. The book reviewed here is actually Ray’s Historia plantarum, volume 1 (1686), not the Methodus which was reviewed in 1688. Locke owned a copy of the Methodus, but not of the Historia.

Burnet, G. Critique du neuvième livre de l’histoire de Mr. Varillas, reviewed in Bibliothèque universelle. Tome 3:130-138. Locke did own a copy of this book (H&L 520).

Bayle, P. Commentaire philosophique, reviewed in Bibliothèque universelle. Tome 3:335-360. Locke did own a copy of this book (H&L 236).

Pufendorf, S. De rebus Suecis, reviewed in Bibliothèque universelle. Tome 3:424-484. Locke did not own a copy of this book.


“De specificorum remediorum cum corpusculari philosophia concordia, cui accessit dissertation de varia simplicium medicamentorum utilitate, usuque. Ex Anglico in Latinum sermonem traducebat D.A. M.D. Auctore Roberto Boyleo, nobili Anglo Societatis Regiæ Socio. Londini 1686. in 12.” [review]. // IN: Bibliothèque universelle et historique de l’année 1686. Tome 2:263-277.

Y 263; C 13


[Entry deleted]


[Entry deleted]


[Entry deleted]


[Entry deleted]



“Schedula monitoria de novæ febris ingressu per Tho. Sydenham M.D. Londin. 1686. p. 115. & reimprimé a Amsterdam chez Wetstein en 1687.” // IN: Bibliothèque universelle et historique de l’année 1687. Tome 6:553-559.

Y 264; C 13


Philosophiæ naturalis principia mathematica. Auctore Js. Newton … Londini. Prostant ap. Sam. Smith. 1687. pagg. 510.” [review]. // IN: Bibliothèque universelle et historique de l’année 1688. Tome 8:436-450.

Discussed in J. L. Axtell, “Locke’s review of the Principia (1965) and I. B. Cohen, “The review of the first edition of Newton’s Principia (1992).

Y 265; C 13

“Méthode nouvelle de dresser des recueils” (1686)

In 1685, Locke included in a letter to his friend Nicolas Toinard (see Locke #847, vol. 2:710-711) an account of his technique for constructing and indexing a commonplace book. English and Latin drafts survive in Toinard’s papers, as well as a Latin draft in the Lovelace Collection. A French translation of this account was published by Le Clerc; it was subsequently translated into English and Dutch and was adapted several times by other authors.


“Methode nouvelle de dresser des recueuils.” Communiqué par l’auteur. // IN: Bibliothèque universelle & historique de l’année 1686. Tome 2:315-340.

Y 266; C 11; Br 5


The French version appeared in Oeuvres diverses (1710, 1732) [Locke #868-869] and in Oeuvres philosophiques (1821-25) [Locke #870].


All versions will be printed in Literary and philosophical writings in the Clarendon edition of the works of John Locke.

Méthode nouvelle de dresser des recueils.   English.


A new method of making common-place-books; written by the late learned Mr. John Lock, … Translated from the French. To which is added something from Monsieur Le Clerc, relating to the same subject … London: printed for J. Greenwood …, 1706. [6], v, [1], 60 p. 8o.

“A new method …” appears on p. 1-24.

Y 267; C 11-12


This English translation also appeared in two editions of the Essay (Locke #255 and Locke #257), in Posthumous works (1706) [Locke #724] and in all editions of Locke’s Works.

Méthode nouvelle de dresser des recueils.   Dutch.



Eene nieuwe manier om verzaamelingen of aantekeningen te maaken, opgesteld en gemeen gemaakt door Johannes Locke. En uit het Fransch (de oorspronkelyke taal, daar het in geschreven, en in de Bibliotheque universelle, tome second, te vinden is) in het Nederduitsch overgezet. En ook tegens de Englische vertaaling, achter The posthumous works of Mr. John Locke gevoegd, naagezien. Te Amsterdam, by Kornelis de Wit, … MDCCXXXIX [1739]. [4], 24, [2] p. 4o.

Y 268; Schoneveld [1]

Other printings: (1) Te Amsterdam, By Kornelis de Wit, Boekverkooper. MDCCLVII [1757]. iii, [1], 50 p. 4o; (2) Derden druk. Te Amsterdam, By Kornelis de Wit, Boekverkooper. MDCCLXII [1762]; (3) Vierden druk. Te Amsterdam by S. J. Baalde, boekverkooper. 1769. [6], 50 p. 4o.

Y 269-271; Schoneveld [2]

Méthode nouvelle de dresser des recueils.   German.



Des berühmten Engelländers/ Herrn Johann Locks Neuerfundene Manier/ excerpta und locos communes einzurichten. Nebst allerhand curiösen Anmerckungen. Aus dem Frantzösischen übersetzet. Franckfurt und Leipzig/ Gedruckt und verlegt durch Johan von Wiering. 1711. [2], 30 p. 8o.

Y 272

Méthode nouvelle de dresser des recueils.   Adaptations.



Placcius, V. De arte excerpendi vom gelahrten Buchhalten liber singularis … (1689)


Bell’s Common-place-book, form’d generally upon the principles recommended and practiced by Mr. Locke. London. Printed for John Bell, 1770. [2], 8 p. 4o.

According to W. H. Bond, Thomas Hollis of Lincoln’s Inn (1990), Hollis may have provided Bell with quotations from radical Whigs to use as examples.


A new common-place book. In which the plan recommended and practised by John Locke, Esq. is enlarged and improved by a gentleman of the University of Cambridge. Third edition … Cambridge, printed for John Nicholson, and sold by John & Joseph Merill, booksellers in Cambridge; J. & F. Rivington, and S. Crowder, in London; and J. Fletcher, in Oxford. 1783. [2], 4 p.+ 2o.


A new commonplace book; being an improvement on that recommended by Mr. Locke; … Second edition. London. Printed for J. Walker. 1799. 8 p.+ 8o.

C 12



Common place book, formed generally upon the principles recommended and practiced by John Locke, Esq. … London: printed by A. MacPherson [and others]. 1800. 8 p. + numerous blank leaves 8o.

Also published: Philadelphia : S.F. Bradford, 1801.


T 174


Common place-book, on the principles practised by John Locke, Esq. – New Haven : I. Cooke, 1804. – 4 leaves.



Common place book, formed generally upon the principles recommended and practised, for twenty five years by John Locke, Esq. – A new edition, newly arranged and simplified / by R. Pitkeathley. – London : printed for R. Pitkeathley, [1840?]. [2 leaves], 24 p.

Epitome of An essay concerning human understanding (1688)

Locke’s sojourn in Holland was extremely productive. He began to find his identity as an author, bringing to completion and preparing for publication several projects begun earlier. The principal fruit of this period was the great Essay concerning human understanding. The early drafts of the 1670’s had been taken up, expanded and refined. The new draft [Draft C] was completed in 1686 and was read by several of Locke’s friends in England. After he returned to England in 1689, he sent the manuscript to the printer, and it was published in December of that year [Locke #228]. Before he left Holland, however, he presented a preview of his work to the public in the form of a French epitome. This was based on an English epitome written by Locke in 1684 or 5; this version has been published from Locke’s manuscript [MS. Locke c. 28, ff. 52-82] by Lord King [in Locke #895]. This was the basis for a French version by Le Clerc and published in the Bibliothèque universelle. Ironically, it was subsequently translated back into English by the “Athenian Society” in 1692. For a description of these versions of the epitome and a discussion of its date, content, and significance, see Hill & Milton, “The epitome (Abrégé) of Locke’s Essay (2003); and Walmsley, “Dating the ‘Epitome’ of the Essay : an update” (2012)

Le Clerc reviewed the first edition of the Essay in 1690, as he was regularly to review editions and translations of Locke’s works, often including substantial extracts translated into French from the books reviewed. These reviews were a major factor in exposing Locke’s ideas to the non-English-speaking European intellectual world.


“Extrait d’un livre anglois qui n’est pas encore publié, intitulé Essai philosophique concernant l’entendement, où l’on montre quelle est l’étenduë de nos connoissances certaines, & la maniere dont nous y parvenons.” Communique par Monsieur Locke. // IN: Bibliothèque universelle & historique de l’année 1688. Tome 8:49-142.

French translation by Jean Le Clerc.

Y 273; C 12; Br 6


Abregé d’un ouvrage intitulé Essai philosophique touchant l’entendement. A Amsterdam M DC LXXXVIII [1688]. [4], 92 p. 12o.

Locke had the “Extrait” printed as a separate piece with this new title and including the dedication of the Essay to the Earl of Pembroke.

For a discussion of what might be Locke‘s copy, see J. S. Yolton, “Locke’s copy of the Extract (Abregé) of his Essay (1688)?” (1996)

Y 274; C 12; Br 6; H&L 1802a


“An extract of a book, entituled, A philosophical essay upon human understanding, wherein is shewn the extension of certain knowledge, and the manner of attaining to it:” by Mr. Lock. // IN: The young=students=library, containing, extracts and abridgments of the most valuable books printed in England, and in the forreign journals … By the Athenian Society … London, printed for John Dunton, … 1692. 2o. Pages 162-179.

English translation of the “Extrait”; the Athenian Society was the creation of the bookseller John Dunton and their number included Locke’s opponent John Norris; might Norris have been responsible for this translation?

Y 275; C 12; Wing D2635

Epitome of An essay concerning human understanding.   Dutch.



Korte inhoud van een werk genaamt Wysgeerige proeven aangaande het menschelyk verstand, door den herr John Locke. Te Antwerpen, voor Willem Jugla, … 1766. [4], 140 p.

Y 132.2; Schoneveld *[3]

Epitome of An essay concerning human understanding.   Italian.


An Italian translation by Mario Sina appeared in Locke #873.