1660

Contents:

First Tract on Government (Sept.-Dec.)

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First Tract on Government   [September-December 1660]

Location:   Bodleian Library, MS. Locke e. 7.

Description:   The manuscript is titled “Quest: whether the Civill Magistrate may lawfully impose and determine ye use of indifferent things in reference to Religious Worship.” The title above was given the work by Philip Abrams (see publication #2 below); it is also referred to as “The English tract.”

The manuscript is written on the rectos of ff. 2-34 (1-34, [35] as numbered by Locke); additions and corrections are written on the opposite versos. Fols. 35-36 is the draft of a letter to Gabriel Towerson summarizing the work and dated December 11, 1660. The letter has been crossed out in the manuscript. Fols. 37-47 are blank.

The manuscript is a fair copy by Locke of a work written in response to Edward Bagshaw’s The great question concenring things indifferent in religious worship (published September 1660). A “Preface to the Reader” was added in 1661.

Publications:

  1. Scritti editi e inediti sulla tolleranza / John Locke ; a cura di Carlo Augusto Viano. – Torino : Taylor, 1961. – p. 20-61. [Locke #949] – Also includes an Italian translation (p. 158-198)
  2. Two tracts on government / John Locke ; edited … by Philip Abrams. – Cambridge : University Press, 1967. – p. 124-175. [Locke #950]
  3. Political essays / Locke ; edited by Mark Goldie. – Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1997. – p. 10-53. [Locke #867+] – Does not include the deleted letter to Towerson.
  4. [extract:] Political writings / John Locke ; edited and with an introduction by David Wootton. – London ; New York : Penguin Books, 1993. – p. 141-145. [Locke #867+]
  5. [extracts:] The life of John Locke : with extracts from his correspondence, journals and common-place books / by Lord King. – London : H. Colburn, 1829. – p. 8-9 (1830 ed., v. 1, p. 13-15)
  6. [extracts:] John Locke’s political philosophy : eight studies / by J.W. Gough. – Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1950. – p. 179-180.
  7. [German translation:] Bürgerliche Gesellschaft und Staatsgewalt : Sozialphilosophische Schriften / John Locke ; herausgegeben … von Hermann Klenner ; aus dem Englischen übersetzt von Klaus Udo Szudra. – Leipzig : Reclam, 1980. – p. 7-74. [Locke #872]

Discussions:   Von Leyden, Introduction to Essays on the law of nature (1954), p. 21-30; Cranston, John Locke, a biography (1957), p. 59-63; Abrams, Introduction to Two tracts on government (1967); J. Dunn, The political thought of John Locke (1969), ch. 2; De Beer i. 108.

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