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“Principi Daniae Oxonium ex Itinere divertenti 62”   [September? 1662]

Location:   Bodleian Library, MS. Locke f. 31, ff. 136-134 rev.

Description:   A Latin oration in Locke’s hand welcoming Prince Christian of Denmark, who visited Oxford in September 1662. The text is headed “Principi Daniae Oxonium ex Itinere divertenti 62.


  1. Literary and historical writings / John Locke ; edited by J. R. Milton, with Brandon Chua, Geoffrey Kemp, David McInnis, John Spurr and Richard Yeo. – Oxford : Clarendon Press, in preparation. – (The Clarendon edition of the works of John Locke)

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Second Tract on Government   [ca. 1662]

Location:   Bodleian Library, MS. Locke c. 28, ff. 3-20.
[Draft in Bodleian Library, MS. Locke e. 6, ff. 91-69 rev.]

Description:   The manuscript is headed “An Magistratus Civilis posit res adiaphoras in divini cultus ritus asciscere, eosque populo imponere? Affirmatur.” [Whether the civil magistrate may incorporate indifferent things into the ceremonies of divine worship and impose them on the people: Confirmed]. The title “Second Tract on Government” was given the work by Philip Abrams (see publication #2 below); it is also referred to as “The Latin tract.”

The manuscript is a copy in Locke’s hand of a Latin oration. It is clearly a later work than the English Tract; because of internal references, it must have been completed before the end of January 1663. Most likely it was written late in 1662.

The manuscript consists of nine sheets of paper, each folded once for form a total of 36 pages, 205 × 150 mm; the first eight sheets are quired in 4s, the final sheet is separate. The text is written on the rectos only, leaving the versos blank for additions and corrections (there are none).

An earlier draft of the Second Tract, also in Locke’s hand, exists in a notebook containing, among other papers, a draft of the Essays on the law of nature. The beginning of the draft is missing; text begins: “vehementius vociferantur, hinc magistrates comtemptus …”. The text differs from the later copy. Abrams refers to this draft as “MS A” and to the later version as “MS B.”

The draft is in a section at the back of MS Locke e. 6. Locke turned the notebook back to front and began writing on unused versos, the writing being reversed from that at the beginning of the volume. The draft begins on f. 91v and continues until f. 69v rev.


  1. Scritti editi e inediti sulla tolleranza / John Locke ; a cura di Carlo Augusto Viano. – Torino : Taylor, 1961. – p. 62-80. [Locke #949] – Also includes an Italian translation (p. 199-218)
  2. Two tracts on government / John Locke ; edited … by Philip Abrams. – Cambridge : University Press, 1967. – p. 185-209. [Locke #950] – Also includes an English translation (pp. 210-241)
  3. [English translation:] Political writings / John Locke ; edited and with an introduction by David Wootton. – London ; New York : Penguin Books, 1993. – p. 152-177. [Locke #867+] – The Abrams translation (#2 above).
  4. [English translation:] Political essays / Locke ; edited by Mark Goldie. – Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1997. – p. 54-78. [Locke #867+] – The Abrams translation (#2 above).

Discussions:   See entry for the First tract on government (1660)

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