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Locke
Locke
33

later radicals. In the spring of 1695 his friend Edward Clarke, M.P. for Taunton, read some notes upon the licensing acts at a conference between the houses of parliament, which are attributed to Locke. They led to the abandonment of the measure (King, i. 375-87; Fox Bourne, ii. 315-16. Macaulay, 1860, vii. 168 n., is unwilling to admit Locke's authorship, except, as putting into shape the opinions of others. It is ascribed to Locke in the Craftsman of 20 Nov. 1731). Locke's treatise upon the 'Reasonableness of Christianity,' published in 1695, was vehemently attacked, especially by John Edwards (1637–1716) [q. v.], to whom Locke replied in two Vindications' (1695 and 1697). In this work he struck the keynote of the most popular theology of the eighteenth century as represented both by the deists and the latitudinarian divines. In theology, as in philosophy and politics, he was the teacher of many disciples who drew from his works conclusions from which he shrank, and his influence was the greater because he did not perceive the natural tendencies of his own theories.

Between these works appeared (1693) his excellent little treatise 'On Education.' It was the substance of some letters written from Holland in 1684 to his friend Edward Clarke. He had spoken of them to Thomas Molyneux, then studying medicine at Leyden and now a physician at Dublin. William Molyneux [q. v.], brother of Thomas, had sent to Locke a copy of his 'Dioptrica Nova' (1692), in which there was a warm encomium upon Locke's 'Essay.' A correspondence began, and it was at the instance of Molyneux, who had heard from his brother of the letters to Clarke, and who had an only son now motherless, that the 'Education' was published. Molyneux during the rest of his life was Locke's most enthusiastic disciple. He sent him many suggestions for improvements in the 'Essay,' and his affection was fully returned by his master.

The depreciation of the currency was now causing serious anxiety. At the end of 1691 Locke had written a letter to a member of parliament (no doubt Somers), in which he embodied some remarks written twenty years earlier upon lowering the rate of interest, and discussed also the currency question. In the first part he anticipated much that was long afterwards put with unanswerable force by Bentham. The currency question became more pressing. Locke and Newton were consulted by Somers and Montague (afterwards Lord Halifax). Locke wrote two pamphlets in 1695, the last of which, written at Somers's request in answer to a pamphlet by William Lowndes [q. v.], secretary to the treasury, appeared in December. Locke showed conclusively the fallacy of the schemes proposed by Lowndes and others for an alteration of the standard, and the bill passed in April 1696 for the restoration of the coinage was in substantial accordance with his principles (see full account in Macaulay's History). The soundness of his reasoning upon these questions gives Locke a permanent place among the founders of political economy, and he rendered at the time a great practical service.

A new council of trade was founded in the same spring, and Locke was appointed member with a salary of 1,000l a year by a patent dated 15 May 1696. Somers, who had been his friend since 1689 (at latest), and frequently consulted him since, probably recommended him for a post, to which his services fully entitled him. He hesitated to accept it on account of his now failing health, but when appointed discharged its duties energetically. It met thrice, and afterwards five times a week. From 1696 to 1700 Locke attended nearly all the meetings in the summer and autumn, and when confined to Oates during the other months was in constant communication with his colleagues. He was the most energetic member of the body. His health forced him to propose to resign in the winter of 1696-7, but he withdrew the request on Somers's earnest remonstrance. Besides many investigations into questions of colonial trade Locke was especially interested in two proposed measures, for which he prepared elaborate plans. It was generally understood that the Irish were not to be allowed to compete with the English woollen trade, and Locke adopted this doctrine without question. He drew up, however, in 1696, a very careful plan for encouraging the manufacture of linen in Ireland (given in Fox Bourne, ii. 363-72). Nothing came of this scheme, which was superseded in 1698 by that of Louis Crommelin [q. v.] Locke consulted Molyneux on the plan, and when in 1698 Molyneux wrote his famous pamphlet against the English treatment of Ireland, he counted upon Locke's sympathy. In 1697 Locke prepared another elaborate and curious scheme, also destined to be abortive, for a complete reform of the poor laws (ib. pp. 377-91). Vagabonds were to be more strictly restrained, and workhouses and schools for the employment of adults and children established in every parish. These schemes, which savour rather of state socialism than modern political economy, harmonised with the contemporary plans of two of Locke's friends, Thomas Firmin [q. v.] and John Cary (d. 1720?) [q. v.]

Locke's health, already weakened, seems

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