George Lawson's 'Politica' and the English Revolution by Conal Condren

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By Conal Condren

This is often the 1st complete account, research and next historical past of George Lawson's Politica, 1660-89. For lengthy accredited as an important determine, via his feedback of Hobbes and his attainable impact on Locke, Lawson hasn't ever been studied intensive, nor has his biography been formerly verified. Professor Condren right here offers the context and the research of Lawson's significant paintings, within the approach re-dating it and delivering a relatively diverse interpretation from prior readings. a considerable part is dedicated to the historical past of the textual content and its use in controversies within the interval 1660-89, and there's a few reassessment of the connection among Hobbes, Locke and Lawson. The research additionally makes use of Lawson's textual content to reopen questions about English seventeenth-century political thought regularly, and to prefigure a theoretical examine on metaphor and political conceptualisation. The e-book therefore operates on a few degrees, philosophical and linguistic in addition to historic.

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Example text

In what was manifestly a clash of courage and incompetence, he defended Hopton Castle with some thirty men for a month against vastly superior forces despite Hopton's geographically untenable position. 41 In county committee work he carried on where his father had left off. In the meantime, his son Richard had taken a lieutenancy in Lord St John's regiment (1644), been admitted to Grays Inn (1646) and married a daughter of Sir Isaac Pennington. He was a member of the Committee of Compounding (164659) and a member of the Committee for the Advance of Money.

Again this living was not as poor as older and official records might indicate. 68 Unlike so many, however, he lived long enough to provide a pattern of conformity throughout the whole troubled period. Few had the opportunity to have loyalties so tested. 69 It runs from the low church policies of Abbot, through the ceremonialism of Laud, followed by Presbyterianism and Independent experimentation to the re-establishment of an episcopalian Church of England. Superficially this might suggest that Lawson was like the archetype, the Vicar of Bray.

Lawson had been a parliamentarian during the Civil War and was certainly an Engager. But much blood had flowed beneath the bridge since 1649 and neither Lawson's theory, nor Samuel More's conduct, runs simply into the still waters of a Commonwealth commitment fixed in 1657. By 1660 when a revised Politica was printed, Lawson was intellectually capable of accommodating himself to a restoration, just as the excluded Samuel More was about to have his offices confirmed by Charles II. What at this stage, then, emerges from this interplay of putative dating and uncertain political commitment?

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