Locke, John (1632–1704)
John Locke, the philosopher and author of Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Two Treatises of Government, and A Letter Concerning Toleration, was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he received a BA in 1656 and an MA in 1659. He lectured in Greek and Moral Philosophy, studied experimental medicine on his own initiative, and attended Robert Boyle’s unorthodox experimental group in his spare time. In 1666 he joined the household of Anthony Ashley Cooper, the first Earl of Shaftesbury, where he developed an interest in political and economic matters. Locke’s cautious political involvements caused him to spend a brief period of exile in Holland during the 1680s until James II abdicated and William and Mary ascended the British throne. Locke was known as both a philosopher and a public servant. Among his contributions to public life was his organizing of the Board of Trade in 1695 and his subsequent service as a commissioner of the Board until 1700.
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