Henry Care

(1646—1688) writer and polemicist

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Henry Care died in London on 8 August 1688. Nothing is known of his education except that he was Presbyterian, read Latin and once referred to himself as a student ‘in physick and astrology’. He earned his living as a writer in London. He began and ended his career as a Royalist but, in between, became the chief opponent of the leading Tory journalist, Sir Roger L'Estrange, and a theorist for the first Earl of Shaftesbury's Whigs. He was a friend of Slingsby Bethel and John Phillips, John Milton's nephew, and a member of the revolutionary Green Ribbon Club. Angry Royalists attacked his house in 1679. In 1680 he was convicted by Judges Jeffreys and Scroggs for a libel against Scroggs. During his imprisonment, Care received financial support from the Green Ribboners. Norwich loyalists burned him in effigy in 1682. He was cited for libel again in 1683. Thomas Shadwell praised Care's attacks on popery in The Protestant Satire (1684), but in 1685 Care was brutally satirized by Nahum Tate, the future Poet Laureat, in a collection of poems edited by Aphra Behn. Like many dissenters, Care supported James II's declaration of indulgence (1687) which provided religious toleration for Catholics and dissenters. He attacked George Savile, Marquis of Halifax's A Letter to a Dissenter (1687). Throughout his career, Care suffered periods of debilitating illness, possibly alcohol induced. Defoe intimated that Care died an alcoholic.


From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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