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Henry Layton

(1622—1705) writer on theology


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Henry Layton died at Rawden in the West Riding of Yorkshire on 18 October 1705. He was educated at Oxford. He then studied law at Gray's Inn, although he ‘made no other use of his profession’, we are told, ‘than to do good offices among his neighbors’ (Blackburne, p. 182). He had an estate at Rawden. His first philosophical work was written late in life, when he was over seventy. This is Observations upon [Richard Bentley's second Boyle] Sermon, [on] the Faculties of the Soul, in which Layton rejected Bentley's claim that not even God could ‘create cognitive body’. Layton issued no fewer than eleven further tracts between about 1697 and 1705, which is remarkable given not only his age but that his eyesight had failed by that time, necessitating his use of an amanuensis. Like all Layton's tracts, his Observations on Bentley's Sermon has neither date nor publisher. It is likely that none of the tracts was printed for general distribution. Blackburne suggests that ‘the few copies now to be met with were originally presented to his friends’ (p. 184).

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From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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