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James Tyrrell

(1642—1718) political theorist and historian


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James Tyrrell was born on 5 May 1642 at St Giles-in-the-Fields, Middlesex, and died on 7 June 1718 at the family home in Shotover, near Oxford. The other family home was at Oakley, near Brill in Buckinghamshire. Tyrrell was educated in Camberwell, Surrey, Gray's Inn, and Queen's College, Oxford (matriculated 1657; MA, 1663). He was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1666 but seems never to have practised as a lawyer. Rather he spent most of his life at the family estate at Oakley, and became a deputy lieutenant and Justice of the Peace, positions he retained until deprived of them in 1687 by James II for not supporting the declaration of indulgence. He spent much of his later years near Oxford's libraries in Shotover, writing a General History of England (1697–1704). He was a close friend of John Locke, shared many of his views, and collaborated with him on political writings. He also wrote works of political philosophy and history, including a detailed examin-ation of the constitutional position of the Stuart kings, published as Bibliotheca politica (1692).

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From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.


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