Thomas Peter Ruffell Laslett 1915–2001

John Dunn and Tony Wrigley

in Proceedings of the British Academy Volume 130, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, IV

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263501
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734212 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Thomas Peter Ruffell Laslett 1915–2001

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Thomas Peter Ruffell Laslett (1915–2001), a Fellow of the British Academy, spent much of his childhood in Oxford but his secondary education took place in the Grammar School at Watford, where his father had become minister. In 1935, Laslett went up to St John’s College at the University of Cambridge to read history, graduating with a double first in 1938. In 1947, he married Janet Crockett Clark, who provided the secure and happy foundation for all his other activities over the next half century. From his childhood, well before showing any special aptitude for formal historical study, Laslett was intensely fascinated by the past inhabitants of England. His work on John Locke produced two enduring achievements: an edition of the Two Treatises of Government and a catalogue of Locke’s library. He also exerted a wider influence upon political theory by his editorship of a series of collections of essays devoted to the changing status and vitality of political thinking.

Keywords: Thomas Peter Ruffell Laslett; history; University of Cambridge; John Locke; Janet Crockett Clark; England; political theory

Chapter.  8903 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory, Methods, and Historiography

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