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Enlightenment and made central contributions to the development of liberalism. Trained in medicine, he was a key advocate of the empirical approaches of the Scientific Revolution. His essays on religious tolerance provided an early model for the separation of church and state. John Locke was born in 1632 in Wrighton, Somerset. His father was a lawyer and small landowner who had fought on the Parliamentarian side during the English Civil War of the 1640s.
Using his wartime connections, he placed his son in the elite Westminster School. John Locke’s closest female friend was the philosopher Lady Damaris Cudworth Masham. Before she married the two had exchanged love poems, and on his return from exile, Locke moved into Lady Damaris and her husband’s household. Between 1652 and 1667, John Locke was a student and then lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford, where he focused on the standard curriculum of logic, metaphysics and classics. He also studied medicine extensively and was an associate of Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle and other leading Oxford scientists. In 1666 Locke met the parliamentarian Anthony Ashley Cooper, later the first Earl of Shaftesbury.