The Philosophical Works of the Late Right Honorable Henry St. John, Lord Viscount Bolingbroke

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by Henry St. John Bolingbroke

Henry St. John, First Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751), was a prominent member of the Tory party in the British Parliament from 1701 until the 1714 shift of power to the Whigs.[1] After joining the failed 1715 Jacobite Rebellion as secretary of state to James Stuart, he was exiled to France until his pardon in 1723.[2] During his exile, he encountered the ideas of the French Enlightenment and devoted much time to philosophical study, struggling to develop a system of morality grounded in natural law and reason and tending towards a deist worldview.[3] His Philosophical Works grew out of this period and his subsequent study, and were first published three years after his death.[4]

Bolingbroke’s works had some influence in the American colonial period: John Adams claimed to have read through his works five times, and Bolingbroke influenced Pope and Swift, who were widely read in the colonies.[5] Additionally, Bolingbroke’s Philosophical Works was a favorite of Jefferson, who copied approximately 10,000 words from the work into his Literary Commonplace Book, complied in the 1760s.[6]

Bibliographic Information

Author: Henry St. John Bolingbroke.

Title: The Philosophical Works of the Late Right Honorable Henry St. John, Lord Viscount Bolingbroke: in Five Volumes.

Publication Info: London: Published by David Mallet, Esq., 1754.


Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in full calf. Purchased from Alex Alec-Smith.

View this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

External Links

Google Books


  1. H. T. Dickinson,"St John, Henry, styled first Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751)", in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004-), accessed September 25, 2013. (Subscription required for access.)
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Robert M. Weir, "Review: Bolingbroke and His Circle, The Politics of Nostalgia in the Age of Walpole by Isaac Kramnick," South Carolina Historical Magazine 70, no. 4 (1969): 270.
  6. "Religion in Eighteenth-Century America - Religion and the Founding of the American Republic | Exhibitions - Library of Congress" Library of Congress, accessed September 25, 2013