12/23/2019

Divided Loyalty? Liberal Toleration in the New Locke Manuscript

"Recently St. John’s College issued a press release concerning a newly discovered Locke manuscript on toleration. The manuscript consists of two lists, in which Locke sets down reasons to tolerate and not to tolerate Catholics. The two historians (J.C. Walmsley & Felix Waldmann) who discovered the manuscript showed that Locke drew all twenty-four of these arguments from another book by Charles Wolseley, Liberty of conscience, the magistrates interest (1668). What Locke was doing is pretty clear: he set down eleven of Wolseley’s arguments for tolerating Catholics in the first list. He then argues against tolerating Catholics, using Wolseley’s own principles, in the second list. It appears that he was preparing to write a criticism of Wolseley’s work and believed it was indeed not in the magistrate’s interest to tolerate Catholics, primarily on account of their allegiance to a foreign power."