Politics: The Grounds of Obedience and Government

  • Beverley C. Southgate
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas / Archives Internationales D’Histoire Des Idés book series (ARCH, volume 134)


“I have heard threats of great indignation against mee: and ... that his majesty’s settled resolution was to hang mee if I came into England.”1 Thomas White was not exaggerating the gravity of his predicament at the Restoration of the monarchy, and it was not for nothing that in 1659 he had fled to the Netherlands. It was by then not so much theological notoriety that put his life at risk, as his one major foray into political theorising: The Grounds of Obedience and Government, published in 1655, had established his reputation, even in the highest court circles, as an anti-monarchical troublemaker. As early as 1656, Charles himself identified White as a corrupter of his fellow Catholics — he having advised them to support Cromwell and having “printed a book for submission to the present [i.e. Protectorate] government.”2 Some few years later, the king, though by no means generally anti-Catholic, allegedly reemphasised his personal hostility: when White was “highly recommended to his Majesty, by a Man of great Note, ... the King, who hath a Royal insight in Persons and Businesses, stopt him with this short answer: ‘No more of that. I know what Man he is’.”3


Common Good Political Theorise Religious Toleration Great Note Great Indignation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beverley C. Southgate
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HertfordshireUK

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