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Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, first earl of (1621-1683).

A brilliant and energetic politician, the first earl of Shaftesbury had been a member of Oliver Cromwell's council of state during the Commonwealth government, but he later supported the restoration of King Charles II. About 1673, Shaftesbury became alienated from the king, whose pro-Catholic sympathies Shaftesbury opposed. Shaftesbury organized like-minded members of Parliament to form the Whig party and spearheaded an attempt to exclude the king's Catholic brother James from succeeding to the throne. This action was satirized by John Dryden in the poem Absolom and Achitophel, in which Shaftesbury is depicted as the villain. Shaftesbury was also a friend and patron of the philosopher John Locke, whose political theories were heavily incluenced by Shaftesbury.

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Author:McCoy, Kathleen; Harland, Judith A.V.
Publication:English Literature to 1785
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1992
Words:115
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