The Independent Whig

The Independent Whig

Author: ,

The Independent Whig 1721 First Collected Edition

By Thomas Gordon and John Trenchard

Printed In London For J. Peele

The Volume is in Very Good Condition rebound in quarter calf over marbled boards, with the spine divided into six compartments by five raised bands; externally the boards and spine are relatively new, with little in the way of scuffing or wear. Internally the leave are generally clean and well margined, with some mild toning throughout , and with a few small ink smears and fox marks otherwise.
The Volume is Complete in All Respects See below for pagination & dimensions.


Title - The Independent Whig

Of The Independent Whig

Thomas Gordon was a Scottish writer and Commonwealthman. Along with John Trenchard, he published The Independent Whig, which was a weekly periodical. From 1720 to 1723, Trenchard and Gordon wrote a series of 144 essays entitled Cato’s Letters, condemning corruption and lack of morality within the British political system and warning against tyranny. The essays were published as Essays on Liberty, Civil and Religious, at first in the London Journal and then in the British Journal. These essays became a cornerstone of the Commonwealth man tradition and were influential in shaping the ideas of the Country Party. His ideas played an important role in shaping republicanism in Britain and especially in the American colonies leading up to the American revolution. Zuckert argues, “The writers who, more than any others, put together the new synthesis that is the new republicanism were John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, writing in the early eighteenth century as Cato.

A tract called the Independent Whig, published at the time of the rejection of the Peerage Bill (December 1719), was followed by a second part in January 1720, on the peace with Spain and the value of Gibraltar to England, several editions of which were issued. A weekly paper of the same name was then started, and carried on through the year, the articles by Trenchard, Gordon, and a third contributor, ‘C.’ (Anthony Collins), being distinguished in the fifth edition. It was first collected in one volume in 1721. To the fifth edition (1732) were appended ‘The Craftsman,’ a sermon, in the style of Daniel Burgess, also published separately, a letter to a ‘Gentleman of Edinburgh,’ and an epitaph on Trenchard. In a sixth edition (1735) there was added a third volume containing Gordon’s letter to William Wake of 1719 and other tracts; a seventh edition appeared in 1743, and a fourth volume was added in 1747 containing tracts written during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. The book was mainly an attack on the High Church party, and on the title-page of later editions is called ‘A Defence of Primitive Christianity … against the exorbitant claims of fanatical and disaffected clergymen.’ Thomas Wilson, bishop of Sodor and Man, tried to exclude it from his diocese, and got into trouble in consequence.

Pagination & Dimensions

The volume is paginated as follows: [iii]-lii, 444, xx. The volume collates as follows: A, a-b8, c2, B-2F8, 2G-2H4. The volume measures about 20 cm. By 13 cm. By 3.5 cm. Each leaf measures about 190 mm. By 120 mm.

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