General Reference Glossaries
Of Interest to Theosophists
A Dictionary of Philosophers,
Abælardus (Petrus), b. 1079. A teacher of philosophy at Paris, renowned
for being loved by the celebrated Eloise. He was accused of teaching
erroneous opinions, chiefly about the Creation and the Trinity, and was
condemned by a council at Soissons in 1121 and by that of Sens 1140,
at the instigation of St. Bernard. He was hunted about, but spent
his last days as a monk at Cluni. He died 21 April, 1142. "Abelard,"
observes Hallam, "was almost the first who awakened mankind, in the
age of darkness, to a sympathy with intellectual excellence."
Abano (Petrus de). See Petrus, de Abano.
Abauzit (Firmin), a French writer, descended from an Arabian family
which settled in the South of France early in the ninth century,
b. Uzes, 11 Nov. 1679. He travelled in Holland and became acquainted
with Bayle, attained a reputation for philosophy, and was consulted by
Voltaire and Rousseau. Among his works are, Reflections on the Gospels,
and an essay on the Apocalypse, in which he questions the authority
of that work. Died at Geneva 20 March, 1767. His Miscellanies were
translated in English by E. Harwood, 1774.
Abbot (Francis Ellingwood). American Freethinker, b. Boston, 6
Nov. 1836. He graduated at Harvard University 1859, began life as a
Unitarian minister, but becoming too broad for that Church, resigned
in 1869. He started the Index, a journal of free religious inquiry
and anti-supernaturalism, at Toledo, but since 1874 at Boston. This he
edited 1870-80. In 1872 appeared his Impeachment of Christianity. In
addition to his work on the Index, Mr. Abbot has lectured a great
deal, and has contributed to the North American Review and other
periodicals. He was the first president of the American National
Liberal League. Mr. Abbot is an evolutionist and Theist, and defends
his views in Scientific Theism, 1886.
Ablaing van Giessenburg (R.C.) See Giessenburg.
Abu Bakr Ibn Al-Tufail (Abu J'afar) Al Isbili. Spanish Arabian
philosopher, b. at Guadys, wrote a philosophical romance of pantheistic
tendency Hai Ibn Yakdan, translated into Latin by Pocock, Oxford 1671,
and into English by S. Ockley, 1711, under the title of The Improvement
of Human Reason. Died at Morocco 1185.
Abu-Fazil (Abu al Fadhl ibn Mubarak, called Al Hindi), vizier to
the great Emperor Akbar from 1572. Although by birth a Muhammadan,
his investigations into the religions of India made him see equal
worth in all, and, like his master, Akbar, he was tolerant of all
sects. His chief work is the Ayin Akbary, a statistical account of
the Indian Empire. It was translated by F. Gladwin, 1777. He was
Abul-Abbas-Abdallah III. (Al Mamoun), the seventh Abbasside, caliph,
son of Haroun al Rashid, was b. at Bagdad 16 Sept. 786. He was a patron of science and literature, collected Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, and invited the scholars of all nations to his capital. He wrote several treatises and poems. Died in war near Tarsus, 9 Aug. 833.
Abul-Ola (Ahmad ibn Abd Allah ibn Sulaiman), celebrated Arabian poet,
b. at Maari, in Syria, Dec., 973. His free opinions gave much scandal
to devout Moslems. He was blind through small-pox from the age of
four years, but his poems exhibit much knowledge. He called himself
"the doubly imprisoned captive," in allusion to his seclusion and
loss of sight. He took no pains to conceal that he believed in no
revealed religion. Died May, 1057, and ordered the following verse
to be written on his tomb:--"I owe this to the fault of my father:
none owe the like to mine."
Abu Tahir (al Karmatti), the chief of a freethinking sect at Bahrein,
on the Persian Gulf, who with a comparatively small number of followers
captured Mecca (930), and took away the black stone. He suddenly
attacked, defeated, and took prisoner Abissaj whom, at the head of
thirty thousand men, the caliph had sent against him. Died in 943.
Achillini (Alessandro), Italian physician and philosopher b. Bologna 29
Oct. 1463. He expounded the doctrines of Averroes, and wrote largely
upon anatomy. Died 2 Aug. 1512. His collected works were published
at Venice, 1545.
Ackermann (Louise-Victorine, née Choquet), French poetess, b. Paris 30
Nov. 1813. She travelled to Germany and there married (1853) a young
theologian, Paul Ackerman, who in preparing for the ministry lost his
Christian faith, and who, after becoming teacher to Prince Frederick
William (afterwards Frederick III.), died at the age of thirty-four
(1846). Both were friends of Proudhon. Madame Ackermann's poems
(Paris 1863-74 and 85) exhibit her as a philosophic pessimist and
Atheist. "God is dethroned," says M. Caro of her poems (Revue des
Deux Mondes, 15 May, 1874). She professes hatred of Christianity
and its interested professors. She has also published Thoughts of a
Solitary. Sainte Beuve calls her "the learned solitary of Nice."
Acollas (Pierre Antoine René Paul Emile), French jurisconsult and
political writer, b. La Châtre 25 June, 1826, studied law at Paris. For
participating in the Geneva congress of the International Society
in 1867 he was condemned to one year's imprisonment. In 1871 he was
appointed head of the law faculty by the Commune. He has published
several manuals popularising the legal rights of the people, and has
written on Marriage its Past, Present, and Future, 1880. Mrs. Besant
has translated his monograph on The Idea of God in the Revolution,
published in the Droits de l'Homme.
Acontius (Jacobus--Italian, Giacomo Aconzio). Born at Trent early
in sixteenth century. After receiving ordination in the Church of
Rome he relinquished that faith and fled to Switzerland in 1557. He
subsequently came to England and served Queen Elizabeth as a military
engineer. To her he dedicated his Strategems of Satan, published at
Basle 1565. This was one of the earliest latitudinarian works, and
was placed upon the Index. It was also bitterly assailed by Protestant
divines, both in England and on the Continent. An English translation
appeared in 1648. Some proceedings were taken against Acontius before
Bishop Grindall, of the result of which no account is given. Some
passages of Milton's Areopagitica may be traced to Acontius, who,
Cheynell informs us, lived till 1623. Stephen's Dictionary of National
Biography says he is believed to have died shortly after 1566.
Acosta (Uriel). Born at Oporto 1597, the son of a Christianised Jew;
he was brought up as a Christian, but on reaching maturity, rejected
that faith. He went to Holland, where he published a work equally
criticising Moses and Jesus. For this he was excommunicated by the
Synagogue, fined and put in prison by the Amsterdam authorities,
and his work suppressed. After suffering many indignities from both
Jews and Christians, he committed suicide 1647.
Adams (George), of Bristol, sentenced in 1842 to one month's
imprisonment for selling the Oracle of Reason.
Adams (Robert C.), Canadian Freethought writer and lecturer. Author
of Travels in Faith from Tradition to Reason (New York, 1884), also
Evolution, a Summary of Evidence.
Adler (Felix) Ph. D. American Freethinker, the son of a Jewish rabbi,
was b. in Alzey, Germany, 13 Aug. 1851. He graduated at Columbia
College, 1870, was professor of Hebrew and Oriental literature
at Cornell University from '74 to May '76, when he established in
New York the Society of Ethical Culture, to which he discourses on
Sundays. In 1877 he published a volume entitled Creed and Deed, in
which he rejects supernatural religion. Dr. Adler has also contributed
many papers to the Radical literature of America.
Ænesidemus. A Cretan sceptical philosopher of the first century. He
adopted the principle of Heraclitus, that all things were in course
of change, and argued against our knowledge of ultimate causes.
Airy (Sir George Biddell). English Astronomer Royal, b. Alnwick
27 July, 1801. Educated at Cambridge, where he became senior
wrangler 1823. During a long life Professor Airy did much to advance
astronomical science. His Notes on the Earlier Hebrew Scriptures 1876,
proves him to have been a thorough-going Freethinker.
Aitkenhead (Thomas), an Edinburgh student aged eighteen, who was
indicted for blasphemy, by order of the Privy Council, for having
called the Old Testament "Ezra's Fables," and having maintained
that God and nature were the same. He was found guilty 24 Dec. 1696,
and hanged for blasphemy, 8 Jan. 1697.
Aitzema (Lieuwe van), a nobleman of Friesland, b. at Dorckum 19
Nov. 1600, author of a suppressed History of the Netherlands, between
1621-68. Is classed by Reimmann as an Atheist. Died at the Hague 23
Akbar (Jalal-ed-din Muhammad), the greatest of the emperors of
Hindostan, b. 15 Oct. 1542, was famous for his wide administration and
improvement of the empire. Akbar showed toleration alike to Christians,
Muhammadans, and to all forms of the Hindu faith. He had the Christian
gospels and several Brahmanical treatises translated into Persian. The
result of his many conferences on religion between learned men of
all sects, are collected in the Dabistan. Akbar was brought up as a
Muhammadan, but became a Theist, acknowledging one God, but rejecting
all other dogmas. Died Sept. 1605.
Alberger (John). American author of Monks, Popes, and their Political
Intrigues (Baltimore, 1871) and Antiquity of Christianity (New York,
Albini (Giuseppe). Italian physiologist, b. Milan. In 1845 he
studied medicine in Paris. He has written on embryology and many
other physiological subjects.
Alchindus. Yakub ibn Is'hak ibn Subbah (Abú Yúsuf) called Al Kindi,
Arab physician and philosopher, the great grandson of one of the
companions of Muhammad, the prophet, flourished from 814 to about
840. He was a rationalist in religion, and for his scientific studies
he was set down as a magician.
Alciati (Giovanni Paolo). A Milanese of noble family. At first
a Romanist, he resigned that faith for Calvinism, but gradually
advanced to Anti-trinitarianism, which he defends in two letters
to Gregorio Pauli, dated Austerlitz 1564 and 1565. Beza says that
Alciati deserted the Christian faith and became a Muhammadan, but
Bayle takes pains to disprove this. Died at Dantzic about 1570.
Aleardi (Gaetano). Italian poet, known as Aleardo Aleardi, b. Verona, 4
Nov. 1812. He was engaged in a life-long struggle against the Austrian
dominion, and his patriotic poems were much admired. In 1859 he was
elected deputy to Parliament for Brescia. Died Verona, 16 July, 1878.
Alembert (Jean le Rond d'), mathematician and philosopher, b. at
Paris 16 Nov. 1717. He was an illegitimate son of Canon Destouches
and Mme. Tencin, and received his Christian name from a church
near which he was exposed as a foundling. He afterwards resided
for forty years with his nurse, nor would he leave her for the most
tempting offers. In 1741, he was admitted a member of the Academy of
Sciences. In 1749, he obtained the prize medal from the Academy of
Berlin, for a discourse on the theory of winds. In 1749, he solved the
problem of the procession of the equinoxes and explained the mutation
of the earth's axis. He next engaged with Diderot, with whose opinions
he was in complete accord, in compiling the famous Encyclopédie, for
which he wrote the preliminary discourse. In addition to this great
work he published many historical, philosophical and scientific essays,
and largely corresponded with Voltaire. His work on the Destruction
of the Jesuits is a caustic and far-reaching production. In a letter
to Frederick the Great, he says: "As for the existence of a supreme
intelligence, I think that those who deny it advance more than they
can prove, and scepticism is the only reasonable course." He goes on
to say, however, that experience invincibly proves the materiality of
the "soul." Died 29 Oct. 1783. In 1799 two volumes of his posthumous
essays were printed in Paris. His works prove d'Alembert to have been
of broad spirit and of most extensive knowledge.
Alfieri (Vittorio), Count. Famous Italian poet and dramatist, b. Asti,
Piedmont, 17 Jan. 1749, of a noble family. His tragedies are justly
celebrated, and in his Essay on Tyranny he shows himself as favorable
to religious as to political liberty. Written in his youth, this work
was revised at a more advanced age, the author remarking that if he
had no longer the courage, or rather the fire, necessary to compose
it, he nevertheless retained intelligence, independence and judgment
enough to approve it, and to let it stand as the last of his literary
productions. His attack is chiefly directed against Catholicism,
but he does not spare Christianity. "Born among a people," he says,
"slavish, ignorant, and already entirely subjugated by priests, the
Christian religion knows only how to enjoin the blindest obedience,
and is unacquainted even with the name of liberty." Alfieri's tragedy
of Saul has been prohibited on the English stage. Died Florence,
8 Oct. 1803.
Alfonso X., surnamed the Wise, King of Castillo and of Leon; b. in
1223, crowned 1252. A patron of science and lover of astronomy. He
compiled a complete digest of Roman, feudal and canon law, and
had drawn up the astronomical tables called Alfonsine Tables. By
his liberality and example he gave a great impulse to Spanish
literature. For his intercourse with Jews and Arabians, his
independence towards the Pope and his free disposal of the clerical
revenues, he has been stigmatised as an Atheist. To him is attributed
the well-known remark that had he been present at the creation of the
world he would have proposed some improvements. Father Lenfant adds
the pious lie that "The king had scarcely pronounced this blasphemy
when a thunderbolt fell and reduced his wife and two children to
ashes." Alfonso X. died 4 April, 1284.
Algarotti (Francesco), Count. Italian writer and art critic, b. at
Venice, 11 Dec. 1712. A visit to England led him to write Newtonianism
for the Ladies. He afterwards visited Berlin and became the friend
both of Voltaire and of Frederick the Great, who appointed him his
Chamberlain. Died with philosophical composure at Pisa, 3 May, 1764.
Alger (William Rounseville), b. at Freetown, Massachusetts, 30
Dec. 1822, educated at Harvard, became a Unitarian preacher of the
advanced type. His Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future
Life, with a complete bibliography of the subject by Ezra Abbot,
is a standard work, written from the Universalist point of view.
Allen (Charles Grant Blairfindie), naturalist and author, b. in
Kingston, Canada, 24 Feb. 1848. He studied at Merton College, Oxford,
and graduated with honors 1871. In 1873 appointed Professor of Logic
in Queen's College, Spanish town, Jamaica; from 1874 to '77 he was
its principal. Since then he has resided in England, and become
known by his popular expositions of Darwinism. His published works
include Physiological Æsthetics (1877), The Evolutionist at Large
(1881), Nature Studies (1883), Charles Darwin (1885), and several
novels. Grant Allen has also edited the miscellaneous works of Buckle,
and has written on Force and Energy (1888).
Allen (Ethan) Col., American soldier, b. at Litchfield, Connecticut,
10 Jan. 1737. One of the most active of the revolutionary heroes,
he raised a company of volunteers known as the "Green Mountain Boys,"
and took by surprise the British fortress of Ticonderoga, capturing
100 guns, 10 May, 1775. He was declared an outlaw and £100 offered
for his arrest by Gov. Tryon of New York. Afterwards he was taken
prisoner and sent to England. At first treated with cruelty, he was
eventually exchanged for another officer, 6 May, 1778. He was a member
of the state legislature, and succeeded in obtaining the recognition
of Vermont as an independent state. He published in 1784 Reason
the only Oracle
of Man, the first publication in the
openly directed against the Christian religion. It has been frequently
reprinted and is still popular in America. Died Burlington, Vermont,
13 Feb. 1789. A statue is erected to him at Montpelier, Vermont.
Allsop (Thomas). "The favorite disciple of Coleridge," b. 10 April,
1794, near Wirksworth, Derbyshire, he lived till 1880. A friend
of Robert Owen and the Chartists. He was implicated in the attempt
of Orsini against Napoleon III. In his Letters, Conversations and
Recollections of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, he has imported many of
his Freethought views.
Alm (Richard von der). See Ghillany (F. W.)
Alpharabius (Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Tarkhan) (Abu Nasr), called
Al Farabi, Turkish philosopher, termed by Ibn Khallikan the greatest
philosopher the Moslems ever had, travelled to Bagdad, mastered
the works of Aristotle, and became master of Avicenna. Al Farabi is
said to have taught the eternity of the world and to have denied the
permanent individuality of the soul. His principal work is a sort
of encyclopædia. Rénan says he expressly rejected all supernatural
revelation. Died at Damascus Dec. 950, aged upwards of eighty.
Amaury or Amalric de Chartres, a heretic of the thirteenth century,
was a native of Bene, near Chartres, and lived at Paris, where he gave
lessons in logic. In a work bearing the title of Physion, condemned
by a bull of Pope Innocent III. (1204), he is said to have taught a
kind of Pantheism, and that the reign of the Father and Son must give
place to that of the Holy Spirit. Ten of his disciples were burnt at
Paris 20 Dec. 1210, and the bones of Amaury were exhumed and placed
in the flames.
Amberley (John Russell) Viscount, eldest son of Earl Russell,
b. 1843. Educated at Harrow, Edinburgh and Trinity College,
Cambridge, where ill-health prevented him reading for honors. He
entered Parliament in 1866 as Radical member for Nottingham. Lord
Amberley contributed thoughtful articles to the North British,
the Fortnightly and Theological Reviews, and will be remembered by
his bold Analysis of Religious Belief (1876), in which he examines,
compares and criticises the various faiths of the world. Lord Amberley
left his son to be brought up by Mr. Spalding, a self-taught man of
great ability and force of character; but the will was set aside, on
appeal to the Court of Chancery, in consideration of Mr. Spalding's
heretical views. Died 8 Jan. 1876.
Jacob), German surgeon and traveller, b.
1586. In 1612 he went to Constantinople, Palestine and Egypt, and
afterwards published a curious book called Voyage in the Promised
Land. Died at Zurich, 1658.
Ammianus (Marcellinus). Roman soldier-historian of the fourth century,
b. at Antioch. He wrote the Roman history from the reign of Nerva to
the death of Valens in thirty-one books, of which the first thirteen
are lost. His history is esteemed impartial and trustworthy. He served
under Julian, and compares the rancor of the Christians of the period
to that of wild beasts. Gibbon calls him "an accurate and faithful
guide." Died about 395 A.D.
Ammonius, surnamed Saccas or the Porter, from his having been obliged
in the early part of his life to adopt that calling, was born of
Christian parents in Alexandria during the second century. He,
however, turned Pagan and opened a school of philosophy. Among his
pupils were Origen, Longinus and Plotinus. He undoubtedly originated
the Neo-Platonic movement, which formed the most serious opposition
to Christianity in its early career. Ammonius died A.D. 243, aged
over eighty years.
Anaxagoras, a Greek philosopher of the Ionic school, b. about 499 B.C.,
lived at Athens and enjoyed the friendship of Pericles. In 450 B.C. he
was accused of Atheism for maintaining the eternity of matter and was
banished to Lampsacus, where he died in 428 B.C. It is related that,
being asked how he desired to be honored after death, he replied,
"Only let the day of my death be observed as a holiday by the boys
in the schools." He taught that generation and destruction are only
the union and separation of elements which can neither be created
Andre-Nuytz (Louis), author of Positivism for All, an elementary
exposition of Positive philosophy, to which Littré wrote a preface,
Andrews (Stephen Pearl). American Sociologist, b. Templeton, Mass.,
22 March, 1812. He was an ardent Abolitionist, an eloquent speaker,
and the inventor of a universal language called Alwato. His principle
work is entitled The Basic Outline of Universology (N. Y., 1872). He
also wrote The Church and Religion of the Future (1886). He was a
prominent member and vice-president of the Liberal Club of New York,
a contributor to the London Times, the New York Truthseeker, and many
other journals. Died at New York, 21 May, 1886.
Andrieux (Louis). French deputy, b. Trévoux 20 July, 1840. Was
called to the bar at Lyons, where he became famous for his political
pleading. He took part in the Freethought Congress at Naples in 1869,
and in June of the following year he was imprisoned for three months
for his attack on the Empire. On the establishment of the Republic he
was nominated procureur at Lyons. He was on the municipal council of
that city, which he has also represented in the Chamber of Deputies. In
1879 he became Prefect of Police at Paris, but retired in 1881 and was
elected deputy by his constituents at Lyons. He has written Souvenirs
of a Prefect of Police (1885).
Angelucci (Teodoro). Italian poet and philosopher, b. near Tolentino
1549. He advocated Aristotle against F. Patrizi, and was banished
from Rome. One of the first emancipators of modern thought in Italy,
he also made an excellent translation of the Æneid of Virgil. Died
Angiulli (Andrea). Italian Positivist, b. Castellana 12 Feb. 1837,
author of a work on philosophy and Positive research, Naples 1868. He
became professor of Anthropology at Naples in 1876, and edits a
philosophical review published in that city since 1881.
Annet (Peter). One of the most forcible writers among the English
Deists, b. at Liverpool in 1693. He was at one time a schoolmaster
and invented a system of shorthand. Priestley learnt it at school
and corresponded with Annet. In 1739 he published a pamphlet on
Freethinking the Great Duty of Religion, by P. A., minister of
religion. This was followed by the Conception of Jesus as the
Foundation of the Christian Religion, in which he boldly attacks
the doctrine of the Incarnation as "a legend of the Romanists,"
and The Resurrection of Jesus Considered (1744) in answer to Bishop
Sherlock's Trial of the Witnesses. This controversy was continued in
The Resurrection Reconsidered and The Resurrection Defenders Stript
of all Defence. In An Examination of the History and Character of
St. Paul he attacks the sincerity of the apostle to the Gentiles and
even questions the authenticity of his epistles. In Supernaturals
Examined (1747) he argues that all miracles are incredible. In 1761
he issued nine numbers of the Free Inquirer, in which he attacked
the authenticity and credibility of the Pentateuch. For this he was
brought before the King's Bench and sentenced to suffer one month's
imprisonment in Newgate, to stand twice in the pillory, once at
Charing Cross and once at the Exchange, with a label "For Blasphemy,"
then to have a year's hard labor in Bridewell and to find sureties
for good behavior during the rest of his life. It is related that
a woman seeing Annet in the pillory said, "Gracious! pilloried for
blasphemy. Why, don't we blaspheme every day!" After his release Annet
set up a school at Lambeth. Being asked his views on a future life
he replied by this apologue: "One of my friends in Italy, seeing the
sign of an inn, asked if that was the Angel." "No," was the reply,
"do you not see it is the sign of a dragon." "Ah," said my friend,
"as I have never seen either angel or dragon, how can I tell whether
it is one or the other?" Died 18 Jan. 1769. The History of the Man
after God's Own Heart (1761) ascribed to Annet, was more probably
written by Archibald Campbell. The View of the Life of King David
(1765) by W. Skilton, Horologist, is also falsely attributed to Annet.
Anthero de Quental, Portuguese writer, b. San Miguel 1843. Educated
for the law at the University of Coimbra, he has published both poetry
and prose, showing him to be a student of Hartmann, Proudhon and Rénan,
and one of the most advanced minds in Portugal.
Anthony (Susan Brownell). American reformer, b. of a Quaker family
at South Adams, Massachusetts, 15 Feb. 1820. She became a teacher,
a temperance reformer, an opponent of slavery, and an ardent advocate
of women's rights. Of the last movement she became secretary. In
conjunction with Mrs. E. C. Stanton and Parker Pillsbury she conducted
The Revolutionist founded in New York in 1868, and with Mrs. Stanton
and Matilda Joslyn Gage she has edited the History of Woman's Suffrage,
1881. Miss Anthony is a declared Agnostic.
Antoine (Nicolas). Martyr. Denied the Messiahship and divinity of
Jesus, and was strangled and burnt at Geneva, 20 April, 1632.
Antonelle (Pierre Antoine) Marquis d', French political economist,
b. Arles 1747. He embraced the revolution with ardor, and his article
in the Journal des Hommes Libres occasioned his arrest with Baboeuf. He
was, however, acquitted. Died at Arles, 26 Nov. 1817.
Antoninus (Marcus Aurelius). See Aurelius.
Apelt (Ernst Friedrich), German philosopher, b. Reichenau 3 March,
1812. He criticised the philosophy of religion from the standpoint
of reason, and wrote many works on metaphysics. Died near Gorlitz,
27 Oct. 1859.
Aquila, a Jew of Pontus, who became a proselyte to Christianity, but
afterwards left that religion. He published a Greek version of the
Hebrew scriptures to show that the prophecies did not apply to Jesus
(A.D. 128). The work is lost. He has been identified by E. Deutsch
with the author of the Targum of Onkelos.
Arago (Dominique François Jean), French academician, politician,
physicist and astronomer, b. Estagel, 26 Feb. 1786. He was elected to
the French Academy of Sciences at the age of twenty-three. He made
several optical and electro-magnetic discoveries, and advocated
the undulatory theory of light. He was an ardent Republican and
Freethinker, and took part in the provisional Government of 1848. He
opposed the election of Louis Napoleon, and refused to take the
oath of allegiance after the coup d'état of December, 1851. Died 2
Oct. 1853. Humboldt calls him a "zealous defender of the interests
Ardigo (Roberto), Italian philosopher, b. at Casteldidone (Cremona)
28 Jan. 1828, was intended for the Church, but took to philosophy. In
1869 he published a discourse on Peitro Pomponazzi, followed next year
by Psychology as a Positive Science. Signor Ardigo has also written on
the formation of the solar system and on the historical formation of
the ideas of God and the soul. An edition of his philosophical works
was commenced at Mantua in 1882. Ardigo is one of the leaders of the
Italian Positivists. His Positivist Morals appeared in Padua 1885.
Argens (Jean Baptiste de Boyer) Marquis d', French writer, b. at
Aix, in Provence, 24 June 1704. He adopted a military life and
served with distinction. On the accession of Frederick the Great
he invited d'Argens to his court at Berlin, and made him one of his
chamberlains. Here he resided twenty-five years and then returned to
Aix, where he resided till his death 11 June, 1771. His works were
published in 1768 in twenty-four volumes. Among them are Lettres
Juives, Lettres Chinoises and Lettres Cabalistiques, which were
joined to La Philosophie du bon sens. He also translated Julian's
discourse against Christianity and Ocellus Lucanus on the Eternity
of the World. Argens took Bayle as his model, but he was inferior to
Argental (Charles Augustin de Ferriol) Count d', French diplomat,
b. Paris 20 Dec. 1700, was a nephew of Mme. de Tencin, the mother
of D'Alembert. He is known for his long and enthusiastic friendship
for Voltaire. He was said to be the author of Mémoires du Comte de
Comminge and Anecdotes de la cour d'Edouard. Died 5 Jan. 1788.
Aristophanes, great Athenian comic poet, contemporary with Socrates,
Plato, and Euripides, b. about 444 B.C. Little is known of his life. He
wrote fifty-four plays, of which only eleven remain, and was crowned
in a public assembly for his attacks on the oligarchs. With the utmost
boldness he satirised not only the the political and social evils
of the age, but also the philosophers, the gods, and the theology
of the period. Plato is said to have died with Aristophanes' works
under his pillow. Died about 380 B.C.
Aristotle, the most illustrious of ancient philosophers, was born at
Stagyra, in Thrace, 384 B.C. He was employed by Philip of Macedon
to instruct his son Alexander. His inculcation of ethics as apart
from all theology, justifies his place in this list. After the death
of Alexander, he was accused of impiety and withdrew to Chalcis,
where he died B.C. 322. Grote says: "In the published writings of
Aristotle the accusers found various heretical doctrines suitable for
sustaining their indictment; as, for example, the declaration that
prayer and sacrifices to the gods were of no avail." His influence
was predominant upon philosophy for nearly two thousand years. Dante
speaks of him as "the master of those that know."
Arnold of Brescia, a pupil of Abelard. He preached against the papal
authority and the temporal power, and the vices of the clergy. He
was condemned for heresy by a Lateran Council in 1139, and retired
from Italy. He afterwards returned to Rome and renewed his exertions
against sacerdotal oppression, and was eventually seized and burnt at
Rome in 1155. Baronius calls him "the patriarch of political heretics."
Arnold (Matthew), LL.D. poet and critic, son of Dr. Arnold of Rugby,
b. at Laleham 24 Dec. 1822. Educated at Winchester, Rugby, and Oxford,
where he won the Newdigate prize. In 1848 he published the Strayed
Reveller, and other Poems, signed A. In 1851 he married and became
an inspector of schools. In 1853 appeared Empedocles on Etna, a poem
in which, under the guise of ancient teaching he gives much secular
philosophy. In 1857 he was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford. In
1871 he published an essay entitled St. Paul and Protestantism; in 1873
Literature and Dogma, which, from its rejection of supernaturalism,
occasioned much stir and was followed by God and the Bible. In 1877
Mr. Arnold published Last Essays on Church and State. Mr. Arnold
has a lucid style and is abreast of the thought of his age, but he
curiously unites rejection of supernaturalism, including a personal
God, with a fond regard for the Church of England. He may be said
in his own words to wander "between two worlds, one dead, the other
powerless to be born." Died 15 April, 1888.
Arnould (Arthur), French writer, b. Dieuze 7 April, 1833. As
journalist he wrote on l'Opinion Nationale, the Rappel, Reforme and
other papers. In 1864 he published a work on Beranger, and in '69 a
History of the Inquisition. In Jan. 1870 he founded La Marseillaise
with H. Rochefort, and afterwards the Journal du Peuple with Jules
Valles. He was elected to the National Assembly and was member of
the Commune, of which he has written a history in three volumes. He
has also written many novels and dramas.
Arnould (Victor), Belgian Freethinker, b. Maestricht, 7 Nov. 1838,
advocate at the Court of Appeal, Brussels. Author of a History of the
Church 1874, and a little work on the Philosophy of Liberalism 1877.
Arouet (François Marie). See Voltaire.
Arpe (Peter Friedrich). Philosopher, b. Kiel, Holstein, 10 May,
1682. Wrote an apology for Vanini dated Cosmopolis (i.e., Rotterdam,
1712). A reply to La Monnoye's treatise on the book De Tribus
Impostoribus is attributed to him. Died, Hamburg, 4 Nov. 1740.
Arthur (John) is inserted in Maréchal's Dictionnaire des Athées
as a mechanic from near Birmingham, who took a prize at Paris and
republished the Invocation to Nature in the last pages of the System
of Nature. Julian Hibbert inserted his name in his Chronological
Tables of Anti-Superstitionists, with the date of death 1792.
Asseline (Louis). French writer, b. at Versailles in 1829, became an
advocate in 1851. In 1866 he established La Libre Pensée, a weekly
journal of scientific materialism, and when that was suppressed
La Pensée Nouvelle. He was one of the founders of the Encyclopédie
Générale. He wrote Diderot and the Nineteenth Century, and contributed
to many journals. After the revolution of 4 Sept. 1870 he was elected
mayor of the fourteenth arrondissement of Paris, and was afterwards
one of the Municipal Council of that city. Died 6 April, 1878.
Assezat (Jules). French writer, b. at Paris 21 Jan. 1832 was a son
of a compositor on the Journal des Debats, on which Jules obtained a
position and worked his way to the editorial chair. He was secretary of
the Paris Society of Anthropology, contributed to La Pensée Nouvelle,
edited the Man Machine of Lamettrie, and edited the complete works
of Diderot in twenty volumes. Died 24 June, 1876.
Assollant (Jean, Baptiste Alfred). French novelist, b. 20 March,
1827. Larousse says he has all the scepticism of Voltaire.
Ast (Georg Anton Friedrich). German Platonist, b. Gotha 29
Dec. 1778. Was professor of classical literature at Landshut and
Munich. Wrote Elements of Philosophy, 1809, etc. Died Munich 31
Atkinson (Henry George). Philosophic writer, b. in 1818. Was educated
at the Charterhouse, gave attention to mesmerism, and wrote in
the Zoist. In 1851 he issued Letters on the Laws of Man's Nature
and Development, in conjunction with Harriet Martineau, to whom he
served as philosophic guide. This work occasioned a considerable
outcry. Mr. Atkinson was a frequent contributor to the National
Reformer and other Secular journals. He died 28 Dec. 1884, at Boulogne,
where he had resided since 1870.
Aubert de Verse (Noel). A French advocate of the seventeenth century,
who wrote a history of the Papacy (1685) and was accused of blasphemy.
Audebert (Louise). French authoress of the Romance of a Freethinker
and of an able Reply of a Mother to the Bishop of Orleans, 1868.
Audifferent (Georges). Positivist and executor to Auguste Comte,
was born at Saint Pierre (Martinque) in 1823, settled at Marseilles,
and is the author of several medical and scientific works.
Aurelius (Marcus Antoninus). Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher, b. at
Rome 26 April, 121. Was carefully educated, and lived a laborious,
abstemious life. On the death of his uncle Antoninus Pius, 161, the
Senate obliged him to take the government, but he associated with
himself L. Verus. On the death of Verus in 169 Antoninus possessed
sole authority, which he exercised with wise discretion and great
glory. Much of his time was employed in defending the northern
frontiers of the empire against Teutonic barbarians. He had no
high opinion of Christians, speaking of their obstinacy, and it is
pretended many were put to death in the reign of one of the best
emperors that ever ruled. If so we may be assured it was for their
crimes. Ecclesiastical historians have invented another pious miracle
in a victory gained through the prayers of the Christians. Antoninus
held that duty was indispensable even were there no gods. His
Meditations, written in the midst of a most active life, breathe a
lofty morality, and are a standing refutation of the view that pure
ethics depend upon Christian belief. Died 17 March, 180.
Austin (Charles), lawyer and disciple of Bentham, b. Suffolk 1799. At
Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1824 and M.A. in 1827, he won,
much to the amazement of his friends, who knew his heterodox opinions,
the Hulsean prize for an essay on Christian evidences. For this he
was sorry afterwards, and told Lord Stanley of Alderley "I could
have written a much better essay on the other side." He afterwards
wrote on the other side in the Westminster Review. Successful as a
lawyer, he retired in ill-health. J. S. Mill writes highly of his
influence. The Hon. L. A. Tollemache gives a full account of his
heretical opinions. He says "He inclined to Darwinism, because as he
said, it is so antecedently probable; but, long before this theory
broke the back of final causes, he himself had given them up." Died
21 Dec. 1874.
Austin (John), jurist, brother of above, was born 3 March, 1790. A
friend of James Mill, Grote and Bentham, whose opinions he shared,
he is chiefly known by his profound works on jurisprudence. Died 17
Avempace, i.e., Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn Bajjat (Abu Bekr), called
Ibn al-Saigh (the son of the goldsmith), Arabian philosopher and
poet, b. at Saragossa, practised medicine at Seville 1118, which he
quitted about 1120, and became vizier at the court of Fez, where he
died about 1138. An admirer of Aristotle, he was one of the teachers
of Averroes. Al-Fath Ibn Khâkân represents him as an infidel and
Atheist, and says: "Faith disappeared from his heart and left not a
trace behind; his tongue forgot the Merciful, neither did [the holy]
name cross his lips." He is said to have suffered imprisonment for
(Georges), French writer, b. at Chaumont
the promoters of the Encyclopédie Générale. His vindication of Cloots
(1865) is a solid work of erudition. He became editor of la République
Française and edited the edition of Voltaire published by Le Siècle
at Bougival, near
by his express wish, buried without religious ceremony.
Averroes (Muhammad Ibn-Ahmad Ibn Rushd), Abu al Walid, Arabian
at Cordova in 1126, and died at
Dec. 1198. He translated and commented upon the works of Aristotle,
and resolutely placed the claims of science above those of theology. He
was prosecuted for his heretical opinions by the Muhammadan doctors,
was spat upon by all who entered the mosque at the hour of prayer,
and afterwards banished. His philosophical opinions, which incline
towards materialism and pantheism, had the honor of being condemned
when profoundly influencing
through the Paduan school were again condemned by Pope Leo X. in 1513.
Avicenna (Husain Ibn Abdallah, called Ibn Sina), Arabian physician and
philosopher, b. Aug. 980 in the district of Bokhara. From his early
youth he was a
wonderful student, and at his death
he left behind him above a hundred treatises. He was the sovereign
medical science until the days of
was pantheistic in tone, with an attempt at compromise with theology.
Aymon (Jean), French writer, b. Dauphiné 1661. Brought up in the
abjured Catholicism at Geneva, and married at
published Metamorphoses of the Romish Religion, and is said to have
put forward a version of the Esprit de Spinoza under the famous title
Treatise of Three Impostors. Died about 1734.
Bagehot (Walter), economist and journalist, b. of Unitarian parents,
March, 1877. He
was educated at
a fellow. For the last seventeen years of his life he edited the
Economist newspaper. His best-known works are The English Constitution,
a series of essays on the Evolution of Society, he applies Darwinism
to politics. Bagehot was a bold, clear, and very original thinker,
who rejected historic Christianity.
Immanuel), Danish poet, b. Kösor,
Feb. 1764. In
1789 he visited
both in Danish and German, among others Adam and Eve, a humorous mock
epic (1826). He was an admirer of Voltaire. Died Hamburg, 3 Oct. 1826.
Bahnsen (Julius Friedrich August), pessimist, b. Tondern,
Schleswig-Holstein, 30 Mar. 1830. Studied philosophy at Keil,
1847. He fought against the Danes in '49, and afterwards studied at
Tübingen. Bahnsen is an independent follower of Schopenhauer and
Hartmann, joining monism to the idealism of Hegel. He has written
several works, among which we mention The Philosophy of History,
Berlin, 1872, and The Contradiction between the Knowledge and the
Nature of the World (2 vols), Berlin 1880-82.
Bahrdt (Karl Friedrich), German deist, b. in Saxony, 25
Aug. 1741. Educated for the Church, in 1766 he was made professor
of biblical philology. He was condemned for heresy, and wandered
from place to place. He published a kind of expurgated Bible, called
New Revelations of God: A System of Moral Religion for Doubters and
Thinkers, Berlin, 1787, and a Catechism of Natural Religion, Halle,
1790. Died near Halle, 23 April, 1792.
Bailey (James Napier), Socialist, edited the Model Republic, 1843, the
Torch, and the Monthly Messenger. He published Gehenna: its Monarch
and Inhabitants; Sophistry Unmasked, and several other tracts in the
"Social Reformer's Cabinet Library," and some interesting Essays on
Miscellaneous Subjects, at Leeds, 1842.
Bailey (Samuel), philosophical writer, of Sheffield, b. in 1791. His
essay on the Formation and Publication of Opinions appeared in 1821. He
vigorously contends that man is not responsible for his opinions
because they are independent of his will, and that opinions should
not be the subject of punishment. Another anonymous Freethought work
was Letters from an Egyptian Kaffir on a Visit to England in Search
of Religion. This was at first issued privately 1839, but afterwards
printed as a Reasoner tract. He also wrote The Pursuit of Truth,
1829, and a Theory of Reasoning, 1851. He was acquainted with both
James and John Stuart Mill, and shared in most of the views of the
Radicals of the period. Died
£90,000 to his native town.
S.), editor of the Liberal, published in
Tennessee, was an Atheist up till the day of death, March, 1886. In
a slave-holding State, he was the earnest advocate of abolition.
(George), of Garnet Hill,
of the Scotch counties. He was a liberal subscriber to the Glasgow
Eclectic Institute. In 1854 he offered a prize for the best essay on
Christianity and Infidelity, which was gained by Miss Sara Hennell. In
1857 another prize was restricted to the question whether Jesus
prophesied the coming of the end of the world in the life-time of his
followers. It was gained by Mr. E. P. Meredith, and is incorporated
in his Prophet
of his fortune (£18,000) which was to be applied to the erection
and endowment of an institution to aid the culture of the operative
classes by means of free libraries and unsectarian schools, retaining
only the interest for himself as curator. He only survived a few years.
(Gustave-Germer), French scientific publisher, b. at
scientific publications such as the Library of Contemporary Philosophy,
International Scientific Series. He was elected
anti-clerical member of the Municipal Council of
(Alexander) LL.D. Scotch philosopher, b. at
began life as a
weaver but studied at
graduated M.A. in 1840. He then began to contribute to the Westminster
Review, and became acquainted with John Stuart Mill, whose Logic
he discussed in manuscript. In 1855 he published The Senses and
The Intellect, and in 1859 The Emotions and the Will, constituting
together a systematic exposition of the human mind. From 1860 to
occupied the Chair of Logic in the
his accession being most obnoxious to the orthodox, and provoking
disorder among the students. In 1869 he received the degree of
LL.D. In addition to numerous educational works Dr. Bain published a
Compendium of Mental and Moral Science (1868), Mind and Body (1875),
and Education as a Science (1879), for the International Scientific
Series. In 1882 he published James Mill, a Biography, and John Stuart
Mill: a Criticism, with Personal Recollections. In 1881 he was elected
Lord Rector of the University of Aberdeen, and this honor was renewed
in 1884, in which year he published Practical Essays.
Bainham (James), martyr. He married the widow of Simon Fish, author
of the Supplycacion of Beggars, an attack upon the clergy of the
period. In 1531 he was accused of heresy, having among other things
denied transubstantiation, the confessional, and "the power of the
keys." It was asserted that he had said that he would as lief pray
to his wife as to "our lady," and that Christ was but a man. This
he denied, but admitted holding the salvation of unbelievers. He was
Baissac (Jules), French littérateur, b. Vans, 1827, author of several
studies in philology and mythology. In 1878 he published Les Origines
de la Religion in three volumes, which have the honor of being put
upon the Roman Index. This was followed by l'Age de Dieu, a study
of cosmical periods and the feast of Easter. In 1882 he began to
publish Histoire de la Diablerie Chrétienne, the first part of which
is devoted to the person and "personnel" of the devil.
Bakunin (Mikhail Aleksandrovich), Russian Nihilist, b. Torshok
(Tver) 1814, of an ancient aristocratic family. He was educated at
with revolutionary ideas. He went to
studied the Hegelian philosophy, and published some philosophical
the name of Jules Elisard. In '43 he visited
became a disciple of Proudhon. In '48 he was expelled from France
at the demand
on his head, went to
insurrectionary government. He was arrested and condemned to death,
May '50, but his sentence was commuted to imprisonment for life. He
but was handed
years' penal servitude he escaped, travelled over a thousand miles
hardship, reached the sea and sailed to
he published the Kolokol. He took part in the establishment of the
International Society, but being at issue with Karl Marx abandoned
that body in
1873. He died at
work on God and the State, both being vigorously attacked. Laveleye
writes of him as "the apostle of universal destruction."
Platt), b. at
religious doctrines. Matriculated at
1866. Taught pyrotechny in the Sultan's service 1870-71. Received
the order of the Medjidieh after narrow escape from death by the
bursting of a mortar. Upon his return published Poems from Turkey
(1872). Mr. Ball has contributed to the National Reformer since 1878
and since 1884 has been on the staff of the Freethinker. He has
published pamphlets on Religion in Schools, the Ten Commandments
and Mrs Besant's Socialism, and has compiled with Mr. Foote the
Bible Handbook. Mr. Ball is a close thinker and a firm supporter of
Evolutional Malthusianism, which he has ably defended in the pages
of Progress. He has of late been engaged upon the question: Are the
Effects of Use and Disuse Inherited?
Going out to
the Wanganui Herald. He entered Parliament in 1875 and became Colonial
Treasurer in '78. With Sir Robert Stout he has been a great support
Freethought cause in
Baltzer (Wilhelm Eduard). German rationalist, b. 24 Oct. 1814, at
resigned and founded at Nordhausen in 1847 a free community. He took
part in the
of Apollonius of Tyana, and is the author of a history of religion
other works. Died
Bancel (François Désiré). French politician, b. Le Mastre,
Assembly. After the coup d'état he retired to
where he became Professor at the University. In 1869 he was elected
on Rationalism by Ausonio Franchi, and wrote on Mysteries, 1871,
political works. Died
and Tylor. Died 1883.
Barbier d'Aucour (Jean). French critic and academician, b. Langres,
1642. Most of his writings are directed against the Jesuits. Died
(George). Poet, b. in
Under the Dawn and Poems, Real and Ideal, he gives utterance to many
Barlow (Joel). American statesman, writer and poet, b. Reading,
revolutionary war, became a chaplain, but resigned that profession,
and contributed to the political literature of the Revolution. Paine
entrusted him with the MS. of the first part of the Age of Reason. His
chief work is entitled the Columbiad, 1808. He was sent as minister
Barni (Jules Romain). French philosophic writer, b. Lille, 1 June,
1818. He became secretary to Victor Cousin, and translated the works
of Kant into French. He contributed to La Liberté de Penser (1847-51)
and to l'Avenir (1855). During the Empire he lived in Switzerland
and published Martyrs de la Libre Pensée (1862), La Morale dans
la Démocratie (1864), and a work on the French Moralists of the
Eighteenth Century (1873). He was elected to the National Assembly,
1872; and to the Chamber of Deputies, 1876. Died at Mers, 4 July,
1878. A statue
is erected to him at
Barnout (Hippolyte). French architect and writer, b. Paris 1816,
published a Rational Calendar 1859 and 1860. In May 1870 he established
a journal entitled L'Athée, the Atheist, which the clerical journals
God's vengeance upon
work on aerial navigation.
Barot (François Odysse). French writer, b. at Mirabeau 1830. He
has been a journalist on several Radical papers, was secretary to
Gustave Flourens, and has written on the Birth of Jesus (1864) and
grandfathers being ministers of that body; educated at Queenwood
obtained diploma of Associate in Arts from
in Natural Science and Mathematics, contributed to the National
Reformer between 1865 and 1870, published an acute examination of
Gillespie's argument, à priori, for the existence of God (1869),
which in 1871 reached a second edition. He also wrote A New View
of Causation (1871), and an Introduction to Logic and Metyphysics
Barrett has been hon. sec. of the
Society, and edited a short-lived publication, The Present Day, 1886.
Barrier (F. M.). French Fourierist, b. Saint Etienne 1815, became
and Humanity (
and an abridgment of this entitled Catechism of Liberal and Rational
Socialism. Died Montfort-L'Amaury 1870.
(François). French author, b. of poor parents at
1818. An orphan at seven years of age, he learnt to read from shop
signs, and became a printer and journalist. Many of his songs and
satires acquired popularity. He has also wrote a letter to Pope Pius
IX. on the OEcumenical Council (1871), signed Jean Populus, and a
work entitled Love is God. Died at
Joseph), French physician, b.
friend of D'Alembert, he became associate editor of the Journal des
Savants and Encyclopédie Méthodique. He was made consulting physician
to the king and a councillor of State. Shown by the Archbishop of
Sens a number of works relating to the rites of his see he said,
"These are the ceremonies of Sens, but can you show me the sense
[Sens] of ceremonies." His principal work is New Elements of the
Basedow (Johann Bernhard), German Rationalist and educational reformer,
Altona, 1761-1768. While here he published Philalethea, the Grounds of
Religion, and other heterodox works, which excited so much prejudice
that he was in danger of being stoned. He devoted much attention to
methods of teaching. Died at
Baskerville (John), famous printer, b. Sion Hill, Wolverley,
first a stone-mason, then made money as an artistic japanner, and
devoted it to perfecting the art of type-founding and printing. As
a printer-publisher he produced at his own risk beautiful editions
of Milton, Addison, Shaftesbury, Congreve, Virgil, Horace, Lucretius,
He was made printer to
once visited him and was "shocked at his infidelity" (!) He died
designed a monumental urn with this inscription: "Stranger, beneath
this cone in unconsecrated ground a friend to the liberties of
mankind directed his body to be inurned. May the example contribute
to emancipate thy mind from the idle fears of superstition and the
wicked arts of priesthood." His will expresses the utmost contempt
for Christianity. His type was appropriately purchased to produce a
complete edition of Voltaire.
Bassus (Aufidus). An Epicurean philosopher and friend of Seneca in
the time of Nero. Seneca praises his patience and courage in the
presence of death.
Bate (Frederick), Socialist, author of The Student 1842, a drama
in which the author's sceptical views are put forward. Mr. Bate
was one of the founders of the social experiment at New Harmony,
now Queenswood College, Hants, and engraved a view representing the
Owenite scheme of community.
Baudelaire (Charles Pierre), French poet, b. Paris, 9 April 1821,
the son of a distinguished friend of Cabanis and Condorcet. He
first became famous by the publication of Fleurs du Mal, 1857, in
which appeared Les Litanies de Satan. The work was prosecuted and
suppressed. Baudelaire translated some of the writings of E. A. Poe,
a poet whom he resembled much in life and character. The divine
beauty of his face has been celebrated by the French poet, Théodore
de Banville, and his genius in some magnificent stanzas by the English
poet, Algernon Swinburne. Died Paris 31 Aug. 1867.
Baudon (P. L.), French author of a work on the Christian Superstition,
published at Brussels in 1862 and dedicated to Bishop Dupanloup under
the pseudonym of "Aristide."
Bauer (Bruno), one of the boldest biblical critics of Germany,
b. Eisenberg, 6 Sept. 1809. Educated at the University of Berlin,
in 1834 he received a professorship of theology. He first attained
celebrity by a review of the Life of Jesus by Strauss (1835). This
was followed by his Journal of Speculative Theology and Critical
Exposition of the Religion of the Old Testament. He then proceeded
to a Review of the Gospel History, upon the publication of which
(1840) he was deprived of his professorship at Bonn. To this followed
Christianity Unveiled (1843), which was destroyed at Zurich before
its publication. This work continued his opposition to religion,
which was carried still further in ironical style in his Proclamation
of the Day of Judgement concerning Hegel the Atheist. Bauer's heresy
deepened with age, and in his Review of the Gospels and History of
their Origin (1850), to which Apostolical History is a supplement,
he attacked the historical truth of the New Testament narratives. In
his Review of the Epistles attributed to St. Paul (1852) he tries to
show that the first four epistles, which had hardly ever before been
questioned, were not written by Paul, but are the production of the
second century. In his Christ and the Cæsars he shows the influence
of Seneca and Greco-Roman thought upon early Christianity. He died
near Berlin, 13 April, 1882.
Bauer (Edgar), b. Charlottenburg, 7 Oct. 1820, brother of the
preceding, collaborated in some of his works. His brochure entitled
Bruno Bauer and his Opponents (1842) was seized by the police. For
his next publication, The Strife of Criticism with Church and State
(1843), he was imprisoned for four years. He has also written on
English freedom, Capital, etc.
Baume-Desdossat (Jacques François, de la), b. 1705, a Canon of
Avignon who wrote La Christiade (1753), a satire on the gospels,
in which Jesus is tempted by Mary Magdalene. It was suppressed by
the French Parliament and the author fined. He died 30 April, 1756.
Baur (Ferdinand Christian von), distinguished theological critic, b. 21
June, 1792, near Stuttgart. His father was a clergyman. He was educated
at Tübingen, where in 1826 he became professor of Church history. Baur
is the author of numerous works on dogmatic and historic theology, in
which he subverts all the fundamental positions of Christianity. He was
an Hegelian Pantheist. Among his more important works are Christianity
and the Church in the First Three Centuries and Paul: His Life and
Works. These are translated into English. He acknowledges only four
of the epistles of Paul and the Revelation as genuine products of
the apostolic age, and shows how very far from simplicity were the
times and doctrines of primitive Christianity. After a life of great
literary activity he died at Tübingen, 2 Dec. 1860.
Bayle (Pierre), learned French writer, b. 18 Nov. 1647, at Carlat,
France, where his father was a Protestant minister. He was converted
to Romanism while studying at the Jesuit College, Toulouse, 1669. His
Romanism only lasted seventeen months. He abjured, and fled to
Switzerland, becoming a sceptic, as is evident from Thoughts on the
Comet, in which he compares the supposed mischiefs of Atheism with
those of fanaticism, and from many articles in his famous Dictionnaire
Critique, a work still of value for its curious learning and shrewd
observation. In his journal Nouvelles de la République des Lettres
he advocates religious toleration on the ground of the difficulty of
distinguishing truth from error. His criticism of Maimbourg's History
of Calvinism was ordered to be burnt by the hangman. Jurieu persecuted
him, and he was ordered to be more careful in preparing the second
edition of his dictionary. He died at Rotterdam, 28 Dec. 1706. Bayle
has been called the father of free discussion in modern times.
Bayrhoffer (Karl Theodor), German philosopher, b. Marburg, 14 Oct.,
1812, wrote The Idea and History of Philosophy (1838), took part in
the revolution of '48, emigrated to America, and wrote many polemical
works. Died near Monroe, Wisconsin, 3 Feb. 1888.
Beauchamp (Philip). See Bentham and Grote.
Beausobre (Louis de), b. at Berlin, 22 Aug. 1730, was adopted by
Frederick the Great out of esteem for his father, Isaac Beausobre,
the author of the History of Manicheanism. He was educated first at
Frankfort-on-Oder, then at Paris. He wrote on the scepticism of the
wise (Pyrrhonisme du Sage, Berlin, 1754), a work condemned to be burnt
by the Parliament of Paris. He also wrote anonymously The Dreams of
Epicurus, and an essay on Happiness (Berlin, 1758), reprinted with
the Social System of Holbach in 1795. Died at Berlin, 3 Dec. 1783.
Bebel (Ferdinand August). German Socialist, b. Cologne, 22
Feb. 1840. Brought up as a turner in Leipsic. Since '63, he became
distinguished as an exponent of social democracy, and was elected to
the German Reichstag in '71. In the following year he was condemned (6
March) to two years' imprisonment for high treason. He was re-elected
in '74. His principal work is Woman in the Past, Present and Future
which is translated by H. B. A. Walther, 1885. He has also written on
the Mohammedan Culture Period (1884) and on Christianity and Socialism.
Beccaria (Bonesana Cesare), an Italian marquis and writer, b. at Milan,
15 March, 1738. A friend of Voltaire, who praised his treatise on
Crimes and Punishments (1769), a work which did much to improve the
criminal codes of Europe. Died Milan, 28 Nov. 1794.
Beesly (Edward Spencer), Positivist, b. Feckenham, Worcestershire,
1831. Educated at Wadham College, Oxford, where he took B.A. in 1854,
and M.A. in '57. Appointed Professor of History, University College,
London, in 1860. He is one of the translators of Comte's System of
Positive Polity, and has published several pamphlets on political
and social questions.
Beethoven (Ludwig van), one of the greatest of musical composers,
b. Bonn 16 Dec. 1770. His genius early displayed itself, and at the
age of five he was set to study the works of Handel and Bach. His many
compositions are the glory of music. They include an opera "Fidelio,"
two masses, oratorios, symphonies, concertos, overtures and sonatas,
and are characterised by penetrating power, rich imagination, intense
passion, and tenderness. When about the age of forty he became totally
deaf, but continued to compose till his death at Vienna, 26 March,
1827. He regarded Goethe with much the same esteem as Wagner showed
for Schopenhauer, but he disliked his courtliness. His Republican
sentiments are well known, and Sir George Macfarren, in his life in
the Imperial Dictionary of Universal Biography, speaks of him as a
"Freethinker," and says the remarkable mass in C. "might scarcely
have proceeded from an entirely orthodox thinker." Sir George Grove,
in his Dictionary of Music and Musicians, says: "Formal religion he
apparently had none," and "the Bible does not appear to have been one
of his favorite books." At the end of his arrangement of "Fidelio"
Moscheles had written, "Fine. With God's help." To this Beethoven
added, "O man, help thyself."
Bekker (Balthasar), Dutch Rationalist, b. Metslawier (Friesland)
20 March, 1634. He studied at Gronigen, became a doctor of divinity,
and lived at Francker, but was accused of Socinianism, and had to fly
to Amsterdam, where he raised another storm by his World Bewitched
(1691), a work in which witchcraft and the power of demons are
denied. His book, which contains much curious information, raised
a host of adversaries, and he was deposed from his place in the
Church. It appeared in English in 1695. Died, Amsterdam, 11 June,
1698. Bekker was remarkably ugly, and he is said to have "looked like
the devil, though he did not believe in him."
Belinsky (Vissarion Grigorevich), Russian critic, b. Pensa 1811,
educated at Pensa and Moscow, adopted the Pantheistic philosophy of
Hegel and Schelling. Died St. Petersburg, 28 May, 1848. His works
were issued in 12 volumes, 1857-61.
Bell (Thomas Evans), Major in Madras Army, which he entered in 1842. He
was employed in the suppression of Thugee. He wrote the Task of To-Day,
1852, and assisted the Reasoner, both with pen and purse, writing over
the signature "Undecimus." He contemplated selling his commission to
devote himself to Freethought propaganda, but by the advice of his
friends was deterred. He returned to India at the Mutiny. In January,
1861, he became Deputy-Commissioner of Police at Madras. He retired
in July, 1865, and has written many works on Indian affairs. Died 12
Bell (William S.), b. in Allegheny city, Pennsylvania, 10
Feb. 1832. Brought up as a Methodist minister, was denounced for
mixing politics with religion, and for his anti-slavery views. In
1873 he preached in the Universalist Church of New Bedford, but in
Dec. '74, renounced Christianity and has since been a Freethought
lecturer. He has published a little book on the French Revolution,
and some pamphlets.
Bender (Wilhelm), German Rationalist, professor of theology at Bonn,
b. 15 Jan. 1845, who created a sensation at the Luther centenary,
1883, by declaring that the work of the Reformation was incompleted
and must be carried on by the Rationalists.
Robigne Mortimer), founder and editor of the
Truthseeker, b. of poor parents, Springfield (N.Y.), 23 Dec. 1818. At
the age of fifteen he joined the Shaker Society in New Lebanon. Here
he stayed thirteen years and then married. Having lost faith in the
Shaker creed, he went to Louisville, Kentucky, where he started a
drug store. The perusal of Paine, Volney, and similar works made him
a Freethinker. In 1873, his letters to a local journal in answer to
some ministers having been refused, he resolved to start a paper of
his own. The result was the Truthseeker, which in January, 1876 became
a weekly, and has since become one of the principal Freethought organs
in America. In 1879 he was sentenced to thirteen months' imprisonment
for sending through the post a pamphlet by Ezra H. Heywood on the
marriage question. A tract, entitled An Open Letter to Jesus Christ,
was read in court to bias the jury. A petition bearing 200,000
names was presented to President Hayes asking his release, but was
not acceded to. Upon his release his admirers sent him for a voyage
round the world. He wrote A Truthseeker's Voyage Round the World,
Letters from Albany Penitentiary, Answers to Christian Questions and
Arguments, two large volumes on The Gods, another on the World's Sages,Infidels and Thinkers, and published his discussions with Humphrey, Mair, and Teed, and numerous tracts. He died 6 Dec. 1882.
Bentham (Jeremy), writer on ethics, jurisprudence, and political
economy, b. 15 Feb. 1748. A grand uncle named Woodward was the
publisher of Tindal's Christianity as Old as the Creation. Was educated
at Westminster and Oxford, where he graduated M.A. 1767. Bentham
is justly regarded as the father of the school of philosophical
Radicalism. In philosophy he is the great teacher of Utilitarianism;
as a jurist he did much to disclose the defects of and improve our
system of law. Macaulay says he "found jurisprudence a gibberish and
left it a science." His most pronounced Freethought work was that
written in conjunction with Grote, published as An Analysis of the
Influence of Natural Religion, by Philip Beauchamp, 1822. Among his
numerous other works we can only mention Deontology, or the Science
an exposition of utilitarianism;
and its Catechism Examined; Not Paul, but Jesus, published under the
pseudonym of Gamaliel Smith. Died 6 June, 1832, leaving his body for
the purposes of science.
Béranger (Jean Pierre de), celebrated French lyrical poet,
b. Paris, 19 Aug. 1780. His satire on the Bourbons twice ensured
for him imprisonment. He was elected to the Constituant Assembly
1848. Béranger has been compared not inaptly to Burns. All his songs
breathe the spirit of liberty, and several have been characterised
as impious. He died 16 July, 1857.
Bergel (Joseph), Jewish Rationalist, author of Heaven and Its Wonders,
Leipsic, 1881, and Mythology of the Ancient Hebrews, 1882.
Berger (Moriz), author of a work on Materialism in Conflict with
Spiritualism and Idealism, Trieste, 1883.
Bergerac de (Savinien Cyrano). See Cyrano.
Bergk (Johann Adam), German philosopher, b. Hainechen, Zeitz, 27 June,
1769; became a private teacher at Leipsic and wrote many works, both
under his own name and pseudonyms. He published the Art of Thinking,
Leipsic, 1802, conducted the Asiatic Magazine, 1806, and wrote under
the name of Frey the True Religion, "recommended to rationalists
and destined for the Radical cure of supernaturalists, mystics,
etc." Died Leipsic, 27 Oct. 1834.
Bergk (Theodor), German humanist, son of the above, b. Leipsic,
22 May, 1812, author of a good History of Greek Literature, 1872.
Berigardus (Claudius), or Beauregard (Claude Guillermet), French
physician and philosopher, b. at Moulins about 1591. He became a
professor at Pisa from 1628 till 1640, and then went to Padua. His
Circulus Pisanus, published in 1643, was considered an Atheistic
work. In the form of a dialogue he exhibits the various hypotheses
of the formation of the world. The work was forbidden and is very
rare. His book entitled Dubitationes in Dialogum Galilæi, also brought
on him a charge of scepticism. Died in 1664.
Berkenhout (Dr. John), physician and miscellaneous writer, b. 1731,
the son of a Dutch merchant who settled at Leeds. In early life he
had been a captain both in the Prussian and English service, and
in 1765 took his M.D. degree at Leyden. He published many books on
science, a synopsis of the natural history of
and Ireland, and several humorous pieces, anonymously. His principal
work is entitled Biographia Literaria, a biographical history of
English literature, 1777. Throughout the work he loses no opportunity
of displaying his hostility to the theologians, and is loud in his
praises of Voltaire. Died 3 April, 1791.
Berlioz (Louis Hector). The most original of French musical composers,
b. Isère, 11 Dec. 1803. He obtained fame by his dramatic symphony
of Romeo and Juliet (1839), and was made chevalier of the Legion
of Honor. Among his works is one on the Infancy of Christ. In his
Memoirs he relates how he scandalised Mendelssohn "by laughing at
the Bible." Died Paris, 9 March, 1869.
Bernard (Claude), French physiologist, b. Saint Julien 12 July,
1813. Went to Paris 1832, studied medicine, became member of the
Institute and professor at the Museum of Natural History, wrote
La Science Experimentale, and other works on physiology. Died 10
Feb. 1878, and was buried at the expense of the Republic. Paul Bert
calls him the introducer of determinism in the domain of physiology.
Bernier (Abbé). See Holbach.
Bernier (François), French physician and traveller, b. Angers about
1625. He was a pupil of Gassendi, whose works he abridged, and he
defended Descartes against the theologians. He is known as le joli
philsophe. In 1654 he went to Syria and Egypt, and from thence to
India, where he became physician to Aurungzebe. On his return he
published an account of his travels and of the Empire of the Great
Mogul, and died at Paris 22 Sept. 1688.
Bernstein (Aaron), a rationalist, b. of Jewish parents Dantzic
1812. His first work was a translation of the Song of Songs, published
under the pseudonym of A. Rebenstein (1834). He devoted himself
to natural science and published works on The Rotation of Planets,
Humboldt and the Spirit of the Time, etc. His essay on The Origin of
the Legends of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was translated by a German
lady and published by Thomas Scott of Ramsgate (1872). Died Berlin,
12 Feb. 1884.
Berquin (Louis de), French martyr, b. in Artois, 1489. Erasmus,
his friend, says his great crime was openly professing hatred of
the monks. In 1523 his works were ordered to be burnt, and he was
commanded to abjure his heresies. Sentence of perpetual banishment
was pronounced on him on April 16, 1529. He immediately appealed to
the Parliament. His appeal was heard and rejected on the morning of
the 17th. The Parliament reformed the judgment and condemned him to
be burnt alive, and the sentence was carried out on the same afternoon
at the Place de la Grève. He died with great constancy and resolution.
Bert (Paul), French scientist and statesman, b. at Auxerre, 17
Oct. 1833. In Paris he studied both law and medicine, and after
being Professor in the Faculty of Science at Bordeaux, he in 1869
obtained the chair of physiology in the Faculty of Science at Paris,
and distinguished himself by his scientific experiments. In '70 he
offered his services to the Government of National Defence, and in
'72 was elected to the National Assembly, where he signalised himself
by his Radical opinions. Gambetta recognised his worth and made him
Minister of Public Instruction, in which capacity he organised French
education on a Secular basis. His First Year of Scientific Instruction
is almost universally used in the French primary schools. It has been
translated into English by Josephine Clayton (Madame Paul Bert). His
strong anti-clerical views induced much opposition. He published
several scientific and educational works and attacked The Morality of
the Jesuits, '80. In '86 he was appointed French Resident Minister at
Tonquin, where he died 11 Nov. '86. His body was brought over to France
and given a State funeral, a pension being also accorded to his widow.
Bertani (Agostino), Italian patriot, b. 19 Oct. 1812, became a
physician at Genoa, took part with Garibaldi and Mazzini, organising
the ambulance services. A declared Freethinker, he was elected deputy
to the Italian Parliament. Died Rome 30 April, '86.
Berti (Antonio), Italian physician, b. Venice 20 June, 1816. Author
of many scientific works, member of the Venice Municipal Council and
of the Italian Senate. Died Venice 24 March, 1879.
Bertillon (Louis Adolphe), French Anthropologist and physician,
b. Paris 1 April, 1821. His principal work is a statistical study
of the French population, Paris '74. He edits in conjunction with
A. Hovelacque and others, the Dictionary of the Anthropological
Sciences ('83 etc.) His sons, Jacques (b. '51) and Alphonse (b. '53),
prosecute similar studies.
Bertrand de Saint-Germain (Guillaume Scipion), French physician,
b. Puy-en-Velay 25 Oct. 1810. Became M.D. 1840, wrote on The
Original Diversity of Human Races (1847), and a materialistic work
on Manifestation of Life and Intelligence through Organisation,
1848. Has also written on Descartes as a Physiologist, 1869.
Berwick (George J.) M.D., appointed surgeon to the East India Company
in 1828, retired in '52. Author of Awas-i-hind, or a Voice from the
Ganges; being a solution of the true source of Christianity. By an
Indian Officer; London, 1861. Also of a work on The Forces of the
Universe, '70. Died about 1872.
Besant (Annie) née Wood. B. London, 1 Oct. 1847. Educated in
Evangelicalism by Miss Marryat, sister of novelist, but turned
to the High Church by reading Pusey and others. In "Holy Week"
of 1866 she resolved to write the story of the week from the
gospel. Their contradictions startled her but she regarded her doubts
as sin. In Dec. '67 she married the Rev. F. Besant, and read and
wrote extensively. The torment a child underwent in whooping-cough
caused doubts as to the goodness of God. A study of Greg's Creed
of Christendom and Arnold's Literature and Dogma increased her
scepticism. She became acquainted with the Rev. C. Voysey and Thomas
Scott, for whom she wrote an Essay on the Deity of Jesus of Nazareth,
"by the wife of a beneficed clergyman." This led to her husband
insisting on her taking communion or leaving. She chose the latter
course, taking by agreement her daughter with her. Thrown on her own
resources, she wrote further tracts for Mr. Scott, reprinted in My Path
to Atheism ('77). Joined the National Secular Society, and in '74 wrote
in the National Reformer over the signature of "Ajax." Next year she
took to the platform and being naturally eloquent soon won her way to
the front rank as a Freethought lecturess, and became joint editor
of the National Reformer. Some lectures on the French Revolution
were republished in book form. In April, '77, she was arrested
with Mr. Bradlaugh for publishing the Fruits of Philosophy. After a
brilliant defence, the jury exonerated the defendants from any corrupt
motives, and although they were sentenced the indictment was quashed
in Feb. '78, and the case was not renewed. In May, '78, a petition
in Chancery was presented to deprive Mrs. Besant of her child on the
ground of her Atheistic and Malthusian views. Sir G. Jessell granted
the petition. In '80 Mrs. Besant matriculated at the London University
and took 1st B.Sc. with honors in '82. She has debated much and issued
many pamphlets to be found in Theological Essays and Debates. She
wrote the second part of the Freethinkers' Text Book dealing with
Christian evidence; has written on the Sins of the Church, 1886, and
the Evolution of Society. She has translated Jules Soury's Religion
of Israel, and Jesus of the Gospels; Dr. L. Büchner on the Influence
of Heredity and Mind in Animals, and from the fifteenth edition of
Force and Matter. From '83 to '88 she edited Our Corner, and since
'85 has given much time to Socialist propaganda, and has written many
Socialist pamphlets. In Dec. '88, Mrs. Besant was elected a member
of the London School Board.
Beverland (Hadrianus), Dutch classical scholar and nephew of Isaac
Vossius, b. Middleburg 1654. He took the degree of doctor of law and
became an advocate, but devoted himself to literature. He was at the
university of Oxford in 1672. His treatise on Original Sin, Peccatum
Originale (Eleutheropoli, 1678), in which he contends that the sin
of Adam and Eve was sexual inclination, caused a great outcry. It
was burnt, Beverland was imprisoned and his name struck from the
rolls of Leyden University. He wrote some other curious works and
died about 1712.
Bevington (Louisa S.), afterwards Guggenberger; English poetess and
authoress of Key Notes, 1879; Poems, Lyrics and Sonnets, '82; wrote
"Modern Atheism and Mr. Mallock" in the Nineteenth Century (Oct. and
Dec. '79), and on "The Moral Demerits of Orthodoxy" in Progress,
Beyle (Marie Henri), French man of letters, famous under the
name of de Stendhal, b. Grenoble, 23 Jan. 1783. Painter, soldier,
merchant and consul, he travelled largely, a wandering life being
congenial to his broad and sceptical spirit. His book, De l'Amour
is his most notable work. He was an original and gifted critic and
romancer. Balzac esteemed him highly. He died at Paris, 23 March,
1842. Prosper Merimée has published his correspondence. One of his
sayings was "Ce qui excuse Dieu, c'est qu'il n'existe pas"--God's
excuse is that he does not exist.
Bianchi (Angelo), known as Bianchi-Giovini (Aurelio) Italian man
of letters, b. of poor parents at Como, 25 Nov. 1799. He conducted
several papers in various parts of Piedmont and Switzerland. His Life
of Father Paoli Sarpi, 1836, was put on the Index, and thenceforward
he was in constant strife with the Roman Church. For his attacks on
the clergy in Il Republicano, at Lugano, he was proscribed, and had to
seek refuge at Zurich, 1839. He went thence to Milan and there wrote
a History of the Hebrews, a monograph on Pope Joan, and an account
of the Revolution. His principal works are the History of the Popes
until the great schism of the West (Turin, 1850-64) and a Criticism
of the Gospels, 1853, which has gone through several editions. Died
16 May, 1862.
Biandrata or Blandrata (Giorgio), Italian anti-trinitarian reformer,
b. Saluzzo about 1515. Graduated in arts and medicine at Montpellier,
1533. He was thrown into the prison of the Inquisition at Pavia,
but contrived to escape to Geneva, where he become obnoxious to
Calvin. He left Geneva in 1558 and went to Poland where he became a
leader of the Socinian party. He was assassinated 1591.
Bichat (Marie François Xavier), a famous French anatomist and
physiologist, b. Thoirette (Jura), 11 Nov. 1771. His work on the
Physiology of Life and Death was translated into English. He died a
martyr to his zeal for science, 22 July, 1802.
Biddle or Bidle (John), called the father of English Unitarianism,
b. Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, 14 Jan. 1615. He took his
M.A. degree at Oxford, 1641, and became master of the Gloucester
Grammar School, but lost the situation for denying the Trinity. He
was also imprisoned there for some time, and afterwards cited at
Westminster. He appealed to the public in defence, and his pamphlet
was ordered to be burnt by the hangman, 6 Sept. 1647. He was detained
in prison till 1652, after which he published several pamphlets, and
was again imprisoned in 1654. In Oct. 1655, Cromwell banished him to
the Scilly Isles, making him an allowance. He returned to London 1658,
but after the publication of the Acts of Uniformity was again seized,
and died in prison 22 Sept. 1662.
Bierce (M. H.) see Grile (Dod).
Billaud-Varenne (Jean Nicolas), French conventionalist b. La Rochelle,
23 April, 1756. About 1785 became advocate to Parliament; denounced
the government and clergy 1789. Proposed abolition of the monarchy
1 July, 1791, and wrote Elements of Republicanism, 1793. Withdrew
from Robespierre after the feast of the Supreme Being, saying "Thou
beginnest to sicken me with thy Supreme Being." Was exiled 1 April,
1795, and died at St. Domingo, 3 June, 1819.
Bion, of Borysthenes, near the mouth of the Dneiper. A Scythian
philosopher who flourished about 250 B.C. He was sold as a slave
to a rhetorician, who afterwards gave him freedom and made him his
heir. Upon this he went to Athens and applied himself to the study
of philosophy. He had several teachers, but attached himself to
Theodorus the Atheist. He was famous for his knowledge of music,
poetry, and philosophy. Some shrewd sayings of his are preserved,
as that "only the votive tablets of the preserved are seen in the
temples, not those of the drowned" and "it is useless to tear our
hair when in grief since sorrow is not cured by baldness."
Birch (William John), English Freethinker, b. London 4
Jan. 1811. Educated at Baliol College, Oxford, graduated M.A. at
New Inn Hall. Author of An Inquiry into the Philosophy and Religion
of Shakespeare, 1848; An Inquiry into the Philosophy and Religion
of the Bible, 1856; this work was translated into Dutch by "Rudolf
Charles;" Paul an Idea, not a Fact; and the Real and Ideal. In the
stormy time of '42 Mr. Birch did much to support the prosecuted
publications. He brought out the Library of Reason and supported
The Reasoner and Investigator with both pen and purse. Mr. Birch has
resided much in Italy and proved himself a friend to Italian unity
and Freedom. He is a member of the Italian Asiatic Society. Mr. Birch
has been a contributor to Notes and Queries and other journals,
and has devoted much attention to the early days of Christianity,
having many manuscripts upon the subject.
Bithell (Richard), Agnostic, b. Lewes, Sussex, 22 March 1821, of pious
parents. Became teacher of mathematics and chemistry. Is Ph.D. of
Gottingen and B.Sc. of London University. In '65 he entered the
service of the Rothschilds. Has written Creed of a Modern Agnostic,
1883; and Agnostic Problems, 1887.
Björnson (Björnstjerne), Norwegian writer, b. Quickne 8 Dec. 1832. His
father was a Lutheran clergyman. Has done much to create a national
literature for Norway. For his freethinking opinions he was obliged
to leave his country and reside in Paris. Many of his tales have been
translated into English. In 1882 Björnson published at Christiania,
with a short introduction, a resumé of C. B. Waite's History of the
Christian Religion, under the title of Whence come the Miracles of the
New Testament? This was the first attack upon dogmatic Christianity
published in Norway, and created much discussion. The following year
he published a translation of Colonel Ingersoll's article in the North
American Review upon the "Christian Religion," with a long preface,
in which he attacks the State Church and Monarchy. The translation
was entitled Think for Yourself. The first edition rapidly sold out
and a second one appeared. He has since, both in speech and writing,
repeatedly avowed his Freethought, and has had several controversies
with the clergy.
Blagosvyetlov (Grigorevich E.), Russian author, b. in the Caucasus,
1826. Has written on Shelley, Buckle, and Mill, whose Subjection
of Women he translated into Russian. He edited a magazine Djelo
(Cause). Died about 1885.
Blanqui (Louis Auguste), French politician, b. near Nice, 7 Feb. 1805,
a younger brother of Jerome Adolphe Blanqui, the economist. Becoming
a Communist, his life was spent in conspiracy and imprisonment
under successive governments. In '39 he was condemned to death, but
his sentence commuted to imprisonment for life, and was subject to
brutal treatment till the revolution of '48 set him at liberty. He
was soon again imprisoned. In '65 he wrote some remarkable articles
on Monotheism in Le Candide. After the revolution of 4 Sept. '70,
Blanqui demanded the suppression of worship. He was again imprisoned,
but was liberated and elected member of the Commune, and arrested by
Thiers. In his last imprisonment he wrote a curious book, Eternity
and the Stars, in which he argues from the eternity and infinity of
matter. Died Paris, 31 Dec. 1880. Blanqui took as his motto "Ni Dieu
ni maître"--Neither God nor master.
Blasche (Bernhard Heinrich), German Pantheist, b. Jena 9 April,
1776. His father was a professor of theology and philosophy. He wrote
Kritik des Modernen Geisterglaubens (Criticism of Modern Ghost Belief),
Philosophische Unsterblichkeitslehre (Teaching of Philosophical
Immortality), and other works. Died near Gotha 26 Nov. 1832.
Blignieres (Célestin de), French Positivist, of the Polytechnic
school. Has written a popular exposition of Positive philosophy and
religion, Paris 1857; The Positive Doctrine, 1867; Studies of Positive
Morality, 1868; and other works.
Blind (Karl), German Republican, b. Mannheim, 4 Sept. 1826. Studied
at Heidelberg and Bonn. In 1848 he became a revolutionary leader
among the students and populace, was wounded at Frankfort, and
proscribed. In Sept. '48 he led the second republican revolution in
the Black Forest. He was made prisoner and sentenced to eight year's
imprisonment. In the spring of '49 he was liberated by the people
breaking open his prison. Being sent on a mission to Louis Napoleon,
then president of the French Republic at Paris, he was arrested and
banished from France. He went to Brussels, but since '52 has lived
in in England, where he has written largely on politics, history,
and mythology. His daughter Mathilde, b. at Mannheim, opened her
literary career by publishing a volume of poems in 1867 under the
name of Claude Lake. She has since translated Straus's Old Faith and
the New, and written the volumes on George Eliot and Madame Roland
in the Eminent Women series.
Blount (Charles), English Deist of noble family, b. at Holloway 27
April, 1654. His father, Sir Henry Blount, probably shared in his
opinions, and helped him in his anti-religious work, Anima Mundi,
1678. This work Bishop Compton desired to see suppressed. In 1680 he
published Great is Diana of the Ephesians, or the Origin of Idolatry,
and the two first books of Apollonius Tyanius, with notes, in which
he attacks priestcraft and superstition. This work was condemned and
suppressed. Blount also published The Oracles of Reason, a number
of Freethought Essays. By his Vindication of Learning and Liberty
of the Press, and still more by his hoax on Bohun entitled William
and Mary Conquerors, he was largely instrumental in doing away with
the censorship of the press. He shot himself, it is said, because
he could not marry his deceased wife's sister (August, 1693). His
miscellaneous works were printed in one volume, 1695.
Blumenfeld (J. C.), wrote The New Ecce Homo or the Self Redemption of
Man, 1839. He is also credited with the authorship of The Existence of
Christ Disproved in a series of Letters by "A German Jew," London,
Boerne (Ludwig), German man of letters and politician, b. Frankfort
22 May, 1786. In 1818 he gave up the Jewish religion, in which he had
been bred, nominally for Protestantism, but really he had, like his
friend Heine, become a Freethinker. He wrote many works in favor of
political liberty and translated Lammenais' Paroles d'un Croyant. Died
12 Feb. 1837.
Bodin (Jean), French political writer, b. Angers 1530. He studied
at Toulouse and is said to have been a monk but turned to the law,
and became secretary to the Duc d'Alençon. His book De la Republique
is highly praised by Hallam, and is said to have contained the germ of
Montesquieu's "Spirit of the Laws." He wrote a work on demonomania, in
which he seems to have believed, but in his Colloquium Heptaplomeron
coloquies of seven persons: a Catholic, a Lutheran, a Calvinist, a
Pagan, a Muhammadan, a Jew, and a Deist, which he left in manuscript,
he put some severe attacks on Christianity. Died of the plague at
Laon in 1596.
Boggis (John) is mentioned by Edwards in his Gangrena, 1645, as an
Atheist and disbeliever in the Bible.
Boichot (Jean Baptiste), b. Villier sur Suize 20 Aug. 1820, entered
the army. In '49 he was chosen representative of the people. After
the coup d'état he came to England, returned to France in '54,
was arrested and imprisoned at Belle Isle. Since then he has lived
at Brussels, where he has written several works and is one of the
council of International Freethinkers.
Boindin (Nicolas) French litterateur, wit, playwright and academician,
b. Paris 29 May, 1676. He publicly professed Atheism, and resorted
with other Freethinkers to the famous café Procope. There, in order to
speak freely, they called the soul Margot, religion Javotte, liberty
Jeanneton, and God M. de l'Etre. One day a spy asked Boindin, "Who
is this M. de l'Etre with whom you seem so displeased?" "Monsieur,"
replied Boindin, "he is a police spy." Died 30 Nov. 1751. His corpse
was refused "Christian burial."
Boissiere (Jean Baptiste Prudence), French writer, b. Valognes
Dec. 1806, was for a time teacher in England. He compiled an analogical
dictionary of the French language. Under the name of Sièrebois he
has published the Autopsy of the Soul and a work on the foundations
of morality, which he traces to interest. He has also written a book
entitled The Mechanism of Thought, '84.
Boissonade (J. A.), author of The Bible Unveiled, Paris, 1871.
Boito (Arrigo), Italian poet and musician, b. at Padua, whose opera
"Mefistofele," has created considerable sensation by its boldness.
Bolingbroke (Henry Saint John) Lord, English statesman and philosopher,
b. at Battersea, 1 Oct. 1672. His political life was a stormy
one. He was the friend of Swift and of Pope, who in his Essay on Man
avowedly puts forward the views of Saint John. He died at Battersea
12 Dec. 1751, leaving by will his MSS. to David Mallet, who in 1754
published his works, which included Essays Written to A. Pope, Esq.,
on Religion and Philosophy, in which he attacks Christianity with
both wit and eloquence. Bolingbroke was a Deist, believing in God
but scornfully rejecting revelation. He much influenced Voltaire,
who regarded him with esteem.
Bonavino (Francesco Cristoforo) see Franchi (Ausonio).
Boni (Filippo de), Italian man of letters, b. Feltre, 1820. Editor of
a standard Biography of Artists, published at Venice, 1840. He also
wrote on the Roman Church and Italy and on Reason and Dogma, Siena,
'66, and contributed to Stefanoni's Libero Pensiero. De Boni was
elected deputy to the Italian Parliament. He has written on "Italian
Unbelief in the Middle Ages" in the Annuario Filosofico del Libero
Boniface VIII., Pope (Benedetto Gaetano), elected head of Christendom,
24 Dec. 1294. During his quarrel with Philip the Fair of France charges
were sworn on oath against Pope Boniface that he neither believed in
the Trinity nor in the life to come, that he said the Virgin Mary
"was no more a virgin than my mother"; that he did not observe the
fasts of the Church, and that he spoke of the cardinals, monks,
and friars as hypocrites. It was in evidence that the Pope had said
"God may do the worst with me that he pleases in the future life; I
believe as every educated man does, the vulgar believe otherwise. We
have to speak as they do, but we must believe and think with the
few." Died 11 Oct. 1303.
Bonnycastle (John), mathematician, b. Whitchurch, Bucks, about
1750. He wrote several works on elementary mathematics and became
Professor of mathematics at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich,
where he died 15 May, 1821. He was a friend of Fuseli, and private
information assures me he was a Freethinker.
Booms (Marinus Adriaansz), Dutch Spinozist, a shoemaker by trade,
who wrote early in the eighteenth century, and on 1 Jan. 1714,
Bonnot de Condillac (Etienne) see Condillac.
Bonstetten (Karl Victor von), Swiss Deist, b. Berne, 3 Sept
1745. Acquainted with Voltaire and Rousseau he went to Leyden and
England to finish his education. Among his works are Researches on
the Nature and Laws of the Imagination, 1807; and Studies on Man,
1821. Died Geneva, 3 Feb. 1832.
Borde (Frédéric), editor of La Philosophie de l'Avenir, Paris, 1875,
etc. Born La Rochelle 1841. Has written on Liberty of Instruction, etc.
Born (Ignaz von) baron, b. Carlsruhe, 26 Dec. 1742. Bred by the
Jesuits, he became an ardent scientist and a favorite of the
Empress Marie Theresa, under whose patronage he published works
on Mineralogy. He was active as a Freemason, and Illuminati, and
published with the name Joannes Physiophilus a stinging illustrated
satire entitled Monchalogia, or the natural history of monks.
Bosc (Louis Augustin Guillaume), French naturalist, b. Paris, 29
Jan. 1759; was tutor and friend to Madame Roland whose Memoirs he
published. He wrote many works on natural history. Died 10 July, 1828.
Boucher (E. Martin), French writer, b. Beaulieu, 1809; contributed to
the Rationalist of Geneva, where he died 1882. Author of a work on
Revelation and Rationalism, entitled Search for the Truth, Avignon,
Bougainville (Louis Antoine de) Count, the first French voyager
who made the tour around the world; b. Paris, 11 Nov. 1729. Died 31
Aug. 1811. He wrote an interesting account of his travels.
Bouillier (Francisque), French philosopher, b. Lyons 12 July 1813, has
written several works on psychology, and contributed to la Liberté de
Penser. His principal work is a History of the Cartesian Philosophy. He
is a member of the Institute and writes in the leading reviews.
Bouis (Casimir), French journalist, b. Toulon 1848, edited La Libre
Pensée and wrote a satire on the Jesuits entitled Calottes et Soutanes,
1870. Sent to New Caledonia for his participation in the Commune, he
has since his return published a volume of political verses entitled
Après le Naufrage, After the Shipwreck, 1880.
Boulainvilliers (Henri de), Comte de St. Saire, French historian and
philosopher, b. 11 Oct. 1658. His principal historical work is an
account of the ancient French Parliaments. He also wrote a defence of
Spinozism under pretence of a refutation of Spinoza, an analysis of
Spinoza's Tractus Theologico-Politicus, printed at the end of Doubts
upon Religion, Londres, 1767. A Life of Muhammad, the first European
work doing justice to Islam, and a History of the Arabs also proceeded
from his pen, and he is one of those to whom is attributed the treatise
with the title of the Three Impostors, 1755. Died 23 Jan. 1722.
Boulanger (Nicolas-Antoine), French Deist, b. 11 Nov. 1722. Died
16 Sept. 1759. He was for some time in the army as engineer, and
afterwards became surveyor of public works. After his death his works
were published by D'Holbach who rewrote them. His principal works
are Antiquity Unveiled and Researches on the Origin of Oriental
Despotism. Christianity Unveiled, attributed to him and said by
Voltaire to have been by Damilavile, was probably written by D'Holbach,
perhaps with some assistance from Naigeon. It was burnt by order of
the French Parliament 18 Aug. 1770. A Critical Examination of the
Life and Works of St. Paul, attributed to Boulanger, was really made
up by d'Holbach from the work of Annet. Boulanger wrote dissertations
on Elisha, Enoch and St. Peter, and some articles for the Encyclopédie.
Bourdet (Dr.) Eugene, French Positivist, b. Paris, 1818. Author of
several works on medicine and Positivist philosophy and education.
Boureau-Deslands (A. F.) See Deslandes.
Bourget (Paul), French littérateur, b. at Amiens in 1852. Has made
himself famous by his novels, essays on contemporary psychology,
studies of M. Rénan, etc. He belongs to the Naturalist School, but
his methods are less crude than those of some of his colleagues. His
insight is most subtle, and his style is exquisite.
Boutteville (Marc Lucien), French writer, professor at the Lycée
Bonaparte; has made translations from Lessing and published an
able work on the Morality of the Church and Natural Morality, 1866,
for which the clergy turned him out of a professorship he held at
Bovio (Giovanni), Professor of Political Economy in the University
of Naples and deputy to the Italian parliament; is an ardent
Freethinker. Both in his writings and in parliament Prof. Bovio
opposes the power of the Vatican and the reconciliation between
Church and State. He has constantly advocated liberty of conscience
and has promoted the institution of a Dante chair in the University
of Rome. He has written a work on The History of Law, a copy of which
he presented to the International Congress of Freethinkers, 1887.
Bowring (Sir John, K.B., LL D.), politician, linguist and writer,
b. Exeter, 17 Oct., 1792. In early life a pupil of Dr. Lant
Carpenter and later a disciple of Jeremy Bentham, whose principles
he maintained in the Westminster Review, of which he was editor,
1825. Arrested in France in 1822, after a fortnight's imprisonment
he was released without trial. He published Bentham's Deontology
(1834), and nine years after edited a complete collection of the
works of Bentham. Returned to Parliament in '35, and afterwards was
employed in important government missions. In '55 he visited Siam,
and two years later published an account of The Kingdom and People
of Siam. He translated Goethe, Schiller, Heine, and the poems of
many countries; was an active member of the British Association and
of the Social Science Association, and did much to promote rational
views on the Sunday question. Died 23 Nov. 1872.
Boyle (Humphrey), one of the men who left Leeds for the purpose of
serving in R. Carlile's shop when the right of free publication was
attacked in 1821. Boyle gave no name, and was indicted and tried as
"a man with name unknown" for publishing a blasphemous and seditious
libel. In his defence he ably asserted his right to hold and publish
his opinions. He read portions of the Bible in court to prove he was
justified in calling it obscene. Upon being sentenced, 27 May, 1822,
to eighteen months' imprisonment and to find sureties for five years,
he remarked "I have a mind, my lord, that can bear such a sentence
Bradlaugh (Charles). Born East London, 26 Sept. 1833. Educated
in Bethnal Green and Hackney. He was turned from his Sunday-school
teachership and from his first situation through the influence of the
Rev. J. G. Packer, and found refuge with the widow of R. Carlile. In
Dec. 1850 he entered the Dragoon Guards and proceeded to Dublin. Here
he met James Thomson, the poet, and contracted a friendship which
lasted for many years. He got his discharge, and in '53 returned to
London and became a solicitor's clerk. He began to write and lecture
under the nom de guerre of "Iconoclast," edited the Investigator, '59;
and had numerous debates with ministers and others. In 1860 he began
editing the National Reformer, which in '68-9 he successfully defended
against a prosecution of the Attorney General, who wished securities
against blasphemy. In '68 he began his efforts to enter Parliament,
and in 1880 was returned for Northampton. After a long struggle
with the House, which would not admit the Atheist, he at length took
his seat in 1885. He was four times re-elected, and the litigation
into which he was plunged will become as historic as that of John
Wilkes. Prosecuted in '76 for publishing The Fruits of Philosophy, he
succeeded in quashing the indictment. Mr. Bradlaugh has had numerous
debates, several of which are published. He has also written many
pamphlets, of which we mention New Lives of Abraham, David, and
other saints, Who was Jesus Christ? What did Jesus Teach? Has Man
a Soul, Is there a God? etc. His Plea for Atheism reached its 20th
thousand in 1880. Mr. Bradlaugh has also published When were our
Gospels Written?, 1867; Heresy, its Utility and Morality, 1870;
The Inspiration of the Bible, 1873; The Freethinker's Text Book,
part i., dealing with natural religion, 1876; The Laws Relating to
Blasphemy and Heresy, 1878; Supernatural and Rational Morality,
1886. In 1857 Mr. Bradlaugh commenced a commentary on the Bible,
entitled The Bible, What is it? In 1865 this appeared in enlarged form,
dealing only with the Pentateuch. In 1882 he published Genesis, Its
Authorship and Authenticity. In Parliament Mr. Bradlaugh has become
a conspicuous figure, and has introduced many important measures. In
1888 he succeeded in passing an Oaths Bill, making affirmations
permissible instead of oaths. His elder daughter, Alice, b. 30
April, 1856, has written on Mind Considered as a Bodily Function,
1884. Died 2 Dec. 1888. His second daughter, Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner,
b. 31 March, 1858, has written "Princess Vera" and other stories,
"Chemistry of Home," etc.
Brækstad (Hans Lien), b. Throndhjem, Norway, 7 Sept. 1845. Has made
English translations from Björnson, Asbjörnsen, Andersen, etc., and
has contributed to Harper's Magazine and other periodical literature.
Brandes (Georg Morris Cohen), Danish writer, by birth a Jew,
b. Copenhagen, 4 Feb. 1842. In 1869 he translated J. S. Mills'
Subjection of Women, and in the following year took a doctor's
degree for a philosophical treatise. His chief work is entitled the
Main Current of Literature in the Nineteenth Century. His brother,
Dr. Edvard Brandes, was elected to the Danish Parliament in 1881,
despite his declaration that he did not believe either in the God of
the Christians or of the Jews.
Bray (Charles), philosophic writer, b. Coventry, 31 Jan. 1811. He was
brought up as an Evangelical, but found his way to Freethought. Early
in life he took an active part in promoting unsectarian education. His
first work (1835) was on The Education of the Body. This was followed
by The Education of the Feelings, of which there were several
editions. In 1836 he married Miss Hennell, sister of C. C. Hennell,
and took the System of Nature and Volney's Ruins of Empires "to
enliven the honeymoon." Among his friends was Mary Ann Evans ("George
Eliot"), who accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Bray to Italy. His works on
The Philosophy of Necessity (1841) and Cerebral Psychology (1875)
give the key to all his thought. He wrote a number of Thomas Scott's
series of tracts: Illusion and Delusion, The Reign of Law in Mind as
in Matter, Toleration with remarks on Professor Tyndall's "Address,"
and a little book, Christianity in the Light of our Present Knowledge
and Moral Sense (1876). He also wrote A Manual of Anthropology and
similar works. In a postscript to his last volume, Phases of Opinion
and Experience During a Long Life, dated 18 Sept. 1884, he stated
that he has no hope or expectation or belief even in the possibility
of continued individuality after death, and that as his opinions have
done to live by "they will do to die by." He died 5 Oct. 1884.
Bresson (Léopold), French Positivist, b. Lamarche, 1817. Educated at
the Polytechnic School, which he left in 1840 and served on public
works. For seventeen years was director of an Austrian Railway
Company. Wrote Idées Modernes, 1880.
Bridges (John Henry), M.D. English Positivist, b. 1833, graduated
B.A. at Oxford 1855, and B.M. 1859; has written on Religion and
Progress, contributed to the Fortnightly Review, and translated Comte's
General View of Positivism (1865) and System of Positive Polity (1873).
Bril (Jakob), Dutch mystical Pantheist, b. Leyden, 21 Jan. 1639. Died
1700. His works were published at Amsterdam, 1705.
Brissot (Jean Pierre) de Warville, active French revolutionist,
b. Chartres, 14 Jan. 1754. He was bred to the law, but took to
literature. He wrote for the Courier de l'Europe, a revolutionary
paper suppressed for its boldness, published a treatise on Truth,
and edited a Philosophical Law Library, 1782-85. He wrote against the
legal authority of Rome, and is credited with Philosophical Letters
upon St. Paul and the Christian Religion, Neufchatel, 1783. In 1784
he was imprisoned in the Bastille for his writings. To avoid a second
imprisonment he went to England and America, returning to France
at the outbreak of the Revolution. He wrote many political works,
became member of the Legislative Assembly, formed the Girondist party,
protested against the execution of Louis XVI., and upon the triumph
of the Mountain was executed with twenty-one of his colleagues,
31 Oct., 1793. Brissot was a voluminous writer, honest, unselfish,
and an earnest lover of freedom in every form.
Bristol (Augusta), née Cooper, American educator, b. Croydon, New
Haven, 17 April, 1835. In 1850 became teacher and gained repute by
her Poems. In Sept. 1880, she represented American Freethinkers at
the International Conference at Brussels. She has written on Science
and its Relations to Human Character and other works.
Broca (Pierre Paul), French anthropologist, b. 28 June, 1824. A
hard-working scientist, he paid special attention to craniology. In
1875 he founded the School of Anthropology and had among his pupils
Gratiolet, Topinard, Hovelacque and Dr. Carter Blake, who translated
his treatise on Hybridity. He established The Review of Anthropology,
published numerous scientific works and was made a member of the
Legion of Honor. In philosophy he inclined to Positivism. Died Paris,
9 July, 1880.
Brooksbank (William), b. Nottingham 6 Dec. 1801. In 1824 he wrote
in Carlile's Lion, and has since contributed to the Reasoner, the
Pathfinder, and the National Reformer. He was an intimate friend
of James Watson. He wrote A Sketch of the Religions of the Earth,
Revelation Tested by Astronomy, Geography, Geology, etc., 1856, and
some other pamphlets. Mr. Brooksbank is still living in honored age
Brothier (Léon), author of a Popular History of Philosophy, 1861,
and other works in the Bibliothèque Utile. He contributed to the
Rationalist of Geneva.
Broussais (François Joseph Victor), French physician and philosopher,
b. Saint Malo, 17 Dec. 1772. Educated at Dinan, in 1792 he served
as volunteer in the army of the Republic. He studied medicine at
St. Malo and Brest, and became a naval surgeon. A disciple of Bichat,
he did much to reform medical science by his Examination of Received
Medical Doctrines and to find a basis for mental and moral science in
physiology by his many scientific works. Despite his bold opinions, he
was made Commander of the Legion of Honor. He died poor at St. Malo 17
Nov. 1838, leaving behind a profession of faith, in which he declares
his disbelief in a creator and his being "without hope or fear of
Brown (George William), Dr., of Rockford, Illinois, b. in Essex Co.,
N.Y., Oct. 1820, of Baptist parents. At 17 years of age he was expelled
the church for repudiating the dogma of an endless hell. Dr. Brown
edited the Herald of Freedom, Kansas. In 1856 his office was destroyed
by a pro-slavery mob, his type thrown into the river, and himself
and others arrested but was released without trial. Dr. Brown has
contributed largely to the Ironclad Age and other American Freethought
papers, and is bringing out a work on the Origin of Christianity.
Brown (Titus L.), Dr., b. 16 Oct. 1823, at Hillside (N.Y.). Studied
at the Medical College of New York and graduated at the Homoeopathic
College, Philadelphia. He settled at Binghamton where he had a large
practice. He contributed to the Boston Investigator and in 1877 was
elected President of the Freethinkers Association. Died 17 Aug. 1887.
Browne (Sir Thomas), physician and writer, b. London, 19 Oct. 1605. He
studied medicine and travelled on the Continent, taking his doctor's
degree at Leyden (1633). He finally settled at Norwich, where he had
a good practice. His treatise Religio Medici, famous for its fine
style and curious mixture of faith and scepticism, was surreptitiously
published in 1642. It ran through several editions and was placed on
the Roman Index. His Pseudodoxia Epidemica; Enquiries into Vulgar
and Common Errors, appeared in 1646. While disputing many popular
superstitions he showed he partook of others. This curious work
was followed by Hydriotaphia, or Urn-Burial, in which he treats
of cremation among the ancients. To this was added The Garden of
Cyrus. He died 19 Oct. 1682.
Bruno (Giordano), Freethought martyr, b. at Nola, near Naples, about
1548. He was christened Filippo which he changed to Filoteo, taking
the name of Giordano when he entered the Dominican order. Religious
doubts and bold strictures on the monks obliged him to quit Italy,
probably in 1580. He went to Geneva but soon found it no safe abiding
place, and quitted it for Paris, where he taught, but refused to attend
mass. In 1583 he visited England, living with the French ambassador
Castelnau. Having formed a friendship with Sir Philip Sidney, he
dedicated to him his Spaccio della Bestia Triomfante, a satire on all
mythologies. In 1585 he took part in a logical tournament, sustaining
the Copernican theory against the doctors of Oxford. The following year
he returned to Paris, where he again attacked the Aristotelians. He
then travelled to various cities in Germany, everywhere preaching
the broadest heresy. He published several Pantheistic, scientific and
philosophical works. He was however induced to return to Italy, and
arrested as an heresiarch and apostate at Venice, Sept. 1592. After
being confined for seven years by the Inquisitors, he was tried,
and burnt at Rome 17 Feb. 1600. At his last moments a crucifix was
offered him, which he nobly rejected. Bruno was vastly before his age
in his conception of the universe and his rejection of theological
dogmas. A statue of this heroic apostle of liberty and light, executed
by one of the first sculptors of Italy, is to be erected on the spot
where he perished, the Municipal Council of Rome having granted the
site in face of the bitterest opposition of the Catholic party. The
list of subscribers to this memorial comprises the principal advanced
thinkers in Europe and America.
Brzesky (Casimir Liszynsky Podsedek). See Liszinski.
Bucali or Busali (Leonardo), a Calabrian abbot of Spanish descent,
who became a follower of Servetus in the sixteenth century, and had
to seek among the Turks the safety denied him in Christendom. He died
Buchanan (George), Scotch historian and scholar, b. Killearn,
Feb. 1506. Evincing an early love of study, he was sent to
Paris at the age of fourteen. He returned to Scotland and became
distinguished for his learning. James V. appointed him tutor to his
natural son. He composed his Franciscanus et Fratres, a satire on the
monks, which hastened the Scottish reformation. This exposed him to
the vengeance of the clergy. Not content with calling him Atheist,
Archbishop Beaton had him arrested and confined in St. Andrew's
Castle, from whence he escaped and fled to England. Here he found,
as he said, Henry VIII. burning men of opposite opinions at the same
stake for religion. He returned to Paris, but was again subjected to
the persecution of Beaton, the Scottish Ambassador. On the death of
a patron at Bordeaux, in 1548, he was seized by the Inquisition and
immured for a year and a half in a monastery, where he translated
the Psalms into Latin. He eventually returned to Scotland, where he
espoused the party of Moray. After a most active life, he died 28
Sept. 1582, leaving a History of Scotland, besides numerous poems,
satires, and political writings, the most important of which is a
work of republican tendency, De Jure Regni, the Rights of Kings.
Buchanan (Robert), Socialist, b. Ayr, 1813. He was successively a
schoolmaster, a Socialist missionary and a journalist. He settled in
Manchester, where he published works on the Religion of The Past and
Present, 1839; the Origin and Nature of Ghosts, 1840. An Exposure
of Joseph Barker, and a Concise History of Modern Priestcraft also
bear the latter date. At this time the Socialists were prosecuted for
lecturing on Sunday, and Buchanan was fined for refusing to take the
oath of supremacy, etc. After the decline of Owenism, he wrote for
the Northern Star, and edited the Glasgow Sentinel. He died at the
home of his son, the poet, at Bexhill, Sussex, 4 March, 1866.
Buchanan (Joseph Rhodes), American physician, b. Frankfort, Kentucky,
11 Dec. 1814. He graduated M.D. at Louisville University, 1842, and
has been the teacher of physiology at several colleges. From 1849-56
he published Buchanan's Journal of Man, and has written several works
Buchner (Ludwig). See Buechner.
Buckle (Henry Thomas), philosophical historian, b. Lee, Kent, 24
Nov. 1821. In consequence of his delicate health he was educated at
home. His mother was a strict Calvinist, his father a strong Tory,
but a visit to the Continent made him a Freethinker and Radical. He
ever afterwards held travelling to be the best education. It was his
ambition to write a History of Civilisation in England, but so vast was
his design that his three notable volumes with that title form only
part of the introduction. The first appeared in 1858, and created a
great sensation by its boldness. In the following year he championed
the cause of Pooley, who was condemned for blasphemy, and dared the
prosecution of infidels of standing. In 1861 he visited the East,
in the hope of improving his health, but died at Damascus, 29 May,
1862. Much of the material collected for his History has been published
in his Miscellaneous and Posthumous Works, edited by Helen Taylor,
1872. An abridged edition, edited by Grant Allen, appeared in 1886.
Buechner (Friedrich Karl Christian Ludwig), German materialist,
b. Darmstadt, 29 March, 1824. Studied medicine in Geissen, Strassburg
and Vienna. In '55 he startled the world with his bold work on
Force and Matter, which has gone through numerous editions and been
translated into nearly all the European languages. This work lost
him the place of professor which he held at Tübingen, and he has
since practised in his native town. Büchner has developed his ideas
in many other works such as Nature and Spirit (1857), Physiological
Sketches, '61; Nature and Science, '62; Conferences on Darwinism,
'69; Man in the Past, Present and Future, '69; Materialism its History
and Influence on Society, '73; The Idea of God, '74; Mind in Animals,
'80; and Light and Life, '82. He also contributes to the Freidenker,
the Dageraad, and other journals.
Buffon (Georges Louis Leclerc), Count de, French naturalist,
b. Montford, Burgundy, 7 Sept. 1707. An incessant worker. His Natural
History in 36 volumes bears witness to the fertility of his mind
and his capacity for making science attractive. Buffon lived much in
seclusion, and attached himself to no sect or religion. Some of his
sentences were attacked by the Sorbonne. Hérault de Sêchelles says
that Buffon said: "I have named the Creator, but it is only necessary
to take out the word and substitute the power of nature." Died at
Paris 16 April, 1788.
Buitendijk or Buytendyck (Gosuinus van), Dutch Spinozist, who wrote an
Apology at the beginning of the eighteenth century and was banished
Bufalini (Maurizio), Italian doctor, b. Cesena 2 June, 1787. In 1813 he
published an essay on the Doctrine of Life in opposition to vitalism,
and henceforward his life was a conflict with the upholders of that
doctrine. He was accused of materialism, but became a professor at
Florence and a member of the Italian Senate in 1860. Died at Florence
31 March, 1875.
Burdach (Karl Friedrich), German physiologist, b. Leipsic 12 June,
1776. He occupied a chair at the University of Breslau. His works on
physiology and anthropology did much to popularise those sciences,
and the former is placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum for its
materialistic tendency. He died at Konigsberg, 16 July, 1847.
Burdon (William), M.A., writer, b. Newcastle, 11 Sept. 1764. Graduated
at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, 1788. He was intended for a clergyman,
but want of faith made him decline that profession. His principal work
is entitled Materials for Thinking. Colton largely availed himself of
this work in his Lacon. It went through five editions in his lifetime,
and portions were reprinted in the Library of Reason. He also addressed
Three Letters to the Bishop of Llandaff, wrote a Life and Character of
Bonaparte, translated an account of the Revolution in Spain, edited the
Memoirs of Count Boruwlaski, and wrote some objections to the annual
subscription to the Sons of the Clergy. Died in London, 30 May, 1818.
Burigny (Jean Levesque de), French writer, b. Rheims, 1692. He became
a member of the French Academy, wrote a treatise on the Authority
of the Pope, a History of Pagan Philosophy and other works, and
is credited with the Critical Examination of the Apologists of the
Christian Religion, published under the name of Freret by Naigeon,
1766. Levesque de Burigny wrote a letter in answer to Bergier's
Proofs of Christianity, which is published in Naigeon's Recueil
Philosophique. Died at Paris, 8 Oct. 1785.
Burmeister (Hermann), German naturalist, b. Stralsund, 15 Jan. 1807. In
1827 he became a doctor at Halle. In '48 he was elected to the National
Assembly. In 1850 he went to Brazil. His principal work is The History
of Creation, 1843.
Burmeister or Baurmeister (Johann Peter Theodor) a German Rationalist
and colleague of Ronge. Born at Flensburg, 1805. He resided in
Hamburg, and wrote in the middle of the present century under the
name of J. P. Lyser.
Burnet (Thomas), b. about 1635 at Croft, Yorkshire. Through the
interest of a pupil, the Duke of Ormonde, he obtained the mastership
of the Charterhouse, 1685. In 1681 the first part of his Telluris
Theoria Sacra, or Sacred Theory of the Earth, appeared in Latin, and
was translated and modified in 1684. In 1692 Burnet published, both
in English and in Latin, his Archæologiæ Philosophicæ, or the Ancient
Doctrine of the Origin of Things. He professes in this to reconcile
his theory with Genesis, which receives a figurative interpretation;
and a ludicrous dialogue between Eve and the serpent gave great
offence. In a popular ballad Burnet is represented as saying--
That all the books of Moses
Were nothing but supposes.
He had to resign a position at court. In later life he wrote De Fide
et Officiis Christianorum (on Christian Faith and Duties), in which
he regards historical religions as based on the religion of nature,
and rejects original sin and the "magical" theory of sacraments;
and De Statu Mortuorum et Resurgentium, on the State of the Dead and
Resurrected, in which he opposed the doctrine of eternal punishment
and shadowed forth a scheme of Deism. These books he kept to himself
to avoid a prosecution for heresy, but had a few copies printed for
private friends. He died in the Charterhouse 27 Sept. 1715. A tract
entitled Hell Torments not Eternal was published in 1739.
Burnett (James), Lord Monboddo, a learned Scotch writer and judge,
was b. Monboddo, Oct. 1714. He adopted the law as his profession,
became a celebrated advocate, and was made a judge in 1767. His
work on the Origin and Progress of Language (published anonymously
1773-92), excited much derision by his studying man as one of the
animals and collecting facts about savage tribes to throw light on
civilisation. He first maintained that the orang-outang was allied
to the human species. He also wrote on Ancient Metaphysics. He was
a keen debater and discussed with Hume, Adam Smith, Robertson, and
Lord Kames. Died in Edinburgh, 26 May, 1799.
Burnouf (Emile Louis), French writer, b. Valonges, 25 Aug. 1821. He
became professor of ancient literature to the faculty of Nancy. Author
of many works, including a translation of selections from the Novum
Organum of Bacon, the Bhagvat-Gita, an Introduction to the Vedas,
a history of Greek Literature, Studies in Japanese, and articles
in the Revue des deux Mondes. His heresy is pronounced in his work
on the Science of Religions, 1878, in his Contemporary Catholicism,
and Life and Thought, 1886.
Burnouf (Eugène), French Orientalist, cousin of the preceding;
b. Paris, 12 Aug. 1801. He opened up to the Western world the Pali
language, and with it the treasures of Buddhism, whose essentially
Atheistic character he maintained. To him also we are largely indebted
for a knowledge of Zend and of the Avesta of the Zoroastrians. He
translated numerous Oriental works and wrote a valuable Introduction
to the History of Indian Buddhism. Died at Paris, 28 May, 1852.
Burns (Robert), Scotland's greatest poet, b. near Ayr, 25
Jan. 1759. His father was a small farmer, of enlightened views. The
life and works of Burns are known throughout the world. His
Freethought is evident from such productions as the "Holy Fair,"
"The Kirk's Alarm," and "Holy Willie's Prayer," and many passages in
private letters to his most familiar male friends. Died at Dumfries,
21 July, 1796.
Burr (William Henry), American author, b. 1819, Gloversville, N.Y.,
graduated at Union College, Schenectady, became a shorthand reporter
to the Senate. In 1869 he retired and devoted himself to literary
research. He is the anonymous author of Revelations of Antichrist, a
learned book which exposes the obscurity of the origin of Christianity,
and seeks to show that the historical Jesus lived almost a century
before the Christian era. He has also written several pamphlets:
Thomas Paine was Junius, 1880: Self Contradictions of the Bible;
Is the Bible a Lying Humbug? A Roman Catholic Canard, etc. He has
also frequently contributed to the Boston Investigator, the New York
Truthseeker, and the Ironclad Age of Indianapolis.
Burton (Sir Richard Francis), traveller, linguist, and author,
b. Barham House, Herts, 19 March, 1821. Intended for the Church,
he matriculated at Oxford, but in 1842 entered the East India
Company's service, served on the staff of Sir C. Napier, and soon
acquired reputation as an intrepid explorer. In '51 he returned to
England and started for Mecca and Medina, visiting those shrines
unsuspected, as a Moslem pilgrim. He was chief of the staff of the
Osmanli cavalry in the Crimean war, and has made many remarkable and
dangerous expeditions in unknown lands; he discovered and opened
the lake regions in Central Africa and explored the highlands of
Brazil. He has been consul at Fernando Po, Santos, Damascus, and
since 1872 at Trieste, and speaks over thirty languages. His latest
work is a new translation of The Thousand Nights and a Night in 10
vols. Being threatened with a prosecution, he intended justifying
"literal naturalism" from the Bible. Burton's knowledge of Arabic is
so perfect that when he used to read the tales to Arabs, they would
roll on the ground in fits of laughter.
Butler (Samuel), poet, b. in Strensham, Worcestershire, Feb. 1612. In
early life he came under the influence of Selden. He studied painting,
and is said to have painted a head of Cromwell from life. He became
clerk to Sir Samuel Luke, one of Cromwell's Generals, whom he has
satirised as Hudibras. This celebrated burlesque poem appeared in 1663
and became famous, but, although the king and court were charmed with
its wit, the author was allowed to remain in poverty and obscurity
till he died at Covent Garden, London, 25 Sept. 1680. Butler expressed
the opinion that
"Religion is the interest of churches
That sell in other worlds in this to purchase."
Buttmann (Philipp Karl), German philologist, b. Frankfort, 5
Dec. 1764. Became librarian of the Royal Library at Berlin. He edited
many of the Greek Classics, wrote on the Myth of the Deluge, 1819,
and a learned work on Mythology, 1828. Died Berlin, 21 June, 1829.
Buzot (François Léonard Nicolas), French Girondin, distinguished as
an ardent Republican and a friend and lover of Madame Roland. Born
at Evreux, 1 March, 1760; he died from starvation when hiding after
the suppression of his party June, 1793.
Byelinsky (Vissarion G.) See Belinsky.
Byron (George Gordon Noel) Lord, b. London, 22 Jan. 1788. He succeeded
his grand-uncle William in 1798; was sent to Harrow and Cambridge. In
1807 he published his Hours of Idleness, and awoke one morning to find
himself famous. His power was, however, first shown in his English
Bards and Scotch Reviewers, in which he satirised his critics, 1809. He
then travelled on the Continent, the result of which was seen in his
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and other works. He married 2 Jan. 1815,
but a separation took place in the following year. Lord Byron then
resided in Italy, where he made the acquaintance of Shelley. In 1823
he devoted his name and fortune to the cause of the Greek revolution,
but was seized with fever and died at Missolonghi, 19 April, 1824. His
drama of Cain: a Mystery, 1822, is his most serious utterance,
and it shows a profound contempt for religious dogma. This feeling
is also exhibited in his magnificent burlesque poem, The Vision
of Judgment, which places him at the head of English satirists. In
his letters to the Rev. Francis Hodgson, 1811, he distinctly says:
"I do not believe in any revealed religion.... I will have nothing
to do with your immortality; we are miserable enough in this life,
without the absurdity of speculating upon another.... The basis of
your religion is injustice; the Son of God, the pure, the immaculate,
the innocent, is sacrificed for the guilty," etc.
Cabanis (Pierre Jean George), called by Lange "the father of the
materialistic physiology," b. Conac, 5 June, 1757. Became pupil
of Condillac and friend of Mirabeau, whom he attended in his last
illness, of which he published an account 1791. He was also intimate
with Turgot, Condorcet, Holbach, Diderot, and other distinguished
Freethinkers, and was elected member of the Institute and of the
Council of Five Hundred in the Revolution. His works are mostly
medical, the chief being Des Rapports du Physique et du Morale de
l'Homme, in which he contends that thoughts are a secretion of the
brain. Died Rueil, near Paris, 5 May, 1808.
Cæsalpinus (Andreas), Italian philosopher of the Renaissance,
b. Arezzo, Tuscany, 1519. He became Professor of Botany at Pisa, and
Linnæus admits his obligations to his work, De Plantis, 1583. He also
wrote works on metals and medicine, and showed acquaintance with the
circulation of the blood. In a work entitled Demonum Investigatio,
he contends that "possession" by devils is amenable to medical
treatment. His Quæstionum Peripateticarum, in five books, Geneva,
1568, was condemned as teaching a Pantheistic doctrine similar to
that of Spinoza. Bishop Parker denounced him. Died 23 Feb. 1603.
Cæsar (Caius Julius), the "foremost man of all this world," equally
renowned as soldier, statesman, orator, and writer, b. 12 July,
100 B.C., of noble family. His life, the particulars of which are
well known, was an extraordinary display of versatility, energy,
courage, and magnanimity. He justified the well-known line of Pope,
"Cæsar the world's great master and his own." His military talents
elevated him to the post of dictator, but this served to raise against
him a band of aristocratic conspirators, by whom he was assassinated,
15 March, 44 B.C. His Commentaries are a model of insight and clear
expression. Sallust relates that he questioned the existence of
a future state in the presence of the Roman senate. Froude says:
"His own writings contain nothing to indicate that he himself had any
religious belief at all. He saw no evidence that the gods practically
interfered in human affairs.... He held to the facts of this life and
to his own convictions; and as he found no reason for supposing that
there was a life beyond the grave he did not pretend to expect it."
Cahuac (John), bookseller, revised an edition of Palmer's Principles
of Nature, 1819. For this he was prosecuted at the instance of the
"Vice Society," but the matter was compromised. He was also prosecuted
for selling the Republican, 1820.
Calderino (Domizio), a learned writer of the Renaissance, b. in 1445,
in the territory of Verona, and lived at Rome, where he was professor
of literature, in 1477. He edited and commented upon many of the
Latin poets. Bayle says he was without religion. Died in 1478.
Calenzio (Eliseo), an Italian writer, b. in the kingdom of Naples about
1440. He was preceptor to Prince Frederic, the son of Ferdinand, the
King of Naples. He died in 1503, leaving behind a number of satires,
fables and epigrams, some of which are directed against the Church.
Call (Wathen Mark Wilks), English author, b. 7 June, 1817. Educated at
Cambridge, entered the ministry in 1843, but resigned his curacy about
1856 on account of his change of opinions, which he recounts in his
preface to Reverberations, 1876. Mr. Call is of the Positivist school,
and has contributed largely to the Fortnightly and Westminster Reviews.
Callet (Pierre Auguste), French politician, b. St. Etienne, 27
Oct. 1812; became editor of the Gazette of France till 1840. In 1848
he was nominated Republican representative. At the coup d'état of 2
Dec. 1851, he took refuge in Belgium. He returned to France, but was
imprisoned for writing against the Empire. In 1871, Callet was again
elected representative for the department of the Loire. His chief
Freethought work is L'Enfer, an attack upon the Christian doctrine
of hell, 1861.
Camisani (Gregorio), Italian writer, b. at Venice, 1810. A Professor
of Languages in Milan. He has translated the Upas of Captain R. H. Dyas
and other works.
Campanella (Tommaso), Italian philosopher, b. Stilo, Calabria,
5 Sept. 1568. He entered the Dominican order, but was too much
attracted by the works of Telesio to please his superiors. In 1590
his Philosophia Sensibus Demonstratio was printed at Naples. Being
prosecuted, he fled to Rome, and thence to Florence, Venice,
and Padua. At Bologna some of his MS. fell into the hands of the
Inquisition, and he was arrested. He ably defended himself and was
acquitted. Returning to Calabria in 1599, he was arrested on charges
of heresy and conspiracy against the Spanish Government of Naples,
and having appealed to Rome, was sentenced to perpetual imprisonment
in the prison of the Holy Office. He was put to the torture seven
times, his torments on one occasion extending over forty hours, but
he refused to confess. He was dragged from one prison to another for
twenty-seven years, during which he wrote some sonnets, a history of
the Spanish monarchy, and several philosophical works. On 15 May,
1626, he was released by the intervention of Pope Urban VIII. He
was obliged to fly from Rome to France, where he met Gassendi. He
also visited Descartes in Holland. Julian Hibbert remarked that
his Atheismus Triumphatus--Atheism Subdued, 1631, would be better
entitled Atheismus Triumphans--Atheism Triumphant--as the author puts
his strongest arguments on the heterodox side. In his City of the Sun,
Campanella follows Plato and More in depicting an ideal republic and a
time when a new era of earthly felicity should begin. Hallam says "The
strength of Campanella's genius lay in his imagination." His "Sonnets"
have been translated by J. A. Symonds. Died Paris, 21 May, 1639.
Campbell (Alexander), Socialist of Glasgow, b. about the beginning
of the century. He early became a Socialist, and was manager at
the experiment at Orbiston under Abram Combe, of whom he wrote
a memoir. Upon the death of Combe, 1827, he became a Socialist
missionary in England. He took an active part in the co-operative
movement, and in the agitation for an unstamped press, for which he
was tried and imprisoned at Edinburgh, 1833-4. About 1849 he returned
to Glasgow and wrote on the Sentinel. In 1867 he was presented with
a testimonial and purse of 90 sovereigns by admirers of his exertions
in the cause of progress. Died about 1873.
Campion (William), a shoemaker, who became one of R. Carlile's
shopmen; tried 8 June, 1824, for selling Paine's Age of Reason. After
a spirited defence he was found guilty and sentenced to three years'
imprisonment. In prison he edited, in conjunction with J. Clarke,
E. Hassell, and T. R. Perry, the Newgate Monthly Magazine, to which
he contributed some thoughtful papers, from Sept. 1824, to Aug. 1826,
when he was removed to the Compter.
Canestrini (Giovanni), Italian naturalist, b. Rerò, 1835. He studied
at Vienna, and in '60 was nominated Professor of Natural History at
Geneva. Signor Canestrini contributed to the Annuario Filosofico del
Libero Pensiero, and is known for his popularisation of the works
of Darwin, which he has translated into Italian. He has written
upon the Origin of Man, which has gone through two editions, Milan,
'66-'70, and on the Theory of Evolution, Turin, '77. He was appointed
Professor of Zoology, Anatomy and Comparative Physiology at Padua,
where he has published a Memoir of Charles Darwin, '82.
Cardano (Girolamo), better known as Jerome Cardan, Italian
mathematician, and physician, b. Pavia, 24 Sept. 1501. He studied
medicine, but was excluded from the Milan College of Physicians on
account of illegitimate birth. He and his young wife were at one time
compelled to take refuge in the workhouse. It is not strange that his
first work was an exposure of the fallacies of the faculty. A fortunate
cure brought him into notice and he journeyed to Scotland as the
medical adviser of the Archbishop of St. Andrews, 1551. In 1563 he was
arrested at Bologna for heresy, but was released, although deprived of
his professorship. He died at Rome, 20 Sept. 1576, having, it is said,
starved himself to verify his own prediction of his death. Despite
some superstition, Cardano did much to forward science, especially
by his work on Algebra, and in his works De Subtilitate Rerum and De
Varietate Rerum, amid much that is fanciful, perceived the universality
of natural law and the progressive evolution of life. Scaliger accused
him of Atheism. Pünjer says "Cardanus deserves to be named along with
Telesius as one of the principal founders of Natural Philosophy."
Carducci (Giosuè), Italian poet and Professor of Italian Literature at
the University of Bologna, b. Pietrasantra, in the province of Lucca,
27 July, 1836. As early as '49 he cried, Abasso tutti i re! viva la
republica--Down with all kings! Long live the republic! Sprung into
fame by his Hymn to Satan, '69, by which he intended the spirit of
resistance. He has written many poems and satires in which he exhibits
himself an ardent Freethinker and Republican. At the end of '57 he
wrote his famous verse "Il secoletto vil che cristianeggia"--"This
vile christianising century." In '60 he became professor of Greek
in Bologna University, being suspended for a short while in '67 for
an address to Mazzini. In '76 he was elected as republican deputy to
the Italian Parliament for Lugo di Romagna.
Carlile (Eliza Sharples), second wife of Richard Carlile, came from
Lancashire during the imprisonment of Carlile and Taylor, 1831,
delivered discourses at the Rotunda, and started a journal, the Isis,
which lasted from 11 Feb. to 15 Dec. 1832. The Isis was dedicated
to the young women of England "until superstition is extinct,"
and contained Frances Wright's discourses, in addition to those
by Mrs. Carlile, who survived till '61. Mr. Bradlaugh lodged with
Mrs. Carlile at the Warner Place Institute, in 1849. She had three
children, Hypatia, Theophila and Julian, of whom the second is
Carlile (Jane), first wife of R. Carlile, who carried on his business
during his imprisonment, was proceeded against, and sentenced to two
years' imprisonment, 1821. She had three children, Richard, Alfred,
and Thomas Paine Carlile, the last of whom edited the Regenerator,
a Chartist paper published at Manchester, 1839.
Carlile (Richard), foremost among the brave upholders of an English
free press, b. Ashburton, Devon, 8 Dec. 1790. He was apprenticed to a
tin-plate worker, and followed that business till he was twenty-six,
when, having read the works of Paine, he began selling works like
Wooler's Black Dwarf, which Government endeavored to suppress. Sherwin
offered him the dangerous post of publisher of the Republican, which
he accepted. He then published Southey's Wat Tyler, reprinted the
political works of Paine and the parodies for which Hone was tried, but
which cost Carlile eighteen weeks' imprisonment. In 1818 he published
Paine's Theological Works. The prosecution instituted induced him to
go on printing similar works, such as Palmer's Principles of Nature,
Watson Refuted, Jehovah Unveiled, etc. By Oct. 1819, he had six
indictments to answer, on two of which he was tried from 12 to 16
October. He read the whole of the Age of Reason in his defence, in
order to have it in the report of the trial. He was found guilty and
sentenced (16 Nov.) to fifteen hundred pounds fine and three years'
imprisonment in Dorchester Gaol. During his imprisonment his business
was kept on by a succession of shopmen. Refusing to find securities
not to publish, he was kept in prison till 18 Nov. 1835, when he
was liberated unconditionally. During his imprisonment he edited
the Republican, which extended to fourteen volumes. He also edited
the Deist, the Moralist, the Lion (four volumes), the Prompter (for
No. 3 of which he again suffered thirty-two months' imprisonment),
and the Gauntlet. Amongst his writings are An Address to Men of
Science, The Gospel according to R. Carlile, What is God? Every
Woman's Book, etc. He published Doubts of Infidels, Janus on Sion,
Sepher Toldoth Jeshu, D'Holbach's Good Sense, Volney's Ruins, and
many other Freethought works. He died 10 Feb. 1843, bequeathing his
body to Dr. Lawrence for scientific purposes.
Carlyle (Thomas), one of the most gifted and original writers of the
century, b. 4 Dec. 1795, at Ecclefechan, Dumfriesshire, where his
father, a man of intellect and piety, held a small farm. Showing early
ability he was intended for the Kirk, and educated at the University
of Edinburgh. He, however, became a tutor, and occupied his leisure
in translating from the German. He married Jane Welsh 17 Oct. 1826,
and wrote in the London Magazine and Edinburgh Review many masterly
critical articles, notably on Voltaire, Diderot, Burns, and German
literature. In 1833-4 his Sartor Resartus appeared in Fraser's
Magazine. In '34 he removed to London and began writing the French
Revolution, the MS. of the first vol. of which he confided to Mill,
with whom it was accidentally burnt. He re-wrote the work without
complaint, and it was published in '37. He then delivered a course
of lectures on "German Literature" and on "Heroes, Hero-Worship, and
the Heroic in History," in which he treats Mahomet as the prophet
"we are freest to speak of." His Past and Present was published in
'43. In '45 appeared Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches. In
'50 he published Latter-Day Pamphlets, which contains his most
distinctive political and social doctrines, and in the following year
his Life of John Sterling, in which his heresy clearly appears. His
largest work is his History of the Life and Times of Frederick the
Great, in 10 vols. He was elected rector of Edinburgh University in
'65. Died 5 Feb. 1881. Mr. Froude, in his Biography of Carlyle, says,
"We have seen him confessing to Irving that he did not believe as his
friend did in the Christian religion." ... "the special miraculous
occurrences of sacred history were not credible to him."
Carneades, sceptical philosopher, b. Cyrene about B.C. 213. He went
early to Athens, and attended the lectures of the Stoics, learning
logic from Diogenes. In the year 155, he was chosen with other
deputies to go to Rome to deprecate a fine which had been placed on
the Athenians. During his stay at Rome he attracted great attention
by his philosophical orations. Carneades attacked the very idea of
a God at once infinite and an individual. He denied providence and
design. Many of his arguments are preserved in Cicero's Academics
and De Natura Deorum. Carneades left no written works; his views
seem to have been systematised by his follower Clitomachus. He died
B.C. 129. Carneades is described as a man of unwearied industry. His
ethics were of elevated character.
Carneri (Bartholomäus von), German writer, b. Trieste, 3
Nov. 1821. Educated at Vienna. In 1870 he sat in the Austrian
Parliament with the Liberals. Author of an able work on Morality and
Darwinism, Vienna, 1871. Has also written Der Mensch als Selbstweck,
"Humanity as its own proper object," 1877; Grundlegung der Ethik,
Foundation of Morals, 1881; and Ethical Essays on Evolution and
Happiness, Stuttgart, 1886.
Carra (Jean Louis), French man of letters and Republican, b. 1743 at
Pont de Veyle. He travelled in Germany, Italy, Turkey, Russia, and
Moldavia, where he became secretary to the hospodar. On returning to
France he became employed in the King's library and wrote a History
of Moldavia and an Essay on Aerial Navigation. He warmly espoused
the revolution and was one of the most ardent orators of the Jacobin
club. In the National Assembly he voted for the death of Louis XVI.,
but was executed with the Girondins, 31 Oct. 1793. His Freethought
sentiments are evident from his System of Reason, 1773; his Spirit
of Morality and Philosophy, 1777; New Principles of Physic, 1782-3,
and other works.
Carrel (Jean Baptiste Nicolas Armand), called by Saint Beuve "the
Junius of the French press," b. Rouen, 8 May, 1800. He became a
soldier, but, being a Republican, fought on behalf of the Spanish
revolution. Being taken prisoner, he was condemned to death, but
escaped through some informality. He became secretary to Thierry,
edited the works of P. L. Courier, and established the Nation in
conjunction with Thiers and Mignet. J. S. Mill writes of him in terms
of high praise. The leading journalist of his time, his slashing
articles led to several duels, and in an encounter with Emile de
Girardin (22 July, 1836) he was fatally wounded. On his death-bed,
says M. Littré, he said "Point de prêtres, point d'église"--no
priests nor church. Died 24 July, 1836. He wrote a History of the
Counter-Revolution in England, with an eye to events in his own
Carus (Julius Viktor), German zoologist, b. Leipsic, 25 Aug. 1825. Has
been keeper of anatomical museum at Oxford, and has translated Darwin's
works and the philosophy of G. H. Lewes.
Carus (Karl Gustav), German physiologist and Pantheist, b. Leipsic,
3 Jan. 1789. He taught comparative anatomy at the university of that
town, and published a standard introduction to that subject. He also
wrote Psyche, a history of the development of the human soul, 1846,
and Nature and Idea, 1861. Died at Dresden, 28 July, 1869.
Castelar y Ripoll (Emilio), Spanish statesman, b. Cadiz,
8 Sept. 1832. He began as a journalist, and became known by his
novel Ernesto, 1855. As professor of history and philosophy, he
delivered lectures on "Civilisation during the first three centuries of
Christendom." La Formula del Progresso contains a sketch of democratic
principles. On the outbreak of the revolution of '68 he advocated
a Federal Republic in a magnificent oration. The Crown was however
offered to Amadeus of Savoy. "Glass, with care," was Castelar's verdict
on the new dynasty, and in Feb. '73 Castelar drew up a Republican
Constitution; and for a year was Dictator of Spain. Upon his retirement
to France he wrote a sketchy History of the Republican Movement in
Europe. In '76 he returned to Spain and took part in the Cortes,
where he has continued to advocate Republican views. His Old Rome and
New Italy, and Life of Lord Byron have been translated into English.
Castelli (David), Italian writer, b. Livorno, 30 Dec. 1836. Since
1873 he has held the chair of Hebrew in the Institute of Superior
Studies at Florence. He has translated the book of Ecclesiastes with
notes, and written rationalistic works on Talmudic Legends, 1869;
The Messiah According to the Hebrews, '74; the Bible Prophets, '82;
and The History of the Israelites, 1887.
Castilhon (Jean Louis), French man of letters, b. at Toulouse in
1720. He wrote in numerous publications, and edited the Journal of
Jurisprudence. His history of dogmas and philosophical opinions had
some celebrity, and he shows himself a Freethinker in his Essay
on Ancient and Modern Errors and Superstitions, Amsterdam, 1765;
his Philosophical Almanack, 1767; and his History of Philosophical
Opinions, 1769. Died 1793.
Cattell (Christopher Charles), writer in English Secular journals,
author of Search for the First Man; Against Christianity; The Religion
of this Life, etc.
Caumont (Georges), French writer of genius, b. about 1845. Suffering
from consumption, he wrote Judgment of a Dying Man upon Life,
and humorous and familiar Conversations of a Sick Person with the
Divinity. Died at Madeira, 1875.
Cavalcante (Guido), noble Italian poet and philosopher, b. Florence,
1230. A friend of Dante, and a leader of the Ghibbelin party. He
married a daughter of Farinata delgi Uberti. Bayle says, "it is said
his speculation has as their aim to prove there is no God. Dante places
his father in the hell of Epicureans, who denied the immortality of
the soul." Guido died in 1300. An edition of his poems was published
Cavallotti (Felice Carlo Emanuel), Italian poet and journalist,
b. Milan, 6 Nov. 1842, celebrated for his patriotic poems; is a
pronounced Atheist. He was elected member of the Italian parliament
Cayla (Jean Mamert), French man of letters and politician b. Vigan
(Lot) 1812. Became in '37 editor of the Emancipator of Toulouse,
a city of which he wrote the history. At Paris he wrote to the
Siècle, the République Française and other journals, and published
European Celebrities and numerous anti-clerical brochures, such as
The Clerical Conspiracy, '61; The Devil, his Grandeur and Decay,
'64; Hell Demolished, '65; Suppression of Religious Orders, '70;
and The History of the Mass,'74. He died 2 May, 1877.
Cazelles (Emile), French translator of Bentham's Influence of Natural
Religion, Paris, 1875. Has also translated Mill's Subjection of Women
and his Autobiography and Essays on Religion.
Cecco d'Ascoli, i.e., Stabili (Francesco degli), Italian poet,
b. Ascoli, 1257. He taught astrology and philosophy at Bologna. In
1324 he was arrested by the Inquisition for having spoken against the
faith, and was condemned to fine and penitence. He was again accused
at Florence, and was publicly burnt as an heretic 16 Sept. 1327. His
best known work is entitled Acerba, a sort of encyclopædia in rhyme.
Cellarius (Martin), Anabaptist, who deserves mention as the first
avowed Protestant Anti-trinitarian. He studied Oriental languages
with Reuchlin and Melancthon, but having discussed with Anabaptists
acknowledged himself converted, 1522, and afterwards gave up the deity
of Christ. He was imprisoned, and on his release went to Switzerland,
where he died 11 Oct. 1564.
Celsus, a Pagan philosopher, who lived in the second century. He was
a friend of Lucian, who dedicated to him his treatise on the False
Prophet. He wrote an attack on Christianity, called The True Word. The
work was destroyed by the early Christians. The passages given by
his opponent, Origen, suffice to show that he was a man of high
attainments, well acquainted with the religion he attacked, and that
his power of logic and irony was most damaging to the Christian faith.
Cerutti (Giuseppe Antonio Gioachino), poet, converted Jesuit,
b. Turin, 13 June, 1738. He became a Jesuit, and wrote a defence of
the Society. He afterwards became a friend of Mirabeau, adopted the
principles of 1789, wrote in defence of the Revolution, and wrote
and published a Philosophical Breviary, or history of Judaism,
Christianity, and Deism, which he attributed to Frederick of
Prussia. His opinions may also be gathered from his poem, Les Jardins
de Betz, 1792. Died Paris, 3 Feb. 1792.
Chaho (J. Augustin), Basque man of letters, b. Tardets,
Basses-Pyrénées, 10 Oct. 1811. His principal works are a Philosophy of
Comparative Religion, and a Basque dictionary. At Bayonne he edited
the Ariel. In 1852 this was suppressed and he was exiled. Died 23
Chaloner (Thomas), M.P., Regicide, b. Steeple Claydon, Bucks,
1595. Educated at Oxford, he became member for Richmond (Yorks),
1645. Was a witness against Archbishop Laud, and one of King Charles's
Judges. In 1651 he was made Councillor of State. Wood says he "was as
far from being a Puritan as the east is from the west," and that he
"was of the natural religion." He wrote a pretended True and Exact
Relation of the Finding of Moses His Tomb, 1657, being a satire
directed against the Presbyterians. Upon the Restoration he fled to
the Low Countries, and died at Middelburg, Zeeland, in 1661.
Chambers (Ephraim), originator of the Cyclopædia of Arts and Sciences,
b. Kendal about 1680. The first edition of his work appeared in 1728,
and procured him admission to the Royal Society. A French translation
gave rise to Diderot and D'Alembert's Encyclopédie. Chambers also
edited the Literary Magazine, 1836, etc. His infidel opinions were
well known, and the Cyclopædia was placed upon the Index, but he was
buried in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey. Died 15 May, 1740.
Chamfort (Sébastien Roch Nicolas), French man of letters, b. in
Auvergne, near Clermont, 1741. He knew no parent but his mother,
a peasant girl, to supply whose wants he often denied himself
necessaries. At Paris he gained a prize from the Academy for his
eulogy on Molière. About 1776 he published a Dramatic Dictionary
and wrote several plays. In 1781 he obtained a seat in the Academy,
being patronised by Mme. Helvetius. He became a friend of Mirabeau,
who called him une tête électrique. In 1790 he commenced a work called
Pictures of the Revolution. In the following year he became secretary
of the Jacobin Club and National Librarian. Arrested by Robespierre,
he desperately, but vainly, endeavored to commit suicide. He died 13
April, 1794, leaving behind numerous works and a collection of Maxims,
Thoughts, Characters, and Anecdotes, which show profound genius and
knowledge of human nature.
Chapman (John), M.R.C.S., b. 1839. Has written largely in the
Westminster Review, of which he is proprietor.
Chappellsmith (Margaret), née Reynolds, b. Aldgate, 22 Feb. 1806. Early
in life she read the writings of Cobbett. In '36 she began writing
political articles in the Dispatch, and afterwards became a Socialist
and Freethought lecturess. She married John Chappellsmith in '39,
and in '42 she began business as a bookseller. In '37 she expressed
a preference for the development theory before that of creation. In
'50 they emigrated to the United States, where Mrs. Chappellsmith
contributed many articles to the Boston Investigator.
Charles (Rudolf). See Giessenburg.
Charma (Antoine), French philosopher, b. 15 Jan. 1801. In '30 he was
nominated to the Chair of Philosophy at Caen. He was denounced for
his impiety by the Count de Montalembert in the Chamber of peers,
and an endeavor was made to unseat him. He wrote many philosophical
works, and an account of Didron's Histoire de Dieu. Died 5 Aug. 1869.
Charron (Pierre), French priest and sceptic, b. Paris, 1513. He was
an intimate friend of Montaigne. His principal work is a Treatise on
Wisdom, 1601, which was censured as irreligious by the Jesuits. Franck
says "the scepticism of Charron inclines visibly to 'sensualisme'
and even to materialism." Died Paris, 16 Nov. 1603.
Chasseboeuf de Volney (Constantin François). See Volney.
Chastelet du or Chatelet Lomont (Gabrielle Emilie le Tonnelier de
Breteuil), Marquise, French savante, b. Paris, 17 Dec 1706. She was
learned in mathematics and other sciences, and in Latin, English
and Italian. In 1740 she published a work on physical philosophy
entitled Institutions de Physique. She afterwards made a good French
translation of Newton's Principia. She lived some years with Voltaire
at Cirey between 1735 and 1747, and addressed to him Doubts on Revealed
Religions, published in 1792. She also wrote a Treatise on Happiness,
which was praised by Condorcet.
Chastellux (François Jean de), Marquis. A soldier, traveller and
writer, b. Paris 1734. Wrote On Public Happiness (2 vols., Amst. 1776),
a work Voltaire esteemed highly. He contributed to the Encyclopédie;
one article on "Happiness," being suppressed by the censor because
it did not mention God. Died Paris, 28 Oct. 1788.
Chatterton (Thomas), the marvellous boy poet, b. Bristol, 20 Nov,
1752. His poems, which he pretended were written by one Thomas Rowley
in the fourteenth century and discovered by him in an old chest in
Redcliffe Church, attracted much attention. In 1769 he visited London
in hopes of rising by his talents, but after a bitter experience of
writing for the magazines, destroyed himself in a fit of despair 25
Aug. 1770. Several of his poems betray deistic opinions.
Chaucer (Geoffrey), the morning star of English poetry and first
English Humanist, b. London about 1340. In 1357 he was attached to
the household of Lionel, third son of Edward III. He accompanied the
expedition to France 1359-60, was captured by the French, and ransomed
by the king. He was patronised by John of Gaunt, and some foreign
missions were entrusted to him, one of them being to Italy, where he
met Petrarch. All his writings show the influence of the Renaissance,
and in his Canterbury Pilgrims he boldly attacks the vices of the
ecclesiastics. Died 25 Oct. 1400, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Chaumette (Pierre Gaspard), afterwards Anaxagoras, French
revolutionary, b. Nevers, 24 May, 1763. The son of a shoemaker, he was
in turn cabin boy, steersman, and attorney's clerk. In early youth he
received lessons in botany from Rousseau. He embraced the revolution
with ardor, was the first to assume the tri-color cockade, became
popular orator at the club of the Cordeliers, and was associated with
Proudhomme in the journal Les Revolutions de Paris. Nominated member
of the Commune 10 Aug. 1792, he took the name of Anaxagoras to show
his little regard for his baptismal saints. He was elected Procureur
Syndic, in which capacity he displayed great activity. He abolished
the rod in schools, suppressed lotteries, instituted workshops for
fallen women, established the first lying-in-hospital, had books
sent to the hospitals, separated the insane from the sick, founded
the Conservatory of Music, opened the public libraries every day
(under the ancien régime they were only open two hours per week),
replaced books of superstition by works of morality and reason, put
a graduated tax on the rich to provide for the burial of the poor,
and was the principal mover in the feasts of Reason and closing of
the churches. He was accused by Robespierre of conspiring with Cloots
"to efface all idea of the Deity," and was guillotined 13 April, 1794.
Chaussard (Pierre Jean Baptiste), French man of letters, b. Paris,
8 Oct. 1766. At the Revolution he took the name of Publicola, and
published patriotic odes, Esprit de Mirabeau, and other works. He was
preacher to the Theophilanthropists, and became professor of belles
lettres at Orleans. Died 9 Jan. 1823.
Chemin-Dupontes (Jean Baptiste), b. 1761. One of the founders of
French Theophilanthropy; published many writings, the best known of
which is entitled What is Theophilanthropy?
Chenier (Marie André de), French poet, b. Constantinople, 29
Oct. 1762. His mother, a Greek, inspired him with a love for ancient
Greek literature. Sent to college at Paris, he soon manifested his
genius by writing eclogues and elegies of antique simplicity and
sensibility. In 1787 he came to England as Secretary of Legation. He
took part in the legal defence of Louis XVI., eulogised Charlotte
Corday, and gave further offence by some letters in the Journal de
Paris. He was committed to prison, and here met his ideal in the
Comtesse de Coigny. Confined in the same prison, to her he addressed
the touching verses, The Young Captive (La jeune Captive). He was
executed 25 July, 1794, leaving behind, among other poems, an imitation
of Lucretius, entitled Hermes, which warrants the affirmation of de
Chênedolle, that "André Chénier était athée avec délices."
Chenier (Marie Joseph de), French poet and miscellaneous writer,
brother of the preceding, b. Constantinople, 28 Aug. 1764. He served
two years in the army, and then applied himself to literature. His
first successful drama, "Charles IX.," was produced in 1789, and was
followed by others. He wrote many patriotic songs, and was made member
of the Convention. He was a Voltairean, and in his Nouveaux Saints
(1801) satirised those who returned to the old faith. He wrote many
poems and an account of French literature. Died Paris, 10 Jan. 1811.
Chernuishevsky or Tchernycheiosky (Nikolai Gerasimovich),
Russian Nihilist, b. Saratof, 1829. Educated at the University of
St. Petersburg, translated Mill's Political Economy, and wrote on
Superstition and the Principles of Logic, '59. His bold romance,
What is to be Done? was published '63. In the following year he was
sentenced to the Siberian mines, where, after heartrending cruelties,
he has become insane.
Chesneau Du Marsais (César). See Dumarsais.
Chevalier (Joseph Philippe), French chemist, b. Saint Pol, 21 March,
1806, is the author of an able book on "The Soul from the standpoint
of Reason and Science," Paris, '61. He died at Amiens in 1865.
Chies y Gomez (Ramon), Spanish Freethinker, b. Medina de Pomar,
Burgos, 13 Oct. 1845. His father, a distinguished Republican,
educated him without religion. In '65 Chies went to Madrid, and
followed a course of law and philosophy at the University, and soon
after wrote for a Madrid paper La Discusion. He took an active part
in the Revolution of '65, and at the proclamation of the Republic,
'73, became civil governor of Valencia. In '81 he founded a newspaper
El Voto Nacional, and since '83 has edited Las Dominicales del Libre
Pensamiento, which he also founded. Ramon Chies is one of the foremost
Freethought champions in Spain and lectures as well as writes.
Child (Lydia Maria) née Francis, American authoress, b. Medford, Mass.,
11 Feb. 1802. She early commenced writing, publishing Hobomok, a Tale
of Early Times, in '21. From '25 she kept a private school in Watertown
until '28, when she married David Lee Child, a Boston lawyer. She, with
him, edited the Anti-Slavery Standard, '41, etc., and by her numerous
writings did much to form the opinion which ultimately prevailed. She
was, however, long subjected to public odium, her heterodoxy being well
known. Her principal work is The Progress of Religious Ideas, 3 vols.;
'55. Died Wayland, Mass., 20 Oct. 1880. She was highly eulogised by
Chilton (William), of Bristol, was born in 1815. In early life he was
a bricklayer, but in '41 he was concerned with Charles Southwell in
starting the Oracle of Reason, which he set up in type, and of which
he became one of the editors. He contributed some thoughtful articles
on the Theory of Development to the Library of Reason, and wrote in
the Movement and the Reasoner. Died at Bristol, 28 May, 1855.
Chubb (Thomas), English Deist, b. East Harnham, near Salisbury, 29
Sept. 1679, was one of the first to show Rationalism among the common
people. Beginning by contending for the Supremacy of the Father, he
gradually relinquished supernatural religion, and considered that Jesus
Christ was of the religion of Thomas Chubb. Died 8 Feb. 1747, leaving
behind two vols. which he calls A Farewell to his Readers, from which
it appears that he rejected both revelation and special providence.
Church (Henry Tyrell), lecturer and writer, edited Tallis's
Shakespeare, wrote Woman and her Failings, 1858, and contributed to
the Investigator when edited by Mr. Bradlaugh. Died 19 July, 1859.
Clapiers (Luc de). See Vauvenargues.
Claretie (Jules Armand Arsène), French writer, b. Limoges, 3
Dec. 1840. A prolific writer, of whose works we only cite Free Speech,
'68; his biographies of contemporary celebrities; and his work Camille
Clarke (John), brought up in the Methodist connection, changed his
opinion by studying the Bible, and became one of Carlile's shopmen. He
was tried 10 June, 1824, for selling a blasphemous libel in number 17,
vol. ix., of The Republican, and after a spirited defence, in which
he read many of the worst passages in the Bible, was sentenced to
three years' imprisonment, and to find securities for good behavior
during life. He wrote while in prison, A Critical Review of the Life,
Character, and Miracles of Jesus, a work showing with some bitterness
much bold criticism and Biblical knowledge. It first appeared in the
Newgate Magazine and was afterwards published in book form, 1825 and
Clarke (Marcus), Australian writer, b. Kensington, 1847. Went to
Victoria, '63; joined the staff of Melbourne Argus. In '76 was made
assistant librarian of the Public Library. He has compiled a history of
Australia, and written The Peripatetic Philosopher (a series of clever
sketches), His Natural Life (a powerful novel), and some poems. An able
Freethought paper, "Civilisation without Delusion," in the Victoria
Review, Nov. '79, was replied to by Bishop Moorhouse. The reply, with
Clarke's answer, which was suppressed, was published in '80. Died 1884.
Claude-Constant, author of a Freethinkers' Catechism published at
Paris in 1875.
Clavel (Adolphe), French Positivist and physician, b. Grenoble,
1815. He has written on the Principles of 1789, on those of the
nineteenth century, on Positive Morality, and some educational works.
Clavel (F. T. B.), French author of a Picturesque History of
Freemasonry, and also a Picturesque History of Religions, 1844,
in which Christianity takes a subordinate place.
Clayton (Robert), successively Bishop of Killala, Cork, and Clogher,
b. Dublin, 1695. By his benevolence attracted the friendship of
Samuel Clarke, and adopted Arianism, which he maintained in several
publications. In 1756 he proposed, in the Irish House of Lords, the
omission of the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds from the Liturgy, and
stated that he then felt more relieved in his mind than for twenty
years before. A legal prosecution was instituted, but he died, it
is said, from nervous agitation (26 Feb. 1758) before the matter
Cleave (John), bookseller, and one of the pioneers of a cheap
political press. Started the London Satirist, and Cleave's Penny
Gazette of Variety, Oct. 14, 1837, to Jan. 20, '44. He published
many Chartist and Socialistic works, and an abridgment of Howitt's
History of Priestcraft. In May, '40, he was sentenced to four months'
imprisonment for selling Haslam's Letters to the Clergy.
Clemenceau (Georges Benjamin Eugene), French politician,
b. Moulleron-en-Pareds, 28 Sept. 1841. Educated at Nantes and Paris,
he took his doctor's degree in '65. His activity as Republican
ensured him a taste of gaol. He visited the United States and acted
as correspondent on the Temps. He returned at the time of the war
and was elected deputy to the Assembly. In Jan. 1880 he founded La
Justice, having as collaborateurs M. C. Pelletan, Prof. Acollas and
Dr. C. Letourneau. As one of the chiefs of the Radical party he was
largely instrumental in getting M. Carnot elected President.
Clemetshaw (C.), French writer, using the name Cilwa. B. 14 Sept. 1864
of English parents; has contributed to many journals, was delegate to
the International Congress, London, of '87, and is editor of Le Danton.
Clemens (Samuel Langhorne), American humorist, better known as
"Mark Twain," b. Florida, Missouri, 30 Nov. 1835. In '55 he served
as Mississippi pilot, and takes his pen name from the phrase used
in sounding. In Innocents Abroad, or the New Pilgrim's Progress,
'69, by which he made his name, there is much jesting with "sacred"
subjects. Mr. Clemens is an Agnostic.
Clifford (Martin), English Rationalist. Was Master of the Charterhouse,
1671, and published anonymously a treatise of Human Reason, London,
'74, which was reprinted in the following year with the author's
name. A short while after its publication Laney, Bishop of Ely, was
dining in Charterhouse and remarked, not knowing the author, "'twas no
matter if all the copies were burnt and the author with them, because
it made every man's private fancy judge of religion." Clifford died 10
Dec. 1677. In the Nouvelle Biographie Générale Clifford is amusingly
described as an "English theologian of the order des Chartreux," who,
it is added, was "prior of his order."
Clifford (William Kingdon), mathematician, philosopher, and moralist,
of rare originality and boldness, b. Exeter 4 May, 1845. At the age
of fifteen he was sent to King's College, London, where he showed an
early genius for mathematics, publishing the Analogues of Pascal's
Theorem at the age of eighteen. Entered Trinity College, Cambridge,
in '63. In '67 he was second wrangler. Elected fellow of his college,
he remained at Cambridge till 1870, when he accompanied the eclipse
expedition to the Mediterranean. The next year he was appointed
Professor of mathematics at London University, a post he held till
his death. He was chosen F.R.S. '74. Married Miss Lucy Lane in April,
'75. In the following year symptoms of consumption appeared, and he
visited Algeria and Spain. He resumed work, but in '79 took a voyage to
Madeira, where he died 3 March. Not long before his death appeared the
first volume of his great mathematical work, Elements of Dynamic. Since
his death have been published The Common Sense of the Exact Sciences,
and Lectures and Essays, in two volumes, edited by Leslie Stephen and
Mr. F. Pollock. These volumes include his most striking Freethought
lectures and contributions to the Fortnightly and other reviews. He
intended to form them into a volume on The Creed of Science. Clifford
was an outspoken Atheist, and he wrote of Christianity as a religion
which wrecked one civilisation and very nearly wrecked another.
Cloots or Clootz (Johann Baptist, afterwards Anacharsis) Baron du Val
de Grâce, Prussian enthusiast, b. near Cleves, 24 June, 1755, was a
nephew of Cornelius de Pauw. In 1780 he published the The Certainty
of the Proofs of Mohammedanism, under the pseudonym of Ali-gier-ber,
an anagram of Bergier, whose Certainty of the Proofs of Christianity
he parodies. He travelled widely, but became a resident of Paris
and a warm partisan of the Revolution, to which he devoted his large
fortune. He wrote a reply to Burke, and continually wrote and spoke
in favor of a Universal Republic. On 19 June, 1790, he, at the head
of men of all countries, asked a place at the feast of Federation,
and henceforward was styled "orator of the human race." He was, with
Paine, Priestley, Washington and Klopstock, made a French citizen,
and in 1792 was elected to the Convention by two departments. He
debaptised himself, taking the name Anacharsis, was a prime mover
in the Anti-Catholic party, and induced Bishop Gobel to resign. He
declared there was no other God but Nature. Incurring the enmity of
Robespierre, he and Paine were arrested as foreigners. After two
and a half months' imprisonment at St. Lazare, he was brought to
the scaffold with the Hébertistes, 24 March, 1794. He died calmly,
uttering materialist sentiments to the last.
Clough (Arthur Hugh), poet, b. Liverpool, 1 Jan. 1819. He was
educated at Rugby, under Dr. Arnold, and at Oxford, where he showed
himself of the Broad School. Leslie Stephen says, "He never became
bitter against the Church of his childhood, but he came to regard its
dogmas as imperfect and untenable." In '48 he visited Paris, and the
same year produced his Bothie of Toper-na-Fuosich: a Long-Vacation
Pastoral. Between '49 and '52 he was professor of English literature
in London University. In '52 he visited the United States, where
he gained the friendship of Emerson and Longfellow, and revised
the Dryden translation of Plutarch's Lives. Died at Florence, 13
Nov. 1861. His Remains are published in two volumes, and include
an essay on Religious Tradition and some notable poems. He is the
Thyrsis of Matthew Arnold's exquisite Monody.
Cnuzius (Matthias). See Knutzen.
Coke (Henry), author of Creeds of the Day, or collated opinions of
reputable thinkers, in 2 vols, London, 1883.
Cole (Peter), a tanner of Ipswich, was burnt for blasphemy in the
castle ditch, Norwich, 1587. A Dr. Beamond preached to him before the
mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen, "but he would not recant." See Hamont.
Colenso (John William), b. 24 Jan. 1814. Was educated at St. John's,
Cambridge, and became a master at Harrow. After acquiring fame by his
valuable Treatise on Algebra, '49, he became first Bishop of Natal,
'54. Besides other works, he published The Pentateuch and Book of
Joshua Critically Examined, 1862-79, which made a great stir, and
was condemned by both Houses of Convocation and its author declared
deposed. The Privy Council, March '65, declared this deposition
"null and void in law." Colenso pleaded the cause of the natives at
the time of the Zulu War. He died 20 June, 1883.
Colins (Jean Guillaume César Alexandre Hippolyte) Baron de,
Belgian Socialist and founder of "Collectivism," b. Brussels, 24
Dec. 1783. Author of nineteen volumes on Social Science. He denied
alike Monotheism and Pantheism, but taught the natural immortality of
the soul. Died at Paris, 12 Nov. 1859. A number of disciples propagate
his opinions in the Philosophie de l'Avenir.
Collins (Anthony), English Deist, b. Heston, Middlesex, 21 June,
1676. He studied at Cambridge and afterwards at the Temple, and
became Justice of the Peace and Treasurer of the County of Essex. He
was an intimate friend of Locke, who highly esteemed him and made
him his executor. He wrote an Essay on Reason, 1707; Priestcraft
in Perfection, 1710; a Vindication of the Divine Attributes, and a
Discourse on Freethinking, 1713. This last occasioned a great outcry,
as it argued that all belief must be based on free inquiry, and
that the use of reason would involve the abandonment of supernatural
revelation. In 1719 he published An Inquiry Concerning Human Liberty,
a brief, pithy defence of necessitarianism, and in 1729 A Discourse
on Liberty and Necessity. In 1724 appeared his Discourse on the
Grounds and Reasons of the Christian Religion, and this was followed
by The Scheme of Literal Prophecy Considered, 1726. He was a skilful
disputant, and wrote with great ability. He is also credited with A
Discourse Concerning Ridicule and Irony in Writing. Died at London,
13 Dec. 1729. Collins, says Mr. Leslie Stephen, "appears to have been
an amiable and upright man, and to have made all readers welcome to
the use of a free library." Professor Fraser calls him "a remarkable
man," praises his "love of truth and moral courage," and allows that in
answering Dr. Samuel Clarke on the question of liberty and necessity
he "states the arguments against human freedom with a logical force
unsurpassed by any necessitarian." A similar testimony to Collins as
a thinker and dialectician is borne by Professor Huxley.
Colman (Lucy N.), American reformer, b. 26 July, 1817, has spent
most of her life advocating the abolition of slavery, women's rights,
and Freethought. She has lectured widely, written Reminisences in the
Life of a Reformer of Fifty Years, and contributed to the Truthseeker
and Boston Investigator.
Colotes, of Lampsacus, a hearer and disciple of Epicurus, with whom he
was a favorite. He wrote a work in favor of his master's teachings. He
held it was unworthy of a philosopher to use fables.
Combe (Abram), one of a noted Scotch family of seventeen, b. Edinburgh,
15 Jan. 1785. He traded as a tanner, but, becoming acquainted with
Robert Owen, founded a community at Orbiston upon the principle of
Owen's New Lanark, devoting nearly the whole of his large fortune
to the scheme. But his health gave way and he died 11 Aug. 1827. He
wrote Metaphysical Sketches of the Old and New Systems and other
works advocating Owenism.
Combe (Andrew), physician, brother of the above, b. Edinburgh,
27 Oct. 1797; studied there and in Paris; aided his brother George
in founding the Phrenological Society; wrote popular works on the
Principles of Physiology and the Management of Infancy. Died near
Edinburgh, 9 Aug. 1847.
Combe (George), phrenologist and educationalist, b. Edinburgh,
21 Oct. 1788. He was educated for the law. Became acquainted with
Spurzheim, and published Essays on Phrenology, 1819, and founded the
Phrenological Journal. In '28 he published the Constitution of Man,
which excited great controversy especially for removing the chimeras of
special providence and efficacy of prayer. In '33 he married a daughter
of Mrs. Siddons. He visited the United States and lectured on Moral
Philosophy and Secular Education. His last work was The Relations
between Science and Religion, '57, in which he continued to uphold
Secular Theism. He also published many lectures and essays. Among his
friends were Miss Evans (George Eliot), who spent a fortnight with him
in '52. He did more than any man of his time, save Robert Owen, for the
cause of Secular education. Died at Moor Park, Surrey, 14 Aug. 1858.
Combes (Paul), French writer, b. Paris, 13 June, 1856. Has written
on Darwinism, '83, and other works popularising science.
Commazzi (Gian-Battista), Count author of Politica e religione trovate
insieme nella persona di Giesù Cristo, Nicopoli [Vienna] 4 vols.,
1706-7, in which he makes Jesus to be a political impostor. It was
rigorously confiscated at Rome and Vienna.
Comparetti (Domenico), Italian philologist, b. Rome in 1835. Signor
Comparetti is Professor at the Institute of Superior Studies, Rome,
and has written many works on the classic writers, in which he evinces
his Pagan partialities.
Comte (Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier), French philosopher,
mathematician and reformer, b. at Montpelier, 12 Jan. 1798. Educated at
Paris in the Polytechnic School, where he distinguished himself by his
mathematical talent. In 1817 he made the acquaintance of St. Simon,
agreeing with him as to the necessity of a Social renovation based
upon a mental revolution. On the death of St. Simon ('25) Comte
devoted himself to the elaboration of an original system of scientific
thought, which, in the opinion of some able judges, entitles him to
be called the Bacon of the nineteenth century. Mill speaks of him as
the superior of Descartes and Leibniz. In '25 he married, but the
union proved unhappy. In the following year he lectured, but broke
down under an attack of brain fever, which occasioned his detention
in an asylum. He speedily recovered, and in '28 resumed his lectures,
which were attended by men like Humboldt, Ducrotay, Broussais, Carnot,
etc. In '30 he put forward the first volumes of his Course of Positive
Philosophy, which in '42 was completed by the publication of the sixth
volume. A condensed English version of this work was made by Harriet
Martineau, '53. In '45 Comte formed a passionate Platonic attachement
to Mme. Clotilde de Vaux, who died in the following year, having
profoundely influenced Comte's life. In consequence of his opinions,
he lost his professorship, and was supported by his disciples--Mill,
Molesworth and Grote, in England, assisting. Among other works, Comte
published A General View of Positivism, '48, translated by Dr. Bridges,
'65; A System of Positive Polity, '51, translated by Drs. Bridges,
Beesley, F. Harrison, etc., '75-79; and A Positive Catechism, '54,
translated by Dr. Congreve, '58. He also wrote on Positive Logic,
which he intended to follow with Positive Morality and Positive
Industrialism. Comte was a profound and suggestive thinker. He
resolutely sets aside all theology and metaphysics, coordinates
the sciences and substitutes the service of man for the worship of
God. Mr. J. Cotter Morison says "He belonged to that small class
of rare minds, whose errors are often more valuable and stimulating
than other men's truths." He died of cancer in the stomach at Paris,
5 Sept. 1857.
Condillac (Etienne Bonnot de), French philosopher, b. Grenoble,
about 1715. His life was very retired, but his works show much
acuteness. They are in 23 vols., the principal being A Treatise on the
Sensations, 1764; A Treatise on Animals, and An Essay on the Origin
of Human Knowledge. In the first-named he shows that all mental life
is gradually built up out of simple sensations. Died 3 Aug. 1780.
Condorcet (Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat, Marquis de),
French philosopher and politician, b. Ribemont, Picardy, 17
Sept. 1743. Dedicated to the Virgin by a pious mother, he was kept
in girl's clothes until the age of 11. Sent to a Jesuit's school,
he soon gave up religion. At sixteen he maintained a mathematical
thesis in the presence of Alembert. In the next year he dedicated
to Turgot a Profession of Faith. After some mathematical works, he
was made member of the Academy, of which he was appointed perpetual
secretary, 1773. In 1776 he published his atheistic Letters of a
Theologian. He also wrote biographies of Turgot and Voltaire, and
in favor of American independence and against negro slavery. In
1791 he represented Paris in the National Assembly, of which he
became Secretary. It was on his motion that, in the following year,
all orders of nobility were abolished. Voting against the death of
the king and siding with the Gironde drew on him the vengeance of
the extreme party. He took shelter with Madame Vernet, but fearing to
bring into trouble her and his wife, at whose instigation he wrote his
fine Sketch of the Progress of the Human Mind while in hiding, he left,
but, being arrested, died of exhaustion or by poison self-administered,
at Bourg la Reine, 27 March, 1794.
Condorcet (Sophie de Grouchy Caritat, Marquise de), wife of above,
and sister of General Grouchy and of Mme. Cabanis, b. 1765. She
married Condorcet 1786, and was considered one of the most beautiful
women of her time. She shared her husband's sentiments and opinions
and, while he was proscribed, supported herself by portrait
painting. She was arrested, and only came out of prison after the
fall of Robespierre. She translated Adam Smith's Theory of the Moral
Sentiments, which she accompanied with eight letters on Sympathy,
addressed to Cabanis. She died 8 Sept. 1822. Her only daughter married
Gen. Arthur O'Connor.
Confucius (Kung Kew) or Kung-foo-tsze, the philosopher Kung, a
Chinese sage, b. in the State of Loo, now part of Shantung, about
B.C. 551. He was distinguished by filial piety and learning. In his
nineteenth year he married, and three years after began as a teacher,
rejecting none who came to him. He travelled through many states. When
past middle age he was appointed chief minister of Loo, but finding
the Duke desired the renown of his name without adopting his counsel,
he retired, and devoted his old age to editing the sacred classics
of China. He died about B.C. 478. His teaching, chiefly found in the
Lun-Yu, or Confucian Analects, was of a practical moral character,
and did not include any religious dogmas.
Congreve (Richard), English Positivist, born in 1819. Educated at
Rugby under T. Arnold, and Oxford 1840, M.A. 1843; was fellow of
Wadham College 1844-54. In '55 he published his edition of Aristotle
Politics. He became a follower of Comte and influenced many to embrace
Positivism. Translated Comte's Catechism of Positive Philosophy, 1858,
and has written many brochures. Dr. Congreve is considered the head
of the strict or English Comtists, and has long conducted a small
"Church of Humanity."
Connor (Bernard), a physician, b. Co. Kerry, of Catholic family,
1666. He travelled widely, and was made court physician to John
Sobieski, King of Poland. He wrote a work entitled Evangelium Medici
(1697), in which he attempts to account for the Christian miracles
on natural principles. For this he was accused of Atheism. He died
in London 27 Oct. 1698.
Constant de Rebecque (Henri Benjamin), Swiss writer, b. Lausanne,
25 Oct. 1767, and educated at Oxford, Erlangen and Edinburgh. In
1795 he entered Paris as a protégé of Mme. de Stael, and in 1799
became a member of the Tribunal. He opposed Buonaparte and wrote
on Roman Polytheism and an important work on Religion Considered in
its Source, its Forms and its Developments (6 vols.; 1824-32). Died
8 Dec. 1830. Constant professed Protestantism, but was at heart a
sceptic, and has been called a second Voltaire. A son was executor
to Auguste Comte.
Conta (Basil), Roumanian philosopher, b. Neamtza 27 Nov. 1845. Studied
in Italy and Belgium, and became professor in the University of Jassy,
Moldavia. In '77 he published in Brussels, in French, a theory of
fatalism, which created some stir by its boldness of thought.
Conway (Moncure Daniel), author, b. in Fredericksburg, Stafford
co. Virginia, 17 March, 1832. He entered the Methodist ministry '50,
but changing his convictions through the influence of Emerson and
Hicksite Quakers, entered the divinity school at Cambridge, where
he graduated in '54 and became pastor of a Unitarian church until
dismissed for his anti-slavery discourses. In '57 he preached in
Cincinnati and there published The Natural History of the Devil, and
other pamphlets. In '63 Mr. Conway came to England and was minister
of South Place from the close of '63 until his return to the States
in '84. Mr. Conway is a frequent contributor to the press. He has
also published The Earthward Pilgrimage, 1870, a theory reversing
Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress; collected a Sacred Anthology from the
various sacred books of the world 1873, which he used in his pulpit;
has written on Human Sacrifices, 1876, and Idols and Ideals, 1877. His
principal work is Demonology and Devil Lore, 1878, containing much
information on mythology. He also issued his sermons under the title of
Lessons for the Day, two vols., 1883, and has published a monograph on
the Wandering Jew, a biography of Emerson, and is at present engaged
on a life of Thomas Paine.
Cook (Kenningale Robert), LL.D., b. in Lancashire 26 Sept. 1845, son
of the vicar of Stallbridge. When a boy he used to puzzle his mother
by such questions as, "If God was omnipotent could he make what had
happened not have happened." He was intended for the Church, but
declined to subscribe the articles. Graduated at Dublin in '66, and
took LL.D. in '75. In '77 he became editor of the Dublin University
Magazine, in which appeared some studies of the lineage of Christian
doctrine and traditions afterwards published under the title of The
Fathers of Jesus. Dr. Cook wrote several volumes of choice poems. Died
Cooper (Anthony Ashley), see Shaftesbury.
Cooper (Henry), barrister, b. Norwich about 1784. He was a schoolfellow
of Wm. Taylor of Norwich. He served as midshipman at the battle of the
Nile, but disliking the service became a barrister, and acquired some
fame by his spirited defence of Mary Ann Carlile, 21 July, 1821, for
which the report of the trial was dedicated to him by R. Carlile. He
was a friend of Lord Erskine, whose biography he commenced. Died 19
Cooper (John Gilbert), poet, b. Thurgaton Priory, Notts, 1723. Educated
at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge. An enthusiastic
disciple of Lord Shaftesbury. Under the name of "Philaretes" he
contributed to Dodsley's Museum. In 1749 he published a Life of
Socrates, for which he was coarsely attacked by Warburton. He wrote
some poems under the signature of Aristippus. Died Mayfair, London,
14 April, 1769.
Cooper (Peter), a benevolent manufacturer, b. N. York, 12 Feb. 1791. He
devoted over half a million dollars to the Cooper Institute, for
the secular instruction and elevation of the working classes. Died
4 April, 1883.
Cooper (Robert), Secularist writer and lecturer, b. 29 Dec. 1819,
at Barton-on-Irwell, near Manchester. He had the advantage of being
brought up in a Freethought family. At fourteen he became teacher
in the Co-operative Schools, Salford, lectured at fifteen, and
by seventeen became an acknowledged advocate of Owenism, holding a
public discussion with the Rev. J. Bromley. Some of his lectures were
published--one on Original Sin sold twelve thousand copies--when he was
scarcely eighteen. The Holy Scriptures Analysed (1832) was denounced
by the Bishop of Exeter in the House of Lords. Cooper was dismissed
from a situation he had held ten years, and in 1841 became a Socialist
missionary in the North of England and Scotland. At Edinburgh (1845)
he wrote Free Agency and Orthodoxy, and compiled the Infidel's Text
Book. About '50 he came to London, lecturing with success at John
Street Institution. In '54 he started the London Investigator, which
he edited for three years. In it appears his lectures on "Science
v. Theology," "Admissions of Distinguished Men," etc. Failing health
obliged him to retire leaving the Investigator to "Anthony Collins"
(W. H. Johnson), and afterwards to "Iconoclast" (C. Bradlaugh). At
his last lecture he fainted on the platform. In 1858 he remodelled
his Infidel Text-Book into a work on The Bible and Its Evidences. He
devoted himself to political reform until his death, 3 May, 1868.
Cooper (Thomas), M.D., LL.D., natural philosopher, politician,
jurist and author, b. London, 22 Oct. 1759. Educated at Oxford, he
afterwards studied law and medicine; was admitted to the bar and lived
at Manchester, where he wrote a number of tracts on "Materialism,"
"Whether Deity be a Free Agent," etc., 1789. Deputed with James
Watt, the inventor, by the Constitutional clubs to congratulate
the Democrats of France (April, 1792), he was attacked by Burke
and replied in a vigorous pamphlet. In '94 he published Information
Concerning America, and in the next year followed his friend Priestly
to Philadelphia, established himself as a lawyer and was made judge. He
also conducted the Emporium of Arts and Sciences in that city. He was
Professor of Medicine at Carlisle College, '12, and afterwards held
the chairs both of Chemistry and Political Economy in South Carolina
College, of which he became President, 1820-34. This position he was
forced to resign on account of his religious views. He translated
from Justinian and Broussais, and digested the Statutes of South
Carolina. In philosophy a Materialist, in religion a Freethinker,
in politics a Democrat, he urged his views in many pamphlets. One on
The Right of Free Discussion, and a little book on Geology and the
Pentateuch, in reply to Prof. Silliman, were republished in London
by James Watson. Died at Columbia, 11 May, 1840. 
 So varied was the activity of T. Cooper during his long life that
his works in the British Museum were catalogued as by six different
persons of the same name. I pointed this out, and the six single
gentlemen will be rolled into one.
Coornhert (Dirk Volkertszoon), Dutch humanist, poet and writer,
b. Amsterdam, 1522. He travelled in his youth through Spain
and Portugal. He set up as an engraver at Haarlem, and became
thereafter notary and secretary of the city of Haarlem. He had a
profound horror of intolerance, and defended liberty against Beza and
Calvin. The clergy vituperated him as a Judas and as instigated by
Satan, etc. Bayle, who writes of him as Theodore Koornhert, says he
communed neither with Protestants nor Catholics. The magistrates of
Delft drove him out of their city. He translated Cicero's De Officiis,
and other works. Died at Gouda, 20 Oct. 1590.
Cordonnier de Saint Hyacinthe. See Saint-Hyacinthe (Themiseuil de).
Corvin-Wiersbitski (Otto Julius Bernhard von), Prussian Pole of noble
family, who traced their descent from the Roman Corvinii, b. Gumbinnen,
12 Oct. 1812. He served in the Prussian army, where he met his friend
Friedrich von Sallet; retired into the Landwehr 1835, went to Leipsic
and entered upon a literary career, wrote the History of the Dutch
Revolution, 1841; the History of Christian Fanaticism, 1845, which
was suppressed in Austria. He took part with the democrats in '48;
was condemned to be shot 15 Sept. '49, but the sentence was commuted;
spent six years' solitary confinement in prison; came to London,
became correspondent to the Times; went through American Civil War,
and afterwards Franco-Prussian War, as a special correspondent. He
has written a History of the New Time, 1848-71. Died since 1886.
Cotta (Bernhard), German geologist, b. Little Zillbach, Thuringia,
24 Oct. 1808. He studied at the Academy of Mining, in Freiberg,
where he was appointed professor in '42. His first production, The
Dendroliths, '32, proved him a diligent investigator. It was followed
by many geological treatises. Cotta did much to support the nebular
hypothesis and the law of natural development without miraculous
agency. He also wrote on phrenology. Died at Freiburg, 13 Sept 1879.
Cotta (C. Aurelius), Roman philosopher, orator and statesman,
b. B.C. 124. In '75 he became Consul. On the expiration of his
office he obtained Gaul as a province. Cicero had a high opinion of
him and gives his sceptical arguments in the third book of his De
Courier (Paul Louis), French writer, b. Paris, 4 Jan. 1772. He entered
the army and became an officer of artillery, serving with distinction
in the Army of the Republic. He wrote many pamphlets, directed against
the clerical restoration, which place him foremost among the literary
men of the generation. His writings are now classics, but they brought
him nothing but imprisonment, and he was apparently assassinated,
10 April, 1825. He had a presentiment that the bigots would kill him.
Coventry (Henry), a native of Cambridgeshire, b. about 1710, Fellow
of Magdalene College, author of Letters of Philemon to Hydaspus on
False Religion (1736). Died 29 Dec. 1752.
Coward (William), M.D., b. Winchester, 1656. Graduated at Wadham
College, Oxford, 1677. Settled first at Northampton, afterwards
at London. Published, besides some medical works, Second Thoughts
Concerning Human Soul, which excited much indignation by denying
natural immortality. The House of Commons (17 March, 1704) ordered
his work to be burnt. He died in 1725.
Cox (the Right Rev. Sir George William), b. 1827, was educated at
Rugby and Oxford, where he took B.C.L. in 1849. Entered the Church,
but has devoted himself to history and mythology. His most pretentious
work is Mythology of the Aryan Nations (1870). He has also written
an Introduction to Comparative Mythology and several historical
works. In 1886 he became Bishop of Bloemfontein. He is credited with
the authorship of the English Life of Jesus, published under the name
of Thomas Scott. At the Church Congress of 1888 he read an heretical
paper on Biblical Eschatology. His last production is a Life of Bishop
Colenso, 2 vols, 1888.
Coyteux (Fernand), French writer, b. Ruffec, 1800. Author of a
materialistic system of philosophy, Brussels, 1853 Studies on
physiology, Paris, 1875, etc.
Craig (Edward Thomas), social reformer, b. at Manchester 4
Aug. 1804. He was present at the Peterloo massacre '19; helped to form
the Salford Social Institute and became a pioneer of co-operation. In
'31 he became editor of the Lancashire Co-operator. In Nov. of the same
year he undertook the management of a co-operative farm at Rahaline,
co. Clare. Of this experiment he has written an history, '72. Mr. Craig
has edited several journals and contributed largely to Radical and
co-operative literature. He has published a memoir of Dr. Travis and
at the age of 84 he wrote on The Science of Prolonging Life.
Cramer (Johan Nicolai), Swedish writer, b. Wisby, Gottland, 18
Feb. 1812. He studied at Upsala and became Doctor of Philosophy
'36; ordained priest in '42; he resigned in '58. In religion he
denies revelation and insists on the separation of Church and
State. Among his works we mention Separation from the Church, a
Freethinker's annotations on the reading of the Bible, Stockholm,
1859. A Confession of Faith; Forward or Back? (1862). He has also
written on the Punishment of Death (1868), and other topics.
Cranbrook (Rev. James.) Born of strict Calvinistic parents about
1817. Mr. Cranbrook gradually emancipated himself from dogmas, became
a teacher, and for sixteen years was minister of an Independent Church
at Liscard, Cheshire. He also was professor at the Ladies' College,
Liverpool, some of his lectures there being published '57. In Jan. '65,
he went to Albany Church, Edinburgh, but his views being too broad
for that congregation, he left in Feb. '67 but continued to give
Sunday lectures until his death, 6 June, 1869. In '66 he published
Credibilia: an Inquiry into the grounds of Christian faith and two
years later The Founders of Christianity, discourses on the origin of
Christianity. Other lectures on Human Depravity, Positive Religion,
etc., were published by Thomas Scott.
Cranch (Christopher Pearse), American painter and poet, b. Alexandria,
Virginia, 8 March, 1813, graduated at divinity school, Cambridge,
Mass. '35, but left the ministry in '42. He shows his Freethought
sentiments in Satan, a Libretto, Boston, '74, and other works.
Craven (M. B.), American, author of a critical work on the Bible
entitled Triumph of Criticism, published at Philadelphia, 1869.
Cremonini (Cesare), Italian philosopher, b. Cento, Ferrara, 1550, was
professor of philosophy at Padua from 1591 to 1631, when he died. A
follower of Aristotle, he excited suspicion by his want of religion and
his teaching the mortality of the soul. He was frequently ordered by
the Jesuits and the Inquisition to refute the errors he gave currency
to, but he was protected by the Venetian State, and refused. Like most
of the philosophers of his time, he distinguished between religious
and philosophic truth. Bayle says. "Il a passé pour un esprit fort,
qui ne croyait point l'immortalité de l'âme." Larousse says, "On peut
dire qu'il n'était pas chrétien." Ladvocat says his works "contain
many things contrary to religion."
Cross (Mary Ann). See Eliot (George).
Crousse (Louis D.), French Pantheistic philosopher, author of
Principles, or First Philosophy, 1839, and Thoughts, 1845.
Curtis (S. E.), English Freethinker, author of Theology Displayed,
1842. He has been credited with The Protestant's Progress to
Infidelity. See Griffith (Rees). Died 1847.
Croly (David Goodman), American Positivist, b. New York, 3
Nov. 1829. He graduated at New York University in '54, and was
subsequently a reporter on the New York Herald. He became editor of
the New York World until '72. From '71 to '73 he edited The Modern
Thinker, an organ of the most advanced thought, and afterwards the
New York Graphic. Mr. Croly has written a Primer of Positivism, '76,
and has contributed many articles to periodicals. His wife, Jane
Cunningham, who calls herself "Jennie June," b. 1831, also wrote in
The Modern Thinker.
Cross (Mary Ann), see Eliot (George).
Crozier (John Beattie), English writer of Scottish border parentage,
b. Galt, Ontario, Canada, 23 April, 1849. In youth he won a scholarship
to the grammar school of the town, and thence won another scholarship
to the Toronto University, where he graduated '72, taking the
University and Starr medals. He then came to London determined to study
the great problems of religion and civilisation. He took his diploma
from the London College of Physicians in '73. In '77 he wrote his first
essay, "God or Force," which, being rejected by all the magazines, he
published as a pamphlet. Other essays on the Constitution of the World,
Carlyle, Emerson, and Spencer being also rejected, he published them in
a book entitled The Religion of the Future, '80, which fell flat. He
then started his work Civilisation and Progress, which appeared in
'85, and was also unsuccessful until republished with a few notices
in '87, when it received a chorus of applause, for its clear and
original thoughts. Mr. Crozier is now engaged on his Autobiography,
after which he proposes to deal with the Social question.
Cuffeler (Abraham Johann), a Dutch philosopher and doctor of law,
who was one of the first partizans of Spinoza. He lived at Utrecht
towards the end of the seventeenth century, and wrote a work on
logic in three parts entitled Specimen Artis Ratiocinandi, etc.,
published ostensibly at Hamburg, but really at Amsterdam or Utrecht,
1684. It was without name but with the author's portrait.
Cuper (Frans), Dutch writer, b. Rotterdam. Cuper is suspected to have
been one of those followers of Spinoza, who under pretence of refuting
him, set forth and sustained his arguments by feeble opposition. His
work entitled Arcana Atheismi Revelata, Rotterdam 1676, was denounced
as written in bad faith. Cuper maintained that the existence of God
could not be proved by the light of reason.
Cyrano de Bergerac (Savinien), French comic writer, b. Paris 6 March,
1619. After finishing his studies and serving in the army in his youth
he devoted himself to literature. His tragedy "Agrippine" is full of
what a bookseller called "belles impiétés," and La Monnoye relates that
at its performance the pit shouted "Oh, the wretch! The Atheist! How
he mocks at holy things!" Cyrano knew personally Campanella, Gassendi,
Lamothe Le Vayer, Linière, Rohault, etc. His other works consist of
a short fragment on Physic, a collection of Letters, and a Comic
History of the States and Empires of the Moon and the Sun. Cyrano
took the idea of this book from F. Godwin's Man in the Moon, 1583,
and it in turn gave rise to Swift's Gulliver's Travels and Voltaire's
Micromegas. Died Paris, 1655.
Czolbe (Heinrich), German Materialist, b. near Dantzic, 30 Dec. 1819,
studied medicine at Berlin, writing an inaugural dissertation on
the Principles of Physiology, '44. In '55 he published his New
Exposition of Sensationalism, in which everything is resolved into
matter and motion, and in '65 a work on The Limits and Origin of Human
Knowledge. He was an intimate friend of Ueberweg. Died at Königsberg,
19 Feb. 1873. Lange says "his life was marked by a deep and genuine
D'Ablaing. See Giessenburg.
Dale (Antonius van), Dutch writer, b. Haarlem, 8 Nov. 1638. His work
on oracles was erudite but lumbersome, and to it Fontenelle gave the
charm of style. It was translated into English by Mrs. Aphra Behn,
under the title of The History of Oracles and the Cheats of Pagan
Priests, 1699. Van Dale, in another work on The Origin and Progress
of Idolatry and Superstition, applied the historical method to his
subject, and showed that the belief in demons was as old and as
extensive as the human race. He died at Haarlem, 28 Nov. 1708.
Damilaville (Etienne Noël), French writer, b. at Bordeaux, 1721. At
first a soldier, then a clerk, he did some service for Voltaire, who
became his friend. He also made the friendship Diderot, d'Alembert,
Grimm, and d'Holbach. He contributed to the Encyclopédie, and in
1767 published an attack on the theologians, entitled Theological
Honesty. The book entitled Christianity Unveiled [see Boulanger and
Holbach] was attributed by Voltaire, who called it Impiety Unveiled,
and by La Harpe and Lalande to Damilaville. Voltaire called him
"one of our most learned writers." Larousse says "he was an ardent
enemy of Christianity." He has also been credited with a share in
the System of Nature. Died 15 Dec. 1768.
Dandolo (Vincenzo) Count, Italian chemist, b. Venice, 26 Oct. 1758,
wrote Principles of Physical Chemistry, a work in French on The New
Men, in which he shows his antagonism to religion, and many useful
works on vine, timber, and silk culture. Died Varessa, 13 Dec. 1819.
Danton (Georges Jacques), French revolutionist, b. Arcis sur Aube, 28
Oct. 1759. An uncle wished him to enter into orders, but he preferred
to study law. During the Revolution his eloquence made him conspicuous
at the Club of Cordeliers, and in Feb. 1791, he became one of the
administrators of Paris. One of the first to see that after the flight
of Louis XVI. he could no longer be king, he demanded his suspension,
and became one of the chief organisers of the Republic. In the alarm
caused by the invasion he urged a bold and resolute policy. He was a
member of the Convention and of the Committee of Public Safety. At the
crisis of the struggle with Robespierre, Danton declined to strike
the first blow and disdained to fly. Arrested March, 1794, he said
when interrogated by the judge, "My name is Danton, my dwelling will
soon be in annihilation; but my name will live in the Pantheon of
history." He maintained his lofty bearing on the scaffold, where he
perished 5 April, 1794. For his known scepticism Danton was called
fils de Diderot. Carlyle calls him "a very Man."
Dapper (Olfert), Dutch physician, who occupied himself with history and
geography, on which he produced important works. He had no religion
and was suspected of Atheism. He travelled through Syria, Babylonia,
etc., in 1650. He translated Herodotus (1664) and the orations of
the late Prof. Caspar v. Baerli (1663), and wrote a History of the
City of Amsterdam, 1663. Died at Amsterdam 1690.
Darget (Etienne), b. Paris, 1712; went to Berlin in 1744 and became
reader and private secretary to Frederick the Great (1745-52), who
corresponded with him afterwards. Died 1778.
Darwin (Charles Robert), English naturalist, b. Shrewsbury,
12 Feb. 1809. Educated at Shrewsbury, Edinburgh University, and
Cambridge. He early evinced a taste for collecting and observing
natural objects. He was intended for a clergyman, but, incited by
Humboldt's Personal Narrative, resolved to travel. He accompanied
Captain Fitzroy in the "Beagle" on a voyage of exploration, '31-36,
which he narrated in his Voyage of a Naturalist Round the World, which
obtained great popularity. In '39 he married, and in '42 left London
and settled at Down, Kent. His studies, combined with the reading of
Lamarck and Malthus, led to his great work on The Origin of Species
by means of Natural Selection, '59, which made a great outcry and
marked an epoch. Darwin took no part in the controversy raised by the
theologians, but followed his work with The Fertilisation of Orchids,
'62; Cross and Self Fertilisation of Plants, '67; Variations of
Plants and Animals under Domestication, '65; and in '71 The Descent
of Man and Selection in relation to Sex, which caused yet greater
consternation in orthodox circles. The following year he issued The
Expression of the Emotions of Men and Animals. He also published
works on the Movements of Plants, Insectivorous Plants, the Forms of
Flowers, and Earthworms. He died 19 April, 1882, and was buried in
Westminster Abbey, despite his expressed unbelief in revelation. To
a German student he wrote, in '79, "Science has nothing to do with
Christ, except in so far as the habit of scientific research makes
a man cautious in admitting evidence. For myself I do not believe
that there ever has been any revelation." In his Life and Letters
he relates that between 1836 and 1842 he had come to see "that the
Old Testament was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the
Hindoos." He rejected design and said "I for one must be content to
remain an Agnostic."
Darwin (Erasmus), Dr., poet, physiologist and philosopher, grandfather
of the above, was born at Elston, near Newark, 12 Dec. 1731. Educated
at Chesterfield and Cambridge he became a physician, first at Lichfield
and afterwards at Derby. He was acquainted with Rousseau, Watt and
Wedgwood. His principal poem, The Botanic Garden was published in 1791,
and The Temple of Nature in 1803. His principal work is Zoomania,
or the laws of organic life (1794), for which he was accused of
Atheism. He was actually a Deist. He also wrote on female education
and some papers in the Philosophical Transactions. Died at Derby,
18 April, 1802.
Daubermesnil (François Antoine), French conventionalist. Elected
deputy of Tarn in 1792. Afterwards became a member of the Council of
Five Hundred. He was one of the founders of Theophilanthropy. Died
at Perpignan 1802.
Daudet (Alphonse), French novelist, b. at Nîmes, 13 May 1840, author
of many popular romances, of which we mention L'Evangeliste, '82,
which has been translated into English under the title Port Salvation.
Daunou (Pierre Claude François), French politician and historian,
b. Boulogne, 18 Aug. 1761. His father entered him in the congregation
of the Fathers of the Oratory, which he left at the Revolution. The
department of Calais elected him with Carnot and Thomas Paine to
the Convention. After the Revolution he became librarian at the
Pantheon. He was a friend of Garat, Cabanis, Chenier, Destutt Tracy,
Ginguené and Benj. Constant. Wrote Historical Essay on the Temporal
Power of the Popes, 1810. Died at Paris, 20 June, 1840, noted for
Davenport (Allen), social reformer, b. 1773. He contributed to
Carlile's Republican; wrote an account of the Life, Writings and
Principles of Thomas Spence, the reformer (1826); and published a
volume of verse, entitled The Muses' Wreath (1827). Died at Highbury,
Davenport (John), Deist, b. London, 8 June, 1789, became a teacher. He
wrote An Apology for Mohammed and the Koran, 1869; Curiositates
Eroticoe Physiologæ, or Tabooed Subjects Freely Treated, and several
educational works. Died in poverty 11 May, 1877.
David of Dinant, in Belgium, Pantheistic philosopher of the twelfth
century. He is said to have visited the Papal Court of Innocent
III. He shared in the heresies of Amalric of Chârtres, and his work
Quaterini was condemned and burnt (1209). He only escaped the stake
by rapid flight. According to Albert the Great he was the author of
a philosophical work De Tomis, "Of Subdivisions," in which he taught
that all things were one. His system was similar to that of Spinoza.
David (Jacques Louis), French painter, born at Paris, 31 Aug. 1748,
was made painter to the king, but joined the Jacobin Club, became
a member of the Convention, voted for the king's death and for the
civic festivals, for which he made designs. On the restoration he
was banished. Died at Brussels, 29 Dec. 1825. David was an honest
enthusiast and a thorough Freethinker.
Davidis or David (Ferencz), a Transylvanian divine, b. about
1510. He was successively a Roman Catholic, a Lutheran and an
Antitrinitarian. He went further than F. Socinus and declared there
was "as much foundation for praying to the Virgin Mary and other
dead saints as to Jesus Christ." He was in consequence accused of
Judaising and thrown into prison at Deva, where he died 6 June, 1579.
Davies (John C.), of Stockport, an English Jacobin, who in 1797
published a list of contradictions of the Bible under the title of The
Scripturian's Creed, for which he was prosecuted and imprisoned. The
work was republished by Carlile, 1822, and also at Manchester, 1839.
Davidson (Thomas), bookseller and publisher, was prosecuted by the Vice
Society in Oct. 1820, for selling the Republican and a publication
of his own, called the Deist's Magazine. For observations made in
his defence he was summoned and fined £100, and he was sentenced to
two years' imprisonment in Oakham Gaol. He died 16 Dec. 1826.
Debierre (Charles), French writer, author of Man Before History, 1888.
De Dominicis. See Dominicis.
De Felice (Francesco), Italian writer, b. Catania, Sicily, 1821,
took part in the revolution of '43, and when Garibaldi landed in
Sicily was appointed president of the provisional council of war. Has
written on the reformation of elementary schools.
De Greef (Guillaume Joseph), advocate at Brussels Court of Appeal,
b. at Brussels, 9 Oct. 1842. Author of an important Introduction to
Sociology, 1886. Wrote in La Liberté, 1867-73, and now writes in La
De Gubernatis (Angelo), Italian Orientalist and writer, b. Turin,
7 April, 1840; studied at Turin University and became doctor of
philosophy. He studied Sanskrit under Bopp and Weber at Berlin. Sig. de
Gubernatis has adorned Italian literature with many important
works, of which we mention his volumes on Zoological Mythology,
which has been translated into English, '72: and on the Mythology of
Plants. He has compiled and in large part written a Universal History
of Literature, 18 vols. '82-85; edited La Revista Europea and the
Revue Internationale, and contributed to many publications. He is a
brilliant writer and a versatile scholar.
De Harven (Emile Jean Alexandre), b. Antwerp, 23 Sept. 1837, the
anonymous author of a work on The Soul: its Origin and Destiny
Dekker (Eduard Douwes), the greatest Dutch writer and Freethinker of
this century, b. Amsterdam, 2 March, 1820. In '39 he accompanied his
father, a ship's captain, to the Malayan Archipelago. He became officer
under the Dutch government in Sumatra, Amboina, and Assistant-Resident
at Lebac, Java. He desired to free the Javanese from the oppression of
their princes, but the government would not help him and he resigned
and returned to Holland, '56. The next four years he spent, in poverty,
vainly seeking justice for the Javanese. In '60 he published under the
pen name of "Multatuli" Max Havelaar, a masterly indictment of the
Dutch rule in India, which has been translated into German, French
and English. Then follow his choice Minnebrieven (Love Letters),
'61; Vorstenschool (A School for Princes), and Millioenen Studiën
(Studies on Millions). His Ideën, 7 vols. '62-79, are full of the
boldest heresy. In most of his works religion is attacked, but in the
Ideas faith is criticised with much more pungency and satire. He wrote
"Faith is the voluntary prison-cell of reason." He was an honorary
member of the Freethought Society, De Dageraad, and contributed to its
organ. During the latter years of his life he lived at Wiesbaden, where
he died 19 Feb. 1887. His corpse was burned in the crematory at Gotha.
De Lalande (see Lalande).
Delambre (Jean Baptiste Joseph), French astronomer, b. Amiens,
19 Sept. 1749, studied under Lalande and became, like his master,
an Atheist. His Tables of the Orbit of Uranus were crowned by the
Academy, 1790. In 1807 he succeeded Lalande as Professor of Astronomy
at the Collége de France. He is the author of a History of Astronomy
in five volumes, and of a number of astronomical tables and other
scientific works He was appointed perpetual secretary of the Academy of
Sciences. Died 19 Aug. 1822, and was buried at Père la Chaise. Cuvier
pronouncing a discourse over his grave.
De la Ramee. See Ramée.
Delboeuf (Joseph Remi Léopold), Belgian writer, b. Liège, 30
Sept. 1831; is Professor at the University of Liège, and has
written Psychology as a Natural Science, its Present and its Future;
Application of the Experimental Method to the Phenomena of the Soul,
'73, and other works. In his Philosophical Prolegomena to Geometry
he suggests that even mathematical axioms may have an empirical origin.
Delbos (Léon), linguist, b. 20 Sept. 1849 of Spanish father and Scotch
mother. Educated in Paris, Lycée Charlemagne. Is an M.A. of Paris and
officier d'Académie. Speaks many languages, and is a good Arabic and
Sanskrit scholar. Has travelled widely and served in the Franco-German
War. Besides many educational works, M. Delbos has written L'Athée,
the Atheist, a Freethought romance '79, and in English The Faith in
Jesus not a New Faith, '85. He has contributed to the Agnostic Annual,
and is a decided Agnostic.
Delepierre (Joseph Octave), Belgian bibliophile, b. Bruges, 12 March,
1802. Was for thirty-five years secretary of Legation to England. His
daughter married N. Truebner, who published his work L'Enfer, 1876,
and many other bibliographical studies. Died London, 18 Aug. 1879.
Delescluze (Louis Charles), French journalist and revolutionary,
b. Dreux, 2 Oct. 1809, was arrested in '34 for sedition. Implicated in
a plot in '35, he took refuge in Belgium. In '48 he issued at Paris La
Revolution Démocratique et Sociale, but was soon again in prison. He
was banished, came to England with Ledru Rollin, but returning to
France in '53 was arrested. In '68 he published the Réveil, for
which he was again fined and sentenced to prison for ten years. In
'59 he was amnestied and imprisoned. He became head of the Commune
Committee of Public Safety, and died at the barricade, 25 May, 1871.
Deleyre (Alexandre), French writer, b. Porbats, near Bordeaux, 6
Jan. 1726. Early in life he entered the order of Jesuits, but changed
his faith and became the friend of Rousseau and Diderot. He contributed
to the Encyclopédie, notably the article "Fanatisme," and published
an analysis of Bacon and works on the genius of Montesquieu and Saint
Evremond, and a History of Voyages. He embraced the Revolution with
ardor, was made deputy to the Convention, and in 1795 was made member
of the Institute. Died at Paris, 27 March, 1797.
Delisle de Sales. See Isoard Delisle (J. B. C.)
Dell (John Henry), artist and poet, b. 11 Aug. 1832. Contributed
to Progress, wrote Nature Pictures, '71, and The Dawning Grey, '85,
a volume of vigorous verse, imbued with the spirit of democracy and
freethought. Died 31 Jan. 1888.
Deluc (Adolphe), Professor of Chemistry at Brussels, b. Paris,
1 Sept. 1811. Collaborated on La Libre Recherche.
De Maillet. See Maillet (Benoît de).
Democritus, a wealthy Atheistic philosopher, b. Abdera, Thrace,
B.C. 460. He travelled to Egypt and over a great part of Asia,
and is also said to have visited India. He is supposed to have
been acquainted with Leucippus, and sixty works were ascribed to
him. Died B.C. 357. He taught that all existence consisted of atoms,
and made the discovery of causes the object of scientific inquiry. He
is said to have laughed at life in general, which Montaigne says
is better than to imitate Heraclitus and weep, since mankind are
not so unhappy as vain. Democritus was the forerunner of Epicurus,
who improved his system.
Demonax, a cynical philosopher who lived in the second century of
the Christian era and rejected all religion. An account of him was
written by Lucian.
Demora (Gianbattista), director of the Libero Pensatore of Milan,
and author of some dramatic works.
Denis (Hector), Belgian advocate and professor of political economy
and philosophy at Brussels University, b. Braine-le-Comte, 29 April,
1842. Has written largely on social questions and contributed to La
Liberté, la Philosophie Positive, etc. Is one of the Council of the
International Federation of Freethinkers.
Denslow (Van Buren), American writer, author of essays on Modern
Thinkers, 1880, to which Colonel Ingersoll wrote an introduction. He
contributed a paper on the value of irreligion to the Religio
Philosophic journal of America, Jan. '78, and has written in the
Truthseeker and other journals.
Denton (William F.), poet, geologist, and lecturer, b. Darlington,
Durham, 8 Jan. 1823. After attaining manhood he emigrated to the
United States, '48, and in '56 published Poems for Reformers. He was
a prolific writer, and constant lecturer on temperance, psychology,
geology, and Freethought. In '72 he published Radical Discourses
on Religious Subjects (Boston, '72), and Radical Rhymes, '79. He
travelled to Australasia, and died of a fever while conducting
scientific explorations in New Guinea 26 Aug. 1883.
De Paepe (César) Dr., Belgian Socialist, b. Ostend, 12 July, 1842. He
was sent to the college of St. Michel, Brussels. He obtained the
Diploma of Candidate of Philosophy, but on the death of his father
became a printer with Désiré Brismée (founder of Les Solidaires,
a Rationalist society). Proudhon confided to him the correction of
his works. He became a physician and is popular with the workmen's
societies. He was one of the foremost members of the International and
attended all its congresses, as well as those of the International
Federation of Freethinkers. He has written much on public hygiene,
political economy, and psychology, collaborating in a great number of
the most advanced journals. Dr. De Paepe is a short, fair, energetic
man, capable both as a speaker and writer.
Depasse (Hector), French writer, b. at Armentières in 1843, is
editor of La République Française, and member of the Paris Municipal
Council. He has written a striking work on Clericalism, in which he
urges the separation of Church and State, 1877; and is author of many
little books on Contemporary Celebrities, among them are Gambetta,
Bert, Ranc, etc.
De Ponnat. See Ponnat (--de), Baron.
De Pontan. See Ponnat.
De Potter (Agathon Louis), Belgian economist, b. Brussels, 11
Nov. 1827. Has written many works on Social Science, and has
collaborated to La Ragione (Reason), '56, and La Philosophie de
De Potter (Louis Antoine Joseph), Belgian politician and writer,
father of the above, b. of noble family, Bruges, 26 April, 1786. In
1811 he went to Italy and lived ten years at Rome. In '21 he wrote the
Spirit of the Church, in 6 vols., which are put on the Roman Index. A
strong upholder of secular education in Belgium, he was arrested
more than once for his radicalism, being imprisoned for eighteen
months in '28. In Sept. '30 he became a member of the provisional
government. He was afterwards exiled and lived in Paris, where he wrote
a philosophical and anti-clerical History of Christianity, in 8 vols.,
1836-37. He also wrote a Rational Catechism, 1854, and a Rational
Dictionary, 1859, and numerous brochures. Died Bruges, 22 July, 1859.
Deraismes (Maria), French writer and lecturer, b. Paris, 15
Aug. 1835. She first made her name as a writer of comedies. She wrote
an appeal on behalf of her sex, Aux Femmes Riches, '65. The Masonic
Lodge of Le Pecq, near Paris, invited her to become a member, and she
was duly installed under the Grand Orient of France. The first female
Freemason, was president of the Paris Anti-clerical Congress of 1881,
and has written much in her journal, Le Républicain de Seine et Oise.
De Roberty (Eugene). See Roberty.
Desbarreaux (Jacques Vallée), Seigneur, French poet and sceptic,
b. Paris, 1602, great-nephew of Geoffrey Vallée, who was burnt in
1574. Many stories are related of his impiety, e.g. the well-known
one of his having a feast of eggs and bacon. It thundered, and Des
Barreaux, throwing the plate out of window, exclaimed, "What an amount
of noise over an omelette." It was said he recanted and wrote a poem
beginning, "Great God, how just are thy chastisements." Voltaire,
however, assigns this poem to the Abbé Levau. Died at Chalons,
9 May, 1673.
Descartes (René), French philosopher, b. at La Haye, 31 March,
1596. After leaving college he entered the army in '16, and fought
in the battle of Prague. He travelled in France and Italy, and in
'29 settled in Holland. In '37 he produced his famous Discourses upon
the Method of Reasoning Well, etc., and in '41 his Meditations upon
First Philosophy. This work gave such offence to the clergy that he
was forced to fly his country "parce qu'il y fait trop chaud pour
lui." He burnt his Traite du Monde (Treatise on the World) lest
he should incur the fate of Gallilei. Though a Theist, like Bacon,
he puts aside final causes. He was offered an asylum by Christina,
Queen of Sweden, and died at Stockholm 11 Feb. 1650.
Deschamps (Léger-Marie), known also as Dom Deschamps, a French
philosopher, b. Rennes, Poitiers, 10 Jan. 1716. He entered the Order
of Benedictines, but lost his faith by reading an abridgment of
the Old Testament. He became correspondent of Voltaire, Rousseau,
d'Alembert, Helvetius, and other philosophers. "Ce prêtre athée,"
as Ad. Franck calls him, was the author of a treatise entitled La
Vérité, ou le Vrai Système, in which he appears to have anticipated
all the leading ideas of Hegel. God, he says, as separated from
existing things, is pure nothingness. An analysis of his remarkable
work, which remained in manuscript for three-quarters of a century,
has been published by Professor Beaussire (Paris, 1855). Died at
Montreuil-Bellay, 19 April 1774.
Deslandes (André François Boureau), b. Pondichery, 1690. Became member
of the Berlin Academy and wrote numerous works, mostly under the veil
of anonymity, the principal being A Critical History of Philosophy,
3 vols(1737). His Pygmalion, a philosophical romance, was condemned by
the parliament of Dijon, 1742. His Reflexions sur les grands hommes
qui sont mort en Plaisantant (Amsterdam, 1732) was translated into
English and published in 1745 under the title, Dying Merrily. Another
work directed against religion was On the certainty of Human Knowledge,
a philosophical examination of the different prerogatives of reason
and faith (London, 1741). Died Paris, 11 April, 1757.
Des Maizeaux (Pierre), miscellaneous writer, b. Auvergne, 1673. He
studied at Berne and Geneva, and became known to Bayle who introduced
him to Lord Shaftesbury, with whom he came to London, 1699. He edited
the works of Bayle, Saint Evremond and Toland, whose lives he wrote,
as well as those of Hales and Chillingworth. Anthony Collins was his
friend, and at his death left him his manuscripts. These he transferred
to Collins's widow and they were burnt. He repented and returned the
money, 6 Jan. 1730, as the wages of iniquity. He became Secretary of
the Royal Society of London, where he died, 11 July, 1745.
Desmoulins (Lucié Simplice Camille Benôit), French revolutionary
writer, b. Guise, 2 March, 1760. He was a fellow-student of Robespierre
at Paris, and became an advocate and an enthusiastic reformer. In
July '89 he incited the people to the siege of the Bastille,
and thus began the Revolution. On 29 Dec. 1790 he married Lucile
Laridon-Duplessis. He edited Le Vieux Cordelier and the Révolutions
de France et de Brabant, in which he stated that Mohammedanism was
as credible as Christianity. He was a Deist, preferring Paganism to
Christianity. Both creeds were more or less unreasonable; but, folly
for folly, he said, I prefer Hercules slaying the Erymanthean boar
to Jesus of Nazareth drowning two thousand pigs. He was executed
with Danton, 5 April 1794. His amiable wife, Lucile, who was an
Atheist (b. 1770), in a few days shared his fate (April 13). Carlyle
calls Desmoulins a man of genius, "a fellow of infinite shrewdness,
Des Periers (Jean Bonaventure), French poet and sceptic,
b. Arnay le Duc, about 1510. He was brought up in a convent,
only to detest the vices of the monks. In 1535 he lived in Lyons
and assisted Dolet. He probably knew Rabelais, whom he mentions as
"Francoys Insigne." Attached to the court of Marguerite of Valois,
he defended Clement Marot when persecuted for making a French version
of the Psalms. He wrote the Cymbalum Mundi, a satire upon religion,
published under the name of Thomas de Clenier à Pierre Tryocan,
i.e., Thomas Incrédule à Pierre Croyant, 1537. It was suppressed
and the printer, Jehan Morin, imprisoned. Des Periers fled and
died (probably by suicide, to escape persecution) 1544. An English
version of Cymbalum Mundi was published in 1712. P. G. Brunet, the
bibliographer, conjectures that Des Periers was the author of the
famous Atheistic treatise, The Three Impostors.
Destriveaux (Pierre Joseph), Belgian lawyer and politician, b. Liége,
13 March, 1780. Author of several works on public right. Died
Schaerbeck (Brussels), 3 Feb. 1853.
Destutt de Tracy (Antoine Louis de Claude) Count, French materialist
philosopher, b. 20 July, 1754. His family was of Scotch origin. At
first a soldier, he was one of the first noblemen at the Revolution
to despoil himself of his title. A friend of Lafayette, Condorcet,
and Cabanis, he was a complete sceptic in religion; made an analysis
of Dupuis' Origine de tous les Cultes (1804), edited Montesquieu and
Cabanis, was made a member of the French Academy (1808), and wrote
several philosophical works, of which the principal is Elements of
Ideology. He was a great admirer of Hobbes. Died Paris, 9 March, 1836.
Des Vignes (Pietro), secretary to Frederick II. (1245-49). Mazzuchelli
attributes to him the treatise De Tribus Impostoribus.
Detrosier (Rowland), social reformer and lecturer, b. 1796, the
illegitimate son of a Manchester man named Morris and a Frenchwoman. In
his early years he was "for whole days without food." Self-educated,
he established the first Mechanics' Institute in England at Hulme,
gave Sunday scientific lectures, and published several discourses
in favor of secular education. He became secretary of the National
Political Union. He was a Deist. Like Bentham, who became his friend,
he bequeathed his body for scientific purposes. Died in London,
23 Nov. 1834.
Deubler (Konrad). The son of poor parents, b. Goisern, near Ischl,
Upper Austria, 26 Nov. 1814. Self-taught amid difficulties,
he became the friend of Feuerbach and Strauss, and was known as
"the Peasant Philosopher." In 1854 he was indicted for blasphemy,
and was sentenced to two years' hard labor and imprisonment during
pleasure. He was incarcerated from 7 Dec. '54, till Nov. '56 at Brünn,
and afterwards at Olmutz, where he was released 24 March, 1857. He
returned to his native place, and was visited by Feuerbach. In '70
he was made Burgomaster by his fellow-townsmen. Died 30 March, 1884.
Deurhoff (Willem), Dutch writer, b. Amsterdam, March 1650. Educated
for the Church, he gave himself to philosophy, translated the works of
Descartes, and was accused of being a follower of Spinoza. Forced to
leave his country, he took refuge in Brabant, but returned to Holland,
where he died 10 Oct. 1717. He left some followers.
De Wette. (See Wette M. L. de).
D'Holbach. See Holbach (P. H. D. von), Baron.
Diagoras, Greek poet, philosopher, and orator, known as "the Atheist,"
b. Melos. A pupil of Democritus, who is said to have freed him from
slavery. A doubtful tradition reports that he became an Atheist after
being the victim of an unpunished perjury. He was accused (B.C. 411)
of impiety, and had to fly from Athens to Corinth, where he died. A
price was put upon the Atheist's head. His works are not extant,
but several anecdotes are related of him, as that he threw a wooden
statue of Hercules into the fire to cook a dish of lentils, saying the
god had a thirteenth task to perform; and that, being on his flight
by sea overtaken by a storm, hearing his fellow-passengers say it
was because an Atheist was on board, he pointed to other vessels
struggling in the same storm without being laden with a Diagoras.
Di Cagno Politi (Niccola Annibale), Italian Positivist, b. Bari,
1857. Studied at Naples under Angiulli, has written on modern culture
and on experimental philosophy in Italy, and contributed articles on
Positivism to the Rivista Europea.
Diderot (Denis), French philosopher, b. Langres, 6 Oct. 1713. His
father, a cutler, intended him for the Church. Educated by Jesuits,
at the age of twelve he received the tonsure. He had a passion for
books, but, instead of becoming a Jesuit, went to Paris, where he
supported himself by teaching and translating. In 1746 he published
Philosophic Thoughts, which was condemned to be burnt. It did much
to advance freedom of opinion. Three years later his Letters on the
Blind occasioned his imprisonment at Vincennes for its materialistic
Atheism. Rousseau, who called him "a transcendent genius," visited
Diderot in prison, where he remained three years. Diderot projected the
famous Encyclopédie, which he edited with Alembert, and he contributed
some of the most important articles. With very inadequate recompense,
and amidst difficulties that would have appalled an ordinary editor,
Diderot superintended the undertaking for many years (1751-65). He also
contributed to other important works, such as Raynal's Philosophic
History, L'Esprit, by Helvetius, and The System of Nature and other
works of his friend D'Holbach. Diderot's fertile mind also produced
dramas, essays, sketches, and novels. Died 30 July, 1784. Comte calls
Diderot "the greatest thinker of the eighteenth century."
Diercks (Gustav), German author of able works on the History of the
Development of Human Spirit (Berlin, 1881-2) and on Arabian Culture
in Spain, 1887. Is a member of the German Freethinkers' Union.
Dilke (Ashton Wentworth), b. 1850. Educated at Cambridge, travelled
in Russia and Central Asia, and published a translation of Turgenev's
Virgin Soil. He purchased and edited the Weekly Dispatch; was returned
as M.P. for Newcastle in 1880, but, owing to ill health, resigned in
favor of John Morley, and died at Algiers 12 March, 1883.
Dinter (Gustav Friedrich), German educationalist, b. Borna, near
Leipsic, 29 Feb. 1760. His Bible for Schoolmasters is his best-known
work. It sought to give rational notes and explanations of the Jew
books, and excited much controversy. Died at Konigsberg, 29 May, 1831.
Dippel (Johann Konrad), German alchemist and physician, b. 10
Aug. 1672, at Frankenstein, near Darmstadt. His Papismus vapulans
Protestantium (1698) drew on him the wrath of the theologians of
Giessen, and he had to flee for his life. Attempting to find out the
philosopher's stone, he discovered Prussian blue. In 1705 he published
his satires against the Protestant Church, Hirt und eine Heerde,
under the name of Christianus Democritos. He denied the inspiration
of the Bible, and after an adventurous life in many countries died
25 April, 1734.
Dobrolyubov (Nikolai Aleksandrovich), Russian author, b. 1836, at
Nijni Novgorod, the son of a priest. Educated at St. Petersburg, he
became a radical journalist. His works were edited in four vols. by
Chernuishevsky. Died 17 Nov. 1861.
Dodel-Port (Prof. Arnold), Swiss scientist, b. Affeltrangen, Thurgau,
16 Oct. 1843. Educated at Kreuzlingen, he became in '63 teacher in
the Oberschule in Hauptweil; then studied from '64-'69 at Geneva,
Zürich, and Munich, becoming privat docent in the University of
Zürich, '70. In '75 he published The New History of Creation. In
'78 he issued his world-famous Botanical Atlas, and was in '80 made
Professor of Botany in the Zürich University and Director of the
Botanical Laboratory. He has also written Biological Fragments (1885),
the Life and Letters of Konrad Deubler, "the peasant philosopher"
(1886), and has just published Moses or Darwin? a School Question,
1889. Dr. Dodel-Port is an hon. member of the London Royal Society
and Vice-President of the German Freethinkers' Union.
Dodwell (Henry), eldest son of the theologian of that name, was
b. Shottesbrooke, Berkshire, about the beginning of the eighteenth
century. He was educated at Magdalen Hall, when he proceeded B.A.,
9 Feb. 1726. In '42 he published a pamphlet entitled Christianity
not Founded on Argument, which in a tone of grave irony contends that
Christianity can only be accepted by faith. He was brought up to the
law and was a zealous friend of the Society for the Promotion of Arts,
Manufactures, and Commerce. Died 1784.
Doebereiner (Johann Wolfgang), German chemist, b. Bavaria, 15
Dec. 1780. In 1810 he became Professor of Chemistry at Jena, where
he added much to science. Died 24 March, 1849. He was friend and
instructor to Goethe.
Dolet (Etienne), a learned French humanist, b. Orleans 3 Aug. 1509. He
studied in Paris, Padua and Venice. For his heresy he had to fly
from Toulouse and lived for some time at Lyons, where he established
a printing-press and published some of his works, for which he was
imprisoned. He was acquainted with Rabelais, Des Periers, and other
advanced men of the time. In 1543 the Parliament condemned his books
to be burnt, and in the next year he was arrested on a charge of
Atheism. After being kept two years in prison he was strangled and
burnt, 3 Aug. 1546. It is related that seeing the sorrow of the crowd,
he said: "Non dolet ipe Dolet, sed pia turba dolet."--Dolet grieves
not, but the generous crowd grieves. His goods being confiscated,
his widow and children were left to beggary. "The French language,"
says A. F. Didot, "owes him much for his treatises, translations,
and poesies." Dolet's biographer, M. Joseph Boulmier, calls him "le
Christ de la pensée libre." Philosophy has alone the right, says
Henri Martin, to claim Dolet on its side. His English biographer,
R. C. Christie, says he was "neither a Catholic nor a Protestant."
Dominicis (Saverio Fausto de), Italian Positivist philosopher,
b. Buonalbergo, 1846. Is Professor of Philosophy at Bari, and has
written on Education and Darwinism.
Dondorf (Dr. A.), See Anderson (Marie) in Supplement.
Doray de Longrais (Jean Paul), French man of letters. b. Manvieux,
1736. Author of a Freethought romance, Faustin, or the Philosophical
Age. Died at Paris, 1800.
Dorsch (Eduard), German American Freethinker, b. Warzburg 10
Jan. 1822. He studied at Munich and Vienna. In '49 he went to America
and settled in Monroe, Michigan, where he published a volume of poems,
some being translations from Swinburne. Died 10 Jan. 1887.
Dorsey (J. M.), author of the The True History of Moses, and others,
an attack on the Bible, published at Boston in 1855.
Draparnaud (Jacques Philippe Raymond), French doctor, b. 3 June, 1772,
at Montpelier, where he became Professor of Natural History. His
discourses on Life and Vital Functions, and on the Philosophy of
the Sciences and Christianity (1801), show his scepticism. Died 1
Draper (John William), scientist and historian, b. St. Helens,
near Liverpool, 5 May 1811. The son of a Wesleyan minister, he was
educated at London University. In '32 he emigrated to America,
where he was Professor of Chemistry and Natural History in New
York University. He was one of the inventors of photography and the
first who applied it to astronomy. He wrote many scientific works,
notably on Human Physiology. His history of the American Civil War
is an important work, but he is chiefly known by his History of the
Intellectual Development of Europe and History of the Conflict of
Religion and Science, which last has gone through many editions and
been translated into all the principal languages. Died 4 Jan. 1882.
Dreyfus (Ferdinand Camille), author of an able work on the Evolution
of Worlds and Societies, 1888.
Droysen (Johann Gustav), German historian, b. Treptoir, 6 July,
1808. Studied at Berlin; wrote in the Hallische Jahrbücher; was
Professor of History at Keil, 1840; Jena '51 and Berlin '59. Has edited
Frederick the Great's Correspondence, and written other important
works, some in conjunction with his friend Max Duncker. Died 15
Drummond (Sir William), of Logie Almond, antiquary and author,
b. about 1770; entered Parliament as member for St. Mawes, Cornwall,
1795. In the following year he became envoy to the court of Naples,
and in 1801 ambassador to Constantinople. His principal work is
Origines, or Remarks on the Origin of several Empires, States,
and Cities (4 vols. 1824-29). He also printed privately The OEdipus
Judaicus, 1811. It calls in question, with much boldness and learning,
many legends of the Old Testament, to which it gave an astronomical
signification. It was reprinted in '66. Sir William Drummond also
wrote anonymously Philosophical Sketches of the Principles of Society,
1795. Died at Rome, 29 March, 1828.
Duboc (Julius) German writer and doctor of philosophy b. Hamburg, 10
Oct. 1829. Educated at Frankfurt and Giessen, is a clever journalist,
and has translated the History of the English Press. Has written
an Atheistic work, Das Leben Ohne Gott (Life without God), with the
motto from Feuerbach "No religion is my religion, no philosophy my
philosophy," 1875. He has also written on the Psychology of Love,
and other important works.
Dubois (Pierre), a French sceptic, who in 1835 published The True
Catechism of Believers--a work ordered by the Court of Assizes to
be suppressed, and for which the author (Sept. '35) was condemned to
six months' imprisonment and a fine of one thousand francs. He also
wrote The Believer Undeceived, or Evident Proofs of the Falsity and
Absurdity of Christianity; a work put on the Index in '36.
Du Bois-Reymond (Emil), biologist, of Swiss father and French
mother, b. Berlin, 7 Nov. 1818. He studied at Berlin and Bonn for
the Church, but left it to follow science, '37. Has become famous as
a physiologist, especially by his Researches in Animal Electricity,
'48-60. With Helmholtz he has done much to establish the new era
of positive science, wrongly called by opponents Materialism. Du
Bois-Reymond holds that thought is a function of the brain and nervous
system, and that "soul" has arisen as the gradual results of natural
combinations, but in his Limits of the Knowledge of Nature, '72, he
contends that we must always come to an ultimate incomprehensible. Du
Bois-Reymond has written on Voltaire and Natural Science, '68; La
Mettrie, '75; Darwin versus Galiani, '78; and Frederick II. and
Rousseau, '79. Since '67 he has been perpetual secretary of the
Academy of Sciences, Berlin.
Dubuisson (Paul Ulrich), French dramatist and revolutionary, b. Lauat,
1746. A friend of Cloots he suffered with him on the scaffold, 24
Dubuisson (Paul), living French Positivist, author of Grand Types
Du Chatelet Lomont. See Chastelet.
Duclos (Charles Pinot), witty French writer, b. Dinan, 12 Feb. 1704. He
was admitted into the French Academy, 1747 and became its secretary,
1755. A friend of Diderot and d'Alembert. His Considerations sur les
Moeurs is still a readable work. Died 27 March, 1772.
Ducos (Jean François), French Girondist, b. Bordeaux in 1765. Elected
to the Legislative Assembly, he, on the 26th Oct. 1791, demanded
the complete separation of the State from religion. He shared the
fate of the Girondins, 31 Oct. 1793, crying with his last breath,
"Vive la Republique!"
Du Deffand (Marie), Marchioness, witty literary Frenchwoman,
b. 1697. Chamfort relates that when young and in a convent she preached
irreligion to her young comrades. The abbess called in Massillon, to
whom the little sceptic gave her reasons. He went away saying "She
is charming." Her house in Paris was for fifty years the resort of
eminent authors and statesmen. She corresponded for many years with
Horace Walpole, D'Alembert and Voltaire. Many anecdotes are told of
her; thus, to the Cardinal de Polignac, who spoke of the miracle of
St. Denis walking when beheaded, she said "Il n'y a que le premier
pas qui coûte." Died 24 Sept. 1780. To the curé of Saint Sulpice,
who came to her death-bed, she said "Ni questions, ni raisons, ni
sermons." Larousse calls her "Belle, instruite, spirituelle mais
sceptique et materialiste."
Dudgeon (William), a Berwickshire Deist, whose works were published
(privately printed at Edinburgh) in 1765.
Dudnevant (A. L. A. Dupin), Baroness. See Sand (Georges).
Duehring (Eugen Karl), German writer, b. Berlin, 12 Jan. 1833; studied
law. He has, though blind, written many works on science and political
economy, also a Critical History of Philosophy, '69-78, and Science
Revolutionized, '78. In Oct. 1879, his death was maliciously reported.
Dulaure (Jacques Antoine), French archæologist and historian,
b. Clermont-Ferrand, 3 Dec. 1755. In 1788-90 he published six volumes
of a description of France. He wrote many pamphlets, including one
on the private lives of ecclesiastics. Elected to the Convention in
1792, he voted for the death of the King. Proscribed as a Girondist,
Sept. 1793, he fled to Switzerland. He was one of the Council of Five
Hundred, 1796-98. Dulaure wrote a learned Treatise on Superstitions,
but he is best known by his History of Paris, and his Short History
of Different Worships, 1825, in which he deals with ancient fetishism
and phallic worship. Died Paris, 9 Aug. 1835.
Dulaurens (Henri Joseph). French satirist, b. Douay, 27 March, 1719. He
was brought up in a convent, and made a priest 12 Nov. 1727. Published
a satire against the Jesuits, 1761, he was compelled to fly to
Holland, where he lived in poverty. He edited L'Evangile de la Raison,
a collection of anti-Christian tracts by Voltaire and others, and
wrote L'Antipapisme révelé in 1767. He was in that year condemned
to perpetual imprisonment for heresy, and shut in the convent of
Mariabaum, where he died 1797. Dulaurens was caustic, cynical and
vivacious. He is also credited with the Portfolios of a Philosopher,
mostly taken from the Analysis of Bayle, Cologne, 1770.
Dulk (Albert Friedrich Benno), German poet and writer, b. Konigsberg,
17 June, 1819; he became a physician, but was expelled for aiding
in the Revolution of '48. He travelled in Italy and Egypt. In '65
he published Jesus der Christ, embodying rationalism in prose and
verse. He has also written Stimme der Menschheit, 2 vols., '76,
'80, and Der Irrgang des Lebens Jesu, '84, besides numerous plays
and pamphlets. Died 29 Oct. 1884.
Dumont (Léon), French writer, b. Valenciennes, 1837. Studied for
the bar, but took to philosophy and literature. He early embraced
Darwinism, and wrote on Hæckel and the Theory of Evolution, '73. He
wrote in La Revue Philosophique, and other journals. Died Valenciennes,
17 Jan. 1877.
Dumarsais (César Chesneau), French grammarian and philosopher,
b. Marseilles, 17 July, 1676. When young he entered the congregation
of the oratory. This society he soon quitted, and went to Paris,
where he married. A friend of Boindin and Alembert, he wrote against
the pretensions of Rome and contributed to the Encyclopédie. He is
credited with An Analysis of the Christian Religion and with the
celebrated Essai sur les Préjugés, par Mr. D. M., but the latter was
probably written by Holbach, with notes by Naigeon. Le Philosophe,
published in L'Evangile de la Raison by Dulaurens, was written by
Voltaire. Died 11 June, 1756. Dumarsais was very simple in character,
and was styled by D'Alembert the La Fontaine of philosophers.
Dumont (Pierre Etienne Louis), Swiss writer, b. Geneva, 18 July,
1759. Was brought up as a minister, but went to France and became
secretary to Mirabeau. After the Revolution he came to England, where
he became acquainted with Bentham, whose works he translated. Died
Milan, 29 Sept. 1829.
Duncker (Maximilian Wolfgang), German historian, b. Berlin, 15
Oct. 1811. His chief work, the History of Antiquity, 1852-57,
thoroughly abolishes the old distinction of sacred and profane
history, and freely criticises the Jewish records. A translation in
six volumes has been made by E. Abbot. Duncker took an active part
in the events of '48 and '50, and was appointed Director-General of
the State Archives. Died 24 July, 1886.
Dupont (Jacob Louis), a French mathematician and member of the
National Convention, known as the Abbé Dupont, who, 14 Dec. 1792,
declared himself an Atheist from the tribune of the Convention. Died
at Paris in 1813.
Dupont de Nemours (Pierre Samuel), French economist, b. Paris, 14
Dec. 1739. He became President of the Constituent Assembly, and was
a Theophilantrophist. Died Delaware, U.S.A., 6 Aug. 1817.
Dupuis (Charles François), French astronomer and philosopher,
b. Trie-le-Chateau, 16 Oct. 1742. He was educated for the Church, which
he left, and married in 1775. He studied under Lalande, and wrote on
the origin of the constellations, 1781. In 1788 he became a member of
the Academy of Inscriptions. At the Revolution he was chosen a member
of the Convention. During the Reign of Terror he saved many lives at
his own risk. He was afterwards one of the Council of Five Hundred, and
president of the legislative body. His chief work is on the Origin of
Religions, 7 vols., 1795, in which he traces solar worship in various
faiths, including Christianity. This has been described as "a monument
of the erudition of unbelief." Dupuis died near Dijon, 29 Sept. 1809.
Dutrieux (Pierre Joseph), Belgian physician, b. Tournai, 19 July,
1848. Went to Cairo and became a Bey. Died 1 Jan. 1889.
Dutton (Thomas), M.A., theatrical critic, b. London, 1767. Educated
by the Moravians. In 1795 he published a Vindication of the Age of
Reason by Thomas Paine. He translated Kotzebue's Pizarro in Peru,
1799, and edited the Dramatic Censor, 1800, and the Monthly Theatrical
Duvernet (Théophile Imarigeon), French writer, b. at Ambert
1730. He was brought up a Jesuit, became an Abbé, but mocked at
religion. Duvernet became tutor to Saint Simon. For a political
pamphlet he was imprisoned in the Bastille. While here he wrote a
curious and rare romance, Les Devotions de Mme. de Bethzamooth. He
wrote on Religious Intolerance, 1780, and a History of the Sorbonne,
1790, but is best known by his Life of Voltaire (1787). In 1793
he wrote a letter to the Convention, in which he declares that
he renounces the religion "born in a stable between an ox and an
ass." Died in 1796.
Dyas (Richard H.), captain in the army. Author of The Upas. He resided
long in Italy and translated several of the works of C. Voysey.
Eaton (Daniel Isaac), bookseller, b. about 1752, was educated at the
Jesuits' College, St. Omer. Being advised to study the Bible, he did
so, with the result of discarding it as a revelation. In 1792 he was
prosecuted for publishing Paine's Rights of Man, but the prosecution
fell through. He afterwards published Politics for the People, which
was also prosecuted, 1793, as was his Political Dictionary, 1796. To
escape punishment, he fled to America, and lived there for three years
and a half. Upon returning to England, his person and property were
seized. Books to the value of £2,800 were burnt, and he was imprisoned
for fifteen months. He translated from Helvetius and sold at his
"Rationcinatory or Magazine for Truths and Good Sense," 8 Cornhill,
in 1810, The True Sense and Meaning of the System of Nature. The Law
of Nature had been previously translated by him. In '11 he issued
the first and second parts of Paine's Age of Reason, and on 6 March,
'12, was tried before Lord Ellenborough on a charge of blasphemy
for issuing the third and last part. He was sentenced to eighteen
months' imprisonment and to stand in the pillory. The sentence evoked
Shelley's spirited Letter to Lord Ellenborough. Eaton translated and
published Freret's Preservative against Religious Prejudices, 1812,
and shortly before his death, at Deptford, 22 Aug. 1814, he was again
prosecuted for publishing George Houston's Ecce Homo.
Eberhard (Johann August), German Deist, b. Halberstadt, 31 Aug. 1739,
was brought up in the church, but persecuted for heresy in his New
Apology for Socrates, 1772, was patronised by Frederick the Great,
and appointed Professor of Philosophy at Halle, where he opposed
the idealism of Kant and Fichte. He wrote a History of Philosophy,
1788. Died Halle, 7 Jan. 1809.
Eberty (Gustav), German Freethinker, b. 2 July, 1806. Author of some
controversial works. Died Berlin, 10 Feb. 1887.
Echtermeyer (Ernst Theodor), German critic, b. Liebenwerda, 1805. He
studied at Halle and Berlin, and founded, with A. Ruge, the Hallische
Jahrbücher, which contained many Freethought articles, 1837-42. He
taught at Halle and Dresden, where he died, 6 May, 1844.
Edelmann (Johann Christian), German Deist, b. Weissenfels, Saxony,
9 July, 1698; studied theology in Jena, joined the Moravians,
but left them and every form of Christianity, becoming an adherent
of Spinozism. His principal works are his Unschuldige Wahrheiten,
1735 (Innocent Truths), in which he argues that no religion is of
importance, and Moses mit Aufgedecktem Angesicht (Moses Unmasked),
1740, an attack on the Old Testament, which, he believed, proceeded
from Ezra; Die Göttlichkeit der Vernunft (The Divinity of Reason),
1741, and Christ and Belial. His works excited much controversy, and
were publicly burnt at Frankfort, 9 May, 1750. Edelmann was chased
from Brunswick and Hamburg, but was protected by Frederick the Great,
and died at Berlin, 15 Feb. 1767. Mirabeau praised him, and Guizot
calls him a "fameux esprit fort."
Edison (Thomas Alva), American inventor, b. Milan, Ohio, 10
Feb. 1847. As a boy he sold fruit and papers at the trains. He read,
however, Gibbon, Hume and other important works before he was ten. He
afterwards set up a paper of his own, then became telegraph operator,
studied electricity, invented electric light, the electric pen,
the telephone, microphone, phonograph, etc. Edison is known to be an
Agnostic and to pay no attention to religion.
Eenens (Ferdinand), Belgian writer, b. Brussels, 7 Dec. 1811. Eenens
was an officer in the Belgian army, and wrote many political and
anti-clerical pamphlets. He also wrote La Vérité, a work on the
Christian faith, 1859; Le Paradis Terrestre, '60, an examination of
the legend of Eden, and Du Dieu Thaumaturge, '76. He used the pen
names "Le Père Nicaise," "Nicodème Polycarpe" and "Timon III." Died
at Brussels in 1883.
Effen (Justus van), Dutch writer, b. Utrecht, 11 Feb. 1684. Edited the
Misanthrope, Amsterdam, 1712-16; translated Robinson Crusoe, Swift's
Tale of a Tub, and Mandeville's Thoughts on Religion, 1722; published
the Dutch Spectator, 1731-35. Died at Bois-le-Duc, 18 Sept. 1735.
Eichhorn (Johann Gottfried), German Orientalist and rationalist, b. 16
Oct. 1752, became Professor of Oriental Literature and afterwards
Professor of Theology at Gottingen. He published Introductions to
the Old and New Testaments and A Commentary on the Apocalypse, in
which his criticism tends to uproot belief in the Bible as a divine
revelation. He lectured every day for fifty-two years. Died 25 June,
"Elborch (Conrad von)," the pseudonym of a living learned Dutch writer,
whose position does not permit him to reveal his true name. Born
14 Jan. 1865, he has contributed to De Dageraad (The Daybreak),
under various pen-names, as "Fra Diavolo," "Denis Bontemps," "J. Van
den Ende," etc. He has given, in '88, a translation of the rare and
famous Latin treatise, De Tribus Impostoribus (On Three Impostors)
[Jesus, Moses, and Muhammad], with an important bibliographic and
"Eliot (George)," the pen-name of Mary Ann Lewes (née Evans) one of
the greatest novelists of the century, b. at Arbury Farm, near Griff,
Warwickshire, 22 Nov. 1819. In '41 the family removed to Foleshill,
near Coventry. Here she made the friendship of the household of
Charles Bray, and changed her views from Evangelical Christianity
to philosophical scepticism. Influenced by The Inquiry into the
Origin of Christianity, by C. C. Hennell (Bray's brother-in-law),
she made an analysis of that work. Her first literary venture was
translating Strauss' Leben Jesu, published in 1846. After the death
of her father ('49) she travelled with the Brays upon the Continent,
and upon her return assisted Dr. Chapman in the editorship of the
Westminster Review, to which she contributed several articles. She
translated Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity, '54, the only work
published with her real name, and also translated from Spinoza's
Ethics. Introduced by Herbert Spencer to George Henry Lewes, she
linked her life with his in defiance of the conventions of society,
July, '54. Both were poor, but by his advice she turned to fiction,
in which she soon achieved success. Her Scenes of Clerical Life, Adam
Bede, Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, Romola, Felix Holt, Middlemarch,
Daniel Deronda, and Theophrastus Such have become classics. As a poet,
"George Eliot" does not rank so high, but her little piece, "Oh,
may I join the choir invisible," well expresses the emotion of the
Religion of Humanity, and her Spanish Gipsy she allowed was "a mass
of Positivism." Lewes died in 1878, and within two years she married
his friend, J. W. Cross. Her new happiness was short-lived. She died
22 Dec. 1880, and is buried with Lewes at Highgate.
Ellero (Pietro) Italian jurisconsult, b. Pordenone, 8 Oct. 1833,
Counsellor of the High Court of Rome, has been Professor of Criminal
Law in the University of Bologna. Author of many works on legal and
social questions. His Scritti Minori, Scritti Politici and La Question
Sociale have the honor of a place on the Roman Index.
Elliotson (John, M.D., F.R.S.), an eminent medical man, b. London,
1791. He became physician at St. Thomas's Hospital in 1822, and made
many contributions to medical science. By new prescriptions of quinine,
creasote, etc., he excited much hostility in the profession. He was
the first in this country to advocate the use of the stethoscope. He
was also the first physician to discard knee-breeches and silk
stockings, and to wear a beard. In '31 he was chosen Professor at
University College, but, becoming an advocate of curative mesmerism,
he resigned his appointments, '38. He was founder and President of the
London Phrenological Society, and, in addition to many medical works,
edited the Zoist (thirteen vols.), translated Blumenbach's Physiology,
and wrote an introduction to Engledue's Cerebral Physiology