was an English
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
author and Whig political philosopher.
James Tyrrell was the eldest son of Sir Timothy Tyrrell (died 1701, aged 83) and Elizabeth Ussher, the only daughter of Archbishop James Ussher
James Ussher was Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625–56...
. His younger sister Eleanor married the deist Charles Blount
Charles Blount was a British deist and controversialist who published several anonymous essays critical of the existing English order.-Life:...
. Educated at the University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...
, he became a barrister in 1666 and a justice of the peace
A justice of the peace is a puisne judicial officer elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions...
Buckinghamshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan home county in South East England. The county town is Aylesbury, the largest town in the ceremonial county is Milton Keynes and largest town in the non-metropolitan county is High Wycombe....
. His Patriarcha non monarcha
(1681) was a reply to Robert Filmer
thumbnail|150px|right|Robert Filmer Sir Robert Filmer was an English political theorist who defended the divine right of kings...
; it also included references to Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...
, and was also influenced by Samuel Pufendorf. A Brief Disquisition of the Law of Nature
was an English abridgment of Richard Cumberland
Richard Cumberland was an English philosopher, and bishop of Peterborough from 1691. In 1672, he published his major work, De legibus naturae , propounding utilitarianism and opposing the egoistic ethics of Thomas Hobbes.Cumberland was a member of the latitudinarian movement, along with his friend...
's De legibus naturae
. Bibliothetica politica
was a huge compendium of Whig constitutional theory.
Tyrrell was a friend and supporter of John Locke
John Locke FRS , widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social...
, who stayed for a time at Tyrrell's home, at a time when he was apparently working on his Two Treatises on Government
. His thinking appears to have been influential in the development of Locke's thinking, and for a time his writings were more influential than Locke's in the emergence of Whig
The Whigs were a party in the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain, and Parliament of the United Kingdom, who contested power with the rival Tories from the 1680s to the 1850s. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule...
thinking and policies.
- Patriarcha non monarcha. The patriarch unmonarch'd: being observations on a late treatise and divers other miscellanies, published under the name of Sir Robert Filmer baronet. In which the falseness of those opinions that would make monarchy jure divino are laid open: and the true principles of government and property (especially in our kingdom) asserted. By a lover of truth and of his country, 1681
- A brief disquisition of the law of nature, according to the principles laid down in the reverend Dr. Cumberland's (now Lord Bishop of Peterborough's) Latin treatise on that subject. As also his considerations of Mr. Hobbs's principles put into another method, 1692
- Bibliotheca politica: or An enquiry into the ancient constitution of the English government; both in respect to the just extent of regal power, and the rights and liberties of the subject. Wherein all the chief arguments, as well against, as for the late revolution, are impartially represented, and considered, in thirteen dialogues. Collected out of the best authors, as well antient as modern ..., 1694
- The General History of England, both Eccesiastical and Civil (5 volumes, published between 1700 and 1704). In which Tyrrell demonstrates that the liberties of the people are not concessions of kings.
- Julia Rudolph, Revolution by Degrees: James Tyrrell and Whig Political Thought in the Late Seventeenth Century (Studies in Modern History), 2002.