Bolingbroke, Henry St. John

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bolingbroke, Henry St. John


Born Oct. 10, 1678, in London; died Dec. 12, 1751, in Battersea. Viscount; English statesman and publicist. Tory leader.

From 1704 to 1708, Bolingbroke was minister of war, and from 1710 to 1714 he was minister of foreign affairs. He helped to conclude the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, which ended the War of the Spanish Succession. In 1714 he headed the cabinet. In 1715, after being accused of conspiracy on behalf of the Stuart dynasty, he fled to France. After returning to his homeland in 1723, he became known as a publicist. His Letters on the Study and Usefulness of History (1735–36) contain a critique of religious beliefs from the standpoint of deism. The pamphlet The Ideal of a Patriot King (1749) reveals Bolingbroke as an advocate of “enlightened monarchy,” dependent on the aristocracy. Bolingbroke’s works, which are distinguished by their stylistic elegance, influenced the literature of the English Enlightenment.


Works, vols. 1–4. London, 1964.


Hart, J. Viscount Bolingbroke: Tory Humanist. London-Toronto, 1965.
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