Robert Blakey

by Chris Bertram on January 9, 2006

I was intruiged by some throwaway comments by David Boucher at the Oxford Political Thought Conference last week, concerning Robert Blakey, author of perhaps the first history of political thought to be written in English, the two-volume History of Political Literature from the Earliest Times which devotes 11 pages to Milton and one-and-a-half to Hobbes. Blakey was brought up to be a furrier and worked in the trade, was a Cobbetite Radical and newspaper editor, Mayor of Morpeth, novelist, philosopher of mind, logician, autobiographer, and academic. He was sacked from his Chair at Queen’s Belfast for “neglect of duty” and awarded a Gold Medal by King Leopold of the Belgians, but was best known to his contemporaries as an expert on angling under the pseudonym “Palmer Hackle”. Fuller details are here at via Roger Hawkins at Morpathia . We shall not see his like again!