Agnes Keane was baptized 24 Apr 1597 at Wrington, Somersetshire, England, the daughter of Edmund Keane. Agnes was 33 when, on All Saints Day, 15 Jul 1630, she married John Locke, ten years her junior. Agnes was said to have been ‘a most beautiful woman’. Her family was local to Wrington where various members owned land and houses. Her elder brother (who married her husband’s sister Frances) took both her father’s name, Edmund, and his trade of tanner; another brother, John, was an attorney.
John Locke was born 29 Apr 1606 at Pensford, Somerset, England. He was the son of Nicholas Locke and Frances Lansden. John was a country lawyer and clerk to the Justices of the Peace in Chew Magna, who served as a captain of cavalry for the Parliamentary forces during the early part of the English Civil War.
Agnes' father, Edmund Keane, or Keene, a tanner of Wrington, Somerset, wrote his will in January, 1628. It was proved in June, 1630. He writes, " A marriage shortly to be solemnized between my daughter Agnes Keene & John Locke, son of Nicholas Locke, of Pensford. Elizabeth Locke, my daughter. My wife, Mary, Extrix." Agnes Locke was mentioned the will of her mother, Mary Keene, of Wrington, widow. The will was dated 16 Nov 1636 and proved 8 Dec 1638.
Both John and Agnes were Puritans. Agnes' brother Edmund Keene was clerk to Frances Baber and Alexander Popham. Alexander Popham (1605–1669) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1640 and 1669. He too supported the Parliamentary cause and fought in the Parliamentary army with the rank of colonel.
John and Agnes Locke had been married just over a year when their first child, John was born; their second, Peter, died in infancy; and their third, Thomas, was born in August 1637.
John and Agnes' son, John Locke, was born on 29 Aug 1632, in a small thatched cottage beside the church in Wrington, Somerset, about 12 miles from Bristol, that belonged to his mother's family. He was baptised the same day. Soon after John's birth, the family moved to the market town of Pensford, about seven miles south of Bristol, and lived in a rural Tudor house in Belluton. Alexander Popham became patron of John Locke's firstborn son, philosopher John Locke.
Children of John Locke and Agnes Keene
Agnes (Keene) Locke, of whom her son, John Locke, speaks as 'a very pious woman and affectionate mother,' is not mentioned after the birth of her third child, Thomas, baptized in August, 1637. Agnes may have died soon after his birth. Her husband, John Locke died in 1661.
John Locke’s mother Agnes, the daughter of a local tanner, Edmund Keene, was some ten years older than her husband, and 35 years of age when John, the first of their three sons, was born. It would appear that Locke's father was a stern man (for example an advocate of the severe whipping of unmarried mothers) who did not believe in indulging his son as a child, but in keeping him in awe of his father and at some distance. Whether Locke as a boy appreciated the benefits of this severe regime is not clear. Certainly as an adult he counselled parents to a similar course: 'For, liberty and indulgence can do no good to children: their want of judgement makes them stand in need of restraint and discipline' (Thoughts, s. 40). 'He that is not used to submit his will to the reason of others, when he is young, will scarcely hearken or submit to his own reason, when he is of an age to make use of it' (Thoughts, s. 36). Little is known about John Locke's early education, though he doubtless grew up in a bookish household, and it was not until the age of 15, in 1647, that he was sent to Westminster School in London, then under the aegis of one of its most famous headmasters, Dr Richard Busby. Busby's reputation was based upon the length of his tenure of office (some fifty-seven years), his scholarship, his skill as a teacher and his unsparing use of the birch upon recalcitrant boys. Westminster must have come as a considerable surprise to the young Locke. The physical contrast between the large urban school with more than 200 boys, which stood in the very shadow of Westminster Abbey itself, and the far-reaching landscapes viewed from Belluton, the Lockehome in Somerset, which stood above the little market town of Pensford, must have been considerable.
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On 4 Dec 2015 at 17:49 GMT Bob Keniston Jr. wrote:
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