Bodleian Library, Oxford University

MS. Locke d. 1

A commonplace book used primarily for notes on ethical issues, begun during Locke’s final days in France before returning to England on 30 April 1679. Most of the entries are dated 1679, but there are a few dated 1692. It was apparently not utilized between these dates.

The notebook is organized according to a variation of Locke’s method of commonplacing. In this variation, each page is identified by a two-letter combination representing the initial letter and the first vowel of the keyword for notes recorded on that page; these letters are written in the upper left corner of the page. These pages are set up as needed for new notes, and therefore, the pages are not in alphabetical order. On each page, five narrow columns have been ruled at the left-hand side of the page; pinholes for making the vertical rules for these columns can be seen at the top and bottom of many of the blank leaves; at the head of each column is written one of the vowels. This allows words to be located by their initial letter and the first two vowels. A keyword for each note is written on the appropriate page, beginning in the appropriate column for the second vowel. For example, the note captioned “Conformitas” is written on a page marked CO; the keyword begins in the column under O. Notes are written on the right-hand (recto) pages of each leaf, and occasionally continued on the following verso. An index according to Locke’s commonplacing method is on pp. vi-vii. Some of the recto pages are numbered by Locke.

4o in 2s (i.e., bifolia are not quired). 222 × 170 mm. viii, 189 190-578 pages (pp. 190-578 are blank). The volume is bound in vellum with leather ties on the top, bottom, and outer edges.

Individual items in the volume include:

p. 5:


p. 9:


p. 13:

Aqua medicinalis

p. 29:


p. 33:


p. 41:


p. 53:

Patriae Amor

p. 53:


p. 57:


p. 57:

Amor Patriae

p. 81:


p. 101:


pp. 125-126:


p. 177:

Scriptura Sacra