James Burgh (1714–1775) was a British Whig politician whose book Political Disquisitions set out an early case for free speech and universal suffrage: in it, he writes, "All lawful authority, legislative, and executive, originates from the people." He has been judged "one of England's foremost propagandists for radical reform".Burgh also ran a dissenting academy and wrote on subjects such as educational reform. In the words of Lyndall Gordon, his widow acted as "fairy godmother" to early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, then a young and unpublished schoolmistress, helping her to set up her own boarding school. Wollstonecraft entitled her first book Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787), alluding to Burgh's Thoughts on Education (1747) which in turn alludes to John Locke's 1693 work, Some Thoughts Concerning Education.
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