Dawes, Manasseh (DNB00)

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DAWES, MANASSEH (d. 1829), miscellaneous writer, was a barrister of the Inner Temple. He left the bar and lived 'in a very retired manner' at Clifford's Inn for the last thirty-six years of his life. He died 2 April 1829. His chief works are:

  1. 'Letter to Lord Chatham on American Affairs,' 1777 (in the title-page he describes himself as author of 'several anonymous pieces').
  2. 'Essay on Intellectual Liberty,' 1780 (criticises Bentham's 'Fragment').
  3. 'Philosophical Considerations ' (upon the controversy between Priestley and Price), 1780.
  4. 'Nature and Extent of Supreme Power' (upon Locke's 'Social Compact'), 1783.
  5. 'England's Alarm, or the prevailing Doctrine of Libels,' 1785.
  6. 'Deformity of the Doctrine of Libels,' 1785 (these two refer to the Shipley case).
  7. 'Introduction to a Knowledge of the Law on Real Estates,' 1814.
  8. 'Epitome of the Law of Landed Property,' 1818.

He also edited (1784) a posthumous poem by John Stuckey on 'The Vanity of all Human Knowledge,' with a dedication to Priestley. Dawes took the whig side in regard to the American war and the law of libels; but defended Blackstone against Bentham, had doubts as to abolishing tests, and held that philosophical truth was beyond the reach of all men, as it was clearly beyond his own.

[Gent. Mag. 1829, i. 77, 8.]