Defoe, Daniel (DNB00)
|←Deering, John Peter||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 14
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DEFOE, DANIEL (1661?–1731), journalist and novelist, was born in 1660 or 1661 in the parish of St. Giles's, Cripplegate. This date is fixed by his statement in the preface to the ‘Protestant Monastery,’ published 1727, that he was then in his sixty-seventh year. His grandfather, James Foe, kept a pack of hounds (Review, vol. vii. preface) and farmed his own estate at Elton, Northamptonshire. His father, James Foe, was a younger son, who became a butcher in St. Giles's, retired upon a competency, was living in 1705, and is called my ‘late father’ by his son on 23 Sept. 1708 (ib. ii. 150, iv. 306). Foe changed his name to De Foe or Defoe about 1703, for unascertained reasons (see Wilson's De Foe, i. 231). The parish register contains no entry of his baptism. His parents were non-conformists, and joined the congregation in Bishopsgate Street formed by Samuel Annesley [q. v.], the ejected minister of Cripplegate. Defoe's respect for his pastor is shown by an ‘elegy’ upon Annesley's death in 1697. It is supposed, though on very slight evidence, that he married Annesley's daughter (Wilson, i. 345). He was thus brought up as a dissenter, and at the age of fourteen sent to the academy at Newington Green kept by Charles Morton, another ejected divine. Defoe speaks well of the school (Present State of Parties, 316–20). The lessons were all given in English, and many of the pupils, according to Defoe, distinguished themselves by their mastery of the language. Here he acquired the foundation of the knowledge of which he afterwards boasts in answer to Swift, who had called him and Tutchin (Examiner, No. 16) ‘two stupid illiterate scribblers.’ He ‘understood’ Latin, Spanish, and Italian, ‘could read’ Greek, and could speak French ‘fluently.’ He knew something of mathematics, had a wide acquaintance with geography, the modern history, and especially of the commercial condition of all countries (Applebee's Journal, 1725; in Lee's Defoe, iii. 435; and Review, vii. 455). He had also gone through the theological and philosophical courses necessary to qualify him for the ministry. He gave up the career for which he had been intended, thinking that the position of a dissenting minister was precarious and often degrading (Present State of Parties, 319). He went into business about 1685, and on 26 Jan. 1687–8 became a liveryman of the city of London. He denied (Review, ii. 149, 150) that he had been a ‘hosier,’ and appears to have been a ‘hose factor,’ or middleman between the manufacturer and the retailer. Defoe imbibed the political principles of his teachers and friends. During the ‘popish plot’ he joined in meetings to protect the witnesses from intimidation (ib. vii. 297). He was out with Monmouth in 1685 (Appeal to Honour and Justice) when some of his fellow-students at Newington lost their lives. Defoe's precise share in the rebellion does not appear. In 1701 he wrote a curious pamphlet on the succession, proposing to investigate the claim of Monmouth and his descendants. Defoe speaks of an early writing, which Mr. Lee identified with a ‘Letter … on his Majesty's Declaration for Liberty of Conscience,’ 1687. This seems really to belong to Bishop Burnet (Notes and Queries, 4th ser. iv. 253, 307). Earlier writings, ‘Speculum Crapegownorum,’ pts. i. and ii. 1682, attacking the clergy, and a tract attacking the Turks during the siege of Vienna (1683), are regarded as spurious by Mr. Lee (i. 15), though attributed to Defoe by Wilson (i. 85–93). In 1688 he joined William's army at Henley during the advance to London (Tour through Great Britain, vol. ii. let. i. pp. 64–70). He appeared as a trooper in a volunteer regiment of horse which escorted William and Mary to a great banquet in the city, 29 Oct. 1689 (Oldmixon, iii. 36). His political or literary distractions or his speculative tendencies were probably the cause of a bankruptcy, which took place about 1692 (Review, iii. 399). He had been engaged in foreign trade. He had visited France, had been at Aix-la-Chapelle, and had resided for a time in Spain (Tour, vol. i. let. ii. pp. 16, 121, iii. let. i. p. 54; Review, vii. 527). His debts were considerable, and he says that he had in 1705 reduced them, ‘exclusive of composition, from 17,000l. to less than 5,000l.’ (Reply to Haversham's Vindication; see also letter to Fransham, Notes and Queries, 5th ser. iii. 283). Tutchin, though an opponent, also bears testimony to his having honourably discharged in full debts for which composition had been accepted (Dialogue between a Dissenter and the Observator, 1703). Defoe characteristically turned his experience to account by soon afterwards writing an ‘Essay upon Projects,’ which did not appear, however, till 1698 (Lee, i. 28, 38), containing suggestions for a national bank, for a system of assurance, for friendly societies, for ‘pension offices’ or savings banks, for idiot asylums, for a reform of the bankruptcy laws, and for various academies. The suggestions, though of course already in the air, place him among the most intelligent observers of the social conditions of the day. About 1694 he was invited to take charge of a commercial agency in Spain, but refused the offer in order to take part ‘with some eminent persons’ in suggesting ways and means to government, then struggling to meet the requirements of the war. In 1695 he was appointed ‘accountant to the commissioners of the glass duty,’ an office which he held until the suppression of the commission (1 Aug. 1699); and he also became secretary to a factory started at Tilbury in Essex to compete with the Dutch in making pantiles. He had a share in the business, and its prosperity seems to be proved by the reduction of his debts. Defoe became prominent in the last years of William as a writer in defence of the king's character and policy. In 1697 he had argued vigorously for a standing army. His most remarkable production was ‘The Two great Questions considered’ (1700), being a vigorous defence of the expected war, upon the ground of the danger to our commercial interests of a French acquisition of the Spanish dominions in America. A French translation, with a reply, appeared in 1701. In the same year Tutchin accused William of being a Dutchman in a poem called ‘The Foreigners.’ Defoe was ‘filled with a kind of rage,’ and retorted in ‘The True-born Englishman, a Satyr,’ published January 1701. In rough verses, sometimes rising to the level of exceedingly vigorous prose, he declares that Englishmen are a race of mongrels, bred from the offscourings of Europe in all ages. The sturdy sense of this shrewd assault upon the vanity of his countrymen secured a remarkable success. Defoe declares (Collected Writings, vol. ii. preface) in 1705 that nine genuine and twelve pirated editions had been printed, and eighty thousand copies sold in the streets. He described himself on the title-pages of many subsequent works as ‘author of the True-born Englishman,’ and he had the honour of an introduction to William. He had ‘attended’ Queen Mary when she gave orders for laying out Kensington Gardens (Tour, vol. ii. letter iii. p. 14), but apparently without becoming personally known to her. William now treated him with a confidence of which he often boasted in later years. His gratitude appears in several pamphlets, and in annual articles in the ‘Review’ upon anniversaries of William's birthday. He wrote a pamphlet, ‘Six Distinguishing Characters of a Parliament-Man,’ on the election of the parliament in January 1701, calling attention to the serious questions involved and denouncing stockjobbers. The tory majority impeached William's chief whig supporters, and imprisoned five gentlemen who presented the famous ‘Kentish petition’ on behalf of the whig policy. Hereupon Defoe drew up the ‘Legion Memorial’—so called from the signature, ‘Our name is Legion, and we are many’—audaciously rebuking the House of Commons. It was accompanied by a letter to the speaker, delivered, according to various accounts, by Defoe himself, on 14 May 1701, either disguised as a woman or ‘guarded by sixteen gentlemen of quality’ (see Wilson, i. 395–406, where the documents are printed). The house was unable or afraid to vindicate its dignity; and the petitioners, being liberated on the rising of parliament (24 June 1701), were entertained at the Mercers' Hall, where Defoe was placed by their side.
The controversy gave rise to a ‘Vindication of the Rights of the Commons of England’ by Sir Humphry Mackworth (1701), to which Defoe replied in his most noteworthy discussion of political theories, ‘The Original Power of the Collective Body of the People of England examined and asserted’ (dated 1702, but published 27 Dec. 1701). When war became imminent in 1701, Defoe discussed the question in a pamphlet called characteristically ‘Reasons against a War with France’ (1701). Though ostensibly arguing that the French sanction of an empty title was no sufficient ground for a war, his real purpose was to urge that the solid interests of England lay in securing for itself the colonial empire of Spain. Objection to continental alliances and a preference of colonial enterprise were the characteristic sentiments of the tory party. Defoe took a line of his own, and staunchly adhered to this opinion throughout his career.
William died 8 March 1702. Defoe showed his sincere regard for the king's memory in a poem called the ‘Mock Mourners,’ ridiculing the insincerity of the official lamentations, and attacked the high church party, now coming into power, in a ‘New Test of the Church of England's Loyalty.’ He now got into a singular difficulty, which has suggested various judgments of his conduct. A bill to suppress the practice of ‘occasional conformity’ was the favourite measure of the high church party throughout the reign of Queen Anne. In 1697 the lord mayor had given offence by attending the services both of the church and his chapel with his official paraphernalia. Defoe had then attacked this inconsistency, arguing that as the vital principle of dissent was the sinfulness of conformity, a desire to qualify for office could not justify an act of conformity for that particular purpose. In November 1700 he reprinted his tract, with a preface addressed to the eminent divine, John Howe; and in December published a rejoinder to a reply from Howe. In 1702 the high church party now in power introduced a bill for suppressing the practice, which passed the House of Commons in November. Defoe joined in the controversy by ‘an inquiry,’ audaciously arguing, in consistency with his previous tracts, that the dissenters were not concerned in the matter. The bill, as he urged, though not intended, was really calculated to purge them of a scandal. It would only touch the equivocating dissenter, who claimed a right to practise what he asserted to be a sin. Defoe's reasoning was undeniably forcible. Like the early dissenters in general, he did not object to the church establishment on principle. On the contrary, he steadily maintained the church to be a necessary barrier against popery and infidelity. He did not even object to some tests. He desired that they should be such as to exclude the smallest number of protestants, and asserted (Dissenters' Answer to High Church Challenge) that the dissenters would at once conform if the church would cease to insist upon the ceremonies to which they objected. He declared it to be a hardship that dissenters should be excluded from preferment while forced to serve as common sailors and soldiers. But his arguments told for a modification rather than for a repeal or evasion of the tests. The dissenters, however, who saw that in fact the measure against occasional conformity would depress their interest, naturally held him to be a deserter. Defoe himself perceived that the bill was supported by appeals to intolerance, and though his peculiar attitude weakened his argument against the measure, he was heartily opposed to the spirit by which it was dictated. To put himself right, he published ‘The Shortest Way with the Dissenters,’ while the bill was struggling with the direct and indirect opposition of the whig lords. Ostensibly adopting the character of a ‘high-flyer,’ he called for an extirpation of the dissenters, like the extirpation of protestants by the French king. The more vehement tories, it is said, approved the pamphlet in sober earnest, and a clergyman declared it to come next to the Bible in his estimation (Review, ii. 277). Defoe boasts that they were soon brought to their senses, and were forced to disavow the principles thus nakedly revealed. He was prosecuted for libelling the church by thus misrepresenting its principles. The Earl of Nottingham was especially active in the matter (Leslie, Rehearsal (1750), i. 62, 264). A reward was offered for his apprehension in the ‘Gazette,’ 10 Jan. 1702–3. He is, it is said, ‘a middle-sized spare man, about forty years old, of a brown complexion, and dark brown-coloured hair, but wears a wig; a hooked nose, a sharp chin, grey eyes, and a large mole near his mouth.’ The House of Commons ordered the book to be burnt. He was indicted at the Old Bailey 24 Feb. 1703, and tried at the July sessions following. He acknowledged the authorship, and was sentenced to pay a fine of two hundred marks, to stand three times in the pillory, to be imprisoned during the queen's pleasure, and to find securities for good behaviour during seven years. Before his trial Defoe published a ‘Brief Explanation,’ and during the next two years several other pamphlets endeavouring to set forth his principles, and to reconcile his objections to the measure with his previous assertion that it did not affect dissenters. How far he succeeded in maintaining a consistent ground may be disputed. Defoe always sought to gain piquancy by diverging from the common track in the name of common sense, and tried to be paradoxical without being subtle. But he never ceased to advocate toleration, though demanding only such a liberal application of the law as would spare tender consciences. Defoe stood in the pillory on 29, 30, and 31 July 1703. The people formed a guard, covered the pillory with flowers, and drank his health. He published a ‘Hymn to the Pillory,’ which was sold among the crowd in large numbers, marked by the really fine lines—
Tell them the men that placed him here
Are scandals to the times;
Are at a loss to find his guilt,
And can't commit his crimes.
Defoe was now imprisoned in Newgate. His business at Tilbury had to be abandoned, and he says that he lost 3,500l. invested in it (Review, viii. 495–6). He had a wife and six children; and though he was able to continue his writings his position was precarious and trying. He continued to write upon occasional conformity; he attacked Asgill's queer doctrine about ‘translation’ [see Asgill, John]; he had a controversy with Charles Davenant [q. v.] upon the right of appeals to the people; he published a ‘Layman's Sermon’ upon the great storm (27 Nov. 1703), and afterwards a full account of it (17 July 1704). His notoriety had led to a spurious publication of his writings; and in 1703 he published the first volume of a ‘true collection,’ which was followed by a second (with a second edition of the first) in 1705. His most laborious undertaking, the ‘Review,’ was also begun during his imprisonment. The full title of the paper was ‘A Review of the Affairs of France and of all Europe, as influenced by that Nation.’ After the first volume the last clause became ‘with Observations on Transactions at Home.’ The first number appeared 17 Feb. 1704. It was first a weekly paper; after the eighth number it appeared twice a week; and after the eighth number of the second volume thrice a week. An imaginary ‘Scandal Club’ contributed to its pages; ‘Advices from the Scandal Club’ filled five monthly supplements in 1704; and for half a year in 1705 this part appeared twice a week as ‘The Little Review.’ At the end of July 1712 the ‘Review’ ceased in its old form, but a new series, called simply ‘The Review,’ appeared twice a week until 11 June 1713. The whole was written by Defoe, none of his absences ever preventing its regular appearance. During its appearance he published eighty other works, equalling the ‘Review’ in bulk. The only complete copy known belonged to James Crossley [q. v.], and is now in the British Museum. The ‘Review’ is a landmark in the history of English periodical literature, and its success no doubt helped to suggest the ‘Tatler’ and ‘Spectator.’ Tutchin's ‘Observator,’ begun 1 April 1702, and Leslie's ‘Rehearsal,’ 2 Aug. 1704, were his chief rivals, representing the extreme whigs and extreme tories respectively.
The ‘Review’ included discussions of all the chief political questions of the day. Throughout Defoe affected the attitude of an independent critic, criticising all parties, although with a special antipathy to the ‘high-flyers.’ He was really, however, working in chains. In the spring of 1704 the ministry had been modified by the expulsion of the high church Earl of Nottingham, Defoe's special enemy, and the admission of Harley as secretary of state. The Occasional Conformity Bill was no longer supported by the government. Harley, the first of English ministers to appreciate the influence of the press, sent a message to Defoe in prison. The result was that a sum of money was sent from the treasury to Defoe's family and his fine discharged. Four months later, in August 1704, he was released from prison. He tells Halifax (Letter of 5 April 1705) that he had ‘scorned to come out of Newgate at the price of betraying a dead master or discovering those things which nobody would have been the worse for’ (Lee, i. 107). But it is clear that the final release implied some conditions, or ‘capitulations,’ as Defoe calls them. He frequently denied that he received a pension, although he admits that some appointment was bestowed upon him for a special service. He also asserts that he wrote ‘without the least direction, assistance, or encouragement’ (Review, vol. iii. preface). But his bond for good behaviour was still in force. If he was not directly inspired, it was partly because his discretion could be trusted. Few ‘Grub Street authors’ could afford a conscience. Defoe's pen was the chief means of support for himself and his family. To use it against the government was to run the risk of imprisonment, the pillory, and even the gallows, or at least of being left to the mercy of his creditors. He therefore compromised with his conscience by distinguishing between reticence and falsehood. He would defend what was defensible without attacking errors which could only be attacked at his personal risk. If he was led into questionable casuistry, it must be admitted that journalists in far less precarious situations have not always been more scrupulous, and further that for some years he could speak in full accordance with his conscience.
After his liberation Defoe retired for a time to Bury St. Edmunds, and after his return to London in October suffered from a severe illness in the winter. He was able, however, to continue his literary occupations. A remarkable pamphlet, called ‘Giving Alms no Charity,’ provoked by a bill of Sir Humphry Mackworth for employing the poor, appeared in November 1704; and in 1705 his prose satire, ‘The Consolidator, or Memoirs of Sundry Transactions from the World in the Moon,’ which was followed by several appendices. Three letters to Lord Halifax in the spring and summer of 1705 show that he was communicating with one of the whig junto and receiving money through him from some ‘unknown benefactor,’ together with hints for his ‘Review’ (Letters in Lee, i. 106, 115–18, from Addit. MS. 7121). Harley about the same time employed him in ‘several honourable, though secret, services’ (Appeal to Honour and Justice). From the same pamphlet it appears that he was at one time employed in a ‘foreign country.’ No such employment is known, unless the phrase is intended to cover Scotland. He was sent into the country during the elections which began in May 1705, taking a satire, ‘The Dyet of Poland,’ in which he attacked the high church party and praised William and the whigs. Some phrases in a letter to Harley (Wilson, ii. 357–60) show that he was discussing a scheme for a ‘secret intelligence’ office. His ‘Review’ meanwhile was warmly supporting the war, calling for the election of sound supporters of the ministry and denouncing the ‘tackers’ who in the previous session had tried to force the Occasional Conformity Bill through parliament by ‘tacking’ it to a money bill.
In July 1706 appeared his ‘True Relation of the Apparition of one Mrs. Veal’ and his long political satire, in twelve books of verse, called ‘Jure Divino.’ It may be noticed that the common story that ‘Mrs. Veal’ was designed to help off Drelincourt's book on the ‘Fear of Death’ is disproved by facts. Drelincourt's book was already popular, and Defoe's pamphlet was only added to the fourth edition (Lee, i. 127, 128).
The union with Scotland was now becom- ing prominent in the political world. In August or September 1706 Defoe was sent to Edinburgh by the ministry, kissing the queen's hand on his appointment. His duties were apparently to act as a secret agent with the party favourable to the union. He published six essays ‘towards removing national prejudices’ against the measure both in England and Scotland, and exerted himself vigorously for an object which was thoroughly congenial to his sympathies. His ‘History of the Union’ ultimately appeared in 1709, and contains some useful historical documents. He was consulted by committees upon many questions of trade, and was once in some danger from a hostile mob. His absence in Scotland was partly due to the demands of creditors, who still persecuted him, after he had surrendered to the commissioners appointed for the relief of debtors under an act of 1706 (see letters to Fransham of this period in Notes and Queries, 5th ser. iii. 261, 282). He stayed in Scotland throughout 1707, replying with spirit to various attacks upon his supposed dependence on the ministry, which he denied at the cost of some equivocation. In the beginning of 1708 he returned to England. A settlement with his creditors seemed possible, and his political position was again doubtful. His patron, Harley, was now ejected from the ministry, being at deadly feud with Godolphin and Marlborough. Defoe, by his own account, was allowed by Harley himself ‘in the most engaging terms’ to offer his services to Godolphin. Substantially, of course, this was to treat Defoe as a mere hireling or ‘under-spur-leather’ in the cant phrase of the time, instead of an ally who would have a claim upon future support if asked to resign with his employer. Defoe went to Godolphin and boasts that he had no correspondence with Harley for the next three years. Godolphin received him civilly; he again kissed the queen's hand in confirmation of an appointment, previously made through Harley ‘in consideration of a special service … in which I had run as much risk of my life as a grenadier upon a counterscarp.’ He was again sent to Scotland, then threatened by the invasion of 1708, and, after visiting England during the elections, returned for another mission in the summer. The ‘Review’ was at this time printed in Edinburgh as well as in London, and he had at one time thoughts of settling in Scotland altogether (Lee, i. 139). Some letters to Godolphin and Sunderland, written from Edinburgh in May and August 1708, printed by the ‘Historical MSS. Commission’ (8th Rep. pp. 44, 48), show Defoe's complete dependence on the government. A letter to Harley of 2 Nov. 1706 (9th Rep. p. 469) suggests that his plan of settling in Scotland was a mere pretence.
The ‘Review’ was now staunchly whig, and during the elections of 1708 Defoe declared that if we ever had a tory parliament the nation would be undone (Review, v. 139). He supported Marlborough and Godolphin against the growing discontent with the war. Sacheverell's famous sermon (5 Nov. 1709) gave him an opportunity for attacking an old enemy, who had already hung out ‘a bloody flag and banner of defiance’ against the dissenters (a phrase frequently quoted by Defoe and others at the time) in a sermon of 1702. Defoe first declared that Sacheverell's violence should be encouraged rather than suppressed, as the serious acceptance by high churchmen of the ironical arguments of the ‘Shortest Way’ would most effectually expose the high church spirit (ib. vi. 421). The impeachment, however, was carried out, and was then supported by Defoe. He attacked Sacheverell's principles in the ‘Review,’ while disavowing any personal motive, and so vigorously that, as he says, he was threatened with assassination. The fall of the whigs followed. Defoe supported them, and eulogised Sunderland, the most violent of the party, on his dismissal (ib. vii. 142, 145). When Godolphin was at last dismissed, Defoe, as he puts it, was ‘providentially cast back upon his original benefactor,’ Harley. In other words, he was handed back again to his old employer as a mere hanger-on of the office. The spirit of the ‘Review’ changed abruptly, though Defoe taxed all his ingenuity to veil the change under an air of impartiality. The whig argument, that credit would be injured by the expulsion of Godolphin, had been urged in the ‘Review.’ Defoe had now to prove that all patriots were bound to support the national credit even under a tory ministry. In August and October 1710 he published two essays upon ‘Public Credit’ and ‘Loans,’ arguing that whigs would be playing the game of the Jacobites by selling out of the funds. These pamphlets were so clearly in Harley's interest that they have been attributed to him (Lee, i. 171). Defoe denied that the ministry would favour the ‘high-flyers,’ and tried hard to prove that, if not whigs already, they would be forced into whiggism by the necessity of their position (Review, vii. 245). He received, as he tells us (ib. 257), scurrilous letters calling him a renegade, which is hardly surprising. He urged the election of a ‘moderate’ parliament (ib. 348), as he had previously urged the election of a whig parliament. He became awake to the terrible expensiveness of the war. He declared (truly enough) that he had always held that the true interest of England lay chiefly in the American trade; and after the death of the emperor, enforced the common argument that the issue was now changed, and that it would be as foolish to give the Spanish Indies to the emperor as it would have been to leave them to the French. Though apparently not quite satisfied with the peace actually made, he urged acquiescence instead of joining in the whig denunciations; and his arguments for the necessity of a peace were so vigorous that Mesnager, the French agent, had one of his pamphlets translated into French, and sent the author one hundred pistoles. Defoe informed the government of the present. Mesnager, finding that he was in government employment, refrained from further intercourse (Minutes of Negotiations of M. Mesnager, &c., possibly translated by Defoe; see Lee, i. 269).
Defoe, however, continued, if with diminished vigour, to be an opponent of high-flyers and Jacobites. He attacked the ‘October Club,’ which was trying to force ministers into extreme measures, in a vigorous pamphlet (1711), while Swift remonstrated with them as a friend. At the end of the same year his old adversary, Nottingham, made a compact with the whigs, who agreed to carry the Occasional Conformity Bill on condition of Nottingham's voting against the peace. Defoe wrote passionately but vainly against the measure, both in his ‘Review’ and in separate pamphlets. He had gone too far with the tories to be accepted as a genuine supporter even of his old cause.
The imposition of the new tax in July 1712 injured Defoe's ‘Review.’ In the preface to the eighth volume then issued he eloquently asserts his independence and his suffering in the cause of truth. He continued the ‘Review,’ however, through another volume; and after its final suppression he took the chief part in the ‘Mercator,’ started in Harley's (now Lord Oxford's) interest, although he was not the proprietor or editor. It was devoted to arguing the questions aroused by the treaty of commerce which was to follow the peace of Utrecht. Defoe has been credited, upon the strength of this work, with anticipating modern theories of free trade. In fact, however, he accepted the ordinary theory of the time, and only endeavoured to prove that the balance of trade would be in favour of England under the proposed arrangement.
Defoe had retired on being again sent to Scotland during the later months of 1712. There he wrote some anti-Jacobite pamphlets. In the beginning of 1713 he continued this controversy in some pamphlets to which, following his old plan, he gave titles ostensibly Jacobite: ‘Reasons against the Succession of the House of Hanover;’ ‘What if the Pretender should come?’ and ‘An Answer to a Question which Nobody thinks of, viz. But what if the Queen should die?’ These writings, although clearly anti-Jacobite, gave offence to the whigs. They were, no doubt, a sincere defence of Defoe's permanent principles, though, as Professor Minto has pointed out, they were, in some respects, calculated to serve Oxford. They explicitly denied that Oxford was in the Pretender's interest. Oxford, in fact, was being thrown over by the Jacobite wing of his party, though upon joining the ministry he had made overtures to the exiled court. The existence of such overtures was, of course, a secret to be carefully concealed from Defoe, and even from Oxford's far more confidential friend, Swift; and both Defoe and Swift were probably quite sincere in denying their existence. The whigs, however, who suspected Oxford, and regarded Defoe as a hireling renegade, would not forgive Oxford's supporter, though he might be a sincere defender of the Hanoverian succession. Defoe was prosecuted for a libel. The judges declared that the pamphlets were treasonable, and Defoe was committed to prison (22 April 1713), but obtained a pardon under the great seal. During the following year, besides writing the ‘Mercator,’ he published various pamphlets, which were chiefly in Oxford's interest. In a ‘Letter to the Dissenters’ (December 1713) he exhorted them to neutrality, and intimated that they were in danger of severe measures. He had probably received some hint of the Schism Act, passed in the next session, in spite of Oxford's opposition, by the extremer tories. In April he replied warmly to Swift's attack upon the Scots in his ‘Public Spirit of the Whigs,’ though Swift was supported by Oxford; but in the same month he published a defence of Oxford in a tract called ‘Reasons for im[peaching] the L[or]d H[igh] T[reasurer].’ The ‘Mercator’ dropped with the fall of Oxford and the consequent want of official information. A bookseller named Hurt had long published the ‘Flying Post,’ written by Ridpath, a bitter enemy of Defoe's. Hurt was suspected by Ridpath's patrons of some communication with Defoe, and the ‘Flying Post’ was instantly taken out of his hands. Hurt hereupon engaged Defoe to issue a rival ‘Flying Post,’ which took the whig side. Defoe warmly eulogised the new king upon the death of Anne (1 Aug. 1714), and soon afterwards declared that Lord Annesley, who had been sent to Ireland by Boling- broke, had gone to remodel the forces in the Jacobite interest. The assertion produced an immediate prosecution for libel. While his trial was pending, Defoe wrote, apparently in September (Lee, i. 236, 240), his remarkable ‘Appeal to Honour and Justice,’ to meet the odium now accumulating from all parties. Soon afterwards appeared ‘Advice to the People of Great Britain,’ exhorting to moderation, and ‘A Secret History of One Year,’ the first, namely, of William's reign, pointing out, with obvious application, how William had been compelled to part with his whig supporters by their insatiable rapacity. He was probably also author of ‘The Secret History of the White Staff.’ This was written to all appearances to defend Lord Oxford, now a prisoner in the Tower. Oxford thought it necessary to disavow any complicity in the book, and even stated that it was intended to ‘do him a prejudice.’ But this was in all probability a merely prudential disavowal, which leaves to Defoe the credit of defending his patron in distress. A later pamphlet, called ‘Minutes of the Negotiations of M. Mesnager, … done out of the French,’ was published during the proceedings against Oxford in 1717, and clearly intended in his favour. Oldmixon says that Defoe composed it by Oxford's direction, and it is assigned to him by Mr. Lee (i. 269). He denied the authorship, however, emphatically, in the ‘Mercurius Politicus’ (Notes and Queries, 4th ser. iii. 548, v. 177, 202, 393). The ‘Appeal to Honour and Justice’ appeared in the first week of January 1715, with a ‘conclusion by the publisher,’ saying that the author had been struck by a ‘violent fit of apoplexy’ six weeks before and was still in a precarious state. Yet at the end of March appeared his ‘Family Instructor,’ a book of about 450 pages, which presumably had been written before, and was now published hastily and incorrectly ‘by reason of the author's absence from the press.’ During his illness Defoe was visited by a quaker, and he adopted the quaker style in several pamphlets which followed, reproving Sacheverell, the Duke of Ormonde, and others. On 1 July appeared a ‘History of the Wars of his present Majesty, Charles XII of Sweden.’ On 12 July he was brought to trial for the libel on Lord Annesley, and found guilty. Immediately afterwards he published a ‘Hymn to the Mob,’ occasioned by Jacobite disturbances, and in October a ‘View of the Scots' Rebellion,’ and another quaker pamphlet addressed to ‘John Eriskine, called by the men of the world, Duke of Mar.’
In November, Defoe's fellow-prisoners received sentence. Defoe himself escaped by a singular arrangement. According to his own account (Visions of the Angelick World, 48–50), a ‘strong impulse darted into his mind,’ ordering him to write to the judge, Chief-justice Parker, afterwards Lord Macclesfield. Parker, who had been one of his judges in 1713, put him in communication with Lord Townshend, then secretary of state. Letters addressed to Charles De la Faye, of the secretary of state's office, found in the State Paper Office in 1864, and first published in the ‘London Review’ 4 and 11 June 1864, reveal the transaction which followed. Defoe again entered the employment of the government. He first wrote a monthly paper called ‘Mercurius Politicus,’ which began in May 1716 and continued till at least September 1720. In June 1716 he acquired from one Dormer a share in the ‘News Letter,’ a weekly paper which had been managed by Dyer, now dead. It was not published, but circulated in manuscript, and was a favourite organ of the high church party. Defoe undertook that while the ‘style should continue tory,’ he would so manage it as entirely to ‘take the sting out of it.’ He continued this until August 1718, but no copies of the work are known. Soon afterwards, about August 1717, he undertook a similar position in the management of ‘Mist's Journal,’ a Jacobite organ started in the previous year. On 13 Dec. 1717 he acknowledges the receipt of 25l. from the Earl of Sunderland (Hist. MSS. Comm. 8th Rep. 24). He introduced himself to Mist ‘in the disguise of a translator of foreign news.’ Mist had not the least suspicion of his connection with government, and Defoe contrived to regulate the paper, and make himself essential to its success. Mist published a Jacobite letter in spite of Defoe's protest on 25 Oct. 1718. He was arrested, but released by Defoe's influence. He flatly denied, in answer to contemporary attacks in ‘Read's Journal,’ that Defoe was employed by him, and a separation took place. Read observed that Defoe's share was sufficiently proved by the ‘agreeableness of the style … the little art he is truly a master of, of forging a story and imposing it on the world for truth,’ a remark which shows Defoe's reputation just before the appearance of ‘Robinson Crusoe.’ Defoe's defection caused the journal to decline, and in January 1719 Mist restored him to the virtual management of the journal. Mist was again arrested in June 1720. Defoe managed the paper during his imprisonment, but from this time took comparatively little share in the paper. His last article appeared 24 Oct. 1724.
Defoe contributed to other papers at the same time. He started the ‘Whitehall Even- ing Post,’ a tri-weekly journal, in September 1718, and wrote for it till June 1720. In October 1719 he started the ‘Daily Post,’ for which he wrote till April 1725; and, on dropping his connection with the ‘Whitehall Evening Post,’ he began to contribute weekly articles to ‘Applebee's Journal,’ in which he wrote regularly till 12 March 1726. From the date of his second period of employment under Harley, Defoe became anonymous. The reason clearly was that he was from that time regarded as a renegade. His connection with Mist forced him to pass himself off as one of the Jacobites, ‘a generation who, I profess,’ as he says in his letter in the State Paper Office of 26 April 1718, ‘my very soul abhors.’ He had, therefore, to abandon his claims to integrity, and submit to pass for a traitor. No man has a right to make such a sacrifice; and if not precisely a spy, Mist and Mist's friends would hardly draw the distinction.
The political questions were now less absorbing than in the earlier period, and Defoe's writings were in great part of a non-political character. He was an adept in all the arts of journalism, and with amazing fertility wrote upon every topic likely to attract public curiosity. His power had already been shown in comparative trifles, such as the ‘History of the Great Storm,’ ‘Mrs. Veal's Ghost,’ and a curious imaginary history of an earthquake in St. Vincent, contributed to ‘Mist's Journal’ in 1718. On 25 April 1719 he published the first volume of ‘Robinson Crusoe,’ founded on the four years' residence of Alexander Selkirk in the island of Juan Fernandez. Captain Rogers, who released Selkirk, had told the story, which was also told by Steele in the ‘Englishman,’ from Selkirk's own account. Defoe sold his book to William Taylor, a publisher, who made a large sum by it. A fourth edition appeared on 8 Aug. 1719, and was immediately succeeded by a second volume. In 1720 appeared a sequel called ‘Serious Reflections during the life … of Robinson Crusoe.’ The extraordinary success of the book was proved by piracies, by numerous imitations (a tenth, according to Mr. Lee, i. 300, appeared in 1727), and by translations into many languages. Gildon, who attacked it in the ‘Life and strange surprizing Adventures of Mr. D—— De F——, of London, Hosier’ (1719), says that every old woman bought it and left it as a legacy with the ‘Pilgrim's Progress,’ the ‘Practice of Piety,’ and ‘God's Revenge against Murther.’ Swift had it in his mind when writing ‘Gulliver's Travels.’ An absurd story, preserved by T. Warton, is given in Sir Henry Ellis's ‘Letters of Eminent Literary Men’ (Camden Soc. 1843), to the effect that ‘Robinson Crusoe’ was written by Lord Oxford in the Tower. It needs no confutation. Defoe has also been accused of appropriating Selkirk's (non-existent) papers (see WILSON, iii. 456–8). Defoe published the ‘Anatomy of Exchange Alley,’ an attack upon stockjobbers, in the interval between the first and second volumes of ‘Robinson Crusoe’ and the ‘Chimera,’ an attack upon Law's system, in January 1720. He was much occupied in the following year with the various developments of the South Sea mania. But he tried to work the vein opened by ‘Robinson Crusoe.’ His unrivalled skill in mystification has made it difficult to distinguish the purely fictitious from the authentic part of his admitted narratives, and in some cases to separate genuine histories from stories composed by him. In October 1719 he published ‘The Dumb Philosopher,’ an account of one Dickory Cronke, who acquired the power of speech just before his death, and prophesied as to the state of Europe; and in December 1719 ‘The King of the Pirates,’ an ostensible autobiography of Captain Avery, a well-known pirate of the time. In 1720 he published two pamphlets about another deaf and dumb soothsayer, Duncan Campbell [q. v.] The first included a story of a ghost which appeared at Launceston in Cornwall. A manuscript transcript of this came into the hands of C. S. Gilbert, who published it in his ‘History of Cornwall’ as an original document; and it has been used in Mrs. Bray's ‘Trelawney of Trelawney’ and Hawker's ‘Footprints of Former Men.’ Between 1722 and 1725 Defoe wrote various accounts of the criminals, Cartouche, the ‘Highland Rogue’ (Rob Roy), Jack Sheppard, and Jonathan Wild. He ingeniously induced Sheppard, when actually under the gallows, to give a paper to a friend, apparently Defoe himself, with which the published pamphlet professed to be identical (Lee, i. 387). In other books he dispensed with an historical basis. The adventures of ‘Captain Singleton,’ in which Avery again appears, was published in 1720. ‘Moll Flanders’ and ‘Colonel Jacque’ both appeared in 1722, and ‘Roxana’ in 1724. Mr. Lee attributes a moral purpose to Defoe in these accounts of rogues and harlots, and it must be admitted that Defoe tacks some kind of moral to stories which show no great delicacy of moral feeling, and the publication of which is easily explicable by lower motives. One of his most remarkable performances, the ‘Journal of the Plague Year,’ appeared in 1722. It was suggested by the dread of the plague which had recently broken out in France; and the narrative has an air of authenticity which imposed upon Dr. Mead, who had been appointed to report upon desirable precautions. He quotes it as an authority in his ‘Discourse on the Plague’ (1744). Two other remarkable books have been assigned to Defoe. The ‘Memoirs of a Cavalier’ appeared in 1720. The preface states that the memoirs had been found ‘in the closet of an eminent publick minister … one of King William's secretaries of state.’ The publisher identifies the author with Andrew Newport, second son of Richard Newport of High Ercall, Shropshire, created Lord Newport, 1642. Andrew Newport (d. 1699) was the younger brother of the Earl of Bradford, who was born in 1620. As the cavalier says that he was born in 1608, and served under Gustavus Adolphus, the identification is impossible (some letters of Andrew Newport are given in Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep.). The account of the civil wars contains many errors, and might have been easily compiled from published documents, while the personal anecdotes introduced are much in the style of Defoe. The authorship must be doubtful. The memoirs of Captain George Carleton [q. v.], often attributed to Defoe, are certainly genuine. The ‘New Voyage round the World,’ 1725, is the last of these fictitious narratives which need be mentioned.
Defoe wrote memoirs of Daniel Williams, founder of the library for Curll in 1718; and Curll also published the history of Duncan Campbell in 1720. It is remarkable that at this period, Defoe (if Mr. Lee is right in attributing the article to him) published a bitter attack upon Curll in ‘Mist's Journal’ for 5 April 1718 (Lee, ii. 32, where 1719 is given in error). The author complains of the indecency of contemporary literature in a strain which comes rather oddly from the author of catch-penny lives of criminals. Defoe, however, was in his own view a sincere and zealous moralist. His books upon such topics were voluminous and popular. To his ‘Family Instructor,’ published in 1715, he added a second volume in 1718; and in 1727 he published a new ‘Family Instructor,’ directed chiefly against popery and the growing tendency to Socinianism and Deism. Two volumes of the ‘Complete English Tradesman’ appeared in 1725 and 1727. Lamb (‘The Good Clerk,’ first published in Leigh Hunt's ‘Reflector,’ 1811) has pronounced an unusually severe judgment on the morality of these volumes, which, it must be admitted, is not of an elevated tendency; but perhaps it should rather be called prosaic and prudential than denounced as base. It is of the kind current in his class, and apparently sincere as far as it goes. The same may be said of the ‘Religious Courtship,’ 1722, and the ‘Treatise concerning the Use and Abuse of the Marriage Bed,’ 1727. Defoe's religious views, otherwise those of the orthodox dissenters, were marked by a queer admixture of popular superstition. His love of the current ghost stories and delight in the vulgar supernaturalism appear in these treatises: ‘The Political History of the Devil,’ the ‘System of Magic,’ and an ‘Essay on the Reality of Apparitions,’ afterwards called ‘The Secrets of the Invisible World disclosed,’ which appeared in May 1726, December 1726, and March 1727. At the same time, his intimate knowledge of contemporary life and manners gives interest to books of a different class; the ‘Tour through Great Britain,’ of which three volumes appeared in 1724–5–6; the ‘Augusta Triumphans, or the Way to make London the most flourishing City in the Universe,’ 1728; a ‘Plan of English Commerce,’ 1728, and various pamphlets dealing with schemes for improving the London police. Defoe's writings are of the highest value as an historical indication of the state of the middle and lower classes of his time. Defoe had been a diligent journalist until 1725. The attacks in the press provoked by his apparent apostasy had died out about 1719 (Lee, i. 309), as his energies had been diverted from exciting political controversy. At the end of 1724, Mist was for a fourth time in prison. While there he drew his sword upon Defoe, who repelled the attack, wounded Mist, and then brought a surgeon to dress the wound (Lee, i. 394; for Defoe's account see Applebee's Journal). In all probability Mist had discovered Defoe's relations with the government, and failed to see that they called for gratitude. Soon afterwards Defoe's writings in newspapers ceased. His last regular article in ‘Applebee's Journal’ appeared 12 March 1726, and in the following November he complains (preface to tract on Street Robberies) that he could not obtain admission to the journals ‘without feeing the journalists or publishers.’ Mr. Lee plausibly conjectures that Mist had revealed Defoe's secret to them, and that they thereupon ‘boycotted’ him as a recognised agent of ministers. In June 1725 he had adopted the pseudonym of Andrew Moreton, which he afterwards used frequently for purposes of concealment. He appears at this period to have been fairly prosperous. In a ‘character of Defoe’ (Add. MS. 28094, f. 165), apparently the report of some hostile agent about 1705, it is said that he lives at Newington Green, at the house of his father-in-law, who is ‘lay elder in a conventicle.’ If Defoe married Annesley's daughter, this must have been the father of a second wife. He apparently had some permanent connection with Newington. Henry Baker, F.R.S. [q. v.], who became his son-in-law, made his acquaintance in 1724. Defoe, as Baker tells us, had then newly built a ‘very handsome house’ at Stoke Newington (Robinson, History of Stoke Newington). It was surrounded by four acres of ground; it had a coachhouse and stables, and Defoe amused himself with his garden, and ‘in the pursuit of his studies, which he found means of making very profitable.’ He had three lovely daughters, and his ‘way of living’ was ‘very genteel.’ He had probably a fair income, though he had not much realised estate. He paid 10l. in 1721 to be excused from serving a parish office. Some transactions, fully detailed by Mr. Lee from the original deeds (Lee, i. 361–364), show that in 1722 he invested about 1,000l. in an estate called Kingswood Heath, at Colchester, for the benefit of his daughter Hannah. An advertisement in the ‘Daily Courant’ of 15 March 1726, for some documents lost in a pocket-book, shows that Defoe was then engaged in commercial transactions, probably as an agent for the sale of cloth. When Baker proposed to marry his daughter, Defoe had some difficulty in providing ready money for the settlements, but ultimately gave sufficient securities.
Baker began a paper called the ‘Universal Spectator,’ of which Defoe wrote the first number (12 Oct. 1728), and on 30 April 1729 married the daughter, Sophia Defoe. Some catastrophe which must have happened soon afterwards is only known from a letter written to Baker (first printed by Wilson), and dated 12 Aug. 1730. The letter, expressing profound depression, shows that for some reason Defoe had gone into hiding; that he had trusted all his property to his son (Benjamin Norton Defoe) for the benefit of the two unmarried daughters and their ‘poor dying mother,’ and that the son suffered them ‘to beg their bread at his door.’ He still confides in Baker's affection, proposes a secret meeting with his family, but sees great difficulties, and is in expectation of death. The allusions are far from clear, and the letter gives ground for some suspicion that Defoe's intellect was partly unsettled. It refers, however, to a blow from a ‘wicked, perjured, and contemptible enemy,’ and Mr. Lee's conjectural explanation is certainly not improbable. Mist had escaped to France in the beginning of 1728, where he lived with the Duke of Wharton. He may have revenged himself upon his old enemy by somehow conveying to the English government a charge of disloyalty against Defoe. Defoe's letters in 1718 show his sense that such a misinterpretation of his dealings with the Jacobites was possible, as the letters are intended to place his true position on record. Those who had been privy to the original compact were dead or out of office. Defoe may have feared that he would be seriously charged with treason and be unable to prove that he was only treacherous to the Jacobites. This, however, is conjectural. It is certain that he still retained enough mental power to write an ‘Effectual Scheme for the immediate Preventing of Street Robberies,’ which appeared in 1731. In the previous winter he had returned to London, and died ‘of a lethargy,’ in Ropemakers' Alley, Moorfields (not then a miserable quarter), on 26 April 1731. He was buried in Bunhill Fields. His wife was buried in the same place on 19 Dec. 1732. His library, with a ‘curious collection of books on history and politics,’ was sold in November 1731 (Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. ix. 142). An obelisk was erected in Bunhill Fields in 1870. A full account of his descendants till 1830 is given by Wilson (iii. 641–50). His eldest son, Daniel, appears to have been in business, and to have finally emigrated to Carolina. His second son, Benjamin Norton, was editor of the ‘London Journal,’ in succession to Thomas Gordon, a well-known writer, and was prosecuted for libel in 1721. He opposed his father, with whom he was personally on bad terms. Pope refers to him in the ‘Dunciad,’ and repeats a scandal, derived from Savage (Author to be Let, preface), that he was Defoe's illegitimate son by an oyster-seller. The letters of Defoe and his daughter to Baker imply that he had then only one son, or only one in England; and Benjamin is probably the son accused of a breach of trust. In 1726 he succeeded Ridpath as editor of the ‘Flying Post,’ and he wrote a life of Alderman Barber and memoirs of the Princes of Orange. Defoe's daughters were Maria, afterwards a Mrs. Langley; Hannah, who died unmarried at Wimborne Minster on 25 April 1759; Henrietta, married to John Boston of Much Hadham, and afterwards excise officer at Wimborne, where she died a widow in 1760; and Sophia, baptised on 24 Dec. 1701, who married Henry Baker, F.R.S. [q. v.], and died on 4 Jan. 1762. Her son, David Erskine [q. v.], was author of the ‘Companion to the Playhouse;’ her second son, Henry (1734–1766) [q. v.], was grandfather to the Rev. Henry Defoe Baker, vicar of Greetham, Rutlandshire, who gave information to Wilson and communicated the letter to Henry Baker. Wilson also received information from James Defoe, grandson of a grandson named Samuel. One of this family was hanged for highway robbery in 1771, another was cook in a ship-of-war in 1787. Some notice of later descendants is in ‘Notes and Queries,’ 2nd ser. viii. 51, 94, 197, 299, xi. 303. A James Defoe, said to be a great-grandson, died in 1857, leaving some children, on whose behalf an appeal was made to Lord Palmerston (see Times, 25 March 1861). A portrait of Defoe by Taverney, engraved by Vandergucht, is prefixed to the first volume of the collected writings (1703), and is probably the best. Another engraved by W. Skelton is prefixed to the ‘History of the Union.’ Mr. J. C. Laud states in ‘Notes and Queries,’ 6th ser. v. 465, that he had recently acquired a fine portrait by Kneller.
Lists of Defoe's works are given by Chalmers, Wilson, Hazlitt, and in Lowndes's ‘Manual,’ and were carefully tested and corrected by Mr. Lee, who states that all previous errors were accumulated and new errors added in Lowndes. Lee's final list includes 254 works, 64 of which were added by him, while many were rejected. The full titles are given in Lee (i. xxvii–lv). The following is a brief statement of the most important, classified according to subjects. Contributions to periodicals have been noticed above.
Political tracts: 1. ‘The Englishman's Choice,’ 1694. 2. ‘Reflections on a Pamphlet upon a Standing Army,’ 1697. 3. ‘Argument for a Standing Army,’ 1698. 4. ‘Two great Questions considered,’ 1700 (sequel in same year). 5. ‘Six distinguishing Characters of a Parliament-Man,’ 1700. 6. ‘Danger of Protestant Religion,’ 1701. 7. ‘Freeholder's Plea,’ 1701. 8. ‘Villainy of Stock-jobbers,’ 1701. 9. ‘Succession to the Crown of England considered,’ 1701. 10. ‘History of Kentish Petition,’ 1701. 11. ‘Present State of Jacobitism,’ 1701. 12. ‘Reasons against a War with France,’ 1701. 13. ‘Original Power of the Collective Body of the People of England,’ 1701. 14. ‘Legion's New Paper,’ 1702. 15. ‘On Regulation of the Press,’ 1704. 16. ‘Tracts against Lord Haversham,’ 1705. 17. Six ‘Essays at removing National Prejudices against a Union with Scotland,’ first two in London, others in Edinburgh, 1706–7. 18. ‘The Union Proverb, “If Skiddaw has a cap,” &c.,’ 1708. 19. ‘The Scots Narrative examined’ (case of episcopal ministers), 1709. 20. ‘Letter from Captain Tom to the Sacheverell Mob,’ 1710. 21. ‘Instructions from Rome … inscribed to Don Sacheverelleo,’ 1710. 22. ‘Essay upon Public Credit,’ 1710 (August). 23. ‘A Word against a New Election,’ 1710 (October). 24. ‘Essay upon Loans,’ 21 Oct. 1710. 25. ‘Eleven Opinions upon Mr. H[arley],’ 1711. 26. ‘Secret History of the October Club’ (2 parts), 1711. 27. ‘Reasons why this Nation ought to put a speedy end to this expensive War,’ 1711. 28. ‘Armageddon,’ 1711. 29. ‘The Balance of Europe,’ 1711. 30. ‘A plain Exposition of that difficult phrase, “a Good Peace,”’ 1711. 31. ‘Reasons against Fighting,’ 1712. 32. ‘Seasonable Warning against the insinuations of Jacobites,’ 1712. 33. ‘Hannibal at the Gates,’ 1712. 34. ‘Reasons against the Succession of the House of Hanover,’ 1713. 35. ‘And what if the Pretender should come?’ 1713. 36. ‘An Answer to a Question that nobody thinks of, viz. What if the Queen should die?’ 1713. 37. ‘Essay on Treaty of Commerce,’ 1713. 38. ‘Whigs turned Tories, and Hanoverian Tories proved Whigs,’ 1713. 39. ‘Scots Nation vindicated from an Infamous Libel, entitled “Public Spirit of the Whigs”’ (by Swift), 1714. 40. ‘Real Danger of Protestant Succession,’ 1714. 41. ‘Reasons for Im[peaching] the L[ord] H[igh] T[reasurer],’ 1714. 42. ‘Advice to the People of Great Britain,’ 1714. 43. ‘Secret History of one Year,’ 1714. 44. ‘Secret History of White Staff’ (3 parts), 1714–15. 45. ‘An Appeal to Honour and Justice, though it be of his Worst Enemies. By Daniel Defoe,’ 1715. 46. ‘Tracts in Character of a Quaker to Thomas Bradbury, Sacheverell, the Duke of Ormonde, and the Duke of Mar,’ 1715; and ‘to Hoadley,’ 1717. 47. ‘Two Tracts on the Triennial Act,’ 1716. 48. ‘Minutes of the Negotiations of Mons. Mesnager … “done out of French,”’ 1717. 49. ‘Charity still a Christian Virtue’ (on the prosecution for a charity sermon), 1719. 50. ‘Reasons for a War,’ 1729.
Verse: 1. ‘New Discovery of an Old Intrigue,’ 1691. 2. ‘Character of Dr. Samuel Annesley,’ 1697. 3. ‘The Pacificator,’ 1700. 4. ‘True-born Englishman,’ 1701. 5. ‘The Mock Mourners,’ 1702. 6. ‘Reformation of Manners,’ 1702. 7. ‘Ode to the Athenian Society,’ 1703. 8. ‘More Reformation,’ 1703. 9. ‘Hymn to the Pillory,’ 1703. 10. ‘Elegy on Author of True-born Englishman,’ 1704. 11. ‘Hymn to Victory,’ 1704. 12. ‘The Dyet of Poland,’ 1705. 13. ‘Jure Divino’ (in twelve books), 1706 (a surreptitious edition of first seven books at same time). 14. ‘Caledonia,’ 1706. 15. ‘Hymn to the Mob,’ 1715. 16. Du Fresnoy's ‘Compleat Art of Painting,’ translated, 1720.
Upon dissent and occasional conformity: 1. ‘Occasional Conformity of Dissenters in Cases of Preferment,’ 1698. 2. ‘Letter to Mr. How,’ 1701. 3. ‘New Test of Church of England's Loyalty,’ 1702. 4. ‘Enquiry into Occasional Conformity,’ 1702. 5. ‘Shortest Way with the Dissenters,’ 1702. 6. ‘A Brief Explanation of the Test,’ 1703. 7. ‘King William's Affection to the Church of England,’ 1703. 8. ‘Shortest Way to Peace and Union,’ 1703. 9. ‘Sincerity of Dissenters Vindicated,’ 1703. 10. ‘A Challenge of Peace,’ 1703. 11. ‘Peace without Union’ (answer to Mackworth), 1703. 12. ‘Dissenters' Answer to High Church Challenge,’ 1704. 13. ‘Serious Inquiry,’ 1704. 14. ‘More short Ways with Dissenters,’ 1704. 15. ‘Dissenters Misrepresented and Represented,’ 1704. 16. ‘New Test of Church of England's Honesty,’ 1704. 17. ‘Persecution Anatomised,’ 1705. 18. ‘The Experiment’ (case of Abraham Gill), 1705. 19. ‘Party Tyranny’ (conformity in Carolina), 1705 (continuation in 1706). 20. ‘Dissenters in England Vindicated,’ 1707. 21. ‘Essay on History of Parties and Persecution in Great Britain,’ 1711. 22. ‘The Present State of Parties,’ 1712. 23. ‘A Letter to the Dissenters,’ 1713. 24. ‘Remedy worse than the Disease’ (on the Schism Act), 1714. 25. ‘A Letter to the Dissenters’ (on the Salters' Hall controversy), 1719.
Economical and social tracts: 1. ‘Essay upon Projects,’ 1698. 2. ‘The Poor Man's Plea in relation to Proclamations … for a Reformation of Manners,’ 1698. A ‘History of the Societies for the Reformation of Manners’ has been attributed to Defoe, but apparently is not his (WILSON, i. 302). 3. ‘Giving Alms no Charity,’ 1704. 4. ‘Remarks on Bankruptcy Bill,’ 1706. 5. ‘A General History of Trade,’ 1713. 6. ‘A Tour through Great Britain,’ 1724–6. 7. ‘The Complete English Tradesman,’ 1725; vol. ii. 1727. 8. ‘Parochial Tyranny,’ 1727. 9. ‘Augusta Triumphans,’ 1728. 10. ‘Plan of English Commerce,’ 1728. 11. ‘Second Thoughts are Best’ (on street robberies), 1728. 12. ‘Street Robberies considered,’ 1728. 13. ‘Humble Proposal to People of England for Increase of Trade,’ &c., 1729. 14. ‘Effectual Scheme for Preventing Street Robberies,’ 1731.
Didactic: 1. ‘Enquiry into Asgill's “General Translation,”’ 1703. 2. ‘Layman's Sermon on the Late Storm,’ 1704. 3. ‘The Consolidator,’ 1704 (three sequels in same year). 4. ‘Sermon on the fitting up of Dr. Burgess's Meeting-house,’ 1706. 5. ‘The Family Instructor’ (3 parts), March 1715; 2nd edition, corrected by author, September 1715. 6. ‘The Family Instructor’ (2 parts), 1718 (2nd volume of preceding). 7. ‘Serious Reflections during the Life and Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe,’ 1720. 8. ‘The Supernatural Philosopher, or the Mysteries of Magick,’ 1720. 9. ‘Religious Courtship,’ 1722. 10. ‘The great Law of Subordination considered,’ 1724. 11. ‘Everybody's Business is Nobody's Business’ (on servants), 1725. 12. ‘The Complete English Tradesman,’ 1725; vol. ii. 1727. 13. ‘Political History of the Devil,’ 1726. 14. ‘Essay upon Literature,’ 1726. 15. ‘History of Discoveries,’ 1726–7. 16. ‘The Protestant Monastery,’ 1726. 17. ‘A System of Magic,’ 1726. 18. ‘Conjugal Lewdness,’ and with new title, ‘Treatise concerning Use and Abuse of the Marriage Bed,’ 1727. 19. ‘History and Reality of Apparitions,’ with new title (1728), ‘Secrets of Invisible World disclosed,’ 1727. 20. ‘A new Family Instructor,’ 1727. 21. Preface to ‘Servitude’ (a poem by Robert Dodsley), 1729. 22. ‘The Compleat English Gentleman’ (partly printed, not published), 1729; first edited in full and published from Defoe's autograph (Brit. Mus. MS. Addit. 32555) by Dr. K. D. Bülbring (London, 1890). 23. ‘Of Royall Educacion,’ a fragment, first printed from the same MS. by the same editor (London, 1895).
Narratives (real and fictitious): 1. ‘The Storm,’ 1704. 2. ‘Apparition of Mrs. Veal,’ 1706. 3. ‘The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, mariner,’ 25 April 1719. 4. ‘The further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe,’ 20 Aug. 1719. 5. ‘The Dumb Philosopher, or Great Britain's Wonder’ (Dickory Cronke), 1719. 6. ‘The King of Pirates’ (Avery), 1719. 7. ‘Life and Adventures of Duncan Campbell,’ 1720. 8. ‘Mr. Campbell's Pacquet,’ 1720. 9. ‘Memoirs of a Cavalier’ (?), 1720. 10. ‘Life … of Captain Singleton,’ 1720. 11. ‘Moll Flanders,’ 1722. 12. ‘Journal of the Plague Year,’ 1722. 13. ‘Due Preparations for the Plague,’ 1722 (see Notes and Queries, 4th ser. iii. 402, 444). 14. ‘Life of Cartouche,’ 1722. 15. ‘History of Colonel Jacque,’ 1722. 16. ‘The Highland Rogue’ (Rob Roy), 1723. 17. ‘The Fortunate Mistress’ (Roxana), 1724. 18. ‘Narrative of Murders at Calais,’ 1724. 19. ‘Life of John Sheppard,’ 1724. 20. ‘Robberies, Escapes, &c., of John Sheppard,’ 1724. 21. ‘New Voyage round the World,’ 1725. 22. ‘Account of Jonathan Wild,’ 1725. 23. ‘Account of John Gow,’ 1725. 24. ‘The Friendly Damon,’ 1726. 25. ‘Mere Nature delineated’ (Peter the Wild Boy), 1726.
Historical and biographical: 1. ‘History of the Union of Great Britain,’ 1709. 2. ‘Short Enquiry into a late Duel’ (Duke of Hamilton and Lord Mohun), 1713. 3. ‘Wars of Charles III,’ 1715. 4. ‘Memoirs of the Church of Scotland,’ 1717. 5. ‘Life and Death of Count Patkul,’ 1717. 6. ‘Memoirs of Duke of Shrewsbury,’ 1718. 7. ‘Daniel Williams,’ 1718. 8. ‘Baron de Goertz,’ 1719. 9. ‘History of Peter the Great,’ 1723.
An edition of Defoe's ‘Works’ in 3 vols. royal 8vo, with life by W. Hazlitt, was published in 1840, and another in 20 vols. 12mo in 1840–1.[The chief authorities for Defoe's life are his Appeal to Honour and Justice and incidental statements in his Review and other works. John Dunton's Life and Errors and Oldmixon's History give contemporary notices. The first Life was prefixed by G. Chalmers to an edition of Defoe's History of the Union, 1786, and Robinson Crusoe (Stockdale), 1790. An elaborate and ponderous Life by Walter Wilson, in 3 vols., appeared in 1830. The Life by W. Hazlitt prefixed to the 1840 collection of Defoe's Works is chiefly founded upon Wilson. William Lee's Life of Defoe, forming the first of three volumes of Life and Newly Discovered Writings, appeared in 1869. See also Life and Times of Daniel Defoe by William Chadwick, 1859; John Forster's Historical and Biogeraphical Essays, 1858; Professor Minto's Daniel Defoe, in English Men of Letters.]