A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Filmer, Sir Robert

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Filmer, Sir Robert (d. 1653?). -- Political writer, s. of Sir Edward F., of East Sutton, Kent, was ed. at Camb. He was an enthusiastic Royalist, was knighted by Charles I. and, in 1671, was imprisoned in Leeds Castle, Kent. He is notable as the defender, in its most extreme form, of the doctrine of the divine right of kings, which he expounded in a succession of works, of which the latest and best known, Patriarcha, appeared in 1679. His theory is founded on the idea that the government of a family by the father is the original and method of all government. His doctrines were afterwards attacked by Locke in his Treatise on Government. He was opposed to the persecution of old women for supposed witchcraft.