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Life John Locke was born at Wrington a village in Somerset on August 29 1632 He was the son of a country solicitor and small landowner who when the civil war broke out served as a captain of horse in the parliamentary army I no sooner perceived myself in the world than I found myself in a storm he wrote long afterwards during the lull in the storm which followed the kings return But political unrest does not seem to have seriously disturbed the course of his education He entered Westminster school in 1646 and passed to Christ Church Oxford as a junior student in 1652 and he had a home there though absent from it for long periods for more than thirty years -- till deprived of his studentship by royal mandate in 1684 The official studies of the university were uncongenial to him he would have preferred to have learned philosophy from Descartes instead of from Aristotle but evidently he satisfied the authorities for he was elected to a senior studentship in 1659 and in the three or four years following he took part in the tutorial work of the college At one time he seems to have thought of the clerical profession as a possible career but he declined an offer of preferment in 1666 and in the same year obtained a dispensation which enabled him to hold his studentship without taking orders About the same time we hear of his interest in experimental science and he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1668 Little is known of his early medical studies He cannot have followed the regular course for he was unable to obtain the degree of doctor of medicine It was not till 1674 that he graduated as bachelor of medicine In the following January his position in Christ Church was regularized by his appointment to one of the two medical studentships of the college His
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