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The Commonwealth of Oceana by James Harrington
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by James Harrington


JAMES HARRINGTON, eldest son of Sir Sapcotes Harrington of
Exton, in Rutlandshire, was born in the reign of James I, in
January, 1661, five years before the death of Shakespeare. He was
two or three years younger than John Milton. His great-grandfather
was Sir James Harrington, who married Lucy, daughter of Sir
William Sidney, lived with her to their golden wedding-day, and
had eighteen children, through whom he counted himself, before
his death, patriarch in a family that in his own time produced eight
dukes, three marquises, seventy earls, twenty-seven viscounts, and
thirty-six barons, sixteen of them all being Knights of the Garter.
James Harrington's ideal of a commonwealth was the design,
therefore, of a man in many ways connected with the chief nobility
of England.

Sir Sapcotes Harrington married twice, and had by each of his
wives two sons and two daughters. James Harrington was eldest
son by the first marriage, which was to Jane, daughter of Sir
William Samuel of Upton, in Northamptonshire. James
Harrington's brother became a merchant; of his half-brothers, one
went to sea, the other became a captain in the army.

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