Francis Lodwick

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Francis Lodwick (or Lodowick) (1619–1694) was a pioneer of a priori languages (what in the seventeenth century was called a 'philosophical language').


Francis Lodwick was a merchant of Dutch origin who lived in London. His name appears in A Collection of the Names of the Merchants living in and about the City of London (1677), with the address "Fan-church street". He did not have any higher education, and was admitted as a Fellow to the Royal Society at the age of 60.

Lodwick may have been acquainted with Daniel Defoe. Francis' nephew Charles Lodwik (1658–1724), Mayor of New York City in 1694, signed at Defoe's marriage as a witness, and Francis may have introduced Defoe to "Roscommon's Academy", a group founded by Lord Roscommon in 1683.[1]


  • 1647 A Common Writing: / Whereby two, although not under- / standing one the others Language, yet by / the helpe thereof, may communicate / their minds one to another. / Composed by a Well-willer to Learning. / Printed for the Author, / MDCXLVII.
  • 1652 The / Ground-Work, / Or / Foundation Laid, / (or so intended) / For the Framing of a New Perfect / Language: / And an Vniversall or / Common Writing. / And presented to the consideration of / the Learned, / By a Well-willer to Learning. / Printed, Anno MDCLII.
  • ca. 1675, A Country Not Named
  • 1686 An Essay / Towards An / Universal Alphabet

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maximillian E. Novak, Daniel Defoe: master of fictions: his life and ideas (2003), p. 80; PDF.
  2. ^ Jim Allan, An Introduction to Elvish
  • Cram, David and Jaap Maat, Universal language schemes in the 17th century In Auroux, Koerner, Niederehe, Versteegh (eds.), History of the Language Sciences, Berlin/New York, Walter de Gruyter, 2000.
  • Eco, Umberto, The search for the perfect language, Fontana Press, 1997, ISBN 0-00-686378-7, pp. 260–268
  • Lewis, Rhodri, The efforts of the Aubrey correspondence group to revise John Wilkins’ Essay (1668) and their context, Historiographia Linguistica 28 (2001), 331–364.
  • Poole, William, A Rare Early-Modern Utopia: Francis Lodwick’s A Country Not Named (c. 1675), Utopian Studies 15 (2004), 115-37.
  • Poole, William, The Genesis Narrative in the Circle of Robert Hooke and Francis Lodwick In Scripture and Scholarship in Early Modern England, Hessayon and Keene (eds.), Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005.
  • Poole, William, Francis Lodwick’s Creation: Theology and Natural Philosophy in the Early Royal Society., Journal of the History of Ideas, 2005.
  • Salmon, Vivian, The Works of Francis Lodwick, London: Longman, 1972.

External links[edit]