Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Henry Robinson (c. 1604 – c. 1664) was an English merchant and writer. He is best known for a work on religious toleration, Liberty of Conscience from 1644.
In politics he with Henry Parker lent support in 1649 to Parliament in the debate over 'engagement', an oath to be required affirming the legitimacy of the Parliamentary regime. In the same year he was appointed to government administrative positions, dealing with accounts and sale of crown lands, and in 1650 with farm rents and acting as secretary to the excise commissioners.
He advocated the "free trading of truth", and wrote that "no man can have a natural monopoly of truth". He was one of a group of authors slightly ahead of John Milton in the arguments of Areopagitica against censorship. It has been said that there was essentially nothing in Milton's work that had not been anticipated by Robinson, William Walwyn, Roger Williams.
He wrote extensively on trade and economics, including advocacy for English trade policy during the Rump Parliament, In economic policy his writings had some effect: in the areas of interest rates, naturalisation of foreigners, redistibution of trades from the London centre, and inland navigation, there was a measure of economic reform in the directions he with Hartlib had proposed.
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