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Benjamin Furly

Benjamin Furly

Colchester 1636 - Rotterdam 1714

Benjamin Furly came to Holland at the end of the 1650s to take care of family business on the Continent, as well as being brought there by religious fervour. He became one of the most important merchants of the city of Rotterdam. Quaker, friend of Penn, Keith, Fox, translator of their works and leader of a famous circle "De Lantaarn", frequented by gentlemen and savans including Locke, who was guest of Furly in 1687-89. Furly was the author of writings concerning ethics and Quaker religiousness, the best known of which, The World’s Honour Detected, appeared in London in 1663. He was famous for his library.

Bibliography: W.I. Hull, Benjamin Furly and Quakerism in Rotterdam, Lancaster (Pa.) 1941; S. Hutton, Benjamin Furly (1636-1714), in The Dictionary of Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Dutch Philosophers, 2 vol., Bristol, Thoemmes Press 2003, vol. I, pp. 317-319; S. Hutton (ed.), Benjamin Furly 1636-1714. A quaker merchant and his milieu, Firenze, Olschki 2007; C. Hermanin, Il mercante filosofo nell’Olanda di fine Seicento: una formazione ‘senza canone’, in Saperi a confronto nell’Europa dei secoli XIII-XIX, a cura di M.P. Paoli, Pisa, Edizioni della Normale 2009, pp. 103-116; L. Simonutti, Biblioteche anglicane del Sei-Settecento e filosofia d’Oltremanica, in Biblioteche filosofiche private in età moderna e contemporanea, Atti del Convegno di Cagliari, 21-23 aprile 2009, a cura di F.M. Crasta, Firenze, Le Lettere 2011, pp. 109-124.

Bibliotheca Furliana, sive Catalogus librorum Honoratiss. et Doctiss. Viri Benjamin Furly, inter quos excellunt bibliorum Editiones, Mystici, Libri proprii cujuscumque Sectae Christianae, et Manuscripti membranei. Auctio fiet die 22 Octobris 1714, in Aedibus Defuncti in Platea vulgo dicta Haringvliet, Roterodami, apud Fritsch et Bohm 1714, 362 p.

The copy of the catalogue of the library of Furly, kept in the British Library, London, 11901. A. 11, has handwritten notes of the prices and purchases of the books sold in auction.

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