Correspondence and Occasional Writings

By Francis Hutcheson
Private Correspondence and Occasional Writings edited by M. A. Stewart
Public Correspondence and Occasional Writings edited by James Moore
With an Introduction by James Moore


Francis Hutcheson (1694–1746) was one of the most influential figures in the Scottish Enlightenment. Correspondence and Occasional Writings makes unknown and little-known writings available in a modern edition. It collects his private correspondence for the first time, as well as letters and occasional writings published from journals in England, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

Hutcheson’s private correspondence contains many reflections on his own writings, on his frustrations with demands for theological orthodoxy in Glasgow, and on academic affairs in Scotland. Letters from his cousin William Bruce, in Dublin, shed further light on the reception of Hutcheson’s writings in Ireland and the wishes of his friends that he should return to that country. Also included are the well-known letters from David Hume and the letter that Hutcheson wrote to his father in July 1726 on the subject of church government. They are striking, showing his loyalty and lasting affection for his friends, and several letters offer important insights into his ideas and his social and intellectual roles.

The public correspondence and occasional writings include letters and pamphlets from journals and exhibit his polemical skills in controversy, his differences with Presbyterian orthodoxy (he was the son of a Presbyterian minister), and his preoccupation with religious and intellectual liberty. These writings substantially supplement his well-known works on philosophy, politics, and religion.

Professor Stewart used his expertise on eighteenth-century handwriting to transcribe the private letters, traveling to libraries and archives in Britain and Ireland. Professor Moore edited the public letters and writings, using his expertise with early-modern French to translate two of the included letters. In addition, Professor Moore wrote an introduction giving rich details and insight into the history behind the documents collected here. Both editors are among the leading scholars on the Scottish Enlightenment.

M. A. Stewart was Honorary Research Professor in the History of Philosophy at the Universities of Lancaster and Aberdeen.

James Moore is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Concordia University in Montreal.


Jul 2022 | 6 x 9 | 432 Pages

Introduction, general editor's preface, abbreviations, bibliography, and index.


978-0-86597-627-6 Hardcover
978-0-86597-628-3 Paperback