About this artwork

A great bibliophile and a friend of the philosopher John Locke, Fletcher spent most of his adult life outwith Scotland - in London, Paris and The Hague - but he addressed the social and economic problems of his homeland with great seriousness. Known in his day as the ‘Patriot’ for his insistent and articulate opposition to the union of parliaments, Fletcher proposed a new European political order of middling-sized states (not necessarily equating to existing national boundaries). Scotland and England would in this scheme each preserve their parliaments and form a confederal British union within the larger European body. His last words were 'Lord have mercy upon my poor country that is so barbarously oppressed'.

Updated before 2020

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