Lead: In June 1666, while in Oxford seeking relief from an internal health disorder, Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper chanced to meet John Locke. Their friendship represented much that was good about the English patronage system.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Aristocratic societies have many major weaknesses. One of the chief of those was their inability to identify and make use of the talented people need to make things run right. Blood, wealth or rank are no guarantee of intelligence or leadership ability. These societies were bound not by the market or elections but by tradition to give control to aristocrats ill-equipped for such control, therefore there is often a talent deficit. Early Modern English society solved that problem with the patronage system. Talented people would be recruited by or attach themselves to wealthy individuals or families in a scheme of mutual benefit. Sometimes they were artists, who could express their talent while in the patron’s support. Often they would teach the children of the wealthy family in exchange for a living.


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