Charles Blount, an English deistical writer, born in Middlesex, April 27, 1654, died in August, 1693. His first work, a pamphlet in defence of Dryden's "Conquest of Granada," was followed in 1679 by Anima Mundi, a work giving a historical account of. the opinions of the ancients on a future life, and in 1680 by "Great is Diana of the Ephesians," and a translation of the Latin version of part of Philostratus's Life of Apollonius Tyanaaus, with irreligious annotations, which were severely censured by Bayle. His tracts, "A Just Vindication of Learning and of the Liberty of the Press" and "Reasons for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing," consisting chiefly of garbled extracts from Milton's "Areopa-gitica," and his reputed anonymous treatise "William and Mary Conquerors" (1693), which was designedly written in the spirit of ultra tories and churchmen, with a view of entrapping the censor Bohun, contributed much to inflame the public mind against the censorship of the press. After the premature death of his wife, a daughter of Sir Timothy Tyrell, he wanted to marry her sister, and wrote a tract in defence of such marriages; but, unable to overcome either the scruples of the lady or the prohibitions of the law, he inflicted on himself a fatal wound.
According to Pope, he did not intend to kill himself, but only meant to frighten his sister-in-law into accepting him. Macaulay thinks he has been much overrated, but gives him credit for having greatly aided in the emancipation of the English press. Charles Gildon wrote an apology for his suicide, and published a collection of his letters under the title of "The Oracle of Reason" (1690), and "The Miscellaneous Works of Charles Blount, Esq." (1695). - His father, Sir Henry (1602--'82), was the author of "A Voyage to the Levant" (1636); and his elder brother, Sir Thomas Pope (1649-'97), who served in five parliaments, wrote Censura Celebriorum Au-ihorurn (fol., 1690), Be Re Poetica, and a compilation on natural history.