Bentham, Jeremy (1748-1832)

English political philosopher.

Author of Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789) and several other works on government and political economy. Helped found the radical Westminster Review (1823). Best known for championing utilitarian legislation that would promote the “greatest happiness of the greatest number.” Early advocate of prison reform.

Friend of Lord Shelburne. Admired Franklin but probably never met him.

Son of a London attorney. Educated at Queen’s College, Oxford (B.A. 1763) and Lincoln’s Inn.