Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

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by James Fitzjames Stephen

Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, 1st Baronet QC (1829-1894) was a Victorian judge and writer. He was a friend of Sir Henry Sumner Maine, who introduced him to the Cambridge Apostles.

As a lawyer he was counsel to the Jamaica Committee of 1866. This was organised by John Stuart Mill and called for the prosecution of Edward Eyre, Governor of Jamaica, for his actions in suppressing the Morant Bay rebellion of 1865. However, while Stephen held that the defendants were guilty of legal murder, he extended considerable sympathy to them and thought that they were probably morally justified. From then on, Mill was cool to him.

"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" is Stephen's refutation of John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty".

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— James Fitzjames Stephen, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity