Cumberland, Richard

Cumberland, Richard

Cumberland, Richard, 1631-1718, English philosopher. He was bishop of Peterborough from 1691. In his De legibus naturae [on natural laws] (1672) he first propounded the doctrine of utilitarianism and opposed the egoistic ethics of Thomas Hobbes.
Cumberland, Richard, 1732-1811, English dramatist; great-grandson of the 17th-century philosopher Richard Cumberland. His family connections earned him a clerical position with the British board of trade. The author of over 40 plays, he was most successful with his sentimental comedies, the best of which are The Brothers (1769) and The West Indian (1771). He also wrote two seldom-read novels, Arundel (1789) and Henry (1795), and an autobiography (1806-7).
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